STEM Outreach Director Elizabeth Waters Co-Published in the 2021 OJSS

POSTED ON: September 2, 2021


Dr. Elizabeth M. Waters, Director of Cooper’s STEM Outreach, has collaborated with Lesley University and the Inquiring Minds Institute on a recent publication in the Oregon Journal of the Social Studies (Vol. 9 No.1). 

The publication, “Grow Good Citizens: Educating for Civic Hearts and Minds in a Complex Democracy,” outlines how educators can guide the development of civic values, civic-mindedness, and, ultimately, the civic heart of a child. The developmental framework lays the groundwork to recognize and employ small learning moments beginning in early childhood and continuing through high school when values are in conflict and students are ready to grapple with the complexities of democracy.

“I'm excited by this work as it lays out a framework for educators to develop learning environments that support curiosity and civic engagement,” Waters shares, “It's not curriculum- the students don't need to change- rather the adults practice recognizing and elevating opportunities to use teachable moments. Recognizing the child’s voice and perspective during challenging situations gives them agency and allows them opportunities to practice skills needed in a democracy.”

Co-authors on the recent publication includes Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce, Associate Dean of Lesley University; DK Holland, designer/writer and Co-Founder of Inquiring Minds Institute; and Teresita Galarce Crain, journalist currently working on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

You can read the full publication here.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.