Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great Educators

My Schools and Society course is at the point where the students are beginning to construct their Great Educators web page. Each student finds three good on-line resources connected with any of the Great Educators identified on the page. Once the page is completed they will use the resources to construct their first Philosophy of Education paper. This is something they will return to over the course of the program at SMC as they learn more about teaching, learning and education in general.

To construct the list of names I asked all 14 faculty members in the Education Department who had been an influence on their professional thinking and whose theories they referred to in their courses. The list is broad in both its scope and depth in terms of ideas and fields of study. There are even references to educators from the nineteenth century. There are, however, themes running through this list. There are quite a few progressive educators as well as those who believe in Education as a form of freedom. There are also several with a focus on learner-centered teaching and the importance of recognizing the stages of development that all students go through.

The picture, by the way, is of Matt, a recent SMC graduate who now teaches in the Burlington School District and frequently has SMC student teachers in his classroom. When the picture was taken, he was being a Word Wizard to motivate his students during a reading class. Matt is also a Great Educator.

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