Jacqueline Simmons, Ed.D. designs curricula, produces films, and leads professional development workshops with local and international non-profit organizations, schools and universities, museums, and foundations. Her work involves the design of curricula and pedagogical approaches for challenging topics, such as the history of American slavery, and complex sociopolitical issues, such as resilience and innovation among vulnerable populations across the globe. She has conducted research and led capacity building workshops in Afghanistan, Kenya, Palestine, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the UK and in cities across the US.
Jacqueline is a Senior Lecturer and the Vice Chair of the Curriculum & Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also serves as Program Director for the Master of Education and Master of Arts degree programs in curriculum studies. Her teaching and research examines the design, theory, and critical analysis of curricula with particular attention to youth and communities, media, and multimodality.
She is co-creator of a curriculum lab called Black Paint, a collaborative space to reimagine possibilities for curriculum making through investigations of place, materiality, and affective ways of knowing.
Education with Purpose
I have worked in the field of education for many years and in many different roles - as a teacher, non-profit administrator, academic researcher, university lecturer, and consultant. Throughout two decades of professional work, I have come to think of education as inherently innovative and interdisciplinary, involving fields outside of traditional schooling including art & design, film, and community-based initiatives. I hold firm to practices of deep inquiry, self-reflection, and critical analysis as foundational, and try to push others to think of learning as something that is human rather than exclusively institutional.
Learn more about my vision and approach.
Consulting and Research
My research and work with clients incorporates creative pedagogies that inspire imaginative approaches for learning in a wide range of content areas and professional fields.
Projects include curriculum design, professional development, and public programs.
Develop intellectually grounded curricula to guide teaching and learning for schools, professional fields, and community-based organizations.
and Leadership Training
Design and facilitate workshops and professional development frameworks to prepare educators and non profit leaders to deepen professional practices and engage in strategic planning using skills of critical analysis and inquiry.
Programs and Lectures
Guest lecture and design multimedia programs on topics related to curriculum design, theorizing about knowledge, and pedagogical innovation.
All of my courses approach curriculum design as a process of negotiation and decision-making that is a living, breathing, ongoing and iterative engagement with ideas, rather than as simply the creation of static curriculum guides or educational products to be implemented by teachers with learners. In my work and in my teaching, I urge educators to imagine curriculum as more than a series of facilitated activities or opportunities to generate data about effective learning. This means that we must integrate deliberation about knowledge - what we choose to teach and why - into the design of lessons, activities, and workshops that engage learners and teachers in intellectual journeys.
Designing Curriculum & Instruction
This course offers an introduction to curriculum design and development. We explore differing theoretical visions for curriculum as we begin to construct our own views of the role and purpose of knowledge beyond content and teaching materials. We also study practical frameworks for designing curriculum and instruction that enable us to prioritize, focus, and assess learning experiences. As a culmination of class learning, students work collaboratively to co-design a useful curriculum for a specific audience.
Advanced Curriculum Design
This doctoral seminar prepares advanced graduate students for theoretically grounded professional work as curriculum designers. The course invites deep discussion of curriculum theories and complex ideas about curriculum content that may seem perplexing or not easily applicable to the more practical negotiations involved in curriculum design. Students help to shape the syllabus by proposing theoretical perspectives to guide the selection of required readings. We then work together as a collaborative design team to create a curriculum for an authentic client, which will provide essential modeling for professional design work.
Curriculum in Neighborhood Spaces:
Placed Based Curriculum Design
This hybrid course serves as an accessible introduction to curriculum design, or as an extension to more comprehensive curriculum design courses. The course is suitable for non-degree professionals in a range of fields with little experience designing curriculum, as well as for knowledgeable educators and graduate students with a background in teaching. We explore curriculum as place-based, and curriculum design as a sensed (emotive, physical, and imaginative) creation of knowledge and experiences. Students learn to incorporate curriculum walks into the design of original lesson plans for their specific populations and content areas.
All courses offered through the Department of Curriculum & Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University