Anna Jacobson, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director focusing on World Languages and Social Studies. Her duties include supervising student teachers in these two areas as well as arranging field placements and working with the Teachers as Scholars Program and the High School Program.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Jacobson received her M.A.T. in Secondary Education with a focus in Russian from the University of New Hampshire and her Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Her dissertation focused on the conflicting expectations of a school community and a career-changing middle school Spanish teacher who was learning to teach on the job.
Dr. Jacobson has had a variety of experiences as an educator. She began her career teaching Russian and Spanish in middle and high schools in Littleton, MA, and Exeter, NH, and admits her own secondary school teaching experience was what led to her dedication to developing future middle and high school teachers. As a doctoral student at Indiana University, she combined her love of language teaching, working in a multilingual community, and a long-held love of the social sciences when she worked as the founding educational consultant at the Center for the Languages of the Central Asian Region, a National Foreign Language Resource Center focused on developing materials for teaching Pashto, Uzbek, Tajik, and Uyghur.
Dr. Jacobson’s career then took a different turn, as she began working for the Federal Government as a teacher educator at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), a school in Monterey, CA that trained US military personnel to achieve high proficiency in various foreign languages. At DLI, Dr. Jacobson provided pedagogical support and professional development to native-speaking teachers of multiple less commonly taught languages (LCTL), including Arabic, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Dr. Jacobson additionally worked as a researcher on the impact of summer LCTL programs for pre-college learners offered by the STARTALK initiative at the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland.
Immediately before coming to Princeton, Dr. Jacobson worked at Alfred University in Alfred, NY, as an Assistant Professor of Education, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy and social foundations of education as well as methodology courses in World Language, Social Studies, and English/Language Arts pedagogy at the secondary level.
Dr. Jacobson is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, the International Literacy Association, and the National Council for the Social Studies.