MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School
# of years teaching
What’s the best part of being a teacher? According to Brent Lawrence, it’s how the act of teaching makes him feel. “If I can pass something on to someone else, it feels good. All the components that go into teaching – planning, thinking, processing – it feels good.” As an MƒA Master Teacher, Brent says it always feels good to collaborate with others and hear different viewpoints, especially in earth science. “Meeting MƒA teachers who are deeply involved in doing real science outside of school on a regular basis inspires me and empowers me as a professional.”
Brent’s teaching philosophy is ever growing but is grounded in the belief of learning by doing. “If you want to learn something, you have to do something – you have to be engaged in that activity or subject you want to learn.” He strives to provide his students with opportunities to do, tying authentic experiences like camping or surfing back to his lessons. “Having kids actively participate in learning is so important. I have them try to mimic what geologists, astronomers, and meteorologists would do.”
Brent has earned a B.S. in Dance from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.S. in Adolescent Education in Earth Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. Brent has assisted MƒA in admissions and recruitment events over the years and leads a variety of MƒA courses for his peers, including the “Read, Write… Argue! Learning Science by Doing Science” Professional Learning Team this semester. In this course, Brent works with others to develop students' identities as science researchers using the Argument-Driven Inquiry framework for science investigations.