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Suzanne Arnold

Director ASPIRE to Teach Alternative Teacher Licensure, Assistant Clinical Professor

My Story

I began my teaching career as an Earth Science teacher. The majority of my secondary teaching experiences occurred at the Milton Hershey School, a private school in Hershey, PA. The student body population is comprised of children from families living in poverty from both urban and rural environments all throughout the United States. The school’s mission is to nurture and educate the neediest of all children in America. My years of service at the Milton Hershey School ignited my enthusiasm and passion to work with diverse student populations and improve the educational experiences of marginalized students through enhanced teacher pedagogy and instruction.

I journeyed to Colorado to pursue my doctoral degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. During this time, I had the beautiful fortune of being able to learn and combine research principles with my teacher voice. I received a doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder in Research on Teaching and Teacher Education, specializing in Curriculum and Instruction in Content Areas. My dissertation study analyzed the relationship between teacher beliefs, classroom milieu, subject matter and enactment in bridging the language gap in the science classroom for English language learners. I examined the extent to which teachers take on a dual role as teachers promoting English language and content proficiency.

Currently, I am the director of ASPIRE to Teach Alternative Teacher Licensure program, here at the University of Colorado Denver where I am responsible for the successful execution of all licensing activities including developing instructional programming, scheduling, implementing, delivering and evaluating the program. I work collaboratively as a member of the Continuing Professional Education team.

My Students at CU Denver

I taught classes in the initial teacher licensure program and doctoral program at CU Denver for more than five years before transitioning to the ASPIRE to Teach Program. I also serve as the faculty coordinator for the ASPIRE MA Curriculum and Instruction in the Critical Pedagogy program. It is my hope that students leave the ASPIRE to Teach and master’s program with a questioning, critical perspective. As I share with them my passion and commitment to issues of equity in education, I hope that I may inspire them to do the same in their classrooms and schools.

Classes I have taught at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:

  • ASPIRE to Teach, Alternative Licensure Instructor for content modules; Professional Learning Community Leader and instructional coach.
  • Curriculum Theories in Urban Education – UEDU 5070
  • Co-Developing Culturally Responsive Classroom Communities – UEDU 4/5020
  • Foundations of Education in Urban and Diverse Communities – DSEP 7420
  • Social Foundations and Cultural Diversity in Urban Education – UEDU 4/5010
  • Race, Class, and Culture in Public Schools - LLC 5170
  • Working With Families and Communities - LLC 5180
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practices - LLC 5190
  • Methods and Materials of Language Teaching - LLC 5825
  • Linguistic/Cultural Issues in Linking Assessment and Instruction - LLC 5050
  • Secondary Literacy Instruction and Assessment - IPTE 4/5025
  • Teacher Education and Site Seminars - IPTE 4/5910, 4/5911, 4/5912, 4/5913, SPED 5910/5913

My Research Interests

  • Sociocultural contexts of schools and classrooms
  • Culturally responsive teaching and curriculum development
  • Understanding the relationship between language, culture, and pedagogies of empowerment

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