Life offers us many opportunities for growth and development from both a personal and professional perspective. When we remain open to what these experiences can teach us, we ultimately provide ourselves with the tools necessary to see our work and purpose through a different lens. In today’s #RunYourLife episode, Dr. Martha James-Hassan shares her major life lessons learned throughout her 25 years in education and how these lessons continually help to shape her professional practice.

In our discussion, Martha and I explore what quality physical education means and the impact that a great program can have on helping to inspire young people to take initiative on being physically active for life. We delve into the role that fitness plays in a physical education curriculum and the key factors necessary for deepening teacher practice. Martha shares some gems in this episode that will truly challenge us to think about the current stances that we hold about what is most important in our profession.

Martha’s Bio

Martha James-Hassan earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Kinesiology, her Master’s from Hamline University in St.Paul, Minnesota, and her Doctorate in Critical Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a graduate of the AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy and the Saint Paul Public Schools Leadership Academy. She is a researcher, teacher, and leader with nearly 25 years of experience in urban public education. Dr. Hassan is currently a

Assistant Professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her research agenda involves investigating in-service teacher professional development, cultural fluency, and interdisciplinary education.

In addition to her teaching, Dr. Hassan has served in local, regional, and National leadership roles throughout her career. Currently, she represents the students and families of Baltimore City as a Commissioner on the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and as a Board of Directors member for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.

Martha has been honored as an Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellow, State Teacher of the Year, National Social Justice and Diversity Teacher of the Year, Joanna Davenport Outstanding Doctoral Research Awardee, The National Association of Kinesiology in Higher Education’s Outstanding Young Scholar, a Faculty Diversity Fellow, and the Baltimore-Area Badger Alumna of the Year.

She is the proud parent of two adult children, wife to an amazingly supportive partner, and in 2008 she became an Ironman by completing the 140.6 mile course in 14 hours 9 minutes and 31 seconds.

Connect With Martha

Twitter: @DrJamesHassan

Email: [email protected]


Themes Discussed:

Systemic Change, Quality Physical Education, The Role of Fitness in PE, Socio-Emotional Wellness, Meaning and Purpose, The Bigger Picture