Julia Sommer lives in New York City. She began teaching Humanities to recent immigrants at Brooklyn International High School last fallseveral months after receiving an M.S. in teaching from New School University (formerly the New School for Social Research), also in New York. She did her student teaching at one of Manhattan's alternative high schools and previously taught for a year and a half at a primary school in rural India.
Julia says she became drawn to education while studying under Ted Sizer at Brown University, where she was an undergraduate. Sizer's model of school reform, as realized in the Coalition of Essential Schools, continues to serve as a foundation for much of Julia's educational philosophy and pedagogy. Working with an immigrant population particularly engages Julia, given her interest in education in India and other developing countries. Before moving to New York, she worked at Ashoka, an international nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. which identifies and supports individuals working in areas of social change. There she tracked educational initiatives in Latin America, Central Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Outside of her classroom teaching, Julia's most recent project involves the creation of a new tool for professional development and teacher training that would use the Internet to connect student teachers to professional teachers in New York City public schools.
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