Popular Web 2.0 enthusiast, Will Richardson, live-blogged about a recent conference presentation by Deborah Meier and Dr. Diane Ravitch. Several people, including myself felt compelled to explain who Meier and Ravitch are to Will’s readers.
In fact, I contributed the following…
You owe it to yourselves to read Meier’s seminal works, “The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem” (1995) and “In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization.” In most countries it would be assumed that every teacher has read a Macarthur Genius like Deborah Meier.
Dr. Ravitch worked for President Bush 41 as Assistant Secretary of Education and works for the Hoover and Brookings Institutes. Despite her right-wing background, she is rational and thoughtful. She has been smeared and attacked repeatedly by the Bloomberg/Klein junta. Dr. Ravtich has demonstrated courage, integrity and an admirable capacity for growth. Her book, “The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn,” is a great read.
Those two women are the type of speakers every confrence should feature. Their expertise is awesome, accomplishments great and ideas are timeless.
I have long admired Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch and have recommended their books to my magazine readership, graduate students and friends.
I wrote about Ravitch’s book in a 2003 article, “The End of Textbooks.”
My interview with Deborah Meier was published in 2002 and may be read here, “The Power of Her Ideas.”
The more I think about it, the more I believe the point I made about American educators’ awareness (or lack thereof) of powerful ideas is important. Why hasn’t every American educator read Meier, Kohl, Dewey, Holt, Papert, Sizer, etc?
Until the recent adoption of the Euro, Italy’s currency featured educator Maria Montessori. Can you imagine if our nation afforded great educators that level of respect and admiration?
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.