Dr. Jennifer Martin

Teaching Area(s): Education

Title: Assistant Professor of Education

The “Family Business” of Teaching
My parents were both educators, so teaching is my family business. A few years ago, my childhood friend Karissa reminded me that I had taught her to swim in the family pool, assuaging her fears. Years later my first job was teaching swimming lessons at the community pool. My entrance to the profession involved working with children kicking in fear to stay afloat. This is an apt metaphor for my career in education. Teaching is dangerous work, and learning can be frightening. I accept the challenge. 

Teaching Style
My classes involve multiple modes of delivery such as discussion, Socratic seminar, group lessons, and student-led classes. I continue to seek new technologies to use both inside and outside the classroom to increase student engagement. We must keep our classrooms relevant to our students, which necessitates constantly evolving in our pedagogical practices. In general, my teaching philosophy is based upon constructivist principles and teaching for social justice. As a professor, it is my goal to inspire my students to use research based and critical pedagogies in their classrooms to discover and create the best methods to reach all their students.  Participatory action research and service-learning are crucial tools that can inspire and assist them in this endeavor. These methods can create onsite solutions to educational problems, and can empower students through their inclusion in the solution. I teach multicultural education for undergraduates in the education department, and two courses in curriculum for graduate students (MAEL). I also teach in the Gender Studies and Honors programs. 

Research and Accomplishments
I have two professional accomplishments of which I am very proud. First, winning a national book award for my edited volume: Editor, Racial Battle Fatigue: Insights from the Front Lines of Social Justice Advocacy (2015) {Recipient of the 2016 AERA Division B’s Outstanding Book Recognition Award.} Second, securing a book deal with Routledge for Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism: Improving Lives for Girls and Women (2017).

Other recent accomplishments include, co-creating the national curriculum for the Kappa Delta Pi Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Conference. Mount Union served as the pilot site for this national endeavor. This year, I presented with a student, Brianna Boehlke, at an international conference. We presented our paper, A Feminist Approach to Service-Learning Pedagogy at the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Conference in New Orleans, LA. This year, I also wrote a book chapter with Mount Union student Chloe Bortmas entitled, Focus Group Becomes Support Group: Women in Educational Leadership that will be published in M. A. Paludi’s (Ed.), Women and Leadership. 

Community Involvement
I am currently an active member of the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter board. I have trained all the administrators in Akron Public Schools in culturally responsive pedagogy. Currently, I am training all Canton City high school teachers and district administrators in equity and inclusion practices. I serve as a reviewer for many national journals, I am a member of two Journal Boards, The Educational Forum and Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research. I am senior co-editor for a state affiliated journal for the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, and I also volunteer my time with Alliance Middle School Navigators program.

MAEL Connections
The MAEL program is unique because we provide asynchronous programming for working professionals. Our students can complete coursework to coincide with their work and family schedules. I try to be available whenever students need me, via phone, text, or in person. I share my passions with my students to help them find theirs.

Academic Degrees:
Ph.D., Oakland University
Ed. Specialist, Oakland University
M.A., Eastern Michigan University
M.L.S., Eastern Michigan University
B.A., University of Michigan - Dearborn

Dr. Jennifer Martin

I try to be available whenever students need me, via phone, text, or in person. I share my passions with my students to help them find theirs.

Fun Facts

What's the most surprising thing you've learned from a student?
I always love it when my students feel comfortable enough with me to tease me, give me a hard time, and try to make me laugh. It is always important to me that every class is fun, and this is a group endeavor. Laughter is especially important when dealing with difficult topics.
What's your favorite quote or motto?
“Your silence will not protect you”—Audre Lorde
What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
Along with my team, I still hold the 400 free relay record at my high school from 1987 (Wayne Memorial, Wayne, MI)
If you weren't a professor what job would you have?
Who are your favorite authors?
Marge Piercy and James Baldwin
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