In Pizmony-Levy’s most recent study – the 2019 School Climate Survey, which assesses the climate for LGBTI youth in schools in Ireland and other countries – several students participated as part of an independent study project by organizing and conducting the surveys and analyzing the responses. Their scientific contributions were important, but they also brought a passion fueled by the desire to help often-oppressed young people.
[Read a story on the 2019 School Climate Survey in Ireland.]
“The most important benefit of this project was to elevate and honor the voices of marginalized and silenced LGBTI youth in Mongolia,” says Caitlin Thomas (M.A. ’18, International & Comparative Education), who, as a student, worked on the Mongolia arm of the survey.
This work taught me that when a few change-makers collaborate strategically together, it can create a greater impact on the development of social movements. When there is no evidence, there cannot be reform.
“My work with Oren and other professors at Teachers College has given me the ability to be a confident, trained researcher” and “to think analytically about how to make my work more inclusive on a daily basis,” says Thomas, a program officer on Fulbright Teacher Exchange programs for IREX in Washington, D.C. “The support from Teachers College and Oren to complete this project exemplifies the mission of Teachers College to create a more equitable educational system, be it nationally or globally. Teachers College’s commitment to this work in LGBTI+ education is just another reason why they are a leader in the field of education.”
Cody Freeman (M.A. ’18, International & Comparative Education), who worked on the survey in five countries, says he values the application of the survey data to “targeted strategies” for change. “This work taught me that when a few change-makers collaborate strategically together, it can create a greater impact on the development of social movements. When there is no evidence, there cannot be reform.” The research experience, and Teachers College in general, “broadly propelled my career,” Freeman says. He is now a lecturer in the Faculty of Learning Sciences & Education at Thammasat University in Thailand, a position he secured nearly a month after graduation.