Laura Liu (Columbus)

IUPUC Faculty Profile: Laura B. Liu
Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Coordinator, English as a New Language (ENL) Program

Creating Funds of Knowledge

Laura B. Liu is Assistant Professor and English as a New Language Program Coordinator in the Division of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. Liu’s research and practice engages UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education, including literacy development (SDG 4.6) and cultivating knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development (SDG 4.7). Liu invites teacher candidates to interview multilingual parents in the region, and integrate insights into lesson design to support and sustain multilingual learner cultures, languages, and sociocultural identities. She has received funding from IUPUI’s Arts & Humanities Institute (2021-2022) to support multilingual parents in authoring their own children’s books to be shared and integrated into K-12 classrooms, work addressing SDG 11.4 to safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Liu also supports teacher candidates to engage elementary students in civic-science inquiry exploring connections across cultural and ecological diversity and sustainability through a local farm visit with the Bartholomew County Soil and Water Conservation District, focused on conservation of fresh water ecosystems (SDGs 6.3, 6.6., 6.b, 15.1). From this, teacher candidates author their own children’s books meeting Indiana Academic Science and Social Studies Standards that they share as lesson plans with elementary students at a local public library. Addressing SDG 11.7 and 11.a, this course also invites teacher candidates in small groups to design a Project Based Learning lesson series engaging youth to explore and sustain regional cultural and ecological diversity. This has led to lesson plans focused on sustainable park and schoolyard design. Laura’s teaching on this has been highlighted in The Republic (see

Liu completed her doctoral degree in multicultural teacher education at The George Washington University (2010) and a postdoctoral degree on teacher education faculty international professional development (2014) at Beijing Normal University’s Center for Teacher Education Research, where she served as an Assistant Professor (2014-2015). Her research is shaped by three primary lines of inquiry: glocalization, diversity sustaining pedagogies, and teacher/faculty professional development. Liu has published a book, Teacher Educator International Professional Development as 仁 (Ren) (2015) and a children’s book series on environmental sustainability, initiated with Turtle’s Treasure (2014), and mentors IUPUC teacher candidates in related research presentations/publications.

Additional key publications include:

Liu, L.B., Conner, J., & Li, Q. (2021). Cultivating teacher professionalism in Chinese and U.S. settings: Contexts, standards, and personhood. Education Inquiry.

Liu, L.B., & Brodey, S. (2020, March 23). Funds of knowledge in storytelling and recipes. Mosaic: The Newsletter of the New York TESOL Association, 51(1), 3-7.