By Amy Wolf
Master of education graduate student Allie Robinson believes that fostering a passion for learning in young students begins with empowering them to have a voice of their own.
“I want them to think about how their thoughts and opinions matter and how they can be used in positive ways,” said Robinson, who has already been teaching for several years in an elementary school. “I have noticed that when students get to have a say in the direction of their learning and see their work reflected in the classroom, they realize just how much they’ve accomplished and how much they’re capable of.”
One area of emphasis in her classroom is teaching students how to ask quality questions.
“Developing students who know how to ask really good questions opens the door to true learning,” she said, “because that leads to new connections, new discoveries, and they’re thinking about the world around us and how they interact with the world.”
Robinson credits Elizabeth Self, assistant professor of the practice of social foundations of education, for providing her with guidance on ways to build a better classroom community.
“Dr. Self modeled for us what excellent teaching looks like,” Robinson said. “For me, that was such a pivotal experience because I could take everything that she was teaching and put it right into my classroom. It was inspiring.”
REPRESENTATION IN THE CLASSROOM
Along with returning to the classroom, Robinson plans to continue research started at Peabody on new ways to retain and recruit teachers, especially underrepresented minorities like herself.
“Ideally, I would love for school to be a space where all students see themselves reflected, whether through their teachers, through the books they’re reading, through the activities and projects represented,” she said. “I would love for every kid and every teacher to look forward to coming to school because they know that there is going to be a point of connection just for them.”