I have experience with middle and high school teacher professional development, classroom discussions (middle to graduate school), community gatherings and presentations.
I have used Listening Circles, Talking Circles, and Peacemaking Circles.
Areas of Interest and Service
I use social issues documentary films and related curricula, both created by Upstander Project, where I am the learning director, to introduce teachers and students to unexamined and often disavowed chapters from human social history to help more people become upstanders and strengthen social and emotional skills. We blend content and methods that are conducive to respect for human rights and dignity, and I do much of my teaching using Listening Circles. Most of my teacher workshops begin and end with Circle, and much of my classroom teaching includes Circles.
Mishy Lesser is the learning director for the Upstander Project and Education Fellow at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is co-director of the Upstander Academy, a weeklong professional learning experience for teachers and museum educators that focuses on genocide and decolonization and the skills of upstanders. Currently Dr. Lesser spends much of her time researching and writing the teachers’ and viewers’ guides for Dear Georgina and Bounty. Mishy authored the twelve-lesson Dawnland Teacher’s Guide to help students explore the relationship between the taking of the land and the taking of the children, and the four-lesson Coexist Teacher’s Guide to promote learning about the complexity of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. She is a Circle Keeper and has been featured on WBUR (Boston) and PRI/BBC’s The World. Mishy was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador and spent 12 years learning and working in the Andes.