Currently, I'm living in New York City, writing books and essays about education and formative experience. For 50 years, I studied and taught at Columbia University, retiring from the Teachers College faculty in 2011 as Weinberg Professor in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education.
Having lived reflectively, I've formed, and am still forming, a few ideas I’d like to share. Here are couple efforts underway:
- Currently, my main academic project is this worksite — the Collaboratory for Liberal Learning — for advancing formative education through self-organizing, volunteer effort. I hope you join me in its work.
- In a long essay, Formative Justice (forthcoming, 2019), I advance a theory of justice to help people guide their self-education, and I suggest strengthening efforts to reform educational institutions by fomenting an educational reformation, each person following her inner light.
- In a recent essay, Dewey in His Skivvies: The Trouble with Reconstruction, I explain how educational philosophers are inflating John Dewey's deserved reputation and thereby misdirect current educational theory.
Here are some earlier books and essays that each in its way still has some currency:
- In Enough: A Pedagogic Speculation(2012), I reflected on the current paralysis of education and public life and speculated that a more constructive spirit can arise in a distant future.
- In Homeless in the House of Intellect: Formative Justice and Education as an Academic Study (2005), I called for a significant restructuring of how American universities support the study of education. Of course, that won't happen, so I've become a bit more extreme in Enough and Formative Justice.
- Back in the day, in Man and His Circumstances: Ortega as Educator (1971), I reflected on my education to the age of 30 by exploring the life and work of José Ortega y Gasset.
- At the same time, in Towards a Place for Study in a World of Instruction (1971), I defined my basic professional commitment. I'm still on that track.
- For 20 years, I experiented with technology in education, and in Power and Pedagogy: Transforming Education through Information Technology (1992) and other writings, I diagnosed how digitizing culture and communication is leading, through historical intention and irony, to a new way of life
You can get the details of my academic career from my CV which lists all the usual stuff. It also links to the full-text of most of what I’ve published and to documents about some activities I've initiated.
In 2011, Joe Levine, a good writer working for Teachers College, did a profile about me as The Accidental Technologist And several years ago, I told my story in a few pages —-what I then anticipated hasn’t quite panned out, but it is true enough in spirit.
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