Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2007
School of Education
August 1, 2010
“I love my daily interactions with my students.”
Dr. Satinder Brar Hawkins finished her Doctorate in Educational Leadership through the UCI/UCLA joint Ed.D program in 2006 and has been using information and skills learned ever since. Many of the classes focused on research into effective ways of improving and reforming education and Brar Hawkins has been able to use this learning in her role as teacher and department chair at Millikan High School in the Long Beach Unified School District. Her doctoral dissertation examined factors that contributed to the academic success of high school males and she found invaluable guidance from her chair, Dr. Gilberto Conchas and dissertation committee member Professor Ann DeVaney. She found the professors in the program to be articulate proponents of educational reform and was extremely inspired by what she learned.
At Millikan, where she is currently serving as department head, Dr. Brar Hawkins has focused on two primary curricular goals. One has been to improve the students’ ability to conduct historical research and the second has been to create department wide common assessments. Last summer she organized a group of teachers to revise the entire 11th grade United States History class research project. As part of this work the teachers enlisted the help of the school librarian as well as the research librarians at nearby California State University Long Beach. The revised research curriculum was implemented this past year and helped facilitate the work of the department’s members as they taught their students the research skills used by real world historians.
A second focus that is beginning this summer is Common Assessments. Dr. Brar Hawkins is leading the department in creating grade level common assessments that are both formative and summative. As part of this process, department members are creating common assessments to be implemented during the upcoming school year. Once the assessments have been administered, teachers will spend several hours each month discussing and analyzing student results and then revising their teaching strategies to troubleshoot areas of difficulty. The effort is part of a school wide reform focusing on using data to improve curriculum and instruction.
Dr. Brar Hawkins is glad to be able to use the knowledge she gained in the doctoral program to help improve teaching at her school. As she explains,
This is where my passion ultimately resides. I am happy to remain in the classroom-this will be my 22nd year teaching-because I love my daily interactions with my students.
She currently teaches Advanced Placement Macroeconomics and Advanced Placement Psychology and in the past has taught U.S. History, World History and Government. She earned her second National Board Certification (in Adolescent and Young Adult History) in 2009. She was one of the first Early Adolescent History National Board Certified teachers in California in 2001.
To keep herself immersed in the intellectual life of the university, Dr. Brar Hawkins enjoys teaching in the U.C.I. Master of Arts in Teaching where she has the opportunity to show how the theory of education meshes with the real world of the classroom. She also keeps busy with various projects such as serving as a teacher-advisor to the Frontline news show. In this role she provides input from the perspective of an economics teacher on improving the educational materials created by Frontline for its documentaries.