STEM Instructional Coach & Inquiry Specialist
Diane Kruse is a Math/Science/Technology Domain Leader at Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, a small secondary school focused on performance based assessment and personalization of student learning. She oversees curriculum, instruction, and assessment in math and science; supervises and evaluates the math and science faculty; and teaches several math classes each term. Diane served as STEM Instructional Coach, and Inquiry Specialist, in the i3 New England Network for Personalization and Performance. In this role she worked closely with STEM faculty at several schools to provide customized workshops and support as they changed their instructional practices. Diane also provided workshops at Summer Institutes on inquiry-based instruction and performance assessment for STEM.
Diane has taught high school math for eighteen years in a variety of different schools, including two alternative schools for kids at risk, an international school, as well as traditional public schools. She has led a number of workshops and professional development sessions on performance assessment, inquiry based instruction, senior projects and curriculum design. Diane is a trained Critical Friends Group coach. She is the co-author of What if Less is Just Less? The Role of Depth Over Breadth in the Secondary Mathematics Curriculum (2007), and the Coalition of Essential Schools’ (CES) Essential Visions Professional Development Toolkit. In the above-mentioned toolkit, Diane served as a model practitioner—providing classroom footage and reflective interviews to illustrate the principle of “less is more; depth over breadth” in mathematics teaching.
For Diane, the most enduring impact of the i3 New England Network is that students will be more deeply engaged in, and invested in, their own educations. She has seen teachers asking great questions about how they can make their classes relevant and exciting, and how to get students to ask more questions and pursue their own investigations. Coaching in the i3 New England Network has had a profound impact on her own professional practice as well. Diane had the opportunity to articulate more clearly why she makes the choices she does in her own classroom. She has a better understanding of the critical importance of real questions and authentic discourse in the mathematics classroom. Diane has a renewed respect for just how difficult – and rewarding – this work really is.
Diane has a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a M.Ed. in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She is driven to find ways to make math relevant and to help kids uncover the power of their own minds, even if they think they are not good at math. In her own teaching, she is very interested in encouraging problem posing and mathematical modeling to foster curiosity and rigorous thinking.