March 11, 2016
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Huron)
Center for Inspired Teaching is pleased to feature Amanda Huron, assistant professor of interdisciplinary social sciences at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Last year, Amanda lent her expertise in DC history as a content expert for BLISS: Building Literacy in the Social Studies, where she supported the work of a BLISS Teacher Leader who was developing a module for use throughout DC Public Schools (DCPS). The module, entitled “Changing Neighborhoods, Changing City,” focuses on the period from the Civil War through post-World War II, using major national events throughout that time to examine the geographical and demographical changes in DC.
Amanda shared her expertise on the District and enjoyed the opportunity to gain a good sense of what DCPS students are learning in their high school classrooms. This information helps her develop her own courses at UDC, as many of her students come from DCPS and charter schools. In addition to assisting the BLISS Teacher Leader, Amanda also enjoyed learning from her, as she believes high school teachers’ pedagogy “is often better than college instructors’.”
Before becoming a content expert with Inspired Teaching, Amanda published an article about her research on the history of DC limited-equity housing cooperatives in the journal Washington History in the fall of 2014. She also recently wrote a chapter on the history of DC tenant organizers who traveled to Johannesburg to help organize housing cooperatives there in the 1990’s. The chapter is a part of Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC, which came out earlier this year. On April 19 at 7pm, she will give a public presentation on her research at The Potter’s House. Currently, she is working on a book, Practicing the Urban Commons, based on her dissertation research into DC’s limited-equity housing cooperatives. For more information on Amanda’s work, please visit her website.
Amanda was drawn to BLISS by her relationships with Inspired Teaching staff members whose work in education she has followed and respected deeply for years. Working with Inspired Teaching was an easy decision, as “it’s been clear to me for a while that it is a great organization.”
Content experts are an essential element for both BLISS and SCALE: Science Curriculum Advancement through Literacy Enhancement, particularly when lesson plans and modules are being developed. The BLISS and SCALE Institute aims to shift practice through shifting mindsets, while strengthening Teacher Leaders’ ability to provide inquiry-based and standards-aligned instruction and to become leaders in their schools. Content expertise further contributes to practical application of the Inspired Teaching model by providing guidance on specific subjects within the immersive summer intensive.