Joe Gabent

The History Department is thrilled to welcome Joe Gabent, a UCSC history major graduate, back to campus as this year's Spring Showcase keynote speaker.

April 10, 2018


Joe Gabent is currently in his ninth year of teaching in the Sunnyvale School District, where he instructs fourth and fifth graders. He has served on several leadership committees for his district, including Language Arts, Science, and Technology, and has participated on his school’s leadership team since 2012. Joe has helped mentor new teachers in his classroom and has aided in the professional development of teachers at his school and others in the district.

As education standards have undergone a transformation with the advent of Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in the past few years, Joe's interests and focuses have also shifted, in particular to include more scientific inquiry, engineering design, and technology in the classroom. Beginning with a 2015 summer fellowship through Silicon Valley non-profit Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (now Ignite), which placed him at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, he has taken some of the ideas at the core of engineering design and integrated them into multiple content areas. He is also part of the BaySci Champions program at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, another organization dedicated to building a community of like-minded educators and helping them teach inquiry-based science. Recently Joe was involved as both an appraiser and a coach with Destination Imagination, an organization/competition that poses a set of project-based challenges that student teams must solve using critical thinking, engineering design, and creativity.

During his time in the History Department at UCSC Joe focused primarily on modern United States history. He was specifically interested in how "the ideas that would eventually become the foundation of modern American culture and political life were shaped and reshaped over the last century" as well as "group thought, consumer behavior, propaganda, mass persuasion, and how the strategies of the public relations field change the way people think about themselves in order to market things to them, such as products, politicians, ideas, etc." Joe also recieived a minor in Education, and went on to complete the UCSC Education Department’s MAT program in 2009, earning a teaching credential and Masters Degree in Education.

In Joe’s talk, “Teacher or Student: Lifelong Learning,” he will discuss how the study of history prepared him to be an educator, how he passes those same skills on to his students, and how choosing to become an educator also means never losing the identity of being a student. “The skills I learned as a history major have always been very valuable to me as a teacher. I use research to learn about and implement teaching practices, data analysis to assess student learning and adjust teaching strategies, critical thinking to plan meaningful lessons and projects, and communication to connect with both students and parents.”

After living in Santa Cruz for 25 years, Joe recently relocated to San Jose in order to be closer to his school.

See Also