Dr. Sandra Leslie
Dean, Professor of Education
Pennsylvania State University – B.S. in Secondary Education (Latin)
Queens University – M.Ed.
University of South Carolina – Ed.D.
Subject Areas Taught at Brenau:
I love teaching when the learning in my classroom is palpable: When I can sense it in the quickening pace of a roundtable discussion or a student’s visible delight in using newly learned jargon; when I can hear the excitement in students’ testimonials about mastering skills that “made a difference” or theories that transformed practices and perspectives. I count these as teaching successes and make it a habit to reflect on their origins so that I can recreate the conditions for their occurrence again and again. My philosophy of teaching is informed by the material I teach, relevant scholarship, and the lessons I have learned from personal teaching successes and failures.
I believe that learner-oriented teaching promotes learning that is both purposeful and enduring. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to know who my learners are, what kinds of knowledge and experience they bring to the group, and what they want to achieve so that I can tailor a curriculum that fits their needs and yet leaves enough room to accommodate topics that emerge from group discovery. By assessing where my learners are with respect to our mutual learning goals, I can provide the scaffolding they need to build connections between what they already know and the new understandings they seek to create.
I believe that W.B. Yeats captured the exhilaration of teaching when he wrote: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” My goal as a ‘teacher of teachers’ is to ignite in my learners a passion to create an institutional teaching and learning environment that fosters a conflagration of educational experimentation and innovation.
Academic and Research Interests:
Best Practices in Teacher Education
Professional Development Schools
Teachers as Leaders
Academic Affiliation and Leadership Positions Held: