Educational and Teaching Background
I've been at Hartwick College since the 2003 -2003 academic year, and I love teaching here.
I spent 8 years teaching at Howell High School in Howell, New Jersey. My position there was in the Social Studies Department, where I taught Psychology, a course on peer mediation and peer counseling and other social science electives. During my time as a high school teacher I was voted favorite teacher of the senior class for five years. I was the teacher of the year in 2000, and was recognized by the Governor of New Jersey for outstanding teaching. I was nominated for Disney's American Teacher Award in 2002.
I started back to graduate school, at Rutgers University, to work on my doctorate in 1999 when I began to need more intellectual stimulation in order to refresh and reinvigorate my teaching. I was motivated to do this so that I could bring new ideas into my classroom and help my students to become engaged learners intent on radically transforming the world. I became interested in teaching that empowered students to become part of the learning experience. I hope that through the experiences of becoming empowered in a classroom that students will begin to right social wrongs, secure social justice and guarantee equality and justice for all. While I enjoyed my experiences in the classroom and felt that I made some very real and positive change within the lives of my students, my dissatisfaction with administrative bureaucracy, and the limitations that were imposed upon my teaching, made it necessary for me to look for the environment where I could teach for social empowerment and transformation. Teaching future educators at Hartwick is the best place to teach in an environment that is relatively free of impostion.
My dissertation examines the image of citizen and citizenship put forth by the national standards and the state standards of New York and New Jersey. I argue that the standards represent a cultural politics meant to oppress students of non dominant backgrounds. The standards essentially reinforce a dominant hegemony which marginalizes and oppresses students. I examine the role of the transformative teacher who must work within the framework of the standards without falling into the same culturally oppressive models found within the standards. I am currently working on a book, The Transformative Teacher's Handbook, which will bridge the gap between critical philosophies of education and classroom experience.
I have lived in various areas within the United States. I was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Pasadena, California, but my parents, native New Jerseyans, moved back to New Jersey where I finished high school. I did my undergraduate work in Liberal Studies at a state college in New Jersey. In my free time I enjoy spending time hiking and camping with my family. I am an avid cyclist and have raced for the past 15 years. I was a national level coach for 5 years between 1993 and 1998 when I worked for USA Cycling, where I had the opportunity to coach many national champions and Olympic cyclists. I also enjoy surfing, mountain biking, ice and rock climbing and all other activities that go along with being the dad of two active kids ( 11 and 13 years old).