Jana Dean ‘94 is one of 38 U.S. teachers selected for the highly competitive Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching fellowship to the Netherlands. As a recipient, Jana will be in the Netherlands from January 15 to June 15, 2019 to learn about teaching mathematics so that it is rigorous, relevant, and engaging for students. In addition to improving her own practice, her goal is to help other educators inspire confidence and competence in the next generation. Her work focuses on the role of public school classrooms in opening doors for underrepresented students.
Prior to travel, Dean will be doing preparatory work, including outreach to local businesses, organizations, publications, and other groups to generate interest in empowering students mathematically and the role of public schools in the work. She will also seek financial support for her program and work, and will build an inquiry project advisory committee.
While abroad, she will publish updates on her learning and experiences, and when she returns, she will begin work on a “collaborative writing project about inspiring mathematical confidence and competence in all students. The project will synthesize student-centered math pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching and brain research.”
Dean says, “My Antioch experience in the Waldorf Certification Program gave me a powerful foundation for teaching students in my community’s public schools. The role of imagination is central to any real education that draws strength, relevance and wisdom from students’ own experiences. Study in the Netherlands, where I will learn from their tradition of Real Mathematics Education and their recent experience with immigrant students, will further this impulse in my practice and in my work with other teachers on mathematics.”
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Program is a highly selective international exchange and professional development program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It goal is to “promote mutual understanding among teachers, their schools, and communities in the U.S. and abroad by building teachers’ and students’ global competence and sharing of best educational practices internationally.”
Teachers are chosen based on the strength of their application, including an inquiry project proposal, references, and commitment to reaching under-served students. Participants are based at university-level educational institutions. They take courses, visit local schools, lead seminars and master classes, collaborate with each other, and complete an inquiry project of their own design.
In addition to receiving the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, Ms. Dean is the Washington State Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for 2016 — the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
Photo courtesy of Jana Dean
Caption: Jana Dean addressing other recipients of the National Presidential Award in Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in June 2018.