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Dear @Arne Duncan... The Teaching Brain

HGSE doctoral student Vanessa Rodriguez discusses brain based education in this video op-ed.

Vanessa Rodriguez earned her B.A. in literature and English education from New York University (NYU) and a M.S.Ed. from City College of New York before coming to the Ed School  as a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice Program.  She taught middle school humanities in several New York City public schools for 11 years and took on various leadership positions serving as a director of middle school curriculum and instruction, curriculum developer, project advisor, and teacher mentor. She has held several positions as an adjunct professor in literacy and social studies’ education and teacher training at NYU and Hunter College.  Vanessa is also a committee member of the Deborah Meier Institute in collaboration with the Harmony Education Center and on the education committee of the New Press.

As an instructional expert Rodriguez has taught various workshops in literacy and social studies instruction, project-based curriculum design, differentiation, and data driven instruction.  Her work has been used for Hunter College’s Urban Teacher Residency initiative, New York City's collaboration with Teaching Matters, the United Federation of Teacher’s Teacher Center, City College of New York, and many public schools throughout New York City.  Rodriguez' curriculum work has also been published in National Council for Social Studies: Middle Level Learning and the Organization of American Historians.

Rodriguez' research career began as a fellow of the Teacher's Network Policy Institute. Her early work proposed that hybrid teacher researchers could be prepared to produce transdisciplinary research within research schools.  She has presented this work at several annual University of Pennsylvania Ethnography in Education Research Forums, The Annual Meier Symposium, and HGSE.  She has been involved in several projects as both a research associate and field researcher.  Her current research involves the application of Mind, Brain, and Education principles to understanding the "teaching brain;" the psychological and neurological phenomena associated with teaching that are necessary precursors to understanding how students learn in classroom contexts.

For more, read: "The Teaching Brain and the End of the Empty Vessel" in Mind, Brain, and Education.