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Milton faculty gather every year in a Faculty Forum, an opportunity to share ideas and methods with colleagues. This year’s forum, held virtually due to COVID-19, focused on culturally responsive teaching, designing anti-racist curriculum, student agency, flexibility, and equity. 

The overall theme of this year’s forum was the range of teaching experiences during the 2020–2021 school year, said Indu Singh, the Upper School dean of teaching and learning. 

“That could be anything from hybrid teaching to responding to the insurrection on January 6, to having conversations across difference, to technology,” Singh said. “There were a lot of options, and everything was related to what it’s like teaching in this academic year.”

Science Department faculty member Rachel Pedersen was instrumental in planning this year’s forum, Singh said. Pedersen helped to stress the importance of putting new ideas into practice, and also helped structure the event to be successful as a virtual forum. 

This year’s session included sessions on using cross-disciplinary perspectives, culturally sustaining pedagogy, developing anti-racist classes, reimagining student voice, and tools to meet workflow and community-building needs.

A highlight of the Faculty Forum every year is hearing from the School’s teaching fellows, who are working toward master’s degrees through the University of Pennsylvania Resident Masters in Teaching program. The fellows teach courses at Milton and are mentored by Milton faculty. Their presentations are always a highlight and valuable because, as students and new teachers, they are at the cutting edge of education research and practice, Singh said.

Penn fellow Lu Adami, a teacher in the Visual Arts Department, led a session called “Disrupting the Canon: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Curriculum Development.” They encouraged colleagues to investigate the history and traditions of their disciplines and find ways to move past outdated methods. The “canon” represents works that are believed to be foundational, but which may neglect the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and people of color.