Faculty Profiles

Clara Vaz Bauler

Assistant Professor
Education, Ruth S. Ammon School Of

Alumnae Hall Room 122b

General Information



Ph.D. in Education with emphasis in Applied Lingusitics and Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, University of California, Santa Barbara (2012)

M.A. in Portuguese Linguistics, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (2007)

B.A. in English and Portuguese with emphasis in teaching English as a Second and Foreign Language, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (2004)

Personal Statement

Personal Statement

In thinking about the guiding principles that orient my practice as a teacher, I immediately think of dialogue. Dialogue, according to Paulo Freire, is “an existential requirement, an encounter that allows us to pronounce and enact the world with others.” In this perspective, dialogue involves the idea that teachers and students learn together with each other. By engaging in genuine dialogue, teachers become learners and learners become teachers. This process involves humility, trust, mutual admiration and respect, as well as the belief that teacher-students and student-teachers can together construct knowledge and transform their worlds. It is my hope that in every educational encounter I have with students, we commit to be working together as partners, co-instructors and learners to design learning-rich as well as culturally and socially-responsive educational environments.

I am always eager to learn with students, finding and inquiring into ways to foster thoughtful, careful, reflective and informed teaching-learning practices. Throughout this journey, the students and I may sometimes feel frustrated, thinking that our circumstances constrain what, when, and how we design environments for learning. However, I always wonder, “if we do not experiment, make mistakes, and discover wonderful new ways of acting in education now and here with each other, when would be the best time to do it?” To me, the great reward of teaching lies in another of Paulo Freire’s ideas: Teaching is a form of intervention in the world. I firmly believe that we have to embody change to make it happen. This involves trying out and crafting new ways of thinking, believing, doing, being, and knowing with each other.

Driven by these principles, my main goal as a teacher has always been to foster and facilitate a collaborative and potentially transformative learning environment in which every member is responsible for each other’s growth. My ideal classroom is a place where teacher and students form a community of peers that not only strive for cultivating an affectionate atmosphere, but also challenge and push each other's thinking. This classroom demands that teacher and students take risks, and are not afraid of considering alternative and less explored ways of thinking and acting in the world. This classroom also demands attentive listening and openness to being moved by other people's ideas and concerns. In this context, students and teacher not only develop “skills,” but also engage, together, in a critical dialogue and process of discovery and exploration.

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