Callie Lowenstein is program manager for the Learning by Scientific Design Network Cohort 2. She spent several years in international education research and practice in India, West Africa, and Latin America before returning to the US to teach. Callie taught for six years in bilingual public schools in New York City and Oakland, CA. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and her master’s degree in bilingual education from Hunter College, CUNY.
I first became interested in education as an undergraduate, when I began volunteering as a reading tutor in a local elementary school. I remember beginning to see the gaps in my 5th grade buddy’s reading skills and wondering, how could this have happened? As I have worked with colleagues in classrooms from Accra to Oakland, I have seen the incredible efforts that teachers make for their students — and the surprising gaps in teachers’ knowledge of the best research on how we actually learn. All of these experiences have deepened my interest in working alongside teacher prep programs to help teachers and their students realize their full potential.
I first connected with Deans for Impact as a classroom teacher and contributor on the Science of Early Learning publication and in early conversations envisioning the first Learning by Scientific Design network. It was so exciting to collaborate with brilliant teacher educators, researchers, and other teachers on the central challenge of teacher preparation: how can we better equip early career teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective? Through those experiences, I knew I had found an organization that valued bringing different voices together to share expertise; that grounded decisions and priorities in evidence and meaningful data; and that ultimately was invested in making real, tangible change. I’m thrilled to be joining this work full time!
I so appreciate the spirit of shared leadership and shared learning that threads all of DFI’s guiding principles. It seems fitting that an educational organization be grounded in values of growing, seeking solutions, and making change together.
Mrs. Berry, my second-grade teacher, nurtured me as a writer and thinker. I remember so clearly every project we did that year — my biome studies of arctic foxes and sea otters, a biography of my hero Louisa May Alcott, and my early work as a poet — which I attribute to the sense of ownership for our learning that Mrs. Berry fostered, the depth and rigor of what she asked us to do, and the sense of accomplishment from doing what felt like very serious academic work as a 7 year old!
The taco truck outside of PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn — I wouldn’t have survived life as a first-year teacher without it!