Dr. Marjorie A. Henningsen has worked in the field of education for nearly thirty years. She began as a mathematics teacher in Kansas City, Missouri, USA and in 1989 moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she began studying for her Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Mathematics Education from the University of Pittsburgh while working full-time as a research specialist in a national middle school mathematics reform project where she studied classroom interactions in hundreds of lessons. Since the 90Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s, Dr. Henningsen has worked extensively in the area of teacher development in the USA. She is the co-author of four books on mathematics teacher development with her former colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon completing her Doctorate in 2000, Dr. Henningsen moved to Lebanon and spent seven years as a full-time faculty member in the Education Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB) focusing mainly on elementary and mathematics education. She also directed the Science and Math Education Center and engaged in research focused on teaching mathematics in Lebanese elementary classrooms (English and Arabic), as well as the learning of pre-service teachers. In addition to her extensive work in Lebanon, Dr. Henningsen has also consulted for teacher training, educational research development and school start-up projects across the region and beyond, including South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sharjah and Dubai. Dr. Henningsen has been with Wellspring Learning Community in Beirut, a non-sectarian International school that opened in 2007, since its inception and served as its Founding Head of School. More recently she has partnered with her sister Mary E. Henningsen and a colleague, Ghinwa Itani Malas to found Grey Matters Education Group. She was honored to serve as a featured speaker at TEDxBeirut 2012 and she is an active participant in the local socio-educational change community. Her areas of expertise include curriculum and instruction (specialty in mathematics), teacher and administrator development, classroom documentation, school-based reform, international education and facilitating new possibilities.
New possibilities in school-based education, animal welfare, entertaining friends, finding commonalities amidst diversity
My idea worth spreading is that children, even in the early years are competent and can be active agents in their own learning processes. School-based learning environments can and should be reorganised to open up space for this to happen as long as adults can overcome their (learned) fear of uncertainty and respect children's questions and ideas as much as their own. One important move that needs to be made is to ban worksheets from early years education and to change our relationship with commercial text materials in school. Schooling (and teacher development) needs to be reoriented toward creating makers, encouraging a hacking mentality, and ending the oppressive culture of standardisation if it is to remain relevant to human progress going forward.
New possibilities in education, education vision, building capacity among teachers and administrators to develop better learning environments in schools, shifting to inquiry-based learning in schools
swimming, history, philosophy, cooking, communicating with animals
We have been using TED talks extensively in our learning opportunity sessions with teachers and parents since opening Wellspring. Teachers, in turn, have used them with students as well to launch units, inspire action, and so forth. I was honored last year to be asked to actually do a TEDx talk at TEDxBeirut 2012. It was a challenge (terrifying actually) to get up and talk in front of 1200 people, but I did it with the great support of the TEDxBeirut curator, Patsy Zougheib, and all the team. As much as I love TED talks, I was inspired by these young people in Lebanon a hundred times more. They are active and eager and passionate about effecting social and educational change in Lebanon and I have dedicated most of my free time to participate with them in that effort. I have attended TEDxSKE and TEDxHamra most recently, as well as other groups that have sprung out of those marvelous innovative platforms. I can say that I am a true believer in the power of TED.
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