Founder of TeachingWorks Gives Lesson on Teaching for Justice

Deborah Loewenberg Ball presenting her researchLast fall, the School of Education (SOE) hosted a visit and lecture from Deborah Loewenberg Ball, the founding director of the University of Michigan’s TeachingWorks.

In her lecture, titled “The Power of Teaching — and Learning to Wield it for Justice,” Loewenberg spoke with 70 students from across the teacher education programs about her research in teaching practices that empower students from diverse backgrounds. Loewenberg delivered a powerful challenge to future teachers to recognize and confront the biases and preconceptions that they may bring to the classroom. During the lecture, students participated by analyzing video footage of innovative teaching strategies and discussing current issues and needs in education.

SOE is engaged in a yearlong partnership with TeachingWorks as part of Professor Jessica Jensen’s fellowship in mathematics education, funded in part by a grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. The partnership will support the Multiple Subject Teacher Education program’s investigation of how teacher candidates are taught high leverage practices for mathematics education.

Loewenberg’s presentation coincided with SOE’s continuous improvement theme for 2017-18: Advancing Disciplinary Knowledge. As part of the theme year, the school hosted several guest lectures and professional development events, including author talks from Matt de la Pena and Angela Dominguez, a movie screening of “Swim Team,” two workshops on restorative justice applications in education, and a presentation from Patrick O’Sullivan of the Cal Poly Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

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