Tara Meister, PhD
Tara joined the faculty of the School of Learning and Teaching in the fall of 2018 as an assistant professor. Her courses include teaching reading, teaching methods, and teacher inquiry/action research. Within her courses and supervision, her work focuses on incorporating culturally responsive and sustaining teaching practices throughout, collaborating with teachers and teacher candidates to conceptualize how to infuse effective and equitable teaching in their contexts. In particular, she problematizes teaching practices that are punitive and highly technocratic to conceive of relational and student-connected work. Previously, Tara taught middle school and high school humanities and English classes in Colorado, and she has experience working with preschool students on an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on math as part of her graduate research.
Dr. Meister earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction at the University of Denver in 2018. Her dissertation interrogated a police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training’s intentions, operation, and reception using critical whiteness. Even though the training intends to offer officers the skills to identify and verbally de-escalate crisis, her work demonstrates the training’s colorblind, objective, and universalist language and orientation, which proliferates harmful material effects—particularly for oft-targeted populations: Black and Brown people and people with mental health needs and with disabilities. She has carried this work into schools to understand how practices and attitudes of teachers and schools connect with the school-to-prison nexus. Dr. Meister writes for peer-reviewed journals and presents at national professional conferences on the influences of racism in teaching and learning environments.