Plenary Panels


Brian Charest

Brian Charest is an assistant professor at the University of Redlands in Southern California. He is a former public high school teacher who has taught in both Chicago and Seattle. He’s worked in a variety of educational settings with students of diverse backgrounds and identities.
Brian earned his doctorate in English Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he taught community-engaged writing, academic writing, English methods, education foundations, and American literature.
Brian also worked at DePaul University in Chicago, where he taught courses for aspiring teachers, including writing across the curriculum, teaching in urban schools, teaching literature, and teaching and reading young adult literature.
Most of Brian’s university teaching has involved community-based work of some kind, where students in his courses worked closely with local community-based organizations, schools, practicing teachers, and residents in “real world” settings. Brian draws on the traditions of community organizers and activist to help teachers learn the skills and strategies to be strong advocates for themselves, their students, and the communities in which they live and work.
Before moving into higher education, Brian taught in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), teaching at a high school on the far South Side of the city, where he worked with community organizers and community-based organizations on a variety of civic-engagement projects.
Brian is an advocate for publicly funded education and supports efforts to empower marginalized groups and disrupt structural inequalities. He has presented locally and nationally and published articles on teaching, ecological schooling, civic engagement, community organizing, social justice, ethics, and radical pragmatism.

Visit the links below to learn more about Brian:

Hsiao-Lan Sharon Chen
Hsiao-Lan Sharon Chen

Hsiao-Lan Sharon Chen is a Professor at the Department of Education National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) where she teaches Curriculum Theory; Studies of Knowledge and Curriculum; Methodological Issues of Qualitative Research; Emerging Issues of Curriculum and Instruction; and Curriculum Design. She served as the Director of the Graduate Institute of Educational Policy & Administration and the Graduate Institute of Curriculum and Instruction of NTNU from 2013 to 2016. At present, Prof. Chen is the Convener of the Education Discipline of the Project of Research for Instructional Enhancement at Higher Education by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. She is also an External Examiner for the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Education. Prof. Chen has been a visiting scholar at the following academic institutions: Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia; College of Education and Psychology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany; and College of Education, Stanford University, USA. She has also been a recipient of several awards including the NTNU Distinguished Professor Award, the NSC/MOST Annual Research Award, and the NTNU Outstanding Teacher Award.

Among her most recent publications are:

  • Hwang, H. Y., & Chen, H. L. S. (2018/in revision). Constructing collective memory for (de)colonization: Taiwanese images in history textbooks, 1950-1987. Paedogogica Historica: International Journal of the History Education.
  • Chen, H. L. S., & Yu, P. (2016). Closing achievement gaps and beyond: Teachers’ reactions to the remedial education policy in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Education Review, 17(4), 609-624. (SSCI)
  • Baron, Alex & Chen, Hsiao-Lan Sharon (2012). Looking in a science classroom: exploring possibilities of creative cultural divergence in science teaching and learning. Cultural Study of Science Education, 7, 93-101.
  • Hackling, Mark W., Ramsegar, Jörg & Chen, Hsiao-Lan Sharon (Eds.) (2017). Quality Teaching in Primary Science Education: Cross-cultural Perspectives. Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • Hackling, Mark W., Chen, Hsiao-Lan Sharon & Romain, Gisela (2017). Social and cultural factors framing the teaching and learning of primary science in Sustralia, Germany and Taiwan. In M. W. Hackling, J. Ramseger & H.L., Chen (Eds.). Quality teaching in primary science education: Cross-cultural perspectives. (pp.19-47). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • Chen, Hsiao-Lan Sharon & Russell, Tytler (2017). Inquiry teaching and learning: Forms, approaches, and embedded views. In M. W. Hackling, J. Ramseger & H.L., Chen (Eds.).Quality teaching in primary science education: Cross-cultural perspectives. (pp.93-122). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • Chen, Hsiao-Lan Sharon & Hsieh, Pei-tseng Jenny (2017). Implications for cross-cultural comparisons of teaching and learning. In M. W. Hackling, J. Ramseger & H.L., Chen (Eds.).Quality teaching in primary science education: Cross-cultural perspectives. (pp.309-321). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Lea Angela Pradilla
Lea Angela Pradilla

Lea Angela Pradilla is ACTRC’s Research Officer for the projects, Understanding Best Practices in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) in the Philippines and LearnBEST. Her work on the project was focused on the preparation of fieldwork research instruments and data management and analysis using NVivo and SPSS. In addition, Lea is also ACTRC’s Research Coordinator, engaging with researchers across academe and development institutions to facilitate ACTRC research objectives.Lea has been a resource speaker in DepEd workshops and trainings and has presented at several overseas conferences dedicated to issues around MTB-MLE implementation.Through her experience in the conduct of the ACTRC research and dissemination of findings, Lea has established linkage with program implementers and researchers in the Philippines.
Lea earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Management from the University of the Philippines-Visayas, where she taught for five years. She is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Social Development program of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Her current research interests are in language-in-education and sustainable development.

Visit the links to her publications below:

Pam Robertson 1200x1200
Pam Robertson

Pam Robertson is a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne. As part of this role she is also a staff member at the Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre at the University of the Philippines. Pam’s focus is the use of assessment data to inform teaching and learning. She is experienced in the development, validation and evaluation of assessment materials tailored for specific purposes. She also teaches subjects in the areas of assessment. She has been involved in numerous projects involving the development of assessment materials and their alignment to curricula. Pam’s current research projects include a project assessing the progress of students’ skills across four units of Chemistry to inform curriculum implementation in the Philippines and several projects in Australia and the Philippines helping understand and promote better formative assessment practices. Pam has delivered training in Australia, Vietnam, Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Pam Robertson has also been a teacher of mathematics and science and has co-authored multiple physics texts.

Among her published works are:

  • Robertson, P., Pietzner, J., English, N. (2018). Guide to Formative Assessment Rubrics (Draft for trialling and feedback). Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
  • Care, E., Robertson, P., & Ferido, M. (in press) Learning progression models that enhance support of learning at the bottom of the pyramid. UNESCO-IIEP publication
  • Robertson, P., Care, E., & Ferido, M. (May 18, 2018) Identifying student readiness through science learning progressions in the Philippines [blog post]. Retrieved from
  • Griffin, P., Francis, M., & Robertson, P. (2017). Judgement-based assessment. In P. Griffin (Ed.), Assessment for teaching (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Cambridge University Press.
  • Griffin, P., Francis, M., Robertson, P. (2017). Guttman analysis. In P. Griffin (Ed.), Assessment for teaching (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Cambridge University Press.
  • Griffin, P., Care, E., Crigan, J., Robertson, P., Zhang, Z., & Arratia-Martinez, A. (2014). The influence of evidence-based decisions by collaborative teacher teams on student achievement. In S. Billet, C. Harteis, and H. Gruber (Eds.), International Handbook of Research in Professional and Practice-based Learning (pp. 1299-1331). Springer.

Prof. Manabu Sumida

Manabu Sumida is Professor of science education, Faculty of Education, Associate Director of Institute for International Relations at the Ehime University in Japan. He holds a BS in chemistry from Kyushu University and PhD in science education from Hiroshima University. His research area is science education for gifted learners. He was a committee member of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003, the TIMSS Video Study, and the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 and 2015. He was a visiting researcher at the University of Georgia in 1998 and visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge in 2012. He has been Director of Kids Academy Science (a special science programme for gifted young children) for 9 years. He received the Best Presentation Award in 2007 and 2008, and the International Contribution Award in 2016 from Japan Society for Science Education. He also received the Ryoji Noyori Eduaction Award in 2013. He is currently the Director of Japan Society for Science Education, and Regional Representative for Asia of the International Council of Association for Science Education.

Among his most recent works are: