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Dr. Novea McIntosh

Dr. Novea McIntosh

Written by Josh Segalewitz '20

Novea McIntosh is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher education and is co-director of the Urban Teacher Academy. Born and raised in Jamaica, Dr. McIntosh identifies as an Afro-Carribean scholar and practitioner with a commitment to social justice through education. Growing up in a patriarchal society, she felt that there were many times when women’s voices were silenced. Her mom, however, made sure that the voices of her daughters were never stifled: “she kept saying to me, ‘You’re going to be special. You’re going places.’ Through her childhood, Novea knew she wanted to be a teacher, and it was the encouragement from her mother that first helped her realize this as a possibility. Her work has spanned P-12 through higher education, from the islands of the Caribbean to the heartland of the United States with a focus on teaching and serving marginalized, underserved and underrepresented students. After 24 years in P-12 education as a classroom teacher and an administrator, she was exposed to and experienced the inequities, particularly in teacher preparation to serve marginalized students who had an indomitable desire to learn but had no control over their circumstances. 

As an educator, Dr. McIntosh  believes that all students deserve the best teachers, who desire not to conform to the status quo, while still meeting the expectations of curricular requirements, but find innovative ways to give students access to a high-quality education. She notes. “my students grow more culturally competent and are intent to educate for service, justice and peace.” With the influence of culturally responsive educators and the impact of a West Indian and American education, Dr. McIntosh has immersed herself in her field with the goal to disrupt the traditional status quo to advance inclusion in education. She believes preparing her students to move into the profession of teaching through her courses bear a special responsibility to help them both to become aware of the history and contemporary reality of inequities in education, particularly for students with learning exceptionalities and marginalized students, and to eliminate it where it exists as social justice teachers. For her, the ultimate goal in her classroom is to arm students with strategies to connect with and engage students and, construct pedagogical practices in ways that are culturally relevant, racially affirming, and socially meaningful for all students.  Further, she challenges her students to think about how they can better serve those who come from these backgrounds. “Teaching for me is serving,” says Dr. McIntosh. “I always say to my students I was born to teach and my goal was to give back to those who did not have access to excellent education, to those who did not have opportunity.” 

Dr. McIntosh joined the UD community five years ago and continues to build on her community engagement through professional development of inservice teachers, recruitment of diverse students to the UD community and supporting preservice teachers desire to teach in urban schools. As a scholar, she values the university’s Marianist commitment to the common search for truth, to the dignity of the human person, hence her personal mandate to understand and improve the world, to give voice to the marginalized and underserved in wider parts of the world through her scholarly pursuits. Dr. McIntosh research focuses on diverse cultures, assessment and professional development spanning educational practices on a local, national and international levels. 

Since being at UD, Dr. McIntosh is most proud of the relationships that she has developed with her students. She is committed to letting her students know that she is an advocate for them.. Beyond this, she is proud that she prompts her students to think critically and engage in uncomfortable conversations in the classroom. “My students are the reason I’m here. My students come first,” says Dr. McIntosh. “I consider my classroom a dialogue zone, so the constant conversations, even the most uncomfortable and challenging, are some of the most beautiful times I have.” Looking towards the future, Dr. McIntosh wants to continue to push students to learn about people who hold different identities than their own. Even more, she wants to help students step up and use their own voices. 

Dr. McIntosh is a force at UD. Her unique perspective on teaching ensures that each student in her classroom has an experience that challenges them to consider their own position in the world and how they may relate to others. She embodies the Catholic and Marianist values that UD holds, and lives these values everyday through her work. Above all of this, Dr. McIntosh  is unafraid to be the educator that she knows she can be and that her students need: “I want to be bold and I want to disrupt the status quo. And I hope that I can make my students bold and social justice educators. I want them to be comfortable with their own identities.” 

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