Ph.D., Michigan State University (1997)
Families,Cultures And Learning
Foundations, Families,Cultures And Learning
Foundations,Families,Cultures And Learning
Philosophy of Teaching
“Teaching, I was coming to understand, was a kind of romance. You didn’t just work with words or chronicle of dates or facts about the suspension of protein in milk. You wooed kids with these things, invited a relationship of sorts, the terms of connection being the narrative, the historical event, the balance of casein and water” ( Rose,1989).
My teaching philosophy has been influence by the researchers cited below as their focus was on the end results in the classroom. As we train prospective teachers we must focus on the end result which is their teaching in the classrooms. In the past decade, there has been a considerable amount of research and communication about cognition, cognitive processes, and the features of classroom instruction that foster meaningful and flexible subject matter learning (Jones, Palincsar, Ogle, & Carr, 1987; Resnick, 1989: Prawat, 1989). Though this recent scholarship about cognition and instruction has increased our understanding of students’ learning in schools, this scholarship alone will not contribute to changes in classroom practices and student learning on a large scale without concurrent attention to teacher beliefs interpretations of their practices, and learning.
This argument is especially relevant in the current reform context, when there are numerous calls for changing the nature of modal classroom practice from teacher-centered direct instruction about facts and skills to instruction that reflect alternative principles of teaching and learning (Holmes Group, 1990). These alternative principles emphasize the importance of students thinking and construction of meaning through interaction with others about complex, authentic problems, with teachers playing roles as facilitators and mediators of the students developing understanding as they grapple with the problems. This vision of the teacher role contrasts to one in which teachers or texts are the sole source of knowledge that can be conveyed directly to students.
While these principles have multiple roots, one perspective that guides my philosophy of education is social costructivist theory (Englert &Palincsar, 1991; Vygotsky, 1987; Wertsch, 1985).
In the past learners were seen by some educators as passive participants (Norman, 1980) but now effective learners are seen as active learners who use strategies to control their own learning (Weinstein, Butterfield, Schmidt, & Polythress, 1982). Effective teachers should therefore teach the students how to think and to take charge of their own learning, (Weinstein & Mayer, 1985). Marx, Winne, and Walsh (1985) conclude that the successful student is able to adjust their studying strategies and are able to control their own learning. Studies conducted by several researchers (Anderson & Armbruster, 1984; Baker and Brown, 1984; Devine, 1987; Pressley, Goodchild, Fleet, Zajchowski, & Evans, 1989) show the importance of study strategies such as note-taking, underlining, outlining, summarizing and question generating. Effective learners are active and use strategies to fit their needs and goals (Weinstein, Butterfield, Schmidt, and Poythress, 1982).
There is a current emphasis in literacy instruction in helping students to develop the ability to use higher order thinking skills. This is an area that is lacking in most teaching practices in the schools.
The social-cultural perspective argues that the ways in which people come to know the world is an inherently social process. Knowledge is socially constructed and passed on through the use of language (written or read). Bakhtin (1978) describes the conversation of mankind that has been passed on through history as "Polyphony of Voices". Individuals carry with them their experiences, which can be seen as their voices. Over the last decade, increasing numbers of parents, professionals and policy makers have raised concerns about appropriateness of educating students with disabilities in settings that are separate from general education classroom. As we move towards inclusion in the 21st Century educators need to change the way instruction has been carried out in the regular classroom. Relevant instruction, for example use of cultural knowledge that children bring to the classroom as “scaffolding” to build their skill acquisition; culturally relevant curriculum. Teachers must have high academic expectations for all students, sensitivity to different learning styles and heterogeneous instructional groupings.
Learning, as cognitive research has been telling us consists not in developing undeveloped faculties, stacking enough individual propositions on top of each other to build understanding, or filling vacant mental lots. In learning, students act upon the information, ideas, and experiences they encounter within and through the structured and ordered understandings and knowledge they have from previous experiences and within and through specific social contexts. To extract meaning from experience, people rely on understandings built on previous experiences and on their social context.
If teacher education is to challenge and change teachers’ initial beliefs about learners, learning, subject matter, teaching and the milieus, the content of courses and approaches of instructors need to be shaped by prospective teachers’ initial conception.
I believe that in teaching my classes the students need to know current research on teaching to improve their instruction in the schools. Prospective teachers, like other learners, reconstruct the information and ideas they encounter to fit into their existing framework. Prospective teachers bring to pre-service preparation definite ideas about learners, teaching, and learning. Unless they become aware of their own preconceptions and have the opportunity to examine them, they are likely to reconstruct whatever they experience to fit with their existing understandings. In my teaching I stress the importance of teachers’ understanding of learners, learning, subject matter and teaching and how all these are interconnected. I believe that prospective teachers need opportunities to examine their initial understanding as well as their understanding of ideas, information, and situations they encounter.
My work with schools has allowed me to reflect on my philosophy of teaching and has encouraged me on establishing more partnerships with school communities. Working with high need school districts has convinced me that universities need to collaborate with schools if they want to come up with effective teacher education schools.
Some things that I do to meet the above expectations:
• Case studies that give the prospective teachers a chance to think about the role those specific children’s background and prior experience may play in their behavior.
• Writing Portfolios to ensure that students document important facts that they will need in their classrooms.
• Deliberate challenge prospective teachers in a discourse about their belief about learners, learning and teaching.
• Classroom observations – the time prospective teachers spend watching others teach is a powerful influence on their ideas of what their responsibilities are, what teaching and learning are like, and what classrooms should be like.
• Group discussions and group research papers to cultivate the spirit of teamwork and cooperative learning.
• Individual research papers and classroom presentation.
• Lectures, videotapes etc.
• Written exams.
Special Education, Gender Issues, Multicultural Education and Comparative Education.
Special education issues, Multicultural and gender issues in education.
Teacher/Leader Quality Partnerships Grant 2003-2009 – Director and Principal Investigator. Professional Development for Roosevelt Union free School District – Funded for five years $ 418,225.00
Gear –Up Grant - Co- Principal Investigator. Metoring program for students in Roosevelt and Hempstead School Districts.
Dwight D Eisenhower Professional development Grant 1999-2004 – Principal Investigator and Director. Professional Development for Roosevelt Union Free School District – funded for four years $ 260,000,00.
English language Acquisition: National Professional Development program with project director Eva Roca. Working as a Curriculum Developer and Consultant for the paraprofessional. Funded by U.S. Department of Education for $ 299,285.00 from 2002-2007
Gear Up grant – Instructor of record and member of the steering committee.
Booth Ferris grant – Consultant.
Bilingual and Special Education Grant for District 75 – Consultant.
Grants applications 2003:
March 2003 - Improving the Preparation of Personnel to Serve Children with High Incidence Disabilities - $ 800,000.00 - U.S. Department of Education.
March 2003 -Preparation of Personnel in Minority Institutions- $200,000 - U.S. Department of Education.
Diane Caracciolo and Anne M. Mungai (2009). In the Sprit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Research. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense publishers.
Mungai & Kogan (2005). Pathway to Inclusion:Voices from The Field. Lanham, MD: Unversity Press Of America.
Mungai Anne (2002). Growing up in Kenya; Rural Schooling and Girls. NY, NY: Peter Lang Publishers.
Mungai, Anne (2009). Ubuntu: From poverty to Destiny with Love. In Caracciolo, D. & Mungai A. M., (EdS) In the Spirit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Research. In Caracciolo, D.M. & Mungai A. M. (Eds.). ) In the Spirit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Learning. Rotterdam,, Netherlands: Sense Publishers,.
Mungai Anne (2012), Academic Achievement of girls in Rural Schools in Kenya. African Education Review, 9(1), 63-85.
Thornburg and Mungai. Anne M. (2011), Teacher Empowerment and School Reform. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 5(4).
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Mungai, Anne (2012, January). How to Include all students. Kerala, India..
Mungai, Anne (2012, January). Multicultural Education and Comparative Education. University, Kelara, India..
Antony, P. J., Mungai, A. & Park, S (2011, December). In their own voices successes, challenges of raising children with severe disabilities. Atlanta.
Mungai, Anne (2011, June). ), Educational Issues and The aspirations of females in Kenya. Cape town, South Africa.
Mungai, Anne (2011, May). Professional Development in High Need Schools. Montreal Canada.
Mungai, Anne (2011, March). Women and Development in Africa: The Case of Kenya. United nations, NY.
Mungai, Anne (2010, March). Building a community of Learners in High Need Schools. Chicago, Illinois..
Mungai, Anne (2010, February). Questioning the Modes of Multicultural Education in teacher Education. Spokane, Washington.
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Mungai Anne (2009). In the Spirit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Research: Promoting Ubuntu: From Poverty to Destiny with Love. In The 5th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry,. Illinois, Urbana Champaign..
Mungai Anne (2009). Multicultural Issues in the Classroom: How Prepared are our Future teachers? In The 5th International Globalization, Diversity & Education Conference. Spokane, Washington.
Mungai Anne (2009). Do these teachers have a chance to make a difference in their world? In The 7th International conference on Teacher Education. Honolulu, Hawaii,.
Mungai Anne (2008). From the workshop to the classroom: Strategies that work. In The 15th International Conference on Learning.. Chicago,.
Mungai Anne (2008). Creating a community of Learners. . In The Cluite Institute Education research conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico,.
Mungai Anne (2008). Helping teachers in High need Schools: Teacher Empowerment, TLQP grant. In The 6th International conference on Teacher Education,. Honolulu, Hawaii.
(2007). Partnership with other Universities: The Kenyatta Universities model. In The International Conference on “The Role of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya’s Development”,. Kennesaw State University,.
Mungai, Anne (2006). Towards improving professional development in high need school. In International Ed Conference. Hawaaii.
Mungai, Anne & Mungai George (2006). Bringing Peace to children through Education. In Hiroshima Peace Conference. Hiroshima, Japan.
Mungai, Anne, Eva, Roca (2006). Bilingual Education: Developing Our Future Leaders. In 29th Annual New York State Association for Bilingual Education Conference. NY.
Mungai, Anne (2005). The Creation of a Children’s Home in Kenya. In Peace Conference. PA.
Mungai Anne (1969). Do these Girls have a chance to follow their Dreams? Cultural Beliefs and Practices that Hinder Female Development in Kenya. In The 51st Comparative and International Education Society. Baltimore.
Other Scholarly/Artistic Work
Mungai,Anne. Growing up and schooling for females in rural Kenya. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.2002
Mungai, Anne and Kogan Esther. The Pathways to Inclusion: Voices from the Field. University Press of America, 2005,
Honors and Accomplishments
Phi Delta Kappa International _ Dedication to Service award (Adelphi University Chapter 2011).
Outstanding Contribution to Transform the Community 2008 – Ulysses Byas PTS and Town of Hempstead.
Elder of the Year 2007- C.A.L.I.B.E.R. (Cause to Achieve, Leadership. Intelligence, Brotherhood, Excellence and Respect).
Distinguished faculty Award – High Standards of dedication to Teaching, ( Adelphi class of 2006).
Miriam Kelley Research Award.
Phi-Beta-Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
International Peace Scholarship Fund.
Bert Tenny Scholarship.
Thoman Fellow Scholarship.
University Graduate Continuing Fellowship.
Member of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Member of American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Member of Comparative International Education Society.
Nominated for Teaching Excellency Award 2002
Phi Delta kappa International
Member of American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Member of Comparative International Education Society.
Member of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
AKPA Association of Kenya Professional
Community and Corporate Leadership
Vice-President and Founder of the Caroline W. Mungai Foundation that started a 40 children’s home in Kenya.
Mungai, Anne M., “Diversity Issues and Learning” Presented to Jim Thorpe School, District 75, March 2000.
Mungai, Anne M., “Pathway to Inclusion” Presented to faculty at Valley Stream School Distric30 June 2000.
Mungai, Anne M., “Diversity Issues and Learning” Presented to Roosevelt School District Eisenhower group, September 2000.
Mungai, Anne M., “Managing your classroom” Presented to Roosevelt School District Eisenhower group.December 2000.
Mungai, Anne M., “Collaboration between parents and teachers. Presented to Roosevelt School District Eisenhower group, January 2000.
Mungai, Anne M., & Blake Brett “Are you Listening, Professionals, Parents and Children working together” Presented to Faculty at Community District 23, February 2001.
Mungai, Anne M., “Generating Expectations for Student Achievement
” Presented to Roosevelt School District Eisenhower group, March2001.
Mungai, Anne M., “Collaboration and Team building” Presented to Faculty at School district 52, June 2001.
Mungai, Anne M., “Collaboration and Team Building” Presented to Parents, teachers and administrators at PS 149 June 2001.
Other consulting work in schools districts 1999-2002
1.Working with parents in Roosevelt school district (1999-Present).
2.Working with Valley Stream schools to prepare them for inclusion- (1999 –2000).
3.District 75 N.Y. OBLIMA Bilingual/ Special Education staff development (1999 –2002) on Special Education and Bilingual Issues, training Paraprofessionals( 1999-present).
4.District 7 N.Y. Professional development for teachers on Inclusion Issues - Dec 8, 1999.
5.Worked with Centennial Elementary school to prepare teachers for inclusion – (1998-1999).
6.Working with School District 174, on improving and evaluating their Comprehensive Education Plan, collaboration between parents and teachers, and yearly review plans for school district.(2000).
7.Working with School District 7, on their Comprehensive Education Plan, collaboration between parents and teachers and yearly review plans for school districts. (2001).
8.Working with District 30, on their Comprehensive Education Plan, collaboration between parents and teachers and yearly review plans for school district (2000).
9.Working with School Districts District 177, on their Comprehensive Education Plan, yearly review plans and collaboration between School counselors and social workers (2001).
10.Working with School Districts District 52) Comprehensive Education Plan, collaboration between parents and teachers, Team Building and yearly review plans for school district (2000).
Mungai Anne M., “Conceptual Change in Preservice: Teachers Enrolled in a Multicultural Education Course, Brown bag Colloquium, April 1998.
Mungai Anne M., “ Application to classroom goals and strategies” Faculty retreat 2002
Vice-President- Caroline Wambui Mungai Foundation