Francis L. Hitchens
I am from England but have not lived in the UK for the past 18 years. I grew up moving around the globe with my family and just never stopped. I have worked in a wide range of educational settings and in diverse cultures. My educational roles have been varied: elementary teacher in London, Denver, and Indonesia; educational consultant for Save the Children/ UNICEF in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Moldova; and teacher trainer in Nepal. Now I find myself in Maine as a teacher educator at USM.
Much of my teaching is based on my belief that through active engagement in rigorous and relevant learning opportunities students will not only be able to feel successful, but will be encouraged to understand first hand the power of being a part of a learning community. Learning communities are created and re-created through constant negotiation that requires all involved to gain confidence in who they are as learners, to build understandings of how they learn, and to gain skills in making sense of what it is they are learning. Every voice is central to building such communities, and thus all members of these learning communities must become skilled thinkers and listeners who exhibit a sense of equity, compassion and self-awareness. I feel it is my responsibility to model these qualities in my teaching.
I am fascinated by educators' perceptions and the stories that bring their experiences to life. I hope to engage in research that can give voice to educators and insight into the worlds they inhabit. I also enjoy collaboration with practitioners in its many forms, for me this is an intellectually exciting endeavor. I am currently exploring projects related to teacher leadership, habits of mind of teachers, and cross cultural contexts for teacher education.
In the summer you'll find me swimming, biking, hiking and kayaking as I explore the beauty of Maine. When winter comes I enjoy long snowy walks on the beach with my partner and my dog Blue. I take pleasure in exploring local history and art wherever I am. I like cooking and spending time with family and friends, and always enjoy a good laugh.
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