UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE LEARNER
EDUCATOR, CENTRAL PARK EAST I ELEMENTARY SCHOOL | 1999–2001
INNOVATING EVALUATION Founded in 1974 by education trailblazer Deborah Meier, Central Park East I Elementary School is a small, progressive public school in East Harlem, NYC that achieved national acclaim for the effectiveness in its innovative approach to teaching and student evaluation. As a first/second grade special ed teacher, I sought to better understand and serve my students’ needs by improving existing observation and evaluation methodologies.
TEACHING TO LEARN With over half of my class diagnosed with special learning needs, I was challenged to design and teach a curriculum that engaged children at multiple levels of development, using various learning modalities. I created guided activities that empowered my students to express themselves in multiple contexts, which enabled my team and I to observe and document students’ holistic development -- academic, social/emotional and physical development.
PIONEERING VIDEO ETHNOGRAPHY Committed to understanding the whole learner, I designed and applied a 360-degree evaluation process that integrated video interviews of students with written responses from the family and myself, the teacher. Parents, educators, administrators, social workers and the students have used the video documentation as a tool to better understand student growth and improve pedagogical methodology.