Silver Circles: Edward Podsiadlik

Edward Podsiadlik; Silver Circle Award Winner

Edward Podsiadlik, clinical assistant professor, curriculum and instruction. Photo: Jenny Fontaine

Since 1966, the Silver Circle Award has been presented to some of UIC’s best teachers. Winners, who are honored at their college commencements, receive $500 and their names join a long list of distinguished colleagues. But what makes the award especially meaningful is its selection committee: the graduating seniors.

Silver Circles: 1
Years at UIC: 5

What does it mean to win this award from the graduating seniors?

To paraphrase John Dewey, “Education is not preparation for life, education is life.” And it is in this spirit that I cherish the honor of being recognized by my students.

What do you teach?

I teach ED416, ED 450, ED 417 and ED 451 (“Teacher Competencies and Performance Based Assessment I and II”) that include weekly seminars and extensive field supervision of our senior elementary teacher candidates.

How do you engage students in your courses?

My instruction endeavors to create “exceptional student experiences” by developing effective teacher practices while reflecting upon emerging and evolving personal and professional identities. Integrating one’s inner and outer experiences is a dynamic process wherein intrinsic values and beliefs are consciously considered as students face extrinsic challenges.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses on improving teacher effectiveness and on facilitating meaningful reflective practice. I have fashioned an inquiry process that synthesizes philosophical exploration, literary analysis and autobiographical anecdotes to further explore the intrinsic values, beliefs and pathways that define and inform one’s personal and professional identities. My research, like my teaching, focuses on the critical role that one’s personal identity plays in his or her professional life.

What is your advice to graduating students?

May the vision, drive and sense of mission that brought our graduates to the UIC College of Education and has sustained them through the rigorous teacher preparation program continue to sustain and motivate them. I encourage them to preserve and safeguard their passion for teaching and learning. It’s a gift of a lifetime.

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