College of Education

Moyers Named to State Advisory Committee


SUMMARY: Kirk Moyers (‘08M) has been named to the State Advisory Committee on Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices.

Harrisonburg City Public School’s Kirk Moyers (‘08M) has been named to the State Advisory Committee on Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices. This newly formed committee within the Virginia Department of Education is intended to strengthen culturally relevant education practices and support anti-bias education and response in the Commonwealth.

Moyers, the Secondary Social Studies Coordinator for HCPS, also works with many other equity-based programs. He says his experience at James Madison in the Educational Leadership Master’s program prepared him to look at the big picture and foster solid relationships. He says, “All decisions, whether it’s budgetary or program-based, have to start with the question ‘What is best for the students we serve?’”

I think we're realizing that our social studies standards don't truly represent the complexity of the history of our state and nation.  Textbooks and "traditional" history are very limiting on what history is told--typically only the lens of those in power.  But to understand the complexities of history, we have to understand the viewpoints of those not traditionally seen in textbooks.  When we talk about celebrating the diversity of our country, we need to respect and learn about the perspectives of all these groups related to the events of history.  If our students only hear the European perspective of events, then the perspective of the powerful, it becomes a very one-sided version of events.  By studying multiple perspectives and looking at the writings of different cultures and groups, we can better understand how we got here. History is not always (or ever) pretty and is often hard.  We can't ignore this history because it's hard--we need to teach kids the complexities of the issues, show the parts that may be ugly, and help kids learn how to come to their own conclusions. 

One of the things Moyers appreciated about the Educational Leadership Master’s program here in the College of Education is learning from so many professors who had real administrative knowledge to call upon in their classrooms: “Dr. Denise Perritt, Dr. John Kidd, and Dr. GJ Tarazi were all valuable with their practical experience.”

As for students who are just beginning their education coursework and careers? Moyers says to always keep your students and their needs in the forefront of your mind and “do right by them.…Students won’t likely remember a particular lesson or lecture, but they will remember how you made them feel.” Students and teachers rely on each other for success. Working together ensures success for everyone.

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Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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