Horace Mann Middle School teacher Anna Zimmers is one of 16 teachers nationwide selected to participate in a five-week summer seminar on Punishment, Politics and Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Zimmers received her tuition-free fellowship through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides opportunities for K-12 educators to study humanities topics. The course will take place June 28-July 31.
Punishment, Politics and Culture explores the connections between punishment and politics with particular reference to the contemporary American situation. It will look at how crime and punishment has been politicized in recent national elections as well as the racialization of punishment in the United States. The course will question whether the country punishes too much and too severely or too little and too leniently.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to engage in academic discourse with educators from around the country and to become more proficient with the socratic seminar,” said Zimmers, who teaches Horace Mann’s magnet program. “How different civilizations view crime and punishment sheds light on culture and values and can be a powerful lens through which to study humanity, especially for adolescents.
“I am hopeful, that through this seminar, I will be able to bring a different level of engagement to my classroom that challenges both me and my students to become more critical thinkers and effective communicators.”
Zimmers was chosen through an application process that included an essay and letters of recommendation.