Meet the Professor- Dr. Jim LaPrad.wmv


Hi my name is Jim LaPrad and I have PH.D in the social foundations of Education from the University of Virginia with a concentration in the philosophy of education. Formerly I was a high school and middle school math and science teacher. Also, i spent some time as an outward bound instructor in Maine and also North Carolina. My research interest’s I’d say broadly includes critical pedagogy. Not only the study of it and studying its use in school, But also in how it can help enhance and better develop more moral and ethical learning communities in schools. I would also include part of my research involved experiential education and also service learning. At the undergraduate level i teach EIS 302 which is the multicultural social foundations of education, and i also teach EIS 401 G. Which is educational law and policy, which is a senior capstone course for our teacher candididates. At the graduate level i teach a course in the philosophy of Education which is part of our core for the EIS master’s degree program. I also teach for the Ed leadership program I teach a course that’s called the diversity implications for educational leaders, Which is part of the superintendency licenseship program, I also teach a politics of education course which is part of the doctoral program. An “A” student is one who is engaged in the classroom. When I say classroom its broader than just the four walls of the rooms. It involves their engagement in class, but then also outside of class. Whatever types of reading or media, things that are being assigned for class itself. One of the things I hope is that. this engaged student will be able to bring their lived experience, their lived educational experience into the classroom, and study it and particularly have evolve as it runs into some of the theoretical content and context of the courses that i teach. One thing is i hope that they are willing to challenge their own understanding, and challenge what may be considered to be their comfort zone of what they find familiar from their own educational experience with what we are covering in class. In my course I would say that students will be expected to complete assignments and assessments that involved both individual and collaborative work. Often these assignments will involve case study analysis and will have components that involve expository writing that is often both reflective and positional in nature. I use often these writings and these presentations often as ways for me to infer understanding. Student understanding of the content and their ability to make connections between the content. For me I think the most important quality for any future educator at any level, whether your a teacher or educational leader, is their openness. Their openness and flexibility. One thing that we know that i guess is kind of an inconvenient truth is all students are different. They come from different backgrounds. They come from different cultural contexts of the lived experience of the home and communities they come from. and as educators we have to be very very aware of the differences that they will bring to our classroom. That can be educative for all, It can also be very derogatory for some as educators you need to be able . to clearly and to quote the words of Paulo Friere we need to stay unfinished and recognize that in helping all of our students learn and grow, and to become who they can become and flourish in our society that we have to be open for the different possibilities that all of these students bring to our classrooms.

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