The accomplished panelists represented BHSEC math and science faculty. They were: Benjamin Mikesh, MS, JD, BHSEC Manhattan physics faculty member; Julia Robinson-Surry, PhD, BHSEC Queens chemistry faculty member; Gabriel Rosenberg, PhD, BHSEC Manhattan mathematics faculty member; and Dumaine Williams, PhD, BHSEC Newark Dean of Students/Assistant Principal, and member of the biology department. The faculty members were joined on the panel by Leon Botstein, President of Bard College .
Pamela Mills, PhD, Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College and founder of the PERC Program (Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom), a model that uses peer teaching as a means to prepare high school students for college, moderated the discussion. At times, Dr. Mills threw curveball questions at the panelists, encouraging them to speak candidly about their approaches in the classroom and their effectiveness.
Remarks from the panelists were wide-ranging and well delivered. A great deal of emphasis was placed on the necessity of students embracing ambiguity and uncertainty in the classroom. President Botstein remarked about the “murder” of the inquisitive nature of children that often takes place in early schooling. He believes the ninth grade at the BHSEC schools offers the opportunity to reawaken the innate curiosity about how the world works within students.
BHSEC would like to extend special thanks to all who made the BHSEC Breakfast and Commentary possible, with enormous gratitude to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, who hosted the event in their beautiful space in Times Square and Dr. Pamela Mills who skillfully moderated the discussion.