My name is Stacey Kerr and I am a current PhD student in Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. As I enter into my second year of doctoral studies, my academic interests now meet at the intersection of aesthetics, geography, and teacher education. I am currently working on several independent studies to deepen my theoretical understanding of aesthetics in a hope to draw connections between these theories and their possible uses in pedagogical practices with pre-service social studies and their future students.
My main goal with this research is to help establish new understandings of geography for (future) social studies teachers – one that moves beyond the obsession with rote memorization of country and city names we see in many classrooms today, and into a progressive and possibly unconventional view of the subject. I want to help social studies teachers understand that geography can be an exciting and easily implementable subject in their classrooms – even when they do not have a designated geography block – that can help students explore just about any topic. I hope that by working with pre-service social studies teachers, they will come to see concepts related to geography as imbricated in every other social studies subject, their own teaching practices, and even their day-to-day lives.
Professionally, I am involved in a local Professional Development School to help my department’s pre-service teachers develop meaningful experiences during their practicum semester of studies, on top of working as a Student Teacher Supervisor. During my doctoral studies, I have also worked as a teaching assistant in social studies teacher education classes in methods and curriculum, as well as a research assistant. Previously, during my MA at the University of Miami, I worked as Instructor of Record for introductory-level survey courses in geography, as well as serving as a teaching assistant for upper-level classes in demography, immigration, and urban geography.