Monthly Archives: November 2013

Upcoming Brown MAT Information Sessions

Are you interested in teaching at either the elementary or secondary levels? Do you have a passion for social justice that you’re looking to put into action? Are you a current Brown University student or a potential career changer? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you will benefit from joining a Brown MAT information session!

By attending an information session you’ll have the opportunity to speak with Brown Education Department staff, Elementary Education and Secondary Education program directors and current MAT candidates about everything from course requirements to funding the MAT year.

Click the link to RSVP for the Wednesday 11/20 virtual information session or the Saturday 12/7 old fashioned in-person information session at Brown University:

We hope to talk with you soon!


MAT Candidates Take Field Trip to Roger Williams Zoo

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For the most recent meeting of elementary education MAT candidates in the Methods and Materials of Math, Science and Technology course, the cohort and Director of Science Education, Dan Bisaccio, as well as Education Department staff, spent nearly three hours exploring animal exhibits at Roger Williams Zoo. A premier education facility nestled outside Providence, ten minutes from Brown University, RWZ hosts thousands of students each year. This field trip gave the future teachers an opportunity to consider how to integrate a visit to the zoo into a unit of study and the practical logistics and details of planning and implementing field trips for elementary students.

Needless to say, field trips can be exciting and fun for students and teachers alike. Some MATs are still giddy from making eye contact with RWZ’s snow leopard!

Director of Brown MAT Program Contributes to Paper on STEM Education

A new paper, titled “Revising the Economic Imperative for U.S. Stem Education,” was written in collaboration with Dan Bisaccio, Director of MAT Graduate Studies and Director of Science Education in Brown’s Education Department. The lead author, Brian Donovan, was a student in Bisaccio’s Conservation Biology Seminar at Souhegan High School. We won’t say how long ago!

The paper was started at the National Science Teachers Association conference this year and is currently in press, however you can read the full paper by clicking here.

It’s an important read for teachers in training, practicing teachers, administrators and policymakers alike!

MAT Candidates Attend Fall Colloquium Addressing College Readiness and Access

On Monday, the elementary and secondary education Brown Master of Arts in Teaching candidates attended the first colloquium of the year. The topic was college readiness and access for grades K-12.

The Fall Colloquium was moderated by Angela Romans, Principal Associate at Brown’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform. The panel consisted of Raul Cervantes, College Access Program Director at College Visions of RI; Maria Carvahlo, Associate Director for College Readiness and Completion at College Crusade of RI; Annmarie Sawyer, Executive Director of Providence YMCA Youth Services, and Terri Adelman, Executive Director of Inspiring Minds.

Colloquiums are a key opportunity to bring together the MAT and Urban Arts in Teaching (UEP) candidates to discuss vital issues at the intersection of teaching and learning and policy in urban education.

Director of English Education and MAT Faculty Member to Chair and Speak at NCTE Conference Sessions

Each year, the NCTE Annual Convention draws thousands of global educators, administrators, and other educational professionals from around the world to participate in professional learning programming. This year, Director of English Education Laura Snyder and MAT faculty member Eileen Landay will both speak and present at the NCTE Annual Convention in Boston.

On November 22, Laura Snyder will chair a session entitled “Mentoring for the Dialogic Classroom: Encouraging Inquiry, Voice, and Improvement” with MAT alumni Erik Skogsberg and Jonathan Goodman, and MAT mentor Kate Lorch as speakers. She will also speak at “Politics and the English Teacher” with Bruce Robbins and Valerie Combie.

On November 22, MAT faculty and ArtsLiteracy co-founder Eileen Landay will chair “Making a Case for Performance in the Age of the Common Core” with Dan DeCelles, Theresa Fox, and Gina Voskov. On Monday, November 25, she will present as a member of the panel, “Design It! Create It! Perform It!: Reimagining and Enriching Literacy Learning” with John Holdridge, Steve Kidd, Len Newman, and Kurt Wootton.

Also on Friday, ELA MAT Rachel Bello will speak at “Real Men Read Chick Lit: Engaging Adolescent Boys in Literature By and About Women,” which will address how to engage males students in texts from and about female perspectives.

To attend the NCTE conference, visit their website at

Science and Elementary MAT Candidates Attend Lecture and Tour at URI

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This week Science and Elementary MAT candidates attended the lecture, “Translating the Next Generation Science Standards for Classroom Instruction,” at the University of Rhode Island by Dr. Rodger W. Bybee, purveyor of the 5E instructional model. Dr. Bybee was Team Leader for the NGSS Life Science Writing Team and was also the Team Leader of the Life Sciences Design Team for the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Dr. Bybee has written widely, publishing in both education and psychology. He is co-author of a textbook titled Teaching Secondary School Science: Strategies for Developing Scientific Literacy. His books include Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices, Learning Science and the Science of Learning, EVO Teachers Guide: Ten Questions Everyone Should Ask About Evolution, The Teaching of Science: 21st Century Perspectives.

It was incredibly useful for MATs to understand the methods used by the architects of NGSS, and even get feedback on science units we are designing.

After the lecture, we got an exclusive tour of the Department of Ocean Engineering facilities and the famous Inner Space Center at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography. At the Herman Sheets Laboratory, Associate Professor and Chair Christopher Baxter showed us a 30-meter wave/tow tank and explained how the facilities are used for school programs. In the Inner Space Center, we watched the live feed of an ROV taking the temperature of Kick-’em-Jenny, an underwater volcano off the coast of Granada. Witnessing the hub of telepresence-enabled exploration certainly inspired lesson plan ideas for our students!

EE MAT Candidates and Program Supervisors Explore Field Trips in Rural RI

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While the Brown MAT program prepares future teachers for classroom teaching, the program honors a variety of educational environments. Recently, the Elementary Education MAT program supervisors asked several EE MAT candidates to plan a field trip for the cohort, as a well-deserved opportunity to take in the beautiful New England fall colors and to experience the benefits of outside-the-school learning. For the MAT candidates who planned the field trip to Long Pond, an Audubon Society refuge near Hopkinton, Rhode Island, it was a chance to practice applying prior knowledge and to consider how alternative learning experiences can be created, especially for students that lack convenient access to natural areas.

Anna Weisberg, elementary MAT candidate 2013-14 and one of the field trip planners, had this to say: “The field trip gave me the opportunity to put to use some pre-MAT experiences and consider their usefulness for my cohort members and future students. It was also a great chance to explore alternative “texts” outside of the classroom, books and articles, as well as to get some fresh air and see gorgeous New England fall with great people!”

The EE MAT cohort not only enjoyed some delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while taking in the views, one activity on the field trip even involved blindfolding the program supervisors!

Over the course of the MAT year, MAT candidates will explore a variety of settings for learning, including through individual and group visits to schools around Rhode Island and Massachusetts.