PROVIDENCE – Moses Brown School is pleased to welcome Dr. Gara Field as Director of Global Education, a newly created position. An acclaimed and innovative educator with deep experience working with children and faculty at all levels, Field comes to MB from Pleasant View Elementary School in the Manton neighborhood of Providence, where she was principal since 2011. She also has been a professor of educational psychology at the University of Georgia, a teacher and administrator at New Hampton School (New Hampshire) and Pace Academy (Georgia), and an instructor for Outward Bound in Minnesota.
Named Providence’s Elementary Principal of the Year in 2013, Field is a well-published and nationally-recognized scholar whose work has been featured by PBS News Hour. A specialist in blended and gifted learning, Field was invited in 2014 to speak at the White House about her work. During her tenure at Pleasant View she secured more than $3.5 million in state and federal grants in support of her innovative model for school transformation.
In her new position at MB, Field will be responsible for coordinating and accelerating the vision for global education articulated in the school’s strategic plan. Seeking to foster in students a constellation of critical, 21st-century skills, she will play a major role in guiding MB’s applied learning, travel, and service programs. MB’s national search for a Director of Global Education attracted high interest this past spring, with over 100 dossiers received from a slate of highly qualified candidates.
Field holds a B.A. (Mass Communication) and M.A. (Intercultural Communication) from the University of Hartford, an M.Ed. (School Leadership) from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. (Educational Psychology, Curriculum, and Instruction) from the University of Connecticut. A lifelong athlete, Field captained the Division 1 women’s soccer team at the University of Hartford, and successfully coached three high school girls’ basketball teams to New England championships.
“I was immediately intrigued by the Director of Global Education position at Moses Brown,” Field says. “I relish opportunities to innovate and collaborate with MB faculty, students, and families to make manifest the school’s vision around Expert Thinking, Global Awareness, and Ethical Leadership.” Field also is excited to return to the classroom as a history teacher. Her educational philosophy is greatly influenced by John Dewey’s call for a child-centered curriculum based on experiential learning — this also drew her to MB. “My responsibility as an educator is to make learning personal, relative, and meaningful within the context of self, society, and the world. Teaching should be a catalyst for self-knowledge and world understanding.”
As an Outward Bound alumna and instructor, Field knows firsthand how direct experience can boost classroom learning in deep ways. “As Director of Global Education and a new member of the MB faculty, I will make every effort to inspire young people to pursue and embrace knowledge, compassion, goodness, and an understanding of themselves, and the world they inhabit,” Field says.
Field’s background and expertise will dovetail well with Moses Brown’s emphasis on Project-Based Learning and TRIPs initiatives; this summer, MB groups made the world their classroom in Washington, D.C., the White Mountains, the Greater Yellowstone Basin, Cuba, New York City, the Rocky Mountains, and The Hague, Netherlands.
Field will get a chance to experience and demonstrate Moses Brown’s local and global engagement in her first week of school, when the MB upper school spreads across Providence for its annual start-of-school Service Day this Friday, September 9. She’ll be assisting the Providence Parks Department at Blackstone Park, helping to remove invasive Norway maples.
Founded in 1784, Moses Brown School is an independent, college preparatory school in Providence, Rhode Island, enrolling 775 boys and girls, nursery through grade 12. The school’s founder – an innovative thinker, philanthropist, and entrepreneur named Moses Brown – envisioned a progressive school that defined excellence. Today, his Quaker school continues to help children reach their full potential, and to do both well and good in the world. For more information, visit www.mosesbrown.org.