Faculty on Leave of Absence, Education Program
Residency Site: Plainfield VT
Karla Haas Moskowitz is a passionate educator and political scientist. Since the late 1970’s, Karla has served community-based organizations in pre-school through university settings as a school administrator, non-profit founder and director, board member, and social entrepreneur. Her specialties include participatory/practitioner action research inclusive of phenomenology, portraiture, and critical auto-ethnography. She has a strong interest in audio art and the use of stories and narratives in transformative research, teaching, and learning. Throughout her professional life as an educational activist and change agent, Karla has focused much of her research and studies on organizational development, leadership, and change; developing educational programs that are experiential and project/place-based. Karla has facilitated global travel and service learning experiences in middle school, high school, and university settings. Karla’s priority is to promote radicalism, activism, and authentic change in schools and communities facilitated in collaboration with individuals and collectives seeking self-determination. Karla holds both a school principal license and teacher license (Secondary English Language Arts).
PhD in Political Science and Education, Union Institute and University
MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, Goddard College
MA in Political Science, University of Colorado-Denver
MA in Education with a Cognate in International Relations, Center for Teaching International Relations, University of Denver
BA in Counseling in Special Education and Social Services, University Without Walls Program, Regis University (formely Loretto Heights College)
Areas of Expertise
Teacher and School Principal Licensure; Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Social Studies and English Language Arts; Political Science; Educational Leadership and School Administration; Non-Profit Management and Organizational Development; Social Entrepreneurialism; Participatory/Practitioner Action Research inclusive of Phenomenology, Portraiture and Critical Auto-Ethnography; Multiculturalism; Critical Issues in Urban Education; Experiential/Place-Based/Travel Learning; Counseling in Special Education and Social Services; Creative Writing with a focus on Poetry, Use of Stories and Narratives in Research, Teaching, and Learning
Teaching is a radical act; as is the act of learning. Our systems of public schooling require authentic transformation not only for the purpose of increased student achievement, but to reconnect learners to what it means to be fully human. As with all radical transformations, history shows us that an activist stance is necessary.
Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and spiritually-based political activist states that “In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything . . .”
Community schools must integrate a radical curriculum that promotes the skills necessary to have meaningful and powerful personal relationships. It is the relationship to others that enables individuals to “save everything”. Reflective, skilled, and passionate teachers and leaders must implement a curriculum that does not focus solely on content; but rather, facilitate one that connects the learner with community and strengthens the process of relationship-building in a diverse society. This curriculum must offer rigor and challenge, as it focuses on creative problem solving, compassionate and loving interactions, storytelling, and conflict resolution. Collaboration is critical among educators, parents, children, and all community members who all must begin to utilize teaching and learning as a conversations to change the world. This brand of education is an engaged democracy.
We are at a time in human history of great crisis. Our children must understand radical and activist thought as a means to support relationship to others and to themselves. They must do this in the way that constructs the kind of personal and meaningful relationships that courageously invites them to learn what they must in order to “save everything”.
My research agenda is grounded in critical theory and is represented through community-based work that will mobilize educators, school leaders, and stakeholders to create needed change in classrooms and schools. By modeling and supporting educator participatory action research projects, inclusive of phenomenology, portraiture, and cultural auto-ethnography, my intention is to contribute to the reform of educational climates and systems in order to increase equity and justice for youth, families, and communities. My most recent work is in teacher resistance and activism for the purpose of transformation of self and society.
In addition to my work at Goddard, I teach at Adams State University and the Teacher/Principal Institutes in Colorado. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Plainfield Food Co-op, Maplehill School, and EarthWalk Vermont. I am Plainfield, Vermont’s Animal Control Officer; serve on Plainfield Village’s Cemetery Commission, and have a radio show on WGDR entitled: Ethereal, the Possibilities of a Floating Particle of Dust. I have a great passion for travel, often in one of three vintage RVs, have two beautiful and intelligent grown children, four exceptionally lovely grandchildren, and one absolutely adorable dog.