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Rebecca Van Tassell

Education Program Leader

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Becky grew up in Millbrook, NY on her family's dairy farm. Her love of living things led her to Cornell University where she completed her bachelor's degree in Plant Sciences. While at Cornell, her experiences as a teaching assistant sparked a passion for public education and her subsequent career as a high school teacher. After completing her Master's degree in secondary science education from Indiana University, Bloomington, she went on to teach high school science in Indianapolis, IN, Chappaqua, NY and most recently in New Haven, CT.  In her teaching she has focused on authentic, place-based learning experiences for students and creating a rigorous and inquiry-based learning classroom where students grapple with real questions through discovery learning, data analysis and scientific writing.

Throughout her teaching career, Becky has embraced a stance of leadership from the classroom, working collaboratively with colleagues to improve teaching and learning conditions for students. In addition to this work, she is a Senior Fellow of the Knowles Teacher Initiative and co-Editor in Chief of Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives, a journal that publishes teacher-authored stories. Becky's focus in her work is to empower teachers to recognize and communicate their unique knowledge from practice and to bring this knowledge into conversation with the research community.