No Child Behind:
Weaving the Web of Democracy
Each of us has a picture of what it means to be a teacher and a student. We’ve created those pictures based on our own experiences as learners in and out of public schools. However, what we experienced as students may or may not represent the realities of public schools now and in the coming century.
In fact, who we are may or may not reflect the kids in front of us in the classrooms of today. We must challenge our current beliefs about schooling and “teaching” if we are to become effective advocates for all our students. Current demographic information strongly suggests that by 2015, teachers can expect to see a very different population of students in their classrooms than they do now. Further, students can expect to live in a society that requires people to engage in creative problem-solving, utilize technological skills, collaborate effectively with co-workers, and actively seek information and resources.
Given these emerging realities, we invite people into this program who are eager to accept the challenge of discovering what it means to work in public schools that serve a diverse student population. We want prospective teachers who are willing to challenge and question the existing structures of schooling in order to create learning environments based on the needs of all students. Therefore, we seek prospective teachers with strong skills in critical reading, writing, and thinking; passionate interests in a variety of areas; and a genuine interest in their own intellectual and emotional growth and development as well as the development of their future students.
As a vehicle to explore who our future students will be, what they will need to learn, and what we will need to be able to do, this program will investigate education from the perspective of social justice. Questions that we will examine include:
What are the implications of the State of Washington’s Educational Reform and the federal legislation, "Leave No Child Behind," for our students and for us? How will performance based education affect what and how we teach? How can understanding social justice help us help our students? How are the more traditional literacies of reading, writing, and quantitative reasoning related to personal, economic, and political oppression and power?
How are questions of democracy, equity, and excellence related to our work as teachers and learners?
How can teachers respond to and work with family and cultural belief systems that shape children’s lives when those belief systems may or may not be the same as our own? In other words, how can teachers who are socialized to accept the values of the dominant culture learn to educate children and youth without ignoring, denying, or rejecting their cultural heritages?
How can we as teachers find the courage to recognize and address our own biases so we can better serve the diverse students with whom we will work?
The faculty for this cycle of the Master in Teacher Program include Dr. Terry Ford, Dr. Masao Sugiyama, Dr. Sherry Walton. and a variety of current classroom practitioners.
Terry Ford is a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen, a core Master in Teaching Program faculty, and a former middle school teacher. As a public school teacher, she taught reading/language arts, social studies, and P.E. and health. In addition, she coached volleyball, basketball, and track. Her current areas of interest include literacy education, multicultural education, curriculum integration, technology, qualitative research methods, and critical pedagogy. In addition to working in MIT, Terry has taught in three coordinated studies programs: Forms in Nature; So, You Want to Be a Teacher; and, What's Your Question.
Masao Sugiyama is a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen, a core Master in Teaching Program faculty, and a former high school math teacher. At Evergreen, he has taught on teams in several inter-disciplinary programs including Matter and Motion; Chaos, Calculus, and Confucius; and Foundations of Computing. He is committed to the unique blend of philosophy and practical skills learned in the program and the thoughtfulness the program framework offers in which to place the practices one learns in teaching.
Sherry Walton is a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen, a core Master in Teaching Program faculty, a former elementary and middle school teacher, and a consultant in elementary and middle schools around the country. As a public school teacher, she taught special education, second grade, third grade, and seventh grade. Her current areas of interest include literacy education, assessment, research methodology and design, and theories of learning. In addition to working in MIT, Sherry has taught in several inter-disciplinary programs including Making American Selves; Humans and Nature in the Pacific Northwest; Studies in Community Health; Forms in Nature; So, You Want to Be a Teacher; and, What's Your Question.