Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2008 Alumni Washington Fellow
Bio/Overview: Eckert is currently an Assistant Professor of Education at Wheaton College. Over the last 16 years, Eckert has taught and learned from elementary school students, college students, professional educators, and policy makers. Eckert began teaching fifth grade public school students in 1996. Since that first teaching job, Eckert has taught students in fourth grade through college outside of Chicago and Nashville. After 12 years in the classroom and after his year as a 2008 Washington Fellow, Eckert joined the faculty of his alma mater, Wheaton College, a small liberal arts college 25 miles west of Chicago. In addition to teaching outstanding pre-service teachers, Eckert has continued his research and policy work in teaching effectiveness and related issues.
Educational Values/Philosophy: John Dewey wrote, "I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living." The process of living to which Dewey refers lies in the tension between theory and practice, truth and relationship.
Achievements: In 2008, Eckert was a keynote speaker at the G8 / Broader Middle East North Africa Summit. Eckert delivered an address on teacher quality to education ministers and other education leaders from 34 countries. Since his time as a Washington Fellow, Eckert has received the 2011 Scholar Award for research he is conducting on teacher preparation from the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. Eckert also received the 2011-2012 Junior Faculty Achievement Award from Wheaton College for outstanding achievement in research and teaching. Eckert has published in Education Week, Phi Delta Kappan, and in peer-reviewed journals. He has presented papers to audiences on Capitol Hill, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Press Club.
Leadership Experience: Eckert was the director and founder of Ultimate Sports and Science Camp, a camp that engaged students in chemistry, physics, and sports. As a Washington Fellow, Eckert serve in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and later in the Office of the Secretary, working on policy issues related to school leadership, teacher compensation, as well as teacher quality. Since then, Eckert has conducted research for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and the Center for Teaching Quality. During the Spring of 2011, Eckert led a team of 12 current and former Teaching Ambassador Fellows to develop case studies of 12 districts around the country that have productive labor-management relationships. These findings have been shared with state chiefs from the 12 Race to the Top States as well as at the 2012 American Educational Research Association annual meeting.
Affiliations: American Educational Research Association, Center for Teaching Quality, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Phi Delta Kappa International
Education: Eckert holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wheaton College, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Technology-Integrated Instruction from Benedictine University, and a doctorate in Leadership, Policy, and Organization from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher preparation
- Educator compensation
- Measures of teaching effectiveness
- Labor-management relations
- School leadership