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JoAnn Groh is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of two small schools: Paulo Freire Freedom School University and Paulo Freire Freedom School Downtown, middle schools that uses interdisciplinary PBL as its instructional methodology and has a social justice/environmental sustainability curricular focus.
In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher and small school Principal, JoAnn has consulted with schools around the country on a variety of educational issues. She worked as a Teaching & Learning and Literacy Coach with the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative, a large school reform effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and KnowledgeWorks Foundation. She has worked with turnaround schools coaching leadership teams on the use of instructional rounds and the creation of professional learning communities.
She is a National Facilitator for the School Reform Initiative training educators in facilitative leadership of PLCs using the critical friendship model. In addition to her work with project based learning, she delivers professional development on student-driven inquiry and school-based professional learning models. In 1998, she received a national award from NEA for her work with teachers.
JoAnn received her B.A. in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, and her secondary teaching credential in Social Studies from Mills College. She taught middle & high school humanities for over 20 years, using interdisciplinary PBL units, and, when her schedule permits it, she continues to work in the classroom where her passion remains.