GU Alumnus Conversation: Diversity in the Classroom

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the Doyle Film & Culture Series co-sponsored an event with the American Studies Program. Doyle faculty fellow Professor Erika Seamon hosted a lunchtime conversation with Georgetown alumnus Zack Zappone (COL’13). After graduating from Georgetown as an American Studies major, Zappone spent two years in the Teach for America program and now teaches 8th Grade English and History at a school in Washington State. The vast majority of Zappone’s students are not proficient in English and deal with an array of socio-economic and other challenges. Zappone shared his experiences trying to engage his diverse classroom and employ the Jesuit value of cura personalis in order to help his students develop as critical thinkers. His approaches included home visits to get to know his students’ families and context better, the Stanford Technique for teaching history, and incorporating provocative extra-curricular materials. During the event, discussion topics ranged from his personal experience becoming a member of the town’s larger community to media buzz over his teaching methods. Student attendees posed questions that made it clear they could see themselves in Zappone’s shoes—only a few years removed from where they sit and working to make a positive difference.

Return to the Doyle Program Events page.