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Teaching to Learn: Through Instructing, Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell Gets an Education Too

Written by Alyssa Figueroa
12/10/2009

Assistant Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell. Photo by Caylena Cahill '10

Sean Eversley Bradwell, assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE), believes in the saying, “The more I learn, the less I know.” 

He constructs his classes based on that philosophy, walking into classrooms as a coparticipant in the learning process. “I don’t teach what I know; I teach what I want to learn,” he says.

“That’s what keeps my classes fresh and exciting.”

Quote from Assistant Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell.

After earning his undergraduate degree in political science and a master’s degree in education from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in policy, analysis, and management at Cornell University, Eversley Bradwell began working at Ithaca College in 2001 in the Center for Teacher Education.

In 2005 he moved to CSCRE, where he currently teaches classes such as Critical Race Theories in the United States and Hip-Hop Cultures.    

Assistant Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell. Photo by Caylena Cahill '10

Assistant Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell. Photo by Caylena Cahill '10


In his classroom, he puts as much responsibility and ownership on students as possible. Instead of lecturing, he facilitates conversation to get students thinking in different ways.

“Most students come here to obtain knowledge, as if they don’t impart knowledge or can’t create their own knowledge,” he says. “I’m trying to get them to create new ways of thinking about the world.”

Quote from Assistant Professor Sean Eversley Bradwell.

Natalie King ’12, who took Eversley Bradwell’s Introduction to African Diaspora Studies last year, says he may be the most challenging professor she’s ever had.

“The discussions, debates, and insights of each class took us down new avenues that we didn’t know existed,” she says. “Sean is extremely talented in provoking his students to think in different perspectives.”

Eversley Bradwell uses a variety of media in his classes—books, film, audio, the Internet—and though he may teach a course with the same title semester after semester, he always changes the material to keep the learning process going. “Otherwise knowledge gets stale,” he says.

“And knowledge is never static.”

Active both at the College and in the community, Eversley Bradwell serves on the President’s Advisory Committee for Diversity, as faculty-in-residence for the MLK Scholar Program, and on the Ithaca City School Board.

He is also a member of several academic services on campus and a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer.

Eager to encourage dialogue, Eversley Bradwell wants to get students to start thinking differently and talking about those differences in order to discover more about themselves and others.

“An excellent class is one that inspires conversations outside of the classroom.”



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