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Session Descriptions: Day 2 PM Block: Murphy

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Creating a Questioning Culture
August 9, 1:00-2:30pm

Erica DeVoe
, Secondary English Teacher/Department Chair, Westerly Public Schools
@Mrs_DeVoe | Email 
Amanda MurphySocial Studies Teacher/Senior Project Coordinator, Westerly Public Schools

@abmurphy22

  • All Audiences
  • Audience cap: 42
  • Participant devices (tablet, iPad, laptop) are recommended for this session but not required

Education has typically been an answer oriented institution. Students have traditionally been asked to seek and provide answers, while teachers are evaluated on their ability to ask deep, thought provoking questions. Where the conflict arises is when teachers are asked to inspire questioning from students, but students struggle to break out of the "receive and respond" cycle into a more proactive cycle of "question and explore". Amanda and Erica will present a strategy to help teachers at all levels, across all content areas, with students and colleagues.


Erica DeVoe has been teaching for 12 years in the English department at Westerly High School and is in her 5th year as the Department Chairperson. She earned her BS from the University of Connecticut in Human Development and Family Studies and, after a year of traveling and earning her teaching credentials, she settled in Westerly. She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Scranton in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008 and became a Nationally Board Certified teacher in Adolescent and Young Adult ELA in 2013.

In 2015, Erica joined the second cohort of Fuse Fellows through RI's Highlander Institute, which helps scale blended learning practices across RI. She is most passionate about engaging students in relevant and meaningful curriculum and encouraging teachers and students to embrace productive struggle in the classroom.

Amanda Murphy has been teaching at Westerly High School in Rhode Island for 13 years. She received her B.S. in Social Studies Education from Boston University. Her teaching experience has been divided between the social studies classroom and as the school’s senior project coordinator since 2009.

Amanda was recently hired by Westerly Public Schools as a tech liaison, working above and beyond her teaching responsibilities to bring new opportunities for staff to explore digital technologies and their role in the traditional curricular setting.

Along with her work with URI's Summer Institute, Amanda is a Fuse RI Fellow with the Highlander Institute helping spread blended learning to classrooms throughout Rhode Island. Amanda's passion for purposeful implementation of technology has spread into her classroom along with implementing student authored websites as a component of the senior project, an opportunity for students to create, collaborate, and share their expertise about their senior passion projects.

Amanda is invested in helping the principles and ideals of digital literacy spread to colleagues, students, and parents.

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