Posts Tagged education
The Tufts Department of Education offers a unique graduate program in School Psychology, which seeks to engage its diverse group of students in critical conversations regarding race, class, culture, language, gender, and sexuality in schools. The hallmark of the program is its pre-practicum experience: students are placed in urban school systems, where they complete a year of supervised fieldwork and gain a thorough understanding of school psychology for today’s diverse educational environments.
In the department’s new video, current students and faculty highlight the department’s collaborative environment, commitment to clinical skill-building, innovative developmental approach, and focus on professional development. Check out the video here, and read some quotes from faculty members below:
Professor Silas Pinto:
“We’re trying to think about school psychology in a holistic way”
Professor Erin Seaton:
“In the school psychology program, there’s such a strong emphasis on understanding the ways race, class, gender, economics, and culture all impact the student’s experience.”
Less than a year after graduating from Tufts, Rebecca Hornthal, A11, found herself on the hill again. But this time, she was the teacher–to fourteen English Language Learning fourth grade students at Letourneau School. Her students hailed from all over the world, tended to under-perform academically, and oftentimes had behavioral issues.
Despite the daunting task before her, Hornthal broke through to her students by learning their hopes and dreams and showing them the path to achieving them: college. She created an ambitious curriculum with high expectations centered around long-term goals for her kids, and named them the “College Class of 2024.” Soon enough, the class adopted the term and became a model class for the rest of their Fall River peers. In order to keep her students motivated and show them what they were working for, Hornthal brought them to Tufts, where they met Professor Scarlett and even had a meal in Carmichael Dining Center. A student from the Fall River Education Television was there to witness it all:
After a year with Hornthal, her students went from under-performing in math and reading to testing out of their ELL program and being placed into traditional classrooms. Hornthal is one of many Jumbos working with Teach for America, and her success in the classroom will undoubtedly inspire others.
It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean that minds are not a-churning on the hill! Aside from students in the always enlightening Tufts Summer Session courses, the hill is bustling with students taking part in the Summer Institute of Civic Studies. The Institute is an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary seminar that brings together advanced graduate students, faculty, and practitioners from diverse fields of study. For those wishing to take part in the Institute outside the class, one of their main lecturers, Peter Levine, has taken to the blogosphere to give us an insider’s peek into his summer course. Check out a snippet from his lecture on Roberto Unger:
Here is a little fable (mine, not Unger’s) that illustrates how his theoretical position relates to everyday civic efforts:
A group of middle class students has volunteered to serve meals at a homeless shelter. They love the experience. During the reflection session later, one remarks, “Serving the homeless was so great! I hope that shelter will still be open in 50 years, so my grandchildren can serve.”
A progressive educator cries, “No! Our goal must be to end homelessness. You need to think about root causes, not just serve free food once a week. What are the fundamental causes of homelessness?” Chastened, the students do serious research and determine that homelessness results from poverty, which, in turn, is a byproduct of late capitalism.
They are trying to figure out what to do about capitalism when Roberto Mangabeira Unger happens to walk by. “No!” cries Unger. “You are assuming that the link between poverty and homelessness is natural or inevitable. You have seen patterns in our limited experience and have derived ‘lawlike tendencies or deep-seated economic, organizational, and psychological constraints’ from the data; these now limit your imaginations. We human beings have made the social world and we can change any part of it–not only the parts that you have identified as deep structures, but also any of the other elements or links.
“Your ‘confining assumptions … impoverish [your] sense of the alternative concrete institutional forms democracies and markets can take.’ By focusing on the biggest and most intractable factors, you guarantee defeat, whereas any part of the picture could be changed. It would be possible to have a capitalist society with poverty but no shortage of homes. What if we got rid of all zoning rules and rent control but gave everyone a voucher for rent? What if public buildings were retrofitted to allow people to sleep comfortably in them at night? What if some houses were shared, like ZipCars, and homeless people occupied the temporarily empty ones? What if …?
Peter Levine is the Research Director of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and Director of their CIRCLE oranization, The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. For more of his lectures, check out his blog on the Tufts Roundtable Commons.
As current STOMP Fellows, Emma Rubin, E14, Hannah Garfield, E14, and Andrew Bennett, E15, more than understand the importance of multiple methods in teaching. From hands-on activities to written or spoken instructions, these fellows have done it all to teach K-12 students engineering and problem solving skills. This summer, they outdid themselves and created what may be the most creative and entertaining engineering video of all time to explain the different types of engineering–with Legos!
When Evan Barnathan, A08, M14, became a Boston Schweitzer Fellow, the choice of what to do for his year of service was obvious. As a former member of the Tufts Amalgamates and current music director of his beloved group, he spent the year launching Josiah Quincy Upper School‘s first choral effort: Attuned, an a cappella group that offered students the opportunity to both explore their musical creativity and develop positive self-identity and behaviors. Barnathan worked with students who were “‘unable to sing ‘Happy Birthday'” and through weekly rehearsals, private lessons, and field trips (to see the Bubs!), transformed them “into a formidable a cappella ensemble performing everything from pop to soul with pieces ranging from ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Bedingfield to ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers.”
Boston Schweitzer Fellows focuses on addressing unmet health needs and is one of thirteen program sites across the US. Their site boasts, “Since the program’s inception, Schweitzer Fellows in Boston—competitively chosen from health-focused graduate student applicants in a variety of fields—have worked tirelessly to address health disparities and the social determinants of health throughout the greater Boston and Worcester areas.” Despite the program’s large scale success, Evan’s personal goals for his project focus on individual students: “I hope that this encourages the students to further engage in music education—and hopefully higher education, including college and beyond.”
For more on The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, be sure to check out their blog.
Evan Weinberg, E03, discovered his passion for teaching through a resident tutor in math and physics he maintained while at Tufts. The fall after graduation, he began teaching math at the ninth grade level through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Nine years later, Evan proudly praises one of his first students’ recent graduation from his alma mater, explaining the special connection two Jumbos share across generations:
It isn’t a miracle that he will cross the stage to receive his Tufts diploma today. Far from it – he did the hard work to get where he is, and I can’t take credit for the great things he learned both in my presence and away from it. And his story is far from over – I hope he (like many other students I’ve told this) keeps me in mind if I ever need a job. His story, and those of the rest of his class earning degrees this month, make me incredibly proud to be a teacher.
That said, there is something special about our story. The unique way that Tufts now connects us is unlike any I’ve ever had with others, even with my own Tufts classmates in the class of 2003. I hope that he can look back fondly to his times on campus as I do from time to time. For whatever small part I served in getting him there, I am glad to have helped him out.
Evan currently teaches Advanced Algebra/Algebra 2, Geometry, Calculus AB, Physics, and a robotics elective for both middle and high school students at the Hangzhou International School, currently serving 300 students K-12 from around the world. The excerpt above was taken from his personal blog about teaching, learning and technology.
Max Goldstein, E14, writes a blog called “Dethroning STEM,” which he calls “a reminder that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics won’t prick your finger.” In a recent post, he explored the use of technology in education:
I am little concerned with handing over our youth’s education to a machine. Isn’t the transfer of knowledge from generation to generation one of the core ideas that make us human?
This week marked the deadline for college seniors around the country to apply for Teach for America, a program in which graduates make a commitment to teach in poor urban or rural schools for two years. With Tufts’ focus on active citizenship, it’s no surprise that graduating Jumbos are top contributors in the program. In order to pass down the torch and inspire fellow Jumbos, current Teach for America members and Tufts alumni recorded a video expressing their love for their work:
Video by Marysa Sheren, A12, and Allison Hoffman, A12
The Tufts Department of Education has posted a video of part of the 5th Annual Civic Engagement Conference, which was presented by the Department of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The video focuses a discussion on community violence and features educators, administrators and experts from around the Boston area. To see more videos from the Department of Education, visit their YouTube channel.