Dr. Nita Paris, Professor of Educational Psychology, received the KSU Foundation's Outstanding Teaching Award for 2016. As stated by the KSU Foundation, this award is given in recognition of "excellence in teaching practices that reflect the highest standards in pedagogy, a record of outstanding teaching effectiveness within and outside the classroom, the ability to inspire, promote, and sustain the intellectual development of students, course and program development, fostering of critical thinking and independent inquiry of students".
Dr. Paris states, "'Teacher as provocateur' is a powerful metaphor for me and it captures the essence of who I am as a professor. As teacher educators, we challenge our students--who are or will be teachers--to question; to wonder; to act. My philosophy is grounded in the belief that one’s role as a teacher educator is to teach in ways that provoke, unsettle, trouble, and stir teachers to question their own practices and to empower them to make changes."
Dr. Paris's expertise in middle and secondary education and educational psychology arises from nearly 30 years of teaching and leadership experience in public schools and higher education. She maintains currency of practice through an active teaching, research, and scholarship agenda focused on adolescent development, metaphors of teaching, and metaphors of leadership of practicing educators. Her work is primarily with experienced educators who are pursuing their Ed.S. or Ed.D. degrees.