Personal Statement

Hello! My name is Eric.

I am an educator and incessant writer, researcher, and organizer for equity, progressive education, and the arts.


I dream of an education that responds powerfully to the travesty of the U.S. prison system where I taught for many years, that dwells in the beauty of the dunes along Lake Michigan where I led an outdoor youth camp, and recognizes me fully as the gay son of two Chinese immigrants whose families fled a war. Any ideas?


I am currently one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, a vibrant and unabashedly progressive public school serving a diverse population in Queens. I lead our school’s work in equity and community, and teach a lot of music--which is pretty fun. I also believe a lot in sharing, and have recently taken to coordinating site seminars that involve inviting hundreds of educators from around the country to join us in researching our school and adapting our practices. People keep coming, so I think we might be getting somewhere.


At some point, I developed a commitment to public scholarship (I blame my mentor Buzz Alexander), and an absurdly time-consuming hobby of conducting research. My writing includes over two dozen articles, book chapters, and op-eds featured in a range of publications such as The Washington PostThe Oxford Handbook of Music EducationMusic Educators Journal, and Arts Education Policy Review. I’ve also held several research fellowships, one of which brought me to the barrios outside of Caracas, Venezuela to learn from educational activists about how you create spaces for education when the government denies you that right. Dignity and care have something to do with it.


I received a B.M. and B.A. in Music Education and English at the University of Michigan in 2004, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2010, and an Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Policy Studies, also from Teachers College, in 2020. My doctoral work focused on policymaking in marginalized spaces, including the work of teachers, communities of color, and arts practitioners. 


Less respectably, I play violin in The SOB, a scrappy new music ensemble based in Brooklyn which may be getting slightly less scrappy following the success of our latest albumafterimage, in 2020. If we turn respectable, I’ll need to find another hobby
Eric Shieh,
Jun 12, 2021, 8:33 PM