Debbie Kurtzberg

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. MSEd, Bank Street College of Education. JD, Fordham University School of Law. Adjunct Faculty member, Bank Street College of Education. Special interest in using the community and outside environment as an extension of the classroom and international initiatives fostering a progressive educational approach in the local context. Former teacher and founding director of the Primary Division of Tsinghua International School in Beijing, China. SLC, 2015–

Graduate Courses

Art of Teaching 2017-2018

Mathematics and Technology for Teachers I and II

Graduate Seminar—Year

This course will place strong emphasis on students’ own understanding of mathematics as directly related to the mathematics that they will be teaching in early-childhood and elementary-school classrooms. The course will focus on core concepts of mathematics teaching and learning: the science of patterns and number relationships. Patterns and functions will serve as the lenses through which students will examine connections and applications of the topics to the early childhood and childhood school curricula. Students will develop understandings of the content, concepts, computation, and teaching and learning strategies of mathematics in schools. Emphasis will be placed on constructivist teaching and learning; inquiry-based learning; problem solving; and mathematical reasoning, connections, and communication. Students will be exposed to techniques in differentiating instruction that addresses learning differences and the special needs of English-language learners, as well as ways to identify tasks that challenge and augment mathematical understandings. The use of technology as an integral support for the understanding and application of mathematics will also be a focus of the course. Each class session will provide students with opportunities to engage in authentic mathematical activities, followed by sharing these experiences and ways to implement similar, engaging mathematical tasks in classrooms. As part of their conference work, students will create a concept teaching game and a presentation of the solutions to complex problems.

Faculty

Practicum Seminar

Graduate Seminar—Year

The Practicum Seminar is a yearlong course that supports early childhood and childhood student-teaching experiences and provides opportunities to draw together the ideas, processes, and approaches in early childhood and childhood teaching practice, curriculum development, and instructional planning across content disciplines in prekindergarten through grade two settings and in grades one-through-six classrooms. Issues and questions that arise in student teaching and continue to be present in classrooms and schools will be explored. These include the role of observation and documentation as they inform assessments of children’s learning and of teaching itself; the creation of learning environments for children from birth through grade two and in grades one through six, inclusive of all children across racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and learning differences; the development of approaches that enable continuity for children between home and school and in their school lives; the development of classrooms as communities of learners; and the exploration of the teacher’s role and approaches to classroom organization and structure that relate to very young and elementary-age children. Other topics of importance in the course are the creation of opportunities and processes for collaboration among teachers, parents, and administrators and the development of strategies to reflect on, renew, and revise teaching with an emphasis on the importance of professional development. The Practicum Seminar also supports students in their continued efforts to understand the political nature of teaching, placing emphasis on educating for a democratic society. The roles of the family, school, and community in educating children are explored, as well as current philosophies and climate regarding home, school, and community relationships. Practicum Seminar students will keep a reflective journal of their field placement and student-teaching experiences, including observation and documentation of children, classrooms, activities, curriculum planning and facilitation, materials, and media. Students will also begin to develop, refine, and share their thinking regarding their master’s project topics.

Faculty