Associate Professor of Education
• Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin Madison
• M.Ed. University of Alaska Fairbanks
• B.S. Elementary Education, Trevecca University
Ginger joined Alaska Pacific University in 1997. Prior to moving to Alaska she taught in the Elementary Education Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and language and literacy courses at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She has also taught in elementary schools in Tennessee, Hawaii, North Carolina and Alaska. During summers she worked as a naturalist ranger in various national parks.
Ginger’s research interests include teacher education, university-school partnerships, cross-cultural studies, and integrated curriculum studies. She is currently working on research examining the effectiveness of the Professional Development School model and using action research during teacher education. “I am thankful for diverse experiences in a place that allows me to practice my philosophy of education. At APU we are able to model the components that promote high quality learning: building a trusting relationship, each student as a unique learner, and using experiential and social learning. Furthermore, we have opportunities to discuss and learn from colleagues from a great diversity of backgrounds,” Ginger says. Ginger believes that making learning authentic and in the context of the real world is important to help students become self directed and active learners. Students who come to APU from a traditional based high school or transfer from another college sometimes have preconceived notions about learning and may actually have to be taught how to become active learners. One of the tools Dr. Golsan uses to help her students become active learners and teachers is an Action Research Project. An Action Research Project is a tool to help students conduct self-study of their own teaching. They are taught to conduct a systematic inquiry of their own practices by using techniques such as videotaping, audiotaping, interviews, observations, peer review, and reflective journaling. Graduates often continue to use the Action Research model throughout their entire teaching careers. “This is my goal, to inspire a model for continued professional growth and development that can make sense to them as teachers,” says Golsan. She agrees with John Dewey, “Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only the particular thing he or she is studying at the time. Collateral learning is the way of formation of enduring attitudes. For the attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future. The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.”
In her free time, Ginger enjoys playing the piano and flute, camping, skiing, hiking, and flying with her pilot husband. She also creates outdoor adventures with her husband and two young children.