Name: Sean Carr
School: Kensington CAPA High School
2020 Seminar Enrollment: The City in History
I recently completed my 5th year teaching Spanish at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. During my time there, I taught Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 to students in grades 9-12. I recently started a new role with the Planning and Evidence-based Support Office in the School District of Philadelphia. I first applied to be a TIP fellow in 2019 for Dr. Bryant Simon’s seminar titled “Learning about America and the World from McDonald’s”. In 2020, I participated in Dr. Howard Spodek’s seminar, “The City in History”.
I first applied to TIP after hearing about the great experiences that many of my colleagues at Kensington CAPA had. It became clear that TIP provides a unique opportunity for professional development that allows teachers to develop their own curriculum units and engage in research with their colleagues and university professors. In “Learning about America and the World from McDonald’s”, we used the fast food chain as a lens to explore history, sociology, and anthropology. From this seminar, I developed a Spanish 1 curriculum unit titled “La Comida y la Cultura” (Food and Culture). In “The City in History” we explored the development of cities throughout history from the beginnings of civilization to the modern day. We discussed a variety of topics including perspectives of cities, industrialization, economics, pandemics, and climate change. I used all of this information to develop a Spanish 2 curriculum unit titled “Ciudades mexicanas en el pasado y el presente” (Mexican Cities in the Past and Present). This unit encourages students to communicate in Spanish about cities and related topics with relevant cultural context.