Alan Singer is a professor of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership and the director for social studies education programs. Dr. Singer is a former New York City high school social studies teacher and is editor of Social Science Docket, a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for the Social Studies. He is the author of Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011), New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY Press, Excelsior Editions, 2008), Social Studies for Secondary Schools (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2008), and editor of a 268-page secondary school curriculum guide, New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance. In 2011, the Long Island Conference for the Social Studies awarded Dr. Singer the Mark Rothman Teacher Mentoring Award, for his commitment to students and continued excellence in education.
He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Rutgers University and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (4)
Social Studies Education
United States History
History of Slavery
Teaching race. ethnicity and class
Mark Rothman Teacher Mentoring Award
2011 Long Island Conference for the Social Studies
2015 – 2016 New York Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award (professional)
Dr. Alan Singer won the 2015 – 2016 New York Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award, which is given to an individual who exemplifies the best in professional social studies education in New York State.
Rutgers University: PhD 1982
Rutgers University: MA 1974
City University of New York-Brooklyn College: BA 1971
Media Appearances (21)
Transition to high school becomes more troublesome because of COVID-19
"The two big things that they are missing are the collaboration among students and the direct academic, emotional support" from teachers, said Alan Singer, a Hofstra University professor of secondary education. "It's hurting their education."
In Capitol riot, educators see a teaching moment
School of Education professor Alan Singer, a former high school social studies teacher, spoke with Newsday about how teachers can approach discussing the US Capitol riot with students. “It’s crucial to teach about this right away,” Dr. Singer said. “Kids are learning about American society and government firsthand, they’re nervous about the COVID vaccine, they’re anxious about online learning and dealing with the isolation — and in the midst of all this, they see a riot attacking the United States Capitol.”
2020's Best and Worst States for Teachers
School of Education Professor Alan Singer was featured in a WalletHub.com feature on “2020’s Best and Worst States for Teachers.” Dr. Singer shares his expert advice on the biggest challenges facing teachers, performance-based compensation, and how communities can attract and retain the best teachers, among other topics.
N.Y. Fire Department Replaces Name on Its Highest Award, Citing Racist Past
The New York Times print
"For 150 years, the James Gordon Bennett Medal has been one of the highest honors in the New York City Fire Department. Since 1869, the award has been given to firefighters who climb awnings to save families from burning buildings, or pull children from flames. Awarded annually for valor above and beyond the call of duty, it is akin to a Medal of Honor for the fire service. But the medal was not named for a firefighter or a public servant. Mr. Bennett, who endowed the award in 1869 after firefighters saved his upstate home from a blaze, was the publisher of The New York Herald newspaper, where he pushed racist and segregationist views during the Civil War. On Tuesday, the Fire Department announced it would strip Mr. Bennett’s name from the medal, citing his history of using racist language. 'The United States is in the midst of a Civil War. And James Gordon Bennett, to discredit the Civil War effort to unify the nation, employs racist rhetoric,' said Alan J. Singer, a professor at Hofstra University who has studied Mr. Bennett’s history. 'That is unacceptable at that time and any time.'"
Citizen’s Arrest - How Is This Still a Law?
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tv
School of Education Professor Alan Singer was featured recently on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in a segment titled “Citizen’s Arrest – How Is This Still a Law?” The piece looks at the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and why those accused of his murder were able to evade arrest for an extended period of time.
Hard Post-Pandemic Lessons Ahead for NY Schools
Long Island Press print
In an op-ed for the Long Island Press, School of Education Professor Alan Singer discusses the post-pandemic needs that are ahead for K-12 schools, including additional funding and a smooth transition back to classroom learning.
Reimagining Education: How Big Will Technology’s Role Be When Students, Teachers Return To Class?
WCBS-TV News tv
It’s almost certain the face-to-face learning students have always known is not what they’ll encounter in the fall. Education policy expert and Hofstra University professor Alan Singer, a former high school teacher, believes increasing remote learning could be devastating. “All of a sudden we have champions emerging who are claiming that online instructino is the wave of the future,” said Singer. “What they’re proposing is that online instruction can be done for the cheap, and the reality is when you invest in the cheap, you get substandard.”
Education “Reformers” Jump on Online Instruction
Daily Kos online
In his Daily Kos blog, School of Education Professor Alan Singer, a former high school teacher and an expert on education policy, discusses why plans by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “reimagine” traditional school settings in favor of using more technology and distance learning will never replace the benefits of in-person schooling.
Lesson 1 for parents trying to fill the days
Alan Singer, professor in the School of Education and an expert on public education issues, wrote a column for Newsday offering tips for parents who are agonizing over how to keep their children engaged and occupied while K-12 schools are closed for the coronavirus crisis. “I know you can’t replace their teachers. Relax,” he writes. “Your kids will survive and will catch up on missed instruction when they go back to school.” Among his tips are to set up a flexible schedule; allow older children to help teach younger siblings; negotiate screen time; use baking as a means to teach math and measurement; and set up a weather station in the backyard.
Remote learning is lesson plan for LI schools due to coronavirus
Alan Singer, professor in the School of Education and an expert on public education issues, was quoted in a Newsday article about coronavirus forcing the statewide closure of K-12 schools and requiring districts to implement remote learning. Dr. Singer said this may cause the school year to extend into the summer.
News Closeup: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
Alan Singer, PhD, a professor in the School of Education, was a guest on WPIX’s Sunday program, “News Close-Up,” to discuss the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Longwood High School criticized for 'racist' depiction of black students
Alan Singer, a historian and professor of education at Hofstra University, said the racist trope of comparing African Americans to apes — therefore making them less human than whites — dates back generations and was used to justify slavery and Jim Crow segregation. "Comments like this should never be made, particularly by a science teacher, even in jest," Singer said. "The wounds are just too deep."
Hempstead School Board Members Take Exception To Intervention Proposal, Fight For Independence In Albany
WCBS-TV News tv
Dr. Alan Singer, School of Education professor and expert on public education issues, weighed in on the recent proposal for state intervention in the Hempstead School District in a CBS 2 News segment. Dr. Singer commented on the severity of the district’s academic situation and the need for assistance.
Back-to-school means state math test for grades 3-8
Hofstra University education professor Alan Singer, who has closely followed the issue, said the boycott movement is strong in middle-class districts, with parents believing the testing regimen has distorted education for their children. "What I see is that in some districts the movement is much weaker and there are multiple factors," he said. Affluent parents often pay for test prep for college-entrance exams and "they want their kids tested." "In poor communities, such as Roosevelt and Wyandanch, I think there is a fear that their children will be left behind and they are afraid to pull their kids out," Singer said. In addition, "these communities have a large number of immigrant parents and they are afraid to pull out of tests. They don’t want to attract attention."
Educators place onus on Long Island school boards to improve staff diversity
Local educators said the relative absence of minority teachers in Long Island public schools will continue until school boards adopt programs with features that have worked elsewhere, such as financial incentives and mentorship to encourage minority students to enter the profession, and recruitment drives that result in hiring... "There are districts that will give people interviews so they can say they gave interviews, but the hiring committees are looking for people they are comfortable with,” said Alan Singer, a Hofstra professor of teaching, learning and technology who was not involved in the report. “So if you’re black or Latino, it’s harder to get in.”
Gun Safety in Schools
WNBC News 4 NY tv
One year after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead and sparked a national debate on gun control, Dr. Alan Singer, a professor of education and history, was interviewed by NBC News 4 NY about the safety of using armed security in schools. He is an expert on social issues in public schools and a former high school teacher.
Make-believe at Hempstead schools
In this op-ed for Newsday, Alan Singer, a professor in the School of Education and an expert on public education issues, discusses how the district’s state-appointed special adviser’s latest student performance review glosses over deep district challenges.
An Interview with Alan Singer: A Statue For Shirley Chisholm
Education News online
Dr. Alan Singer, professor in the School of Education and an expert on social studies, was interviewed by Education News to discuss New York City’s plan to erect a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1964, in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. “Shirley Chisholm is a great choice for a new New York City statue,” said Dr. Singer. “Chisholm was the first African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives where she represented Central Brooklyn. In 1972, she was the first woman to seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and the first black woman to seek the presidential nomination of either of the major political parties.”
Alan J. Singer: Event at Hofstra
Education News online
Dr. Alan Singer granted an interview with Education News three days before Hofstra hosted the first U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26, 2016.
Common Core politics: State drops Pearson for 3rd-to-8th grade tests
Dr. Alan Singer is quoted in this Newsday article about New York dropping Pearson Education for its school state exams and selecting a new vendor, Questar Assessments. He calls Pearson “one of the most aggressive companies seeking to profit from what they and others euphemistically call educational reform.” He adds that replacing Pearson with the lesser-known Questar leaves open wider issues involving these exams, raised in the recent “opt-out” movement.
Dr. Alan Singer on Fliers Recruiting for the KKK in LI Communities
Dr. Singer, a professor in the School of Education who helped develop a middle school and high school curriculum on the Civil Rights movement on Long Island, was interviewed by WNBC-TV about the history of the KKK in the region and the possible reasons why recruitment fliers for the hate group have been surfacing. He said while this is a fringe movement and not a Long Island-wide problem, it does present an opportunity to open a dialogue between communities to better understand one another.
Event Appearances (1)
45th annual New York State Foundations of Education (NYSFEA) Conference SUNY Cortland, NY
Creating a Museum of Family ArtifactsSocial Studies and the Young Learner
2004 Students at all levels need to have opportunities to represent themselves in their work in ways that are meaningful to them. The Family Artifact Museum Project provides an opportunity for students to accomplish this as they bring their family stories into the classroom and see how the lives of ordinary people are part of history. This project came about as a creative way to address New York's social studies and literacy learning standards and national social studies thematic strands. This article gives several examples of these types of projects, from pre-school up to fifth grade, and describes how students of different ages were able to participate in a developmentally appropriate way. Teachers can use this type of project to introduce social studies themes and to build a sense of community in the classroom. It was found that the Family Artifact Museum can support multicultural and culturally-relevant pedagogy, transform social studies classrooms into "laboratories of culture," promote literacy, and introduce children to what it means to be an historian.
Asking the BIG QuestionsSocial Education
2001 Teaching about the Great Irish Famine and World History IN MARCH 2001, an educational columnist for Newsday (New York) dismissed the New York State Great Irish Famine Curriculum Guide as another effort to promote ethnocentric history and the idea that the United States is little more than "a pastiche of different peoples, linked mostly by a Constitution and a system of interstate highways." The columnist cited Chester Finn, Jr., a long-term opponent of multiculturalism, who insisted, "If we invite every faction in our society to insert their own best or worst episode from history, there will be no end of it."(2) The New York Times had a different take on the curriculum guide...