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Professor Tanton writes on a whiteboard ising a green marker.

How Round is a Cube? A Sideways Interpretation of Euler’s Famous Polyhedron Formula

with James Tanton
Online
Thursday, February 25, 2021 • Thursday, March 4, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are not yet open.

The Earth seems flat for us living on it, at least locally. And the Earth would seem very flat for most people living on it if it were the shape of a cube—only those living on the cube’s edge might suspect something strange is going on. What is the “degree” of that strangeness? Can we measure it? Could we get a measure of the overall “non-flatness” of a cube from what these folks have to say? Let’s explore these peculiar, amorphous questions and whether they lead us to conclude that a cube is, actually, just as round (aka “equally flat”) as a sphere. 

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Dr. James Tanton earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University. He is an author, a consultant, and ambassador for the Mathematical Association of America, chair of the Advisory Council for the National Museum of Mathematics, and a founder of the Global Math Project, an initiative to transform the entire world’s perception of what mathematics can, and should, be. James has taught mathematics both at university and high-school institutions. He advises on curriculum, consults with teachers, and gives demonstration classes, lectures, and professional development sessions across the globe. He is also a recipient of a Joint Policy Board for Mathematics communication award.

Portrait of Steven Guarnaccia with fancy designs drawn on his face

Visual Narrative

with Steven Guarnaccia
Online
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 • Wednesday, March 3, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are not yet open.

In this master class we’ll explore strategies, both contemporary and historical, used in the creation of visual narratives, whether in a children’s book, an animation, a comic, a zine, and so on. We’ll consider narratives told with images alone or with images presented in list form or as pages in a sketchbook, as well as narratives that include 3-dimensional elements and that alter the conventional orientation of the page. We’ll also look at narratives that use one or more of these strategies in order to provide an idea of how visual narratives have been made, and to offer a sense of the possibilities available.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Steven Guarnaccia, illustrator and designer, is associate professor of illustration at Parsons School of Design. He was previously the art director of the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, and during his 40-year career, has worked for many publications, including Abitare, Rolling Stone, and Domus. He is the author of books on popular culture and design, including Black and White, a book on the absence of color, and has received awards from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Bologna Book Fair. His children’s books include The Three Bears: A Tale Moderne, The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, and Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale.

Photo of Manjul Bhargava in front of chalkboard

Mathematics & Patterns

with Manjul Bhargava
Online
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 • Tuesday, December 8, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are not yet open.

The world is full of beautiful patterns—from tilings on kitchen floors, to petals on daisies and spirals on pinecones, to the emergence of cicadas into the sunlight every 17 years. A childhood desire to understand such patterns eventually led Manjul Bhargava to a career in mathematics and number theory. This master class will explore the mathematics underlying patterns in the world around us.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers.

Manjul Bhargava is the R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and was the 2014 recipient of the Fields Medal, sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics.” A renowned educator, he teaches a popular course at Princeton on “The Mathematics of Magic Tricks and Games” and was one of the authors of the new National Education Policy of India.

Photo of Manjul Bhargava in front of chalkboard

Mathematics & Patterns

with Manjul Bhargava
Online
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 • Tuesday, December 8, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.

Deadline: November 4, 2020.

The world is full of beautiful patterns—from tilings on kitchen floors, to petals on daisies and spirals on pinecones, to the emergence of cicadas into the sunlight every 17 years. A childhood desire to understand such patterns eventually led Manjul Bhargava to a career in mathematics and number theory. This master class will explore the mathematics underlying patterns in the world around us.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Manjul Bhargava is the R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and was the 2014 recipient of the Fields Medal, sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics.” A renowned educator, he teaches a popular course at Princeton on “The Mathematics of Magic Tricks and Games” and was one of the authors of the new National Education Policy of India.

Headshot of Linda Elkins-Tanton

Rocks, Water & Life on Other Planets

with Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Online
Monday, January 25, 2021 • Monday, February 1, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are not yet open.

New research shows that most stars in our sky have planets orbiting them, and rocky planets everywhere have a good chance of forming with water oceans, and of being habitable, at least for a while. In this master class, we will track water through the process of building planets, and touch on several mysteries along the way. How do the dust grains surrounding a young star accrete into rocky bodies that can form planets? How do planetary formation processes make rocky, icy, and gas planets? Where did the Earth’s water come from?

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Lindy Elkins-Tanton is Principal Investigator of the NASA Psyche mission, managing director of the Interplanetary Initiative at Arizona State University, and co-founder of Beagle Learning. She was Astor Fellow at the University of Oxford and has served on the Planetary Decadal Survey Mars panel and the Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team. A recipient of the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas prize and The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. In 2018 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Asteroid (8252) Elkins-Tanton is named for her.

Jane Goodall by Vincent Calmell
Photo by Vincent Calmel

Jane Goodall in Conversation with Teachers

with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & U.N. Messenger of Peace
Online
Saturday, October 24, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration for this event is closed.

We invite Fellows of The Academy for Teachers to join Dr. Jane Goodall in a discussion of her work as a scientist and a teacher. 

Few people have changed the world as much as Jane Goodall. Her pioneering work with primates and their conservation has revolutionized our understanding of wild animals and how to protect them. She has also played a major role in bringing women into scientific professions. In this conversation, we will highlight her tireless work as an educator, which has been central to her success. 

In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program. 

Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. Today, Roots & Shoots is active in more than 60 countries, and since its inception has greatly impacted participants of all ages in over 100 countries. 

For the past 30 years, Dr. Goodall has been speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth. 

Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire. 

Fantastic Fungi film poster. Two mushrooms grow out of the ground. A snail sits atop the smaller one. Text on Image: "Fantastic Fungi" A film by Louie Schwartzberg "Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals nature's mysteries, and could help save the planet...today."

Fantastic Fungi
Exclusive Screening
Q&A to follow with executive producers Marcina Hale & Stephen Apkon

Online
Monday, October 26, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Registration is closed.

Fantastic Fungi is a mind-bending and thrillingly visual film. With commentary from mycologist Paul Stamets and best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, and Andrew Weil, this film shows how fungi can play a role in solving an impressive array of medical, environmental, and psychological challenges. Education resources will be made available.

Stephen Apkon is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and former executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center and directed and produced the film Disturbing the Peace. He was also the producer of Presenting Princess Shaw, I’m Carolyn Parker, Enlistment Days, Fantastic Fungi, and Planetary. He is the author of The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese.

Marcina Hale holds degrees in psychotherapy and media and is trained in psychedelic therapy, She is a producer of several films including Planetary, Disturbing the Peace, and Fantastic Fungi. Her TEDx talk “Who Wants Out?” encapsulates the core of her work.  

Imaging Social Protests

with Deborah Willis
Online
Tuesday, December 7, 2020 • Monday, December 14, 2020
5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.

Deadline: November 10, 2020.

We will survey historic and contemporary images, mostly photographic, which document the influential leaders and events of the civil rights movement of the 20th century to social protests of the 21st century. These images were intended to promote racial justice, end segregation, establish voting rights, and call attention to injustices within Black communities in the United States and South Africa.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Deborah Willis is professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she teaches photography & imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories. The recipient of a MacArthur and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, and co-author of The Black Female Body A Photographic History; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs. She has appeared in and consulted on media projects including the documentary Through A Lens Darkly and Question Bridge: Black Males, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, a PBS documentary. 

Image of Christian Crouch

Slavery & Native Americans

with Christian Crouch
Online
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 • Tuesday, November 24, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications & nominations are closed.

Colonial and nineteenth-century Native/Indigenous history and Black history are often taught as separate topics, with the former placed outside the frame of U.S. national development and the latter considered overwhelmingly in terms of slavery in the antebellum Cotton Kingdom. This class offers a chance to consider the entwined themes of race and dispossession in the North, not the South, and to think about the connections between Native and Black individuals. The sources covered look at both material culture (including sculptures by Edmonia Lewis) and texts (such as the abolition narrative of Sophia Pooley) and will demonstrate why it is important to think of the intersection of the African diaspora with Native studies when considering American history. The class will also offer ways to think of primary sources as visual histories, not just illustrations, which can enhance classroom discussions.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Christian Ayne Crouch is Associate Professor of Historical Studies and Director of American Studies at Bard College. She is the author of the award-winning Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France, and her scholarship has delved into the Atlantic military culture, French imperial legacies, and the intersection of Native and African-American history and material culture. Her current book project, Queen Victoria’s Captive: A Story of Ambition, Empire, and a Stolen Ethiopian Prince, reevaluates East African colonial encounters and the human consequences of the world’s most expensive hostage rescue mission.

Black Joy & Black Excellence: Transformative Black Communities

with Rosalie Uyola
Online
Monday, October 12, 2020
3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Live closed captioning will be provided.

This presentation explores two histories that complicate and enrich our understanding of the Black experience in America. Our case studies include Martha’s Vinyard’s Oak Bluffs, a cultural center of the Black Arts Movement, and Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, which was in the early 19th century a thriving and sophisticated African American community with some of the best public schools in the country.

Academy for Teachers Fellow Rosie Jayde Uyola is a K-12 teacher, independent scholar with a PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University, documentary filmmaker, and a researcher of memory, commemoration, and Black Life and Culture. They also develop open-access digital humanities projects for K-12 education in NYC. Rosie’s publications include “Memory and the Long Civil Rights Movement” in The Seedtime, the Work, and the Harvest: New Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle in America, “The Digital City: Memory, History, and Public Commemoration” in Ácoma International Journal of North-American Studies, Italia, “Home Sweet Home – Race, Housing, and the Foreclosure Crisis” in The War on Poverty: A Retrospective, “Race, Empire, and the Rise of the Mortgage Industrial Complex,” The Newark Experience Digital Archive, and “Women in the Black Freedom Movement” in School Series Production of Harriet Tubman, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. They were an NEH Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.

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