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How I Teach: Seth Guiñals-Kupperman

In the News | July 9, 2018

Chalkbeat NY Reporter Alex Zimmerman was interested in profiling MƒA Master Teacher and 2018 MƒA Muller Award Winner Seth Guiñals-Kupperman in the latest “How I Teach” series. In their interview, Seth talked about how his experiences as a student at Bronx Science more than 20 years ago shaped his teaching style today. Seth also shared his thoughts on what an “engaging” educator looks like, his favorite lessons to teach, and how he influences educators within the MƒA community and beyond. Below are some excerpts from the interview:

“What do ‘engaging’ educators do?

Some of it has to do with the role you think the teacher and student play in the classroom — are you the “sage on the stage” or the “guide on the side”? And some has to do with the role traditional science classroom structures play. One workshop I once gave at Math for America was on the role science experiments played in physics class. In the traditional science classroom, you begin by telling students various facts, having them practice these new truths, and often carry out a lab “testing” the facts.

But of course, it’s not a test, since the students know what the outcome is supposed to be. In fact, there’s a way to get the lab wrong! This is both bizarre and a-scientific. An experiment can only be called such if you don’t know the outcome already. Instead of conducting these confirmation labs, a teacher can switch to a discovery lab: nobody knows what will happen (though everyone has ideas, assumptions and expectations). There is curiosity, investment and a community of learners all able to check in with each other — i.e. scientists!”

Read Seth’s full profile in Chalkbeat NY here.