Upper School Social Studies teacher Peter Shulman received the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award. He was recognized in a virtual award ceremony on October 21, 2020.
Each year, newly admitted University of Chicago students have the opportunity to reflect on their time in school and nominate an educator who played a significant role in their education, made a positive impact in their lives, and whose influence has brought them to where they are today. This year, Catlin Gabel Class of 2020 graduate Li Lambert, a freshman at the University of Chicago, was inspired to nominate Peter for the award.
Peter teaches U.S. History, Modern Middle East, and Rise of the Authoritarians courses in the Upper School, where he has been a faculty member for two decades. He has also been Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Soccer team for the past seven years, during which time the team earned three State titles.
The choice of Peter as recipient of an Outstanding Educator Award has added significance because it recognizes a teacher who practices principles of progressive education, presented by the institution that developed that educational approach. The University of Chicago founded the nation’s first progressive school in the 1890s, with an emphasis on experiential learning – the belief that students were naturally inclined to learn by experience, and learned more deeply when that experience has real-world relevance. Catlin Gabel is based on and practices these principles today.
An official statement announcing the award states that, “The University of Chicago is honored to recognize excellence in teaching and sincerely congratulates this year’s Outstanding Educator Award winners, who are exceptional in their field and role models for all students. The University deeply appreciates the lively minds who thirst for knowledge that these educators have nurtured and inspired. We thank them for going above and beyond the call of duty every day and leaving an impression that will be carried over a lifetime.”
Additional information regarding the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Awards can be found on the university’s website here.