Heather Lewis - Associate Professor.
Heather LewisAssociate Professor.
Art and Design Education.
Steuben Hall 2
13/FA-ED-608-01 The Roots of Urban Education
13/FA-ED-660A-01 Thesis I
1998- 2006 New York University Steinhardt School of Education
1997 Teachers College, Columbia University Revson Fellowship, Education Policy
1988 Friends World College
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
I develop courses and conduct research integrating the history of education, art and design, and urban development , through the prism of New York City’s urban communities and their changes over time. My book, The “Bad Old Days”: The Community Control Movement and its Legacy in New York City’s Schools, will be published by Teachers College Press in 2013. I have also submitted a chapter for publication in Dreamland Pavilion: Brooklyn and Development, an edited collection. My chapter explores the historical context for campus/community partnerships. To support and sustain my broad historical interests, I have presented at a range of professional conferences involving urban policy and geography, community arts, and interdisciplinary teaching.
My research and teaching intersect most closely through a course I designed and have taught since I started at Pratt. The graduate course, currently entitled Roots of Urban Education, integrates the history of schools and libraries, community arts, and urban development and architecture through a study of key sites of progressive and cultural reform in New York City during the first half of the 20th century. To improve my teaching I maintained a course portfolio, based on the principles of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL). I used the portfolio, as well as student evaluations and surveys, to revise the course and introduce new elements. One of the most recent revisions is a gallery exhibit helping students “do” history by examining and interpreting visual and textual sources as well as material culture.
In addition to the course in Urban Education, I have also taught a graduate research course which spans two semesters and supports students’ research, writing, and exhibition of their findings. I designed and produced a Thesis Exhibition Booklet highlighting student work at the end of process and have recently launched a student exhibit in the Nancy Ross Project Space. I originally taught the course on my own, but over the last few years have co-taught the course with artists and art educators, and also redesigned the syllabus based on our collaboration. Drawing on different research methodologies—historical, ethnographic, and arts-based—the thesis courses culminate in two capstone projects, a written thesis and an art and design-based exhibit. As part of an interdisciplinary team, I designed assessment rubrics for the capstone projects and assessed their reliability and validity.
A critical component of my professional growth, in addition to my own historical research and teaching, has been the opportunity Pratt offers for co-teaching and co-collaborations with artists, designers, and art educators. Over the last six years, I worked on interdisciplinary teams to design and implement course syllabi, develop competitive student design projects, and create initiatives to support community development through the arts.