Maleka Donaldson Gramling, Ed.M.'11, Ed.M.'14, Ed.D.’17, was honored to lead her cohort as marshal on Commencement. The ceremony marked the end of a significant time in Donaldson Gramling’s life – one met with equal excitement and relief.
“My time at HGSE had changed the course of my life, and opened doors to relationships, knowledge, skills, and opportunities that I was not previously aware of,” she says. “I feel that I am very well prepared to go out and engage in impactful work as a teacher-educator, researcher, and advocate for early childhood education.”
As part of Donaldson Gramling’s dissertation, she examined how teachers and students interact in the kindergarten classroom, particularly when mistakes are made. In particularly, Donaldson Gramling studied how teachers respond to students' mistakes and offer support to young children.
“They [teachers] work hard to tailor instruction and feedback about mistakes to their students' unique personalities and learning needs. And concerted effort is made to foster an environment in which mistakes are normalized as an expected part of learning, evidence that they are trying hard and facing new challenges,” she says. [Read more about Donaldson’s research.]
“I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish in my dissertation and during my time at Harvard,” she says. “It feels great to be moving toward the next chapter in my life.”
As she moves on from HGSE, Donaldson Gramling will continue to focus her work on teachers when she joins the University of Hartford this fall as an assistant professor of early elementary education. “I am so fortunate to be entering a role and department that aligns so well with my professional training, interests, and passions. I will have the great joy and responsibility of teaching teachers as they prepare to enter classrooms, and to continue my research on mistakes and learning,” she says.
Read more about Maleka Donaldson Gramling's research and her time at HGSE: