Joanne Marciano and Vaughn Watson (Ed. D., Curriculum & Teaching)
Published in Convocation
Marciano and Watson stand as a new TC first: a married couple who earned their doctoral degrees in the same program, taught English at the same high school, and defended their doctoral dissertations on the same day. Along the way, they’ve been raising two children.
Life before TC
As the products of families with many educators, Watson and Mariano naturally vowed never to go into teaching. “My dad is a retired high school science teacher,” Marciano says. “I used to think, how can he go off to work and do the same thing every day, but I’ve since come to understand how dynamic teaching really is.”
The two met working at The Providence Journal, where Watson wrote about popular music and Marciano had just signed on as a new reporter. Both left journalism for graduate school and a teaching role with the New York City Teaching Fellows. And both ended up teaching high school English full-time at the Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn (featured in the recent New York Times series, “The Invisible Child,” about homeless students).
“We shared interest in conceptualizing and enacting research based on our classroom teaching experiences that asserts an assets-based approach in examining the popular- and college-going practices and literacies of Black and Latina/o youth,” says Watson, whose dissertation is titled "Literacies Learning, (Re)imagining Identities, and Envisioning Civic Imaginaries: Youth Remixing Discourses of Production." Marciano’s dissertation is titled “Toward Culturally Relevant Peer Interactions: Exploring the College-Going Processes and New Media Literacy Practices of Black and Latina/o Youth.”
“We've navigated raising a family; full-time public-school teaching; and doctoral studies through constant communication; an encouraging network of faculty mentors, family, friends, and writing-group peers, and continued equal support of one another's work.”
“Post-TC, our goal is to engage research and teaching as university faculty,” says Watson. “I think part of striking a balance is we're equally committed to teaching – Joanne is finishing up her 12th year; I'm in my 11th – and we see our research agendas as simultaneously building upon existing research literature, as well as our respective studies, and our lived experiences as teachers and learners in public schools.”