Faculty Grants

Research grants are awarded annually to faculty and staff, with a goal of advancing community-wide learning and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion-related topics and of deepening our efforts to make our school learning environment equitable and inclusive for all students and community members.

Sylvain Charles: Identities, Gender, and Gender Identities, for better inclusion of diversity amongst students

Sylvain Charles is a professor of history, geography and geopolitics in the Secondary School. He joined the Lycée in 2018 after teaching in Paris, Stockholm and Brooklyn. For Sylvain, the acceptance of self and others forms the foundation of all learning, and his passion for issues of identity, inclusion, and gender diversity are based in this philosophy. His grant for the 2021-2022 school year focuses on exploring new strategies to approach discussions of gender identity, with the goal of helping every member of the Lycée community feel fully included and be given equal opportunities to succeed. 

Issues of gender and gender identity are intrinsic to the Lycée's thinking about inclusion and equity, and contribute to community efforts aimed at development and well-being of all members. As part of his grant objectives, Sylvain will work to identify and centralize actions for greater inclusion already undertaken by the Lycée; communicate with other schools in NYC and across the country; and implement training and raise awareness about gender inclusivity and diversity for the entire Lycée community. The ultimate goal is to develop an action plan that protects and supports all members of the community as they interrogate, develop, and express their experiences of gender.
While schools are a place of learning, their role in the construction of students' social identities is also essential. Students grow, interact and learn to live together. While this social dimension can sometimes be challenging, the role of the school in allowing each student to find their place and to develop in a protective and caring environment has never been more crucial. 

Bernadette Robine: Educational Neuroscience in the Classroom

Bernadette has been an Elementary school teacher at the Lycée since 2018, after having taught French at various private schools in New York City. For the  2021-2022 academic year, Bernadette was awarded a Leadership Grant to focus on the applicability of advances in cognitive sciences in the classroom. Her goal is to establish new school-wide practices that allow all students to benefit from progress in neuroscience and pedagogy, while continuing to ensure the best conditions for personalized teaching approaches and ongoing childhood brain development. 

The field of cognitive sciences has made tremendous strides in the last decades, particularly in improving our understanding of childrens' brain functions during learning. These advances have the potential to enhance pedagogy to benefit all students, while simultaneously guiding student ability to contribute to classroom atmospheres and personal representation in the curriculum.
Throughout the year, Bernadette will work on six key pedagogical modalities: memorization, attention, comprehension, metacognition, executive functions and psycho-social factors. She aims to help students discover their own abilities, to explore and define personal strategies for learning, and to improve their self-confidence, with the ultimate goal of increasing student motivation to participate as active agents of their own education. She will also work to educate parents and teachers on new learning methods, and help them benefit from recent and verified advances in the field of cognitive sciences in education.
The benefits of better understanding your learning style can open the door to a lifetime of perpetual development and learning.

Previous grants were awarded to:

  • Portia Morrell, Secondary computer science teacher and faculty advisor to our student DEI clubs, who worked to build stronger connections between our DEI activities among students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni.
  • Primary specialized support teacher Cassandre Milard, who helped faculty and staff create more inclusive classroom environments with their students.
  • Lycée librarians Maud Leger and Zhora Tsouri to bring a greater diversity of perspectives into our Primary and Secondary library collections
  • Dr. Arthur Plaza, Head of History-Geography, to research and develop curricula in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Rachel Stepanek, Primary school teacher, to create a learning guide for teachers on how to enter into conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion with Primary-school age students. 

Learn More

Grantees write about their work and experiences for the school's blog:

What's next for the Lycée's DEI Efforts by Clarissa Sylvestre, Chair, DEI Committee
Developing an Intercultural Mindset, interview with Portia Morrell, 2020-21 Grantee
More Diversity in Children's Library Collections by Maud Léger and Zhora Tsouri, 2018-19 Grantees