Research News

Li-Ching Ho receives Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award

March 29, 2016

Li-Ching Ho, a faculty member with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is receiving a Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award from UW-Madison.

“This is a great honor and it confirms the high esteem in which you are held by (School of Education) Dean Diana Hess and your colleagues in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction,” UW-Madison Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf writes Li-Ching in an award letter.

Li-Ching Ho
Li-Ching Ho
The Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award provides flexible research funds in the amount of $100,000, which must be spent in increments of $50,000 each over two academic years (2015-16 and 2016-17). These flexible research funds can be used for research, publication, project assistantships, or other expenses related to her scholarly activity.

Li-Ching will use this funding to conduct a qualitative study that aims to investigate Singapore and Philippine teachers’ and students’ conceptualizations of environmental citizenship, which is an under-researched area.

Li-Ching explains that in contrast to countries like the United States, the cases of Singapore and the Philippines are unusual because the governments have explicitly supported environmental causes such as climate change and have actively instituted policy measures to address these potentially existential threats. Notably, in both countries, environmental topics such as the science of climate change and the measures that should be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change have not generated controversy.

The study will also examine the pedagogical practices used by teachers, and students’ experiences and learning in courses that address issues related to environmental citizenship. It will also look at how teachers’ and students’ ideas about environmental citizenship relate to their educational beliefs and experiences, and to the wider social and political context.

Li-Ching adds that this research project will make an important contribution to scholarly knowledge base related to both the domains of citizenship education and environmental education by identifying the ways in which teachers and students from different societal contexts understand the contested concept of environmental citizenship.