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Smith College

Dept. of Ed. & Child Study

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Youth & Adolescents: 
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Urban Issues: 

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Teenagers in America
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Sam M. Intrator
Department of Education & Child Study & the Program in Urban Studies
Office:   Morgan Hall 101
Phone:  413 585 3242
Fax :   413 585 3268

Email:   sintrato@smith.edu


Sam Intrator joined the Smith College Department of Education and Child Study and the Program in Urban Studies in 1999 after more than a decade of teaching and administrative service in public schools in Brooklyn, Vermont, and California.

Intrator co-directs Project Coach an afterschool youth program in Springfield, MA. (listen to Sam talk @ PC on video). Project Coach is a program that attempts to use sports as a means to engage, connect and empower adolescents and youth living in Springfield, Massachusetts. Teenagers are trained and employed as coaches for elementary aged children living in their communities. The major objective of the program is youth development. Sport involvement provides an excellent medium through which leadership qualities can be developed, while also teaching and reinforcing the importance of positive health and social behaviors. It is our belief that the knowledge, skill, and behavior learned in sport environments have the potential to generalize to a variety of other domains (e.g., school, community, and family).

Intrator teaches courses on Urban Education, Teenagers in American Culture, and the Teaching of Writing. He also co-directs the Smith College Urban Education Initiative — an educational outreach program that seeks to deepen students understanding of the theoretical, practical and human issues facing urban educators by engaging them in intensive service learning experience in urban school settings.

His books and research inquire into what it takes for teachers and students to co-create intellectually vibrant and genuinely meaningful experiences in the classroom. Focusing on the powerful role of the teacher, he explores the role of a teacher’s heart, resourcefulness, capacity for relationship and pedagogic judgment in cultivating impactful learning experiences for students. Intrator’s research concludes that as the critical factor in the educational enterprise, teachers need resources that evoke, sustain and renew their intellectual and emotional vitality.

He serves on the board of the Center for Teacher Formation, the Consortium for Educational Excellence through Partnerships and the Northampton High School Council.


Intrator, S. & Siegel, D. (2014) The Quest for Mastery: Positive Youth Development Through Out-of-School Programs. Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA.

Intrator, S. & Scribner, M. (2007) Leading from Within: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Lead. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Semifinalist for the 2007 Best Business Book Award in the category of New Perspectives.


Intrator, S. (2003). Tuned in and Fired Up: How Teaching Can Inspire Real Learning in the Classroom. Yale University Press. New Haven, CT.

Coalition of Essential Schools Horace:

Teachers College Record Review


Intrator, S. & Scribner, M. (2003). Teaching With Fire: Poems than Honor and Sustain a Teacher’s Heart. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.


Harvard Educational Review
Education Book Review
Library Journal
Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute (pdf)

Intrator, S. (2002). Stories of the Courage to Teach: Honoring the Teachers’ Heart. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.


United Church Foundation

Intrator, S. (2005). Living the Questions: Celebrating the Life and Work of Parker J. Palmer. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.


Grace Cathedral

Spirituality and Health

Spirituality Practice