About me

head shot oct 2012

I am Associate Professor of Leadership & Educational Studies, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. Here’s my vita.

I am trained in curriculum theory, and tend to favor arts-based, autobiographical, resolutely qualitative approaches to issues. My bread-and-butter work is teaching social foundations of education to undergraduates. I also teach at the doctoral level and in the Honors College.

I care most deeply about the preparation of caring professionals for long, thriving careers, especially teachers.

I am deeply concerned about what is happening to the practice of teaching in a policy environment that believes you can only improve what you can measure. This way of knowing the world has its own logic, which usurps all other ways of understanding what matters.

I am not sure teaching is a “profession,” and while we certainly gain something by calling it that, I wonder what we lose. I like “vocation” better.

I think burnout prevention is an urgent issue in all caring professions, especially teaching.  I think “burnout” is the wrong word to describe the issue, actually, because it suggests that there’s something more wrong with the teacher than the system she is working in. “Demoralization” is more accurate. I think that medical education is doing better work on the issue than we are, and I try to bring insights from their world into ours.

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