Faculty and Staff Profiles

S. Mia Obiwo
Asst Professor, Instruction Curriculum Leadership
Email: smobiwo@memphis.edu
Office Location:
Profile

S. Mia Obiwo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership at the University of Memphis. Dr. Obiwo’s professional work and scholarship focus on critical issues in urban elementary schools and teacher education. Notably, her work examines the salience of urban teacher dispositions—a teacher’s (un)conscious attitudes and beliefs that directly influence their instructional practices and relationships with young children, families, schools, and communities. Before teaching at the university level, she was an elementary school teacher in Atlanta Public Schools.

Dr. Obiwo is committed to using early childhood and urban teacher education research as an informative vehicle for helping educators become culturally responsive, equity-oriented change agents in their classrooms and communities. She subscribes to the socio-cultural principles of reciprocal teaching and learning experiences, and she believes that teachers must develop sociopolitical awareness that allows them to critique the existing cultural norms, patterns in behavior, and institutions that produce and maintain social inequities in schools and beyond. Dr. Obiwo has published work in the Peabody Journal of Education and the journal of School-University Partnerships. Her dissertation, Bringing Clarity to the Construct: A Content Analysis of Dispositions for Urban Teaching and Learning, is the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Dr. Obiwo obtained her doctorate in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Georgia State University.

Education
  • Ph.D. Early Childhood and Elementary Education - Georgia State University - 2020
  • M.Ed. Elementary Education - Georgia State University - 2016
  • B.S.Ed. Early Childhood Education - Georgia State University - 2013

Work Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership - University of Memphis - 2020 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor, Early Childhood and Elementary Education - Georgia State University - Summer 2020
  • Graduate Research Assistant , Early Childhood and Elementary Education - Georgia State University - 2016 - 2020
Honors/Awards
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award - American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) - 2021

Teaching Experience

  • ECED 4005: Family and School Collaboration in Early Childhood Education - University of Memphis
  • ECED 7108: Seminar in Early Childhood Education - Delivering the Promise of Equitable Early Care and Learning - University of Memphis
  • ECED 3555: Observation and Assessment of Infant and Early Childhood Development - University of Memphis
  • ECED 7100: Foundations of Early Childhood Education - University of Memphis
  • ECE 3255: ESOL: Cultural Foundations – Critically Thinking Through Writing - Georgia State University
  • ECE 6385: Teaching Literacy to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners - Georgia State University
  • ECE 6380: Foundations of Literacy Instruction - Georgia State University
  • ECE 6800: Urban Education Capstone Seminar - Georgia State University
  • ECE 7740: Internship in ECE Classroom – Literacy Concentration - Georgia State University
Books Reviewed
Journal Articles
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2021). School-Based Practices and Preservice Teacher Beliefs About Urban Teaching and Learning. Peabody Journal of Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/0161956X.2020.1864246
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2020). Context Matters: Cultivating Dispositions of Responsive and Equitable Teachers for Urban Schools. School-University Partnerships, 13(3), 22-38.
  • Starks, F. D., Obiwo, S. M., Dunmeyer, A. D., Wright, A. S., & Walker, C. (in press, 2021). We are No One’s Shrinking Violets: Black Women Educators Demand More in the Time of COVID-19. Journal of Underrepresented and Minority Progress.
Presentations
  • Obiwo, S. M. & Truscott, D. (2021, April) Fostering the Development of Dispositions for Urban Teaching and Learning. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association. Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research SIG. Orlando, FL. (Virtual)
  • Obiwo, S. M. (2021, February) Cultivating Dispositions for Urban Teaching and Learning. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Seattle, WA. (Virtual)
  • Obiwo, S. M. & Pickens, M. T. (2020, November). Urban Teacher Dispositions: Critical Consciousness and Humanistic Perspectives of Teaching. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education. Montgomery, AL. (Virtual)
  • Pickens, M. T. & Obiwo, S. M. (2020, November). Committing the Time to Teach Quality Science: Counter-stories of Effective Black Elementary Teachers. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education. Montgomery, AL. (Virtual)
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2020, April). Teacher Dispositions and Culturally Responsive Practice. In J. E. Many (Chair), Preparing Culturally-Responsive Teachers for Equity-Oriented Classrooms: How Do We Evaluate Their Effectiveness and Our Own? Structured Poster Session at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA. (conference cancelled)
  • Obiwo, S. M. (2019, November). Positive Intentions, Yet Negative Outcomes: Understanding How Dysconscious Racism Informs Teacher Dispositions. Paper Presentation at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education. Tucson, AZ.
  • Clark, A. T., Obiwo, S. M., Robinson, B., Toomey, N., Salem, W. M., Gildersleeve, R. E., Evans-Winters, V. E., & Shelton, S. A. (2019, April). Writing, Representation, and Ethics in Qualitative Research. Mentor Session at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association. Toronto, Canada.
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2019, April). Does Context Matter? Dispositions of New Teachers for Urban Schools. Research Paper Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association. Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research SIG. Toronto, Canada.
  • Obiwo, S. M., Starks, F., Bostic, Q., Walker, C., & Pickens, M. T. (April, 2019). Staying True to You: A Discussion on How to Remain Authentic in Your Life’s Work. Panel Presentation at the Scholars of Color Conference. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2019, February). School-Based Experiences and Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs About Urban Teaching and Learning. Research Paper Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Association for Teacher Education. Atlanta, GA.
  •  Obiwo, S. M. (2018, November). Visions of Ourselves: Analyzing Current African American Children's Literature. Workshop at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education. Memphis, TN.
  • Truscott, D. & Obiwo, S. M. (2018, February). What do pre-service teachers know about teacher dispositions?. Roundtable discussion at the Annual Conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association. Clearwater, FL.
  • Welch, M. & Obiwo, S. M. (2017, November). The iCS Project: An intersection of project-based learning and computational thinking. Poster session presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Atlanta, GA.