Myra Garces-Bacsal is the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies for the College of Education at the United Arab Emirates University. She also serves as Associate Professor with the Department of Special Education. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she served as a teacher educator in Singapore where she taught for eleven years. She was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Commendation Award in 2019, recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Commendation Award in 2012 and a Service Commendation Award in 2013. She was selected by the International Youth Library in Munich as an International Fellow in 2016 and 2017. She served as Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) held annually in Singapore from 2011-2019 and currently serves as the International Advisor-at-Large for the AFCC. She has edited five books on Asian children’s literature featuring the Philippines, Malaysia, China, India, and Japan. Dr. Bacsal has a vibrant website on children’s literature and young adult fiction (www.gatheringbooks.org) where she shares her Social and Emotional Learning Bookshelf consisting of multicultural and international picturebooks from all over the world.
Stories That Provide Hope and Comfort during Troubled Times
The power of narratives to touch sensibilities, influence lives, and heal wounded souls have been documented in the literature through the use of bibliotherapy (Kolencik & Bernadowski, 2007; Halsted, 2009). Literature, however, does not serve as a bitter pill or a chicken-soup remedy that can heal hurts away.
Reading for Social Justice and Transformative (Anti-racist) Education
In order to “teach for social justice” one must first be able to read for social justice. This session will push participants to reimagine the idea of reading as an act of resistance, hope, and transformation.