“Teaching is a revolutionary act!” -Dr. Chris Emdin
Working with Christine Conn, Chattanooga State’s Director of our Center for Education, Dr. Chris Emdin recently wowed our campus and educators in the community with his goals to transform teaching, learning and student engagement. An Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Emdin is working with our Center for Education on student engagement and teacher preparation initiatives. While here, he toured Brainerd High School where he met two awesome science teachers, as well as spent the afternoon at Howard High with ChattState President Dr. Catanzaro and Principal Zac Brown – two educational leaders set on making a difference in students’ lives.
Dr. Emdin is currently a Caperton Fellow and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the WEB DuBois Institute at Harvard University. During Dr. Emdin’s Chattanooga visit, he talked about how “the extraction of youth culture from learning is a violation,” and he has developed a reality pedagogy model as a tool to better engage students in learning “where they are.” He empowers teachers with practical tools to become more effective, and we are thrilled to be working with Dr. Emdin to build initiatives and secure funding to introduce reality pedagogy to our education majors, faculty and into the community through public school professional development partnerships. In the process, we will be launching a Science Genius Chattanooga competition – using the tenants of reality pedagogy through “lyricism and artistic conception into the science curricula.”
Dr. Emdin will also be working with a cohort of current Chattanooga State students who are alumni of Brainerd and Howard to support their leadership and academic development with the goal of stronger persistence, retention and completion rates in college. These students, participants in our “Building Outstanding Service Scholars” program, will work with middle and high schoolers to boost their science knowledge and classroom engagement through the development of hip-hop lyrics built around rigorous scientific concepts and culminating with the Science Genius BATTLES (Bring Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science).
“It is really exciting to be engaged in this work with Chris Emdin!” Conn said. “Connecting our teacher preparation program with the Hamilton County iZone schools will open up so many new learning opportunities for our students, and Science Genius will allow our future teachers to see what Chris’ reality pedagogy looks like in the classroom.”
UPDATED 4:34 p.m. Added photos.