The James Alan Astman Endowment for Teaching & Learning

The James Alan Astman Endowment for Teaching and Learning has been established to honor Oakwood's revered Headmaster of 40 years and to sustain Jim’s influence on his colleagues’ professional growth and development. In Jim's own words:

"The reciprocity in teaching and learning is what makes the beguilingly simple statement in our philosophy so remarkable: We believe that teachers and students should inspire one another... It’s a profound and challenging belief, since it requires teachers to constantly strive to be better, to be knowledgeably and creatively engaged with their subject matter and, at the same time, to be humanly engaged with their students..."

The Endowment operates in Jim’s conviction that an Oakwood education helps young people become who they uniquely are—as students and as human beings—and that teaching and learning must be personal, moral, and reciprocal acts. Teachers who are devoted learners inspire students to be devoted learners. The goal of the Endowment is therefore to help support pedagogy­—mission-centered teaching practice­—as it strives to be in ever-closer alignment with Oakwood’s philosophy and core values.

Proceeds from this Endowment will support three significant avenues of professional growth for all teachers, kindergarten through 12th grade. Each of the following supports the goals of the Endowment:

Curriculum and Pedagogy Grants
These year-round grants are intended to encourage and reward individual and collaborative projects designed to deepen teaching practice and/or foster curricular innovation. To help promote wider professional conversation around Oakwood’s values and mission, curriculum and pedagogy grants will be awarded by a committee of faculty and administrators.

Professional Development Summer Institute
The regular school year rarely affords opportunity for sustained immersive development work. The Institute model will provide stipends for Oakwood faculty to study together and collaborate around teaching and learning, and to renew themselves on important educational topics, including human rights, social justice education, and other school initiatives.

Year-long Professional Development
Throughout each year, Oakwood faculty and staff attend seminars, retreats, graduate study, conferences, classes and other learning events. The Endowment will help supplement these ongoing opportunities.

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Oakwood Secondary Campus 818-732-3000
Oakwood Elementary Campus 818-732-3500

The Oakwood School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs