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CDS teacher Jan Brabham receives fellowship with prestigious Harvard program
Posted 04/26/2018 10:52AM

Carolina Day School teacher Jan Brabham receives fellowship with prestigious Harvard program

Carolina Day School is proud to announce that Grade 4 teacher Jan Brabham has been invited to be a fellow at a prestigious summer program at Harvard University. Brabham will attend the Project Zero Classroom (PZC) Fellows Program, July 16-20, at Harvard's Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass. Educators attending this program will spend the week studying and networking with top professionals in education.

“I am truly humbled and honored to be returning to Project Zero Classroom this summer to continue to learn and grow as an educator,” said Brabham. “Last year I participated in PZC and learned so much. This year I am excited to participate as a fellow.”

Project Zero Classroom is designed to help teachers explore fundamental educational questions, such as:

  • What constitutes an effective and powerful learning experience in the 21st century?

  • How do we best prepare young people for a future that is hard to imagine?

  • How do we teach for the kind of deep understanding that requires learners to solve complex problems?

  • How do we ensure that the work we do is ethical, excellent and engaging?

  • How do we encourage students to fall in love with learning?

“Truly, I could not be more excited!” said Brabham. “I hope to build on my understanding of how to engage students in learning that reflects deep thinking, innate curiosity and intentional questioning; create learning experiences that are engaging and exciting for all learners; and facilitate conversations initiated by young learners that are focused, purposeful and filled with wonder.”

The invitation letter Brabham received from the Harvard Graduate School of Education notes, "As a member of the Project Zero Classroom (PZC) Fellows Program, you will join a diverse group of people who work alongside the PZC faculty to support the learning of institute participants. While fellows make important contributions to the institute, the fellows program is also a way that PZ as an organization supports professional development for educators: this program also offers you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of a broad range of PZ’s research and to hone your skills in supporting other adults as they synthesize, adapt, and use that research."

Brabham, an experienced educator in her own right, plans to bring what she learns back to the Carolina Day classroom to benefit her students and her fellow educators. “I love talking about education and thinking about how I can better provide learning opportunities for my students. PZC not only gives me an opportunity to engage with educators from around the world, but to also learn from some of the leading education researchers of our time.”

Brabham teaches Grade 4 at Carolina Day School, but began her teaching career as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the rural, mountainous village of Pitseng in Lesotho, Southern Africa. During her time in Lesotho, she developed a deep understanding of the importance of experiential learning and real-life problem solving, of valuing the experiences all students bring with them into an educational setting, and of including the community in the education of its youth. Upon returning home, Brabham entered a US Fellows Program at George Washington University, where she completed an MEd and taught English Language Learners at an under-resourced urban school in Washington D.C. Since then, she has taught at both public and independent schools, written curriculum, mentored and trained teachers, earned her National Board Certification, and participated in unique professional development opportunities, such as the National Institute of Progressive Educators Network (NIPEN).

Of the PZC Fellowship opportunity, Brabham said, “Carolina Day is committed to encouraging inquiry, nurturing creativity and innovation and providing opportunities for students to develop and express their understanding. Just as we ask students to engage in ‘to question, explore in depth, consider multiple perspectives, and regularly reflect and evaluate their learning,’ we as teachers must do the same. PZC provides a wonderful opportunity for me to do just that.”

To learn more about Project Zero, visit pz.harvard.edu.

Carolina Day School is Asheville, North Carolina’s co-ed independent day school, where inclusive community, inspired teaching, and innovative program create a journey of excellence for each student. For more information about Carolina Day School visit carolinaday.org or call 828-274-0757.




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