CIDE Graduate Student Profiles
Tamara Ginger Weiss
Expected Graduation: 2014
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland
- M.A., Columbia University — Teachers College, 2003, elementary childhood education: curriculum and teaching
- B.A., Georgetown University, 1999, psychology and studio art
Areas of Interest
- Youth entrepreneurship education
- Early childhood education
My professional and academic career is dedicated to advancing equity in the design and delivery of formal education in international and domestic settings. Prior to beginning my doctoral program, I served in the Peace Corps as a Resource Teacher for the Lesotho College of Education. During my service, I managed a local resource library to increase community literacy and math proficiency, and I delivered professional development workshops to regional teachers. I also co-taught and co-designed contextually relevant curriculum with rural early childhood and primary school teachers. Living and working within an isolated highlands village gave me the opportunity to build close relationships within a deeply impoverished rural community. I became more familiar with the complex intersecting factors that can prevent positive youth development and constrain people from improving their livelihoods through education. This experience inspired me to design policy reform that provides accessible and quality education to remote economically disadvantaged regions around the world.
For six years before joining the Peace Corps, I was a teacher. I have experience in teaching pre-K, K, Grade 2, and Grade 5 at public urban and independent schools. I volunteered with NGOs to involve myself in their social justice programs, and helped to organize and to participate in different professional development conferences. I was privy to multiple perspectives on education and policy, and although I was strongly supported at my school, I left my position because I decided that I needed to understand education in a broader context of national and international development, and effective policy making.
My dissertation topic and upcoming presentation papers have been inspired by my fieldwork conducting interviews in Tanzania as part of the UMN MasterCard Foundation evaluation collaboration. I plan to investigate the role of teachers in transferring and adapting a model of youth entrepreneurship education to a rural, rapidly developing region of Tanzania.
Baxter, A., Chapman, D., DeJaeghere, J., Pekol, A., & Weiss, T. (in press). Youth entrepreneurship education and training for poverty alleviation: A review of international literature and local experiences. In International Educational Innovation and Public Sector Entrepreneurship, International Perspectives on Education and Society Series, Volume 21. UK: Emerald Publishing.
Weiss, T. (2008, Spring). From Bright Lights to Clear Vision: Intellectual Thinking in the Primary Grades. California Association of Independent Schools, Regional Newsletter. San Francisco, CA.
Weiss, T. (2013, March). Moving government from polemics to action: A spotlight on community mobilization around early childhood education in Zambia. Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Nkhoma, M. N. & Weiss, T. (2013, March). The savings and investment practices of economically vulnerable and young Tanzanians. Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Nikoi, A., Nkhoma, M. N., Willemsen, L., & Weiss, T. (2013, March). Using youth narrative vignettes to examine the implementation of youth entrepreneurship education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New Orleans, LA.
Weiss, T. (2009, October). Creating changemakers and honoring mentors from around the world. Presented at the 9th Annual T4SJ Conference: Teaching for Social Justice, Foundations of Change. San Francisco, CA.
Weiss, T. (2009, March). Visual thinking in Mathematics. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the California Association of Independent Schools. San Francisco, CA.
Weiss, T. (2008, April). Designing curriculum. Guest lecture for the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute. San Francisco, CA.
Revised October 2013