Fordham University Graduate School of Education

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Student Orientation, August 26th

The Office of Admissions is hosting an Orientation for students starting in the Fall 2014 semester.

The event will run from 9:30am-3pm. The full agenda is posted on our New Student Orientation webpage.

If you are a student beginning classes in the fall, you can RSVP for Orientation at or (212) 636-6400.

2013 New Student Orientation

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"A worthwhile outlet for my ceaseless wanderlust": Q&A with Fulbright Scholar Leila Nabizadeh '14

Leila Nabizadeh '14 graduated with a M.S.T. in Adolescence English. She is also one of two GSE Fulbright Scholars this year, along with Kyle Shook. Leila recently discussed her Fordham undergraduate experience, her time at GSE, and the Fulbright program. 

 Congratulations, Leila!

Leila Nabizadeh '14

Can you describe your academic background?

I attended undergraduate at Fordham University in the Bronx and studied Comparative Literature, Anthropology and German. My primary major was Comparative Literature and in 2013 I wrote my senior thesis on linguistic diversity in the novels: Sea of Poppies by Indian author Amitav Ghosh, and This Earth of Mankind by Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

I chose to study anthropology after my first day of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology in my freshman year of college. I had no idea what anthropology was, but I was sold after the first lecture. Anthropology ultimately became a most cherished course of study in my undergraduate career, as the classes I took in anthropology were the ones I loved and grew from the most, both as a scholar and as an individual.

I had studied German from 7th-12th grade, which is why I chose to extend my exploration of the language in college and eventually earned a minor in the subject area.

This past May, I earned my Masters of Science in Teaching from GSE. In earning my M.S.T., I have also earned my New York State Teaching Certificate, which gives me the license to teach middle and high school English in public schools across the country.

What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?

Academically, I am interested in primarily in: cultural anthropology, linguistics and literature. In my undergraduate career I tried to intertwine these fields as much as I possibly could in order to study these topics in relation to each other. As such, my senior thesis served as a template through which I linked all three of the above topics.

In terms of teaching, I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 16 years old and over the course of my undergraduate career, the methodology and philosophy behind teaching became of interest to me as well. When I was a sophomore in college I started tutoring students at a local social work organization in the Bronx, at which time I developed a more empirical fascination with the art of teaching.

Can you describe your fieldwork experiences at GSE?

Each semester in the Curriculum and Teaching program at the Graduate School of Education requires ongoing fieldwork and research.

This past year, I conducted case studies focusing on literacy skills, learning disabilities, and behavioral performance in three separate students.

The fieldwork that I conducted in order to complete my degree included three years of tutoring at the Pelham Family Center in the Bronx, tutoring at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx, part-time student teaching 9-12th grade English at the NYC iSchool in Manhattan, and full-time student teaching 8th grade English at P.S. 126 in Manhattan.

What motivated you to apply for the Fulbright scholarship?

I feel as though the Fulbright process, for me, was like an epic saga. My sophomore year of college I was part of a small honors society called the Matteo Ricci Seminar, which supported and encouraged us to apply for prestigious fellowships and scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman, Gates, and Fulbright.

I remember thinking at the time that a Fulbright fellowship would suit my interests the most, but feeling discouraged by my suffering grade point average that year. As time went on, the Fulbright disappeared further and further into the depths of woefully unrealistic possibilities, or so it seemed.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a summer institute seminar for the Graduate School of Education in July of 2013 and all I could think about was being somewhere outside of the United States. I felt claustrophobic and I needed to find a pathway to a breath of fresh air. The pathway I chose was the Fulbright program.

I felt motivated to apply for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia because it was an extension of my literary and cultural studies in undergrad, an extension of my teaching experience in graduate school, and worthwhile outlet for my ceaseless wanderlust.

Can you describe the work you will be doing with the Fulbright program?

For my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia, I will be working with an English teacher in a Malaysian school on enriching the students’ English language studies. As a native speaker, my primary responsibility in the classroom will be to enhance students’ confidence in actually speaking English.

I will be focusing on teaching students about the culture in the United States and connecting their study of the English language with its practical use elsewhere in the world.

Additionally, Fulbright ETAs are encouraged to do after school activities with students such as sports, arts, and clubs. This is a facet of the program that I am especially excited about, as it will give us the opportunity to interact with students outside the invisible pressure of the classroom.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

For future GSE students, I encourage them to think of their coursework and fieldwork as foundational elements of their careers instead of required checkpoints they need to complete in order to earn their degree.

The work that you are asked to do is generally very purposeful and will prove to have a direction connection to your experience in the classroom both in student teaching and in future teaching. Although I felt as though GSE prepares you best for entering the urban, NYC public school system, I encourage students in GSE to consider other outlets for teaching as there is need all over the country and all over the world.

I also encourage future GSE students to take advantage of as much “down time” as possible, as the program is very demanding. All of that being said, I congratulate every future student for making the outstanding choice of joining the GSE cohort and the wonderful world of teaching!

Is there anything else you want to add?

I am thrilled to be able to start my teaching career overseas and I am very excited to see how this experience in Malaysia will influence and inspire future teaching when my career brings me back to the States.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Leading with Passion and Excellence: the Center for Catholic School Leadership & Faith-Based Education

Dr. Pat Kelly-Stiles is the Associate Director of the Center for Catholic Leadership & Faith-Based Education. She discussed the Center and its activities, as well as the importance of faith-based education.

Why is Catholic and Faith-Based Education important today?

The faith-based educational community has been operating for centuries and has an outstanding success record it takes a critical place in the broader field of education.

We talk about differentiation within the classroom learning but differentiation in mission and purpose is also a critical piece for education. Faith-based or non-public education differentiates by offering alternatives.

People are so unique and their needs are so different that it is difficult to productively educate large groups and faith-based education often is able to provide more one-on-one opportunities.

What are the goals of the Center?

Our goal is to promote leadership for faith-based schools and also work in close, productive partnerships with organizations and give them close links to the GSE and the university.

The Center has been preparing individuals to take leadership positions in faith-based schools for over 3 decades.

We work through the lens of mission and vision-driven faith-based education.

Leadership is very critical to schools settings. When educators work within schools, there is a need to develop the mindset of working within lens of the vision and mission so that all contributions, from their classroom lessons to student life to community involvement, supports the mission.

Yes, the Center prepares students for the same state certification exams and requirements as any other students, but they also begin to internalize this idea of mission-driven leadership. They begin to internalize some of the principles that make faith-based education unique and envision their own style of leadership; they have the preparation to lead those faith-based schools with a sense of passion and excellence.

What are the programs and services offered?

Degree Programs
The Center works with the Diocese to offer classes at Lincoln Center and Rose Hill, as well as in off-site locations, such as Rockville Center in Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. At any given time, there may be as many as 70 students taking classes in different locations. Each summer, all classes are offered at Lincoln Centers, so our students have the opportunity to study and build relationships with each other.

In addition the the traditional masters program, the Center, within the Graduate School of Education, offers a Ph.D. program for those seeking high level leadership positions, not only in faith-based organizations but other church-related organizations. These students may become superintendents of Diocese, work in college administration - a number of college presidents have gone through our program - or take leadership positions within social service organizations.

Multicultural Education Teacher Leader Program
In partnership with the Diocese of Brooklyn, we have a unique masters program that seeks to prepare a cohort of teachers in the Diocese in Brooklyn to become future school administrators with a deep commitment to multicultural education. The goal is to build students' capacities to lead in Catholic elementary schools serving diverse, multicultural communities.

The Diocese of Brooklyn, like many neighborhoods in the area, has experienced incredible demographic changes. Each course prepares them for school building leadership state certification as well as how to infuse the sense of diversity into their schools and share that knowledge with educators, students, and the community. Those classes are offered at a site within Diocese of Brooklyn during the year and at Lincoln Center during the summer.

Professional Development
We offer professional development programs for current leaders in faith-based schools throughout the year.

Our Entrepreneurial Leadership Seminar works with superintendents' offices to identify a group of principals to meet at Fordham several times during the year. This year's theme is Leading Toward Identity; the series offers guidance and strategies to help these principals stay true to their schools' missions. Right now, we have principals from the Archdioceses of Newark, New York, Brooklyn, Rockville Center, and Albany.

In addition, in partnership with the Diocese of Brooklyn, our Cabrini Program is part of the Diocese's three-year orientation for new principals. For the first year, the Diocese concentrates on introducing principals to policies, procedures, and expectations. In years 2 and 3, the Center provides ongoing presentations for these principals on topics such as leadership, mission, and strategic planning.

International Outreach
Each summer, the Center hosts a Principals' Institute where Catholic and faith-based school administrators travel, study, and network with educators abroad. We've traveled to such places as Buenos Aires, Vienna, Maynooth, Glasgow, Lisbon, and Paris. Sometimes those of us in the United States need an invitation to broaden our understanding of rest of the world and this is a marvelous way to do that.

Then, the flip side, is that the Center often accepts international students from these countries into our degree programs - members of the Jesuit society or other religious societies, laypeople, religious sisters or brothers, or clergy come from around the world and study here. Then they go back and lead their community in India, serve as bishops in Africa or assigned to Jesuit work at the Vatican, for example.

Catholic School Executive Leadership Dinner
The Center not only works, it celebrates. Each year, the Center hosts a Catholic School Executive Leadership Dinner where we pull together the superintendents and central office staff of the NY Metropolitan area and across New York State, as well as from National Catholic Education Association in Washington, DC and others to come for a dinner here at Fordham.

This year we were honored to have the Papal Nuncio to the United States as our guest speaker and we are recognizing individuals from the Archdiocese Newark, New York, Rockville Center, Brooklyn, Albany, who have been actively working within their local settings to support the ability of Catholic Education to provide what the church calls “our preferential options for the poor.” These are benefactors who give time, talent, and treasure to projects within their Dioceses.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

What are the biggest issues facing Catholic education today?

I think accessibility is probably the key challenge, and I mean accessibility in a variety of ways:

The cost of Catholic Education is born primarily by the parents and the community that support the schools, and that’s very costly. Like all schools, the costs of running Catholic schools has grown immensely. Many of the students served in Catholic schools are from the low socioeconomic family structure and many of them are not Catholic so the service that the school provides is for the common good but the political interpretations preclude the schools getting funding.

The population boom of children in Catholic families peaked after WWII and then started declining. As a result, the Catholic school that was always a neighborhood school within walking distance of home has gotten a little further. So families need to be able to afford the schools and also be able to get to them.

In order to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of students, Catholic schools frequently offer services before school or after school yet again adding a burden to the family, the student, and the school.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

Learning is a lifelong responsibility. The learning that takes place at Fordham links formal, classroom learning with fieldwork and service learning in the community.

The opportunity to meet their fellow students is another kind of education. Our students are bright, committed, and diverse.

I encourage students to embrace the experience as yet another step in their journey to develop themselves as people and as professionals.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Research-based but action-oriented": The Center for Educational Partnerships

Dr. Anita Batisti
Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Educational Partnerships Dr. Anita Batisti discussed the Center's programs as well as challenges facing education today and her advice for future GSE students.

Can you tell us a little about the Center?

My phrase to describe the Center has always been “we are research-based but action-oriented.” We deal with applied research, which means we get our hands dirty -- we’re in the field and we provide services to empowered networks.

Our official goal since our founding in 2006 has been to encourage our partner schools, districts, and governmental agencies to help teachers teach more effectively all students regardless of background.

Our clients are the New York City Department of Education, New York State Education Department, and Districts on Long Island, Westchester, and the greater metropolitan area. Our services run two-ways: some are grant-funded and some are fee for service.

We provide the link to the community. In a way, we are the bridge from higher education to the community and what’s happening. Fordham is working with approximately 100 K-12 schools total with our various programs, especially with the 35 dedicated PSO schools, there are opportunities for internships, research, student teaching placement, counseling placement, and for tutoring.

Because we have partnerships and programs within so many schools, we can really help GSE students find the best fieldwork placement for their areas of interest.

Can you describe the Center’s programs?

Partnership Support Organization (PSO)
Our network currently has 35 K-6 schools in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. On a daily basis we serve nearly 20,000 students I think what makes our PSO a little different, a little exciting – we are the only private university PSO – the people that join the network get both the regular, operational opportunities and then all this great support from Fordham: research-based programming, workshops, curriculum help, professional development, etc.

We also do a Saturday tutoring program that works exclusively with the United Federal of Teachers (UFT) charter school elementary and high schools. We currently have 24 Fordham students working as tutors.

For the elementary students, the tutoring is in math and literacy because they take the state test. For high school, we had a challenge because students wanted Regents prep. Our grad students are smart, but if you haven't done Physics or Chemistry or Organic Chemistry for the last couple of years, you’re a little rusty. So we recruited pre-med undergrads to tutor and they have been awesome.

 For the undergraduates, we meet at Rose Hill each Saturday. One of the tutors is a certified Ram Van driver and we drive into East New York together. It’s nice for the tutors to get to know each other and build camaraderie. The kids that come for tutoring see their tutors as role models and build relationships with them. It gets very personal with those students – the kids get excited to see their tutors each week.

I hope to expand the tutoring. It benefits both the communities and the Fordham students. The students who attend are doing well, making great strides, taking practice Regents. It’s helping students feel more confident and gives Fordham has a great name in the community.

Multilingual Education Teacher Leader Academy (METLA)
Currently, we're in partnership with Dr. Cattaro and his Center for Faith-Based Leadership for a new initiative with the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens called the Multilingual Education Teacher Leader Academy (METLA).

In parochial schools, not all teachers are certified in bilingual education so this program models our BETLA program in terms of the academics and workshops. We are the only university in the nation doing this.
On June 26, the Bilingual Education/ESL Teacher Leadership Academy (BETLA) honored its fifth and final cohort of students. Read more.

Regional Bilingual ESL Resource Network (RBE-RN)
According to the NYC DOE, there are over 200,000 English Language Learners in NYC schools. RBERN is a resource for the professionals working with those 200,000 students. The changing demographics of the greater metropolitan area is the reason we started these bilingual programs.

GSE is in the vanguard of bilingual-bicultural education. Over 30 years ago, we founded the TESOL masters and Dean Hennessy instituted Bilingual School Psychology and we've been focused on bilingual-bicultural education ever since.

Our Regional Bilingual ESL Resource Network (RBE-RN) supports and collaborates with schools in creating learning communities centered on issues for English language learners (ELLs). Right now, we support 26 schools in NYC Our staff goes into those schools to provide coaching and mentoring focusing on programming and instruction for ELLs.

RBE-RN also gives a lot of institutes and workshops for anyone in New York who works with English Language Learners (private, charter, parochial and public.)

We have coaching programs in ELL, Literacy, Math and Science. It’s professional development for teachers where we send coaches- seasoned professionals, staff developers, top of the line math teachers, GSE faculty–right into the classroom. They model, they demonstrate, and they team teach.

What’s unique about our coaching is that we don’t have “the Fordham Program.” Other schools have very specific programs and require schools to learn an entirely new program. Instead, we develop best practices and adapt to their existing curriculum. They already have the books. They have the mindset. They've been trained in the curriculum.

Instead of changing the existing curriculum, we want to enhance and question “How can you teach more effectively? How can you analyze data?” We are very big on data-driven instruction.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing education today?

Not to sound like a cliché but it’s the educational gap. We find still tremendous amount of minority students and language learners quite far behind their non-minority peers in many academic subjects.

Each parent sends us their best kid. Everyone learns differently. We have to find a way to work with every student to get them to that next step. It’s been a challenge for a long time.

A consultant said to me, “Anita, a lot of these kids have to stay home and watch younger siblings because both parents are working. Some are in homeless shelters. Some have jobs off the books and are working full-time. It’s not that they don’t want to succeed, they have other things happening.” We have to understand the lives of these students. It’s not enough to say that there’s a gap. We have to understand all the variables for the gap and work to fill each one. It will always be a challenge.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

If you come to Fordham, you will be directly linked with schools throughout NYC and with the greater metropolitan area. You will have opportunities for student teaching, research, and earned income tutoring. We are in the vanguard in multicultural and bilingual education.

If you come here, you are going to have a really wonderful experience. What is unique about Fordham is our sense of community. We are cutting-edge, strong and competitive in our metropolitan environment, but still foster a sense of community. I enjoy meeting with students – they stop by our office and share their experiences. We’re all accessible.

Sometimes I forget that people come from all over and it’s hard to leave your family and go to a different city. And NYC can be a hard place. To be in a place that feels comfortable, where you feel included and cared about, it makes a difference. If you want that, then this is the place for you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dr. Bill Baker on Kindness and the Art of Leadership

William Baker, Ph.D., Fordham GSE's Journalist in Residence and Director of The Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy, and Education, gave the opening keynote at the Jesuit Administrators Advancement (JAA) 2014 conference at Fordham University on July 13, 14, and 15. Representatives from 26 Jesuit colleges and universities were in attendance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Job Opportunity for GSE Alumni: Third Grade Teacher

GSE alumna Elizabeth Lyons, Assistant Headmaster and Head of Lower School at Buckley Country Day School, is seeking a Third Grade Teacher.

Job Description: Third Grade Teacher
Buckley Country Day School seeks qualified candidates for the position of Third Grade teacher effective September 2014.

  • Knowledge Columbia Teachers College reading and writing workshop model
  • Ability to differentiate curriculum and to meet the needs of all learners
  • Committed, creative and energetic professional
  • Minimum of 2-3 teaching experience at the elementary level
  • Strong interpersonal and classroom management skills
  • MS degree preferred
Please send your resume to Elizabeth Lyons at

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Developing Digital Literacies Conference

How do digital tools affect our lives as individuals and as educators? 
How might we use digital tools to engage students in critical and creative thinking?
How can we help students to understand technology as an aid to learning, rather than a distraction from it?

The Center for Educational Partnerships presents the

Developing Digital Literacies Conference
Tuesday, July 29th
Lincoln Center campus

The conference is intended for
  • elementary and secondary school teachers,
  • administrators,
  • counselors, and
  • special educators.
Participants will consider the impact of technology on literacy. 

Featured Speakers

Breakout Sessions
  • Classroom demonstrations from practicing NYC teachers
  • Administrator session focusing on policies, practices, and possibilities in developing digital literacies at the school level

Payment of $100 may be paid by purchase order, check, or money order. Your registration will be finalized once your parent has been processed.

Upon completion, certificates for professional development will be conferred, which can be used towards required PD hours for new teachers.

If you have questions, please contact
Monica Triana

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From Selfies to Service: The Power of Civic Engagement

Florina Rodov '07
Florina Rodov '07 is a entrepreneur, teacher, and writer. She is also co-founder of Authentic Manhattan, a high school for gifted students that will open in 2016.

Her recent article on Edutopia is excerpted below. Read the full post.
All across America, young people are in crisis as they parade themselves on social media and chase superficial definitions of success. 
Simultaneously, Millennials' civic engagement is lower than that of previous generations, according to Jean Twenge's study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, because they "are focusing more on money, image, and fame." 
While they are more likely to volunteer during high school, it is to fulfill a graduation requirement rather than because of an intrinsic sense of civic duty. 
In order to save our youth, we should redefine achievement to include service, because it leads to connection, perspective and -- most importantly -- well-being. 
Read more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rethinking Expertise in a Digital Writing Workshop

Dr. Kristen Turner, associate professor of English education and contemporary literacies, recently published a guest post on Lesley University's Center for Reading, Recovery, and Literacy Collaborative blog, which is excerpted below.

An expert on the nature of digital language and the choices students make in their digital writing, she frequently publishes and presents on literacy and technology. Dr. Turner also led GSE's March 2014 mini-conference on Engaging Learners in a Digital Age

To hear more from Dr. Turner, follow her on Twitter @MrsT73199.

Rethinking Expertise in a Digital Writing Workshop
“Was anyone able to get a video into Corkulous?”

Maryrose scanned her third grade classroom, her eyes coming to rest on Ricky, who had his hand in the air.

“Ricky, you know how to insert a video?” she clarified. The boy nodded. “Okay, everyone. Ricky is the video man.” With this comment, Maryrose identified Ricky as an expert in that day’s writing workshop, and during the next half hour, I saw several of his classmates approach him for a tutorial.

In their unit on research, the students were creating biographical timelines of famous individuals; they used iPads for both web-based research and creating their projects, yet they also moved easily between the device and their traditional writing notebooks, where they took notes by hand that they then typed into the Corkulous app. It was the first time Maryrose had incorporated iPads into her classroom, and she was excited to see how her students might use them.

This shift in writing workshop pedagogy — adding technology to traditional methods — helps children to develop knowledge and skills that are critical to writing in a digital age. George Hillocks has suggested that writers need knowledge of “discourse” and “substance” in order to create effective written products. Hillocks has argued that each genre of writing consists of underlying structures (e.g., argument, narration, lists) and adheres to particular conventions that help to define the genre. Writers need to know these structures and conventional elements — called discourse, or more simply, form.

Furthermore, writers need to know what they are writing about, and they need to know how to find the substance of their writing. Adding appropriate details in an essay, for instance, may mean incorporating statistics or a quote from an expert. In a story, however, details may come in the form of an elaborate description of the setting or characters. This substance — the “stuff” that makes good writing good — is the content.
Read the full post at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In-School Traumatic Stress Treatment Program

Dr. Amelio D'Onofrio recently received a two-year training grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for his Structured Interventions Program for Inner City (NYC) Students and Parents Exposed to Chronic Stress (aka: In-School Traumatic Stress Treatment Program (ISTSTP)).

The grant will fund doctoral students in the Counseling Psychology program in a two-phase project.

  • Phase I consists of intensive training in the treatment of children and adolescents exposed to complex forms of traumatic stress.
  • Phase II consists of the assessment, triage, and provision of treatment services through an in-school treatment program at underserved NYC schools.

The grant will fund students interested in developing an expertise in the treatment of trauma.

Read more about Dr. D'Onofrio and the ISTSTP program.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Advanced Placement Institutes at GSE: Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Now in its 23rd year, Fordham’s summer AP Institutes offer training and networking opportunities for beginning and returning teachers of Advanced Placement high school courses. Dr. Anthony Cancelli, AP Institutes Director and School Psychology Professor, discussed the AP Institutes and Fordham GSE, and gives advice to future GSE students.

The Institutes cover 17 subject areas and run from July 7-25. Register.

Why are AP Courses important for adolescent education?

It is really important to challenge those who need to be challenged. For many, the regular curriculum is not challenging enough. Our youth can be challenged more than they are and they are up to that task. I think AP courses provide them with additional study skills that work as a grounding to survive at the university level.

The courses advance a level of knowledge of our high school students, which is not only important for their being good citizens but for their later participation in college.

AP continues to grow and is one of the favored curriculums for challenging students. When a teacher is going to start teaching AP courses – it’s a big step. They are looking for a place to receive additional training.

“I would enthusiastically endorse the institute for the breadth and depth of materials, quality instruction, and practical application of skills.” – George Gallagher

How are current GSE students involved in the AP Institutes?

I have been blessed with graduate assistants who have been competent and capable, which enables them to ensure that nothing is falling between the cracks. So while I do things like make contact and recruit new teachers, my graduate assistants handle all the scheduling and coordinating. Right now, I have two excellent students, Rachel Larrain, the Associate Director, and Sudanë Del Valle, the Associate Director who handle the day-to-day operations.

We've also had a handful of students from our Teacher Education program who take Institute courses as part of their program. If they see themselves teaching AP Courses in the future, they can make the case for including an Institute in their plan of study.

Who are the AP Institute teachers?

All teachers who teach in our Institutes are endorsed by the College Board. The people who teach these courses not only need to be familiar with the subject matter but also with the curriculum, the exam, etc.

A lot of the reason people come to the Institutes is because they need to be updated and talk about the curriculum, and want to learn from experts and each other.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, methods, and strategies. The instructor’s vast knowledge provided excellent resources and practical applications related to the course.” -- Sharon Vogt

Who should attend the Institute?

The Institutes draw both beginning and advanced teachers of AP courses. Over the years, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Institutes provide a real service for these teachers.

For example, if you're teaching an AP English literature class in high school, you have your colleagues in your high school English department but they are usually outside of the AP community. So it really is a value for these teachers to train at an Institute and network with other AP teachers. Our participants are highly motivated to get together and talk about what they're doing in their AP classes.

There are also a lot of new teachers stepping up to teach AP courses and they need to learn about the curriculum and about the different instructional methods and lessons used. They are here to learn as much from the other participants as from the instructors. . It’s a nice community of people who get together to talk about their subject matter and the AP curriculum, and it’s been a great addition to GSE.

We have people who come year after year to the same Institute. There was an instructor from Fordham Prep who must have come for about 18 years to the AP Calculus Institute.

“Great experience, very worthwhile for a new AP teacher. An excellent opportunity to meet with peers and discuss ideas and topics!” -– Jack Fitzgeorge

If you could tell us one thing about the Institutes, what would it be?

If you teach or plan to teach an AP class, you will certainly learn and do a better job if you attend an AP Institute.

If you could tell us one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

You not only receive a quality professional education but there is value added because of the Jesuit tradition and the focus on social justice.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

I've been a proponent of higher education all my life. The more education you have, the more options you open yourself for in the future. While you have the opportunity, I recommend getting all the education you can. It opens up doors. It creates networks. It allows you the flexibility to do as many things as possible.

Learn more about and register for the AP Institutes.

College Board®, AP*, Advanced Placement Program* and Pre-AP* are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Amelia Clune '08 on Identity Narratives

“It is the story that owns and directs us….“ - Chinua Achebe

Amelia Clune '08 is a graduate of our Childhood Education program. This post also appears on the Bankstreet College of Education Alumni Blog.

In order to promote engagement and engender achievement in the classroom, we as teachers must appreciate how “identity narratives” impact perceptions of societal roles.

The great Nigerian novelist, and a professor of mine at Bard College, Chinua Achebe once stated that:
“People from different parts of the world can respond to the same story if it says something to them about their own history and their own experience…” 
It is thus in classrooms where we can help to nurture these commonalities and identify connections. I believe that in today’s pluralistic society, we must be ever more flexible in our teaching-styles and use a variety of tools in evaluating success. Our mandate is to develop pedagogy that respects and values differences, to create learning communities that deliver warmth and opportunity without devolving into rigidity or conformity, to cultivate character by promoting academic growth and personal transformation.

Children, especially those growing up in under-privileged inner city neighborhoods, are at risk of reverting back to their community’s expectation and scripted narrative of failure. In Young Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students, the authors argue that if “identities are the stories we tell ourselves and the world about who we are…” then the most important thing schools, families, and communities can do is to figure out how to develop among African-American children and youth, identities of achievement.”

As we ourselves are in constant negotiation with those “stories,” our purpose as educators is to help students to recast their identities in ways that contribute to a story of hope and success. In the final analysis, teaching is about connecting with people, as individuals, on a personal level. By helping students identify shared stories – narratives which render virtuous tales of courage, humility, integrity, and kindness in spirit – we are modeling for students how those principles can be applied to a common way of life, giving children the confidence to open up in order to connect with anyone, regardless of cultural beliefs or customs. In doing so, we are fostering a shared understanding of what it means to be a member of today’s pluralistic society.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Online Information Session for Admitted Students, June 24

Tuesday, June 24th
2:00-3:00 pm EST

The Office of Admission is eager to facilitate a smooth transition for our new students so that they have a full understanding of our course registration process, student life at GSE, financial aid, housing options, and other issues they may encounter as they enter graduate school.

In order to provide you with as much information as possible, the Admissions Office will host an Online Information Session for accepted students. You will be able to ask academic, student life and financial aid related questions, and the session will be facilitated by Admissions staff, as well as current students, to provide you with multiple perspectives.


Session URL:
Call-in Information: 719-955-1371, passcode is 277577
*Please log in to the meeting with your first name only.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (212) 636-6400 or prior to the start of the session.

We also invite you to attend New Student Orientation on August 26th at 9:30am, where you'll connect with fellow students and receive information about academics, financial aid, and student life. RSVP to the Admissions Office at or (212) 636-6400.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Quality education is a fundamental right": a Q&A with Fulbright Scholar Kyle Shook

Kyle Shook is a Teach For America corps member studying for his masters in Adolescence English. He is also one of two GSE Fulbright Scholars this year, along with Leila Nabizadeh '14. Kyle recently discussed GSE, Teach For America, and the Fulbright program.

Congratulations, Kyle!

What is your educational background?

I went to Mercer University in Macon, GA for undergrad where I majored in English and Women and Gender Studies with a minor in History. I've spent the past two years with GSE.

What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?

In addition to a scholastic study of English Literature and Language, I'm also interested in the process by which English is not only spoken by students but also studied and challenged. My specific interests are in examining the process of language acquisition at the adolescent level and the role language has as not only an academic tool, but a social one as well.

I'm also focusing on the role that art and music play as scaffolds of language instruction and how the fine arts can be used to enhance language acquisition as well as literary analysis in ESL students and Students with Disabilities.

Can you describe any internships, externships, and/or research you conducted at GSE?

My research has been varied largely depending on the courses I've taken. My favorite projects have involved the impact of music instruction on SPED students' English enrichment and the role of film in the classroom not only as a supplement to literature, but also as a literary study of its own.

What motivated you to apply for Teach For America?

My family has a long and close history with education. Both of my parents work as educators (with the brunt of their time spent in low-income schools).

I believe that a quality education is a fundamental right and the current system in place is merely an extension of the discriminatory policies of the segregation era where "separate" is valued over "equal." Serious work must be done to reinvest the United States in the potential of its young people and it is a full-scale civil rights movement to ensure that this happens.

What motivated you to apply for the Fulbright scholarship?

My interest in education as well as my own fascination with Poland's remarkably quick achievement in educational reform motivated me to apply. I've spent several summers abroad and each time I had the privilege of interacting with children across the world and I believe that Poland is a vital continuation of that trend.

Can you describe the work you will be doing with the Fulbright program?

I will be working as an English Teaching Assistant in Poland. In my spare time, I will be looking at the education system in Poland with particular focus on communication and language instruction.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

I'd suggest remembering to always remember how important the work that we are doing is and to keep the faith when things get rough.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's Addresses the Catholic Education Executive Leadership Dinner

On May 28th, the Center for Catholic Education and Faith-Based Leadership held their Twentieth Annual Catholic Education Executive Leadership Dinner.

This year, we were honored to have Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò address attendees. Below is a transcript of his address.

 Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

It is a true honor to address such a large and experienced group of Catholic educational leaders who have devoted themselves to the Christian vision of transcendence, humanity, and culture. As the personal representative of Pope Francis in the United States, I want to express my sincere appreciation for all that you do to uphold our educational tradition – bringing together faith and reason, expressing the breadth and depth of our faith, committing yourself to service and the charity of Christ, being examples of virtue, encouraging leadership for the common good, and above all, to integrating these themes with the humanities, sciences, and arts. I appreciate your commitment to our educational vision, and to the creativity and energy you extend to your students who will no doubt benefit from your efforts throughout their lives.

We know well that Catholic education is more needed today in our culture than at any other time. Our young people are facing challenges of secularism, materialism, and relativism as never before. A recent study (the PEW Forum’s Religious Landscape) has shown that the rate of unbelief among our young people is increasing at one percent per year – having moved from 25% to 35% declared unbelievers in only ten years. If we continue at this rate, we will have more unbelievers than believers among our young people in just fifteen years.

As Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict affirmed, a decline of religion and belief leads to an increase in materialism and ethical relativism. This will have significant negative consequences for the next generation of students – and the culture they will create. Though our young people are very good-willed and have a desire to help others and to be of service, their good hearts need ideas and ideals that will help guide and affirm them in the faith, ethics, justice, service, and leadership. As Catholic educators, you see the challenges your students face, and you are aware of the greater challenges awaiting them in collegiate and professional environments beyond secondary school. You are aware of the power of ideas, and how a materialistic view of human beings can lead to a gross underestimation of our individual and collective dignity and destiny. You can see how the decline of the idea of transcendence can lead to a view of others as mere atoms or molecules, and how this materialistic perspective can cause us to underestimate the dignity of every human being. You can see how this minimalistic view of the human person can cause us to under-live our lives, under-reach our potential, and undervalue one another. When our transcendent dignity disappears, we are no longer mysteries, but mere problems – mere units of production or consumption or behavior instead of uniquely good and lovable beings made in the image and likeness of God. History is filled with examples of how such materialistic perspectives lead to bias, marginalization, abuse, and even genocide.

Dr. James Hennessy, Dean of the
Fordham Graduate School of Education

It is not my intention here to emphasize the negative or to exaggerate the challenges you face. I point to the cultural situation of our young people only because they are so influenced by it – not only in traditional media, but also in new media and instant communication. If Catholic schools and catechism programs do not play a major role in stemming the tide of these negative developments, our children will face even greater significant challenges to maintain their faith, morals, and ideals.

You who are educators know far more about these challenges than I do – I hear about them from people like you, our pastors, our media, cultural specialists, and many parents. It is in the midst of your acquaintance with these challenges that I ask for your help in the new evangelization movement, in the intense effort the Church is making now to make the message of the Gospel relevant for the world today. How can we bring the ‘Good News’ to people, especially the young, who may not even realize their deep thirst for salvation?

This past February 13th the Holy Father addressed the Congregation for Catholic Education. He said: “Catholic education is one of the most important challenges for the Church, currently committed to new evangelization in an historical and cultural context that is undergoing constant transformation.” Pope Francis proposed three aspects for consideration by the participants: first, the value of dialogue in education; second, the qualified preparation of formators; and third, the responsibility of educational institutions to express the living presence of the Gospel in the fields of education, science and culture.

With regard to the first of these points, he said, “Effectively, Catholic schools and universities are attended by many students who are not Christian or do not believe. Catholic educational institutions offer to all an approach to education that has as its aim the full development of the person, which responds to the right of every person to access to knowledge. However, they are also called upon to offer, with full respect for the freedom of each person and using the methods appropriate to the scholastic environment, the Christian belief, that is, to present Jesus Christ as the meaning of life, the cosmos and history. Jesus began to proclaim the good news of the ‘Galilee of the people’, a crossroads of people, diverse in terms of race, culture and religion. This context resembles today’s world, in certain respects. The profound changes that have led to the ever wider diffusion of multicultural societies require those who work in the school or university sector to be involved in educational itineraries involving comparison and dialogue, with a courageous and innovative fidelity that enables Catholic identity to encounter the various ‘souls’ of multicultural society”.

With regard to the second aspect, the Pope remarked that during his meeting with the Superior Generals of Religious Orders, he had emphasized that education in our times “is guided by a changing generation, and that, therefore, every educator – and the Church as a whole is an educating mother – is required to change, in the sense of knowing how to communicate with the young.”

Dr. Gerald Cattaro, Executive Director of the
Center for Catholic Leadership and Faith-Based Education

Third, in relation to the responsibility of educational institutions to “express the living presence of the Gospel in the field of education, science and culture”, Pope Francis reiterated the need for Catholic academic institutions to avoid “isolating themselves in the world”, and instead to “know how to enter, with courage, into the Areopagus of contemporary cultures and to initiate dialogue, aware of the gift they are able to offer to all.”

In light of all this, I am now asking that you come together as colleagues in education to discuss creative solutions to help your students face five significant challenges from today’s culture:

1. The challenge of the false dichotomy between faith and reason, particularly the false dichotomy between faith and science.
The Church has always provided a remarkable synthesis between faith, reason, and the natural sciences. Nicolaus Copernicus, the founder of heliocentrism, was a minor cleric in the Church. Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, was an Augustinian monk and abbot; Nicholas Steno, the father of contemporary stratigraphy and geology, was a Catholic bishop; and Georges Lemaitre, who formulated the Big Bang theory, was a Belgian priest and well acquainted with Albert Einstein.
When I was in Rome I followed with great interest the activities of the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gondolfo, and very recently I was a witness of how the Jesuit scientists at the University of Arizona dedicated themselves to the study of astronomy at the Mount Graham Observatory. They brought me to visit the Vatican telescope and the mirror laboratory of the University of Arizona. I was very much impressed by the scientific work of the Jesuit Fathers and the high regard in which they are held within the milieu of the scientists and students of the University.

It should be also mentioned that since 1603 there was established by the popes the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, which started under the name of Linceorum Academia.

Many of our students labor under the assumption that since faith and science are contradictory, and science is truth, then faith must be a fantasy. There is considerable evidence today from the world’s leading physicists and biologists that shows precisely the opposite. On this particular subject I just recently had the opportunity to participate in a Conference at Notre Dame University where distinguished professors especially competent in the history of science made very evident the great contributions of Churchmen to the progress of the sciences. In view of this relation of faith and science I ask you to find resources that give this evidence to students in an accessible and interesting way.

2. The challenge of moral relativism, particularly the loss of virtue and principles within our culture.
Since the time of St. Augustine, the Church provided a remarkable synthesis of virtue, principles, and the natural law, which formed the basis of contemporary individual and social ethics. Unfortunately, these great foundations of ethics – conscience, virtue, and principles – have been summarily ignored, and replaced with a harms-benefits calculus of utilitarianism, and because of this, our young people are left without an interior foundation for ethics.
3. The challenge of suffering and evil.
So many of our young people today are sensitized to suffering not only in their own lives, but in the lives of their friends and even the world. Like every other generation, they ask themselves, “Why would a good and loving God allow this suffering? Why did He create us in an imperfect world?” The Church has provided throughout the centuries, a response to this question, by integrating the themes of human freedom and love. It reveals how love requires freedom, and how freedom opens the possibility of unloving and evil actions. It has used the teachings of St. Paul to show how humility, compassion, virtue, and interdependence can arise out of suffering, and how these four qualities form the pathway to love. Yet these profound answers are being covered over by a culture of immediate gratification, entitlement, and hyper-indulgence. Our children are frequently surprised and even shocked by suffering, because they do not expect it and they are not prepared to find the good in it.
4. The challenge of the culture of death.
Saint John Paul II articulated this challenge within the context of abortion, active euthanasia, and capital punishment. But the Church has been concerned with it throughout its existence, particularly to defend the life and liberty of every human being – particularly the weak, marginalized, vulnerable, and defenseless. Saint John Paul II did not do anything unusual – he simply took the principles of intrinsic dignity, inalienable rights formulated by the Church throughout its history, and in particular, those regarding universal natural rights, which formed the basis for the international codes of human rights that led ultimately to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and applied them to the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, and capital criminals. He realized that if these principles are ignored in the life issues, they are likely to be ignored in every other issue, leading ultimately to the culture of death – which is blind to the inherent goodness, lovability, and mystery of every human being. 
5. The challenge of social injustice and globalization.
St. Augustine established the fundamental principle of social justice in his work, Free Choice of the Will, by showing that justice is higher than the positive law, and when the positive law contradicts the dictates of justice, it is unjust, and no unjust law need be obeyed. This principle has been quoted by virtually every major political thinker, including Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi, and has inspired the major social encyclicals from Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII (1891), even to the present day in the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel.
Today our young people face increasing economic disparity both nationally and internationally, and must fight a cultural elitism and privilege that makes them indifferent to the plight of the poor.

I do not have the answer on how to address these five major cultural challenges in our educational institutions, the traditional media, the new media, or even the public square. I do know, however, that there are scholars within the Catholic Church who are responding to these challenges, and there are new movements which are trying to make these contemporary responses accessible and available to educators like yourselves. I know how much you already give of yourselves to meet the many needs of our young people, and so I ask you in all humility to come together around the theme of the New Evangelization to respond to these cultural challenges. Let us investigate the resources that are available, share those resources with one another, help one another to implement them, and use our collective creativity to make them interesting so that our young people can be transformed into the men and women Christ called them to be. This will enable them to become effective leaders within the culture and light for the world.

Thank you so much for all you have done. We as a Church are dependent on your creativity, spirit, goodwill, love, and faith. It is no exaggeration to say that so much of our future depends on you.

God bless you all in our endeavors.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò,
Fordham President Reverend Joseph McShane, S.J., Dr. Gerald Cattaro

Learn more about the Center for Catholic Leadership and Faith-Based Education.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

GSE's Supportive, Collaborative Environment: a Q&A with Elizabeth Python '14

Elizabeth Python graduated from GSE’s Mental Health Counseling program. She did her undergraduate work at Moravian College, where she majored in Psychology and Sociology, and was a member of the varsity softball team. 

Elizabeth recently discussed her experiences at Fordham and shares her future plans.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Can you talk about your academic experiences at GSE?

There were two courses that I loved the most. Human Development with Dr. Fran Blumberg was the first course for our cohort and, to this day, remains the most challenging course that we took. The whole cohort would say that same thing, I think. It taught discipline and how to work. It wasn't undergrad anymore. It was “Welcome to Grad School” and it really shaped my experience.

Also, Group Counseling really sticks with me. Dr. Eric Chen has a great class and does a good job with the curriculum. Getting the clinical experience and throwing us into that particular experience was very helpful and rewarding. Even now, in my individual sessions, I promote group counseling; I feel there's a lot of good work that can come of it.

Fordham's, especially GSE's, focus on social justice and multiculturalism is such a big component. It’s very alive in all of our courses, which is very helpful. Employers like to see that diversity is the norm.

What type of fieldwork have you done?

This past year, I externed in the Counseling Department at John Jay College: seeing individual clients and doing outreach and workshops. I was also a teacher’s assistant there.

At John Jay, my maximum caseload at one time was around 9 or 10 in the fall. This semester it was around 6 or 7 clients, which was great because I was able to really focus a lot of my time on those clients - a lot of whom I had seen all year.

Something that is unique about the college counseling environment is there’s a short-term feel to it. Even if a client wants to continue each semester, he or she has to terminate during the winter and summer breaks between semesters. But you can still see clients for the entire year so it does provide a really good opportunity to see growth. Plus, you're guaranteed a caseload since it's college and there are always kids coming in, intakes to do, and other ways to get involved.

I also did a couple different outreach things at John Jay. My fall supervisor was the Athletics Liaison so I was able to bring in some of my personal interests. I talked on a panel with other student-athletes who were interested in the human services field.

I spoke on another panel about attending graduate school. Many students at John Jay are first generation college students, so they don't have the experiences of parents or siblings giving career advice. They are really eager to learn and hear the stories that the other externs had to share. Those are kids who are very motivated to succeed and it's cool to hear their spark and excitement.

In addition, I gave a couple workshops on Stress Management and Public Speaking Anxiety.

The multicultural counseling theme at Fordham was really helpful because it is such a diverse population at John Jay. Having self-awareness about multicultural issues was very helpful. Externing at John Jay was a great opportunity.

Elizabeth Python with Dr. Fran Blumberg

Also, I was a teacher's assistant for a Counseling class in the fall, which was a great experience. I was able to lecture two or three times during the semester: I have lectured on a multicultural course; I did a whole group counseling module; and I also did a lecture on counseling and technology.

This past summer, I attended the APA Conference in Hawaii and went to a couple lectures where they talked about counseling and technology so I was able to incorporate that into the classroom. For example, we talked about exposure based therapy where clients can practice being in situations that make them feel uncomfortable. If someone has a phobia of a train, they can use virtual reality to put themselves safely into that situation.

I did my own research on all the different technologies available in counseling. It's interesting, especially for people who live in rural or remote areas where they either don't have access to a counselor or are a bad fit for their counselor. Technology is providing people with more counseling options. There’s a lot of room for growth and where it’s going has definite potential.

If you could tell people one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

I would definitely say the supportive, collaborative environment. It's friendly competition – you want everyone to do well because you’re in this together. Plus, there is so much support from faculty and staff wanting to see you succeed.

My family was really affected by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of my first semester and Fran Blumberg went out of her way to make sure I had housing with me even asking. It’s just the most outrageous support, comfort, and family feel.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

I would say to really get involved: take advantage of student associations, networking, getting to know faculty. A lot of people think that they can't get to know faculty if they're not into research and that's not the case.

What you put into the program is what you take out of it. The more involved you get, the people you go to school with aren't just your friends – they will be your colleagues. They will be people that you go to 20 years down the road with questions or for networking.

Involve yourself, put yourself into the mix and get to know students, faculty, staff, etc. Make yourself known.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Right now, I'm applying to higher education institutions on the East Coast – a lot of my work with Linda Horisk has pushed me in that direction. It's a place I feel really confident.

Leadership has been a theme throughout my life. In high school, I was president of the student body and was very involved in promoting the school and being a leader in the school. The same thing carried through my undergrad at Moravian and at Fordham. It's fun for me but it also can be work.

I'm looking into Development or Fundraising, Admissions, or Student Life but I'm also trying to keep my options open. Eventually it would be great to be a Dean somewhere and I would love to incorporate athletics into the mix. I think the MHC program helped me develop the interpersonal skills needed to connect with a range of different people and that will serve me well in any future endeavor.

I would also like to work toward my licensure and continue the mental health counseling education. Right now, personally, my main focus is to get a job and then pursue my licensure. I think, ideally, I'd like to do individual counseling part-time since there’s such a high burnout rate.

There's so much strength to counseling and there are so many people who don't take advantage of it that could see so much improvement and so much clarity and awareness if they did.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Commencement 2014

GSE congratulates the Graduate School of Education Class of 2014, who received their degrees at Fordham's 169th Commencement Saturday, May 17th.

Best of luck to all of our graduates, families and friends!

Watch the Commencement video!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Stay focused and flexible": a Q&A with Susan Luft, Ph.D.

Sue Luft, a graduating student in our Language, Literacy, and Learning doctoral program (now called Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research) recently discusses her educational background, experience at GSE, and future plans. 

Congratulations to Sue and all graduates!

What is your educational background?

I received my bachelor's degree from Pace University in Elementary Education and my master's degree from Manhattanville College in Reading and Writing K-12.

What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?

My areas of interest and expertise are in literacy, new literacies, student collaboration, and dialogic learning.

I am currently focused in learning more about how educators can use online collaborative tools for rich student learning experiences.

How did you initially become interested in these academic areas?

When I began teaching elementary students, in 1999, technology was a somewhat new frontier in the classroom. It became immediately clear that student motivation was increased when they were given opportunity to engage in social learning experiences that included technology.

In addition, students' out of school lives included rich technological experiences and it seemed natural to include such practices in their classroom learning.

Can you describe any research you conducted at GSE? 

While I was working on my Phd at Fordham, I used the research tools that I was given in my studies to conduct a few research studies. I was lucky to have had rich classroom experiences at Fordham that put me in touch with professors who were experts at conducting research and analyzing data. Taking courses with these professors allowed me to learn about research and hone my own skills.

Some of the studies that I conducted were supported by grants from the school district that I teach in and others were used as a pilot study at Fordham and then for my dissertation research.

All of the studies focused on elementary students’ literacy development through collaborative student learning with the use of varied communication technologies.

I also had the opportunity to connect with globally acknowledged researchers in the area of my interests – both dialogic learning and new literacies.

Through Fordham University Summer Literacy Institute I was introduced to New Literacies Research Team members Don Leu and Julie Cioro. At the time Don and Julie were at the forefront of New Literacies research on reading instruction with the Internet. Both researchers along with their colleague Lisa Zawalinski later began a relationship with the school district where I teach, which allowed me to further my interest and understanding of online reading instruction and the educational value of Internet Communication Technologies.

Additionally, while conducting my dissertation study, Dialogic Learning through video chat in two first-grade classrooms, I was introduced to Dr. Rupert Wegerif of Exeter whose globally recognized research contributions to Dialogic Learning and ICT helped to give me point of reference with my own study.

If you could tell people one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

Fordham professors are experts in their field. They have a wealth of knowledge to share and are willing to do so with their students.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

Stay focused and flexible: be willing to grow and change.

What are your plans for after graduation?

While having my dissertation research published in a peer review journal is one of my short-term goals, I hope to continue making contributions to the research community which focus on literacy development through dialogic learning with Internet Communication Technologies.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Now that I will have some free time again I would like to enjoy time with family and friends, travel, and the great outdoors.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Through my experience at Fordham I learned that there are many people that help us achieve our dreams: teachers, mentors, friends, colleagues, and family. All of which are valuable. We cannot get there alone.

Learn more about the Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research (CLAIR) Ph.D. program.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Schools need to be revolutionized": A Q&A with Dr. Toby Tetenbaum

Dr. Toby Tetenbaum is a professor in Fordham GSE's Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy (ELAP) program. She recently discussed her background, research, and experiences at Fordham, and shares her recent reading list.

What is your background?

I have a PhD from NYU in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in Social Psychology, Research and Measurement. I have a post-doctorate from Harvard in the Psychodynamics of Leadership.

I have taught at Fordham University for 40 years, beginning in GSE’s Division of Psychological and Education Services (I am a licensed psychologist) and moving to the Division of Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy with a focus on the psychology of leadership.

In addition, I have worked in corporate America for 20 years in companies such as Conde Nast, Exxon, General Electric, Interpublic Group, and JPMorgan/Chase.

What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?

My areas of interest are focused primarily on people in organizations (leadership, team effectiveness, group dynamics) as well as change, particularly change that focuses on culture and moving organizations from 20th century legacy practices into the new 21st century world of innovation and entrepreneurship.

What interested you in that research area?

My husband read a book on Chaos Theory which he passed along to me. I began to read more in the area and eventually published a couple of articles on how the Newtonian paradigm impacted organizational structures and processes versus how the new paradigm of Chaos and Complexity impacted them.

The transition from one era to the next is generating tension and conflict between legacy workers who have spent most of their work life in the Newtonian era and today’s newer workers who are anxious to embrace the era of Chaos and Complexity.

What are a few insights you've gleaned from this research?

In working with organizations, including those in the Fortune 10, I've consistently found a paradox between managers being pressed on one side to “make the numbers” and, on the other side, “to innovate and take big swings.”

Unfortunately, the former requires rigorous risk management, while the latter requires experimentation and, inevitably, failure. Being able to engage in both in this highly competitive, fast global environment is generating a huge amount of stress and, in some cases, immobilizing workers.

What has been your most memorable experience at GSE?

My most memorable experience at GSE has been beginning the first Human Resources program in NYC over 20 years ago and seeing it gain an outstanding reputation. Its graduates are sought after by search firms throughout the area.

Note: The program moved from GSE to the Graduate School of Business as of 2014. Learn more.

What advice do you have for students applying to GSE?

Come prepared to work hard, learn, participate actively and have fun. If there is too much going on in your life to experience these 4 things, wait until you can.

If you could tell people one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

Fordham’s GSE, especially the Division of ELAP, is committed to providing you with the best educational experience possible.

The faculty is extremely supportive of your learning and ensuring you graduate with the knowledge and skills you will need to be successful in your work.

While the program is rigorous, it is also enjoyable and the cohort structure provides peer support and life-long friends.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Educational Leadership and/or Education today?

The biggest challenge today is to prepare youngsters in K-6 with the intellectual and emotional skills they will need in the second half of this century.

Ironically, schools are the slowest institutions to change and providing Industrial Era knowledge and tools, as is occurring in most schools, is doing America’s children a disservice.

They need to be prepared for a world we cannot yet see but it will be one demanding a tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty as well as an ability to flex and adapt as change speeds up.

Innovation and entrepreneurship even for children as young as 5 has moved to the private sector as public schools have preferred using time for test prep and test taking instead. Schools need to be revolutionized; it’s too late for incremental change.

What do you like to do in your free time?

There really is no “free time” but in between teaching and consulting, I am an avid reader as keeping ahead of the curve with what is going on around the world is the best value I can provide to my students and clients.

I also continuously work on new courses and workshops to keep my work fresh. I am an A-Type personality when it comes to work; Work is my joy and I’m blessed to have always had a career I adore.

What are some books that you've read recently?

Duhigg, Charles. (2012). The power of habit. New York: Random House.
This book looks at how individuals and organizations form productive and non-productive habits using dozens of narratives.

Kahneman, Daniel. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Nobel Prize winning economist, Kahneman, describes two ways people think: System 1 Fast, intuitive and emotional – and – System 2 Slower, more deliberative and logical. Also explores the role of loss aversion, framing risks, cognitive biases, etc.

Kellerman, Barbara. (2012). The end of leadership. New York: Harper Business.
Kellerman describes how leadership and followership have changed over the last half century and criticizes the leadership industry as failing to actually grow leaders.

Murray, Charles. (2012). Coming apart: The state of White America, 1960-2010. New York: Crown Forum.
Murray looks at the differences between top and bottom economic groups in White America and the consequences of the differences.

Pink, Daniel. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York: Riverhead Books. This book proposes internal drivers (notably autonomy, mastery, and purpose) are the key to motivation despite business still employing external motivators.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Applicants who are unclear about their career goals or about Fordham GSE as the right place for them are free to e-mail me to set up an appointment to talk by phone or to meet when I am in for class.

Visit Dr. Tetenbaum's webpage for contact information.