“I’m in a position to truly support teachers and the students they serve.”

Dr. Jennifer Mangrum, 52, Clinical Assistant Professor in Teacher Education 

Jennifer Mangrum grew up in North Carolina in a household in which both parents were elementary teachers.

Now, as a Clinical Assistant professor at UNC GreensboroDr. Jennifer Mangrum is a teacher’s teacher.

“Schools have always been important to me. Teachers have always supported me and now I’m in a position to truly support teachers and the students they serve.”

Jennifer, 52, believes her mission is to be a public servant and advocate on behalf of teachers and students. This and her passion for Paideia, a method of active learning, led her to earn her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at UNC Greensboro. She works with teachers locally, statewide and throughout the country and serves on the faculty for the National Paideia Center as well as their Board of Directors.

The Paideia Philosophy requires students to create authentic products that demonstrate what they’ve learned in class and the opportunity to share these with a real audience. “Kids are motivated in producing things. It’s important to keep them active and engaged.”

Paideia helps students’ self-confidence, build better written and oral communication skills and lessen behavioral issues. This method, developed in the early 1980s is now being used across the country as a way to engage students in active learning.

Jennifer also helped launch the STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative in UNC Greensboro’s School of Education. This initiative supports elementary teachers’ efforts to teach science & engineering practices in the classroom.  “In our STEM project, we want to provide teachers and students with real engineering problems that require them to negotiate, explain and expand on their ideas, and talk the language of science.”

“It’s so rewarding to collaborate with teachers and experience reciprocal learning. We learn as much about teaching and learning as they do about engineering. We’ve found that teachers have clear visions of what their classrooms should be like and we want to support them in their efforts to make those visions a reality.”

“I want people to want to be teachers and have a meaningful impact on others.”

Another of Jennifer’s passions is Hooked on Books with the Teague Foundation. Every year her UNC Greensboro students are paired with 3rd and 4th grade students from Archer Elementary for this program. A few times a year, her UNC Greensboro students are paired with these new young friends. Together they eat lunch and then visit Barnes & Noble bookstore with money provided by the Teague Foundation to pick out and purchase new books for their personal home library.

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