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For Durriyah, sharing her love of education began early

Kam King
March 21, 2012

Tati Lathipatud Durriyah, of Jakarta, Indonesia, has been in love with learning ever since she was very young. In Jakarta, Durriyah would use her allowance to purchase books. "I was so hungry for information," the seventh of 12 children said. "I always knew I wanted to go to a great university. I saw attending university as opening a door to many new opportunities."

Durriyah began her higher education at the Universitas Islam Negeri Jakarta (UIN) in 2005. After earning her bachelor of education degree, she went on to teach education at the university, acting as a graduate assistant. At that time, in Jakarta, the field of education lacked master's students and advanced education still isn't as common as it should be. That's one thing that Durriyah wants to improve. "I don't want education in Indonesia to stop at the primary level," she said.

Durriyah's determination for a top-rate education led to her arrival in the United States. In 2008, she earned her master's degree in bilingual/ bicultural education from Columbia University's Teacher College. It was there that she was drawn to literature-based instruction. "We had to observe a second grade class during different literacy activities and the teacher was so lively and interesting," Durriyah shared. "That's where my interest in literacy education began."

She went on to work as a credential evaluator at World Education Services (WES), a non-profit organization in New York City. At WES, she assisted Indian and Southeast Asian students gain U.S. academic credits for their international education. "That job really made me interested in how higher education overseas compared to the U.S.," she said. After working at WES for two years, Durriyah set her sights on Ohio State, which was very well-known in her home country.

Quality faculty are attraction at Ohio State

She is currently completing her Ph.D. in literature for children and young adults. "It's the quality of the faculty here that I really value," she said. "I feel like I've grown a lot." Faculty members Barbara Kiefer, Huck Professor of Teaching and Learning, and Patricia Enciso, associate professor of teaching and learning, really made an impact on Durriyah. "They both were a pleasure to work with and genuinely inspired me without ever making me feel intimidated." Barbara Lehman, professor of teaching and learning at Mansfield Campus, also had an impact on Durriyah's college career at Ohio State. "I was her research apprentice, which was an experience I really appreciated." Her past and present experiences all helped inspire her dissertation research.

The Fulbright Scholarship recipient will investigate a group of Indonesian teachers' reading responses to picture books and their process of learning the pedagogies for literacy instruction. "I want to improve Indonesians' ability to navigate throughout their lives using literacy," she said. "Teachers are the main source of literacy practice and I'm interested in teaching student teachers literacy in the initial level." Durriyah will return to Indonesian in August to her alma mater UIN, where she will be doing qualitative research and teaching student teachers for two semesters.

Durriyah is a graduate associate with the U.S./ Indonesia Teacher Education Consortium (USINTEC), led by executive director Sue Dechow. The two-nation higher education consortium strives to enhance teacher preparation and teacher quality in Indonesia. She works intensively with the consortium's International Dual Master's Degree program, motivating Indonesian students interested in American higher education.

Four USINTEC International Dual Master's Degree program Indonesian students graduated at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony, the last commencement ceremony under the quarter system. "I'm so proud to have known them and to have had even a small impact on their lives," Durriyah said, her eyes gleaming.

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