Chair, General Teacher Education Department
Some of the Values that Shape My Work
I have learned that the most effective teaching tool that I can develop is myself as an individual, as Biber and Sydner (1948) suggest, who uses “principles rather than prescriptions”; who claims “authority without requiring submission” and who can “experiment but not be random.” In my work with new teachers, I use these guides as support, and challenge them through a caring and productive relationship. It is this type of relationship that I coach them to develop with their students. As I accept my teachers’ strengths and needs, I ask them to do the same with their own students. To do this, they must combine their daily observations in their classrooms with the theories and practices that they have learned in their Bank Street studies. Like me, every teacher must understand that students are most successful when they identify their teachers as people who view them as “learners with potential.”
Work with Families, Children, Schools, and Communities
My teaching career began in public and private preschool and elementary schools with both general and special education students, always inviting parents to enter into a partnership with me to educate their children. When students needed special services, I guided parents to find the appropriate resources.
Recent Professional Contributions
August 2012, Instituto Alfa e Beto (SCS Quadra, BlocoA, n0 209, Sala 303 - Ed Minerirom Brasillia, Brazil), Trained Early Childhood Coaches in Early Childhood Curriculum, Observation and Coaching Strategies
November 2011, Lexington School for the Deaf, NYC, Conducted workshop with high school teachers in Vocabulary, Reading, and Writing in the Content Area
June 2011, Convent of the Sacred Heart, NYC, Designed integrated social studies curriculum with K-4 teaching staff
- Ed.D., Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University
- M.S.Ed. & Ed.M., Special Education, Bank Street College of Education
- B.A., Psychology, Fordham University
Selected Publications and Presentations
McNamara, P. (2012). Using an understanding of child development for science lesson design. Paper presentation. NARST, Indianapolis, IN.
McNamara, P. (2012). Teacher educators reflecting on teaching and learning. Paper presentation. AERA, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Strickland, D. S., Snow, C., Griffin, P., Burns, S. M., & McNamara, P. (2002). Preparing our teachers: Opportunities for better reading instruction. Washington, DC: John Henry Press.
Freidus, H., Grose, C., & McNamara, M. (2001). Implementing curriculum change: Lesson from the field. In H. Freidus & F. Rust (Eds.), Guiding change: New understanding of the roles and work of change agents (pp. 57-72). New York: Teachers College Press.