Jennifer Dube

Jennifer Dube

Content Specialist
Instructional Services, Educator Edge

Meet Jennifer Dubé (Iversen). She is a Science Content Specialist and has been on the Instructional Services team since 2017. Jennifeŕ facilitates professional learning with teachers so that they may go back to their classrooms with engaging lessons aligned with the latest New York State Science Learning Standards.

With Jennifer at the helm, teachers put on their “student hats” and experience a new kind of learning—”phenomenon-based learning,” an inquiry-based approach where one learns by observing, questioning, creating and revising scientific models, and collaborating with others. This is much different than the traditional teaching methods of the past, when students may have merely absorbed knowledge without being active participants, explains Jennifer.

“This is an exciting instructional shift where students are much more involved in their learning, and they learn to think critically using not just the discipline of science, but many other subjects as well,” she says. This includes using math calculations and English Language Arts (ELA) skills to make evidence-based claims about what they are observing.

Jennifer has been an educator for 12 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education, specifically Biology 7-12, from SUNY New Paltz; and she earned a master’s degree in Geoscience from Mississippi State University. She holds professional teaching certifications in biology, earth science, chemistry, and general science. Before coming to Ulster BOCES, she taught various classes in science, including Living Environment, Elements of Science, and Life Science at high schools in Middletown, Pine Bush, Kingston, and at the Valley Central School District.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics), which involves design-thinking skills and project-based learning, has been an important focus for science educators in New York, and Jennifer thinks this is a sign we are “moving in the right direction.” She applies a STEAM focus, and a lot more, to the coaching she gives to teachers.

“My vision for education is that students are active scientists, engineers, mathematicians, historians, artists, readers, and writers of the classroom,” she says. “They ask and answer their own questions, define problems, and come up with solutions to those problems. Students work collaboratively with their peers and are creative curators of their own learning that extends beyond the classroom. They are globally literate citizens capable of enacting the change that they want to see in the world.”

Jennifer says that being an active participant in your own learning sometimes means you struggle with getting the answer. Therefore, it is important that students are both challenged and supported as they collaborate with others. Learning also should be connected to their own lives and the real world. “As they go out into the world, students need to be prepared for a future in which many of the careers they will pursue have not yet been created. They must be able to think critically, problem-solve, work in teams, and innovate,” she says.

Jennifer lives with her husband and her stepdaughter, who joins them on weekends. She loves to be active and outdoors, whether that means walking her two dogs, taking fitness classes, playing racquetball, swimming, hiking, biking, or even doing stand-up paddle boarding. She also takes classes in silks, a kind of aerial acrobatics, and even performed in an amateur circus arts show on hammock in 2019. Jennifer has a passion for learning about personalized health, biohacking (a kind of do-it-yourself biology), and longevity, and is a fan of Dr. Rhonda Patrick's work.