Yvette Jackson

National Urban Alliance

Expert: Yvette Jackson

On September 15, 2012 the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Educators Voice Awards honored Yvette Jackson for “Education Policy/Researcher of the Year.”

Yvette is driven to provide and promote pedagogy that enables students who are disenfranchised and marginalized to demonstrate their strengths and innate intellectual potential. Changing this reality for these students to one in which this potential is believed in, valued and optimized has been Yvette’s calling for her entire career.

She has applied her research in neuroscience, gifted education, literacy, and the cognitive mediation theory of the eminent cognitive psychologist, Dr. Reuven Feuerstein to develop integrated processes that engage and elicit high intellectual performances from underachievers. This work is the basis for her book, Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools (Teachers College Press, 2011) which received the 2012 ForeWord Reviews’ Silver Book Award.

Her latest books, Fearless Leading: Transforming Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership and Unlocking Student Potential: How do I identify and activate student strengths? co-authored with Veronica McDermott and published by ASCD, feature her work in creating the environments for the Pedagogy of Confidence, and the resultant student strengths, to flourish.

Yvette was a teacher and has served New York City Public Schools as Director of Gifted Programs (developing the NYC Gifted Programs Framework) and Executive Director of Instruction and Professional Development (creating and implementing the Comprehensive Education Plan, designed to maximize the delivery of all core curriculum and support services in the Public Schools of New York City).

Yvette has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, founded at the College Board and Teachers College. She continues to work with school districts to customize and systemically deliver the collegial, strengths-based High Operational Practices of the Pedagogy of Confidence that integrate culture, language and cognition to engage and elicit the innate potential of ALL students (especially those who are disenfranchised and marginalized) for self-actualization and contributions to our world. Yvette has translated the concepts of the Pedagogy of Confidence into precepts for informing educational leadership required for transforming urban districts to optimize the learning success of the students whom they serve.

She applies this work into her syllabus as adjunct professor in the Urban Education Leadership Program (UELP) at Teachers College, Columbia University as well as in her roles as Visiting Scholar for the Panasonic Foundation, Escola Sesc de Ensino Medio in Rio De Janeiro, Brasil and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University’s Urban Superintendent’s Program; the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) at Stanford University; the Feuerstein Institute, Israel, and Thinking Schools International, UK.

Yvette, a life-long teacher, is a lover and student of the arts. She studied dance at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance and enjoyed the dramatic arts through acting in television, theatre and film. She received a BA from Queens College CUNY with a double major in French and Education, and a MA in Curriculum Design, an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in Educational Administration all from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her passion is assisting teachers in cultivating their confidence and competence to unlock the giftedness in all students.

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