Spring 2020

Natural Allies Book CoverNatural Allies: Hope and Possibility in Teacher-Family Partnerships

Soo Hong 

Thursday February 13, 2020 
Gutman Conference Center, E1 (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/Natural_Allies
About the Book: In Natural Allies, Soo Hong offers a paradigm shift in how we think about family engagement with schools. Hong challenges the conventional depiction of parents and teachers as “natural enemies,” and shows how, through teachers’ initiative and commitment, they can become natural allies instead.

About the Author: Soo Hong, Ed.D.'09, a sociologist of education who studies the relationships between schools and families/communities, exploring the role of race, culture, social history, and political life. She is currently associate professor and chair of education at Wellesley College.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Stories Matter: Indigenous Folktales, Education, and Language Revival 

With Maung Nyeu, Ed.M.'13, doctoral candidate at HGSE and founder of Our Golden Hour   


Thursday, March 12, 2020 
Gutman Gallery (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/Stories_Matter
***Concurrent with art exhibition in March, this book talk will also serve as a reception for the exhibition


About Our Golden Hour: A non-profit working to revitalize endangered languages and culture, it has developed a model that fosters a love of learning by incorporating the stories indigenous children bring from their communities. More info about the organization here: https://ourgoldenhour.org/

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Schooling for Critical Consciousness Book Cover

Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice

Scott Seider and Daren Graves

Monday, May 18, 2020 12-1p.m.

Register here: bit.ly/SchoolingforCC

About the Book: Schooling for Critical Consciousness addresses how schools can help Black and Latinx youth resist the negative effects of racial injustice and challenge its root causes. Scott Seider and Daren Graves draw on a four-year longitudinal study examining how five different mission-driven urban high schools foster critical consciousness among their students. The book presents vivid portraits of the schools as they implement various programs and practices, and traces the impact of these approaches on the students themselves. 

About the Authors: Scott Seider, A.B.'99, Ed.M.'04, Ed.D.'08, is an associate professor of applied developmental psychology at the Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Daren Graves, Ed.M.'00, Ed.D.'06, is an associate professor of education at Simmons University.

Where to Read: Learn more at the publisher's website

Link to video: Please click on CC for subtitles. 

The 60-Year Curriculum book cover The 60 Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy

 Edited by Christopher J. Dede and John Richards 

Monday, June 22, 2020 12-1p.m.

Register here: https://bit.ly/60Year

About the book:  The 60-Year Curriculum explores models and strategies for lifelong learning in an era of profound economic disruption and reinvention. Over the next half-century, globalization, regional threats to sustainability, climate change, and technologies such as artificial intelligence and data mining will transform our education and workforce sectors. This cutting-edge book describes the evolution of new models—covering computer science, inclusive design, critical thinking, civics, and more—by which universities can increase learners’ trajectories across multiple careers from mid-adolescence to retirement.

About the editors/panelists:

Jim Honan, Ph.D.'89 - Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE
Chris Dede - Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, HGSE
John Richards - Lecturer on Education, HGSE
Henry H. Leitner, A.M.’75, Ph.D.’82 - Chief Innovation Officer and Associate Dean of the IT Master's Program, DCE

Where to read: Learn more about the book on the publisher's website

Link to video: Please click on CC for subtitles

Fall 2019

Follow us on Twitter to hear about upcoming events: @gutman_library.

Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty

Paul Reville 

Wednesday September 18, 2019
Gutman Conference Center, E4 & E5 (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/Broader_Bolder_Better​
About the Book: In Broader, Bolder, Better, authors Elaine Weiss, of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education campaign, and Paul Reville, former Massachusetts secretary of education, make a compelling case for a fundamental change in the way we view education. The authors argue for a large-scale expansion of community-school partnerships in order to provide holistic, integrated student supports (ISS) from cradle to career, including traditional wraparound services like health, mental health, nutrition, and family supports, as well as expanded access to opportunities such as early childhood education, after school activities, and summer enrichment programs.

About the Author: Paul Reville is the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He is the founding director of HGSE's Education Redesign Lab. In 2013, he completed nearly five years of service as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

"We Dare Say Love": Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys

Jarvis Givens


Monday September 23, 2019 

12pm-1:30pm (includes lunch)

Gutman Conference Center, E1 & E2 (directions)

RSVP: http://bit.ly/WeDareSayLove

About the Book: We Dare Say Love takes up the critically important issue of what it means to educate Black male students in a large urban district. It chronicles the development and implementation of the African American Male Achievement Initiative in Oakland Unified School District, following a small group of Black male educators who changed district policy and practice to create a learning experience for Black boys rooted in love.

About the Author: Jarvis R. Givens is Assistant Professor of Education at HGSE

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Advancing the Development of Urban School Superintendents Through Adaptive Leadership

Sarah Chace, A.B.'80, M.C./M.P.A.,'01


Tuesday October 15, 2019

12pm-1:30pm (includes lunch)

Eliot-Lyman Room, Longfellow Hall (directions)

RSVP:  bit.ly/SarahChace


About the Book: Based on a case study of urban school superintendents in a leadership development program, this book offers a concrete demonstration of how adaptive leadership is applied and learned. Blending the theory of adaptive leadership with the practice of urban school superintendents, this book also utilizes the analytic lens of transformative learning as developed by Jack Mezirow.

About the Author: Sarah Chace, A.B.,’80, M.C./M.P.A.,’01, is the assistant professor of leadership studies at Christopher Newport University. She will be interviewed by Harry Spence, former HGSE faculty member and former Deputy Chancellor of Operations for NYC Public Schools.

Where to Read: Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website

 Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism

Tracey A. Benson, Ed.L.D.'16 and Sarah E. Fiarman,Ed.D.’09

Tuesday November 5, 2019 

6-7:30p.m. (refreshments will be served)

Askwith Hall, Longfellow (directions)

RSVP: http://bit.ly/BiasInSchools

About the Book: In Unconscious Bias in Schools, two seasoned educators describe the phenomenon of unconscious racial bias and how it negatively affects the work of educators and students in schools. All too often, conversations about race become mired in questions of attitude or intention–“But I’m not a racist!” This book shows how information about unconscious bias can help shift conversations among educators to a more productive, collegial approach that has the potential to disrupt the patterns of perception that perpetuate racism and institutional injustice.

About the Authors: Tracey A. Benson, Ed.L.D.'16, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at UNC Charlotte and Sarah E. Fiarman, Ed.D.'09, Leadership Consultant 

Introduced by Drew Michael Echelson, Ed.D.’13, Senior Lecturer on Education and Director of the Doctor of Education Leadership program at HGSE 

Where to Read: Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. 

Fulfilling the Promise: Reimagining School Counseling to Advance Student Success

Mandy Savitz-Romer


Tuesday November 12, 2019
Reception: 6:30-7:30p.m.  
Gutman Conference Center, E1 & E2 (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/FulfillingThePromise
About the Book: In Fulfilling the Promise, Mandy Savitz-Romer shows what is possible when schools and districts draw upon the talents of their counselors and put them at the center of students’ school experience. By highlighting promising practices in schools, districts, and states, and the efforts of individual school counselors and leaders, Fulfilling the Promise presents a conceptualization of school counseling that is relevant for all educators, as well as policy makers and funders.

About the Author: Mandy Savitz-Romer is the Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer in Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a former urban high school counselor.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Where Teachers Thrive: Organizing Schools for Success

Susan Moore Johnson


Tuesday November 19, 2019


Eliot-Lyman Room, Longfellow Hall (directions)

RSVP: http://bit.ly/TeachersThrive

About the Book: In Where Teachers Thrive, Susan Moore Johnson outlines a powerful argument about the importance of the school as an organization in nurturing high‐quality teaching. Based on case studies conducted in fourteen high-poverty, urban schools, the book examines why some schools failed to make progress, while others achieved remarkable results. It explores the challenges that administrators and teachers faced and describes what worked, what didn’t work, and why. Join us for a discussion on the implication of the book for teacher leadership, administrative leadership, and research with Jill Harrison Berg, A.B.’90, Ed.D.’07, Principal Consultant at Jill Harrison Berg Consulting, David Kauffman, Ed.M.’98, Ed.D.’05, Executive Director of Multilingual Education at the Austin, TX Independent School District, and John P. Papay, Ed.M.’05, Ed.D.’11, Associate Professor of Education and Economics at Brown University. With an introduction by Monica C. Higgins, A.M.'95, Ph.D.'95, the Kathleen McCartney Profession of Education Leadership at HGSE. 


About the Author: Susan Moore Johnson is the Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean from 1993 to 1999.

Where to Read: Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Spring 2019

Follow us on Twitter to hear about upcoming events: @gutman_library.

https://www.trumba.com/i/DgCXqDorI2NLtHwGlpbg13wq.jpgThe Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students

Anthony Abraham Jack

Thursday, March 7, 2019
6:00pm-7:30pm (includes light refreshments)
Eliot Lyman Room (second floor), Longfellow Hall (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/ThePrivilegedPoor
About the Book: The Ivy League looks different than it used to. College presidents and deans of admission have opened their doors—and their coffers—to support a more diverse student body. But is it enough just to admit these students? In The Privileged Poor, Anthony Jack reveals that the struggles of less privileged students continue long after they’ve arrived on campus. Admission, they quickly learn, is not the same as acceptance. This bracing and necessary book documents how university policies and cultures can exacerbate preexisting inequalities and reveals why these policies hit some students harder than others.

About the Author: Anthony Abraham Jack (Ph.D., Harvard University, 2016) is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and assistant professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds the Shutzer Assistant Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

The Alliance Way:The Making of a Bully-Free School

Tina M. Owen-Moore

Thursday, April 11, 2019
5:30pm-7:00pm (includes light refreshments)
Askwith Forum Room (first floor), Longfellow Hall (directions)
RSVP: bit.ly/TheAllianceWay
About the Book: Award-winning educator Tina M. Owen-Moore details the beliefs and practices that made the Alliance School of Milwaukee the focus of national attention as the first school to open with the mission of being bully-free. The Alliance Way illustrates how creating a safe, inclusive, and academically challenging environment goes beyond a programming approach that targets bullying to a more holistic one in which building relationships takes center stage.  Owen-Moore describes the core tenets adopted by the school’s staff and students, including the importance of shared power and authentic work; the role of relationships and joy in preventing harm; the need to prepare staff to support LGBTQ students and students who have experienced trauma; and systems for reporting and repairing harm when it occurs. She highlights how school leaders can lead from the middle within their districts to bring about change and provides tools and resources such as sample agendas from staff meetings, retreats, and team‐building activities. Filled with real stories from an innovative school with a critical and compelling mission, The Alliance Way is an inspiring and practical resource for educators seeking answers on how to make schools engaging, accepting, and safe for all students.
About the Author: Tina M. Owen-Moore is the cofounder and former lead teacher of The Alliance School and an HGSE Ed.L.D. candidate.
Where to Read: Learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Children at the Center: Transforming Early Childhood Education in the Boston Public Schools

Betty Bardige, Megina Baker, Ben Mardell

Monday, April 29, 2019
5:30pm-7:00pm (includes light refreshments)
Gutman Conference Center - Area 1 (directions)
RSVP: bit.ly/ChildrenAtTheCenterBT
About the Book: Children at the Center provides a closely observed account of a decade-long effort to reshape the scope, direction, and quality of the Boston Public Schools’ early childhood programs. Drawing on multiple perspectives and voices from the field, the authors highlight the reflective, collaborative, inquiry-driven approach undertaken by the program and share lessons learned. Boston Public Schools are recognized for embedding high-quality, public preK programs in their system and achieving exceptional results. In this book, the authors outline the core principles that underlie the district’s early childhood programs and explore the role of curriculum, professional development, coaching, and data use in supporting these new initiatives. They show how the Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood was able to work with and against the constraints of the current accountability system to create a holistic, child-centered, play-based program that has had a significant impact in narrowing income-based learning gaps. Written in collaboration with the Department of Early Childhood Education, this account of creating successful preK programs in a diverse urban district will provide a valuable resource for practitioners engaged in similar work across the country.
With an introduction by Richard Weissbourd, senior lecturer in education at HGSE and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
About the Authors:
  • Betty Bardige is a developmental psychologist and an early childhood author, advocate, foundation leader, and consultant.
  • Megina Baker is a researcher at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and part of the early childhood education faculty at Boston University.
  • Ben Mardell is a principal investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Contributing Authors and Collaborators:

  • Jason Sachs, Executive Director of Early Childhood P-2, Boston Public Schools
  • Carmen Lico, Program Director, Early Childhood, BPS
  • Calla Freeman, K2 teacher, BPS
  • Jeremy Walters, Program Director, Early Childhood, BPS
Where to Read: Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

We Are America

Lowell High School students, Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Adam Strom

Wednesday, April 30, 2019
6:30pm-8:00pm (includes light refreshments)
Gutman Conference Center - Area 4-5 (directions)
RSVP: bit.ly/WeAreAmerica-GutmanLibrary

About the Event: Join us for a conversation between Lowell High School students, HGSE Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson, and Re-Imagining Migration Co-founder Adam Strom about these students' new book We Are America. The students will discuss their stories, their process, and also their ideas for expanding students understanding and appreciation for a more diverse America. This event is organized by Lowell High School ELL/Social Studies teacher Jessica Lander Ed.M.'15 (Education Policy and Management).

This year, students in Lowell High School's Seminar on American Diversity set out to explore their own personal history and draw connections between their history and the larger history of America. They and their teacher felt that to better understand the history of diversity in America and the fight for equity in this country, they needed to set their story with in the larger context of the story of America. Together they spent a semester exploring their histories, and then finally telling their stories. They published their stories in their new book We Are America. These are deeply personal stories—of finding the courage to speak, of searching for home, of seeking acceptance, of asking for help. 

It is by hearing about their personal acts of courage, their journeys and reflections, that we can better comprehend the beauty and breadth of diversity in this country.

About the Panelists:
  • Lowell High School students are all enrolled in the LHS Seminar on American Diversity 
  • Sarah Dryden-Peterson is an Associate Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Adam Strom is co-founder and director of Re-Imagining Migration
Where to Read: Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Fall 2018

Follow us on Twitter to hear about upcoming events: @gutman_library.

Demoralized: Why Teachers Leave the Profession They Love and How They Can Stay

Doris Santoro

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm (includes lunch)
Gutman Conference Center (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/RSVP_DemoralizedBookTalk
About the Book: Demoralized offers a timely analysis of professional dissatisfaction that challenges the common explanation of burnout. Featuring the voices of educators, the book offers concrete lessons for practitioners, school leaders, and policy makers on how to think more strategically to retain experienced teachers and make a difference in the lives of students. Based on ten years of research and interviews with practitioners across the United States, the book theorizes the existence of a “moral center” that can be pivotal in guiding teacher actions and expectations on the job. Education philosopher Doris Santoro argues that demoralization offers a more precise diagnosis that is born out of ongoing value conflicts with pedagogical policies, reform mandates, and school practices. Demoralized reveals that this condition is reversible when educators are able to tap into authentic professional communities and shows that individuals can help themselves.

About the Author: Doris A. Santoro is an associate professor of education and chair of the Education Department at Bowdoin College.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Educational Goods: Values, Evidence, and Decision-Making

Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, Susanna Loeb, and Adam Swift

Friday, September 21, 2018
12:15pm-1:45pm (includes lunch)
Gutman Conference Center (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/RSVP_EducationalGoods
About the Book: Educational Goods advances a theory of how to combine values and evidence in decision-making about education. The book identifies three kinds of value that must be balanced against each other: a theory of the kind of educational outcomes schools should aim at; a theory of how educational opportunities should be distributed; and independent values that should be considered when they conflict with the first two kinds of value. The evidence that decision-makers should seek out and consider is that which bears on how these values will be realized through the choices they make, and the book articulates a distinctive method for thinking about the evidence in the light of the values. The method is illustrated through consideration of 3 central policy issues: school financing, school accountability systems, and school choice mechanisms
About the Authors:
  • Harry Brighouse is professor of philosophy, affiliate professor of educational policy studies, and Dickson Bascom Professor of the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
  • Helen F. Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics in Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
  • Susanna Loeb is the Barnett Family Professor of Education at Stanford University. 
  • Adam Swift is professor of political theory at the University of Warwick.
Where to Read: Read the e-book from Gutman Library (Harvard Key required) or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side

Eve L. Ewing, Ed.M.’13, Ed.D.’16.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
4:30pm-6:00pm (includes light refreshments)
Gutman Conference Center (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/RSVP_GhostsBookTalk

Co-sponsor: HGSE Civic and Moral Education Initiative, HGSE Office of Student Affairs, FAS Department of Sociology

About the Book: “Failing schools. Underprivileged schools. Just plain bad schools.” That’s how Eve L. Ewing opens Ghosts in the Schoolyard: describing Chicago Public Schools from the outside. The way politicians and pundits and parents of kids who attend other schools talk about them, with a mix of pity and contempt.

But Ewing knows Chicago Public Schools from the inside: as a student, then a teacher, and now a scholar who studies them. And that perspective has showed her that public schools are not buildings full of failures—they’re an integral part of their neighborhoods, at the heart of their communities, storehouses of history and memory that bring people together.

Never was that role more apparent than in 2013 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an unprecedented wave of school closings. Pitched simultaneously as a solution to a budget problem, a response to declining enrollments, and a chance to purge bad schools that were dragging down the whole system, the plan was met with a roar of protest from parents, students, and teachers. But if these schools were so bad, why did people care so much about keeping them open, to the point that some would even go on a hunger strike?

Ewing’s answer begins with a story of systemic racism, inequality, bad faith, and distrust that stretches deep into Chicago history. Rooting her exploration in the historic African American neighborhood of Bronzeville, Ewing reveals that this issue is about much more than just schools. Black communities see the closing of their schools—schools that are certainly less than perfect but that are theirs—as yet one more in a long line of racist policies. The fight to keep them open is yet another front in the ongoing struggle of black people in America to build successful lives and achieve true self-determination.

About the Author:  Eve L. Ewing is assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She is the author of Electric Arches, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic, Washington Post, and many other venues. She was born in Chicago, where she still lives.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization

Cia Verschelden, Ed.D.'84

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
5:30pm-7:00pm (includes light refreshments)
Gutman Conference Center (directions)
RSVP: http://bit.ly/RSVP_Bandwidth

Co-sponsors: HGSE Office of Student Affairs and the Harvard University Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging

About the Book: This book argues that the cognitive resources for learning of over half our young people have been diminished by the negative effects of economic insecurity, discrimination and hostility against non-majority groups based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and other aspects of difference. Recognizing that these students are no different than their peers in terms of cognitive capacity, this book offers a set of strategies and interventions to rebuild the available cognitive resources necessary to succeed in college and reach their full potential.

Beginning with an analysis of the impacts on mental and physical health and cognitive capacity, of poverty, racism, and other forms of social marginalization, Cia Verschelden presents strategies for promoting a growth mindset and self-efficacy, for developing supports that build upon students’ values and prior knowledge and for creating learning environments both in and out of the classroom so students can feel a sense of belonging and community. She addresses issues of stereotyping and exclusion and discusses institutional structures and processes that create identity-safe rather than identity-threat learning environment.

About the Author:  Cia Verschelden M.S.W., Ed.D. has worked in higher education for 31 years. A residence hall director during her doctoral research, she has also served as a faculty member in social work, women’s studies, American ethnic studies, and nonviolence studies. She is currently the Executive Director of Institutional Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she teaches in sociology and has taught in the first-year experience program. She has been active in faculty leadership and in academic administration for 15 years, serving at public institutions, both four-year and community college. In every position, the one constant in her work and life has been advocacy for social justice and equity.

Where to Read:  Borrow a copy from Gutman Library or learn more at the publisher's website. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Spring 2018

What's Worth Teaching: Rethinking Curriculum in the Age of Technology

Allan Collins


Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Larsen 106



This important contribution to the future of education, by best-selling author and renowned cognitive scientist Allan Collins, proposes a school curriculum to meet the needs of our modern era. Offering guidelines for deciding what is important to learn in order to become a knowledgeable person, a good citizen, a thoughtful worker, and a valuable friend in the 21st century, Collins considers the qualities needed for a healthy and productive life. Taking a close look at how advances in technology, communication, and the dissemination of information are reshaping the world, this volume examines how schools can foster flexible, self-directed learners who will succeed in the modern workplace. A concluding chapter presents a broad, new vision for how schools can be redesigned to teach the kinds of knowledge and skills students will need in an increasingly complex society and global world.

Allan Collins is professor emeritus of learning sciences at Northwestern University. He is the co-founder of the journal Cognitive Science and first chair of the Cognitive Science Society. He is known in the fields of psychology and AI for his work on semantic memory, plausible reasoning, and intelligent tutoring systems, and in education for his work on cognitive apprenticeship, design research, and epistemic games. He is the co-author with Richard Halverson of Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology.

Slow Looking: The Art and Practice of Learning through Observation

Shari Tischman


Wednesday, April 4, 2018
12noon-1:30p.m. (includes lunch)
Gutman Conference Center


Slow looking is a way of building knowledge. It involves purposefully looking beyond a first glance, and it happens anywhere people take a generous amount of time to observe the world closely—in classrooms and museums, in laboratories and on neighborhood walks. Drawing examples from art, science, and everyday life, this talk explores the history of slow looking as well as its contemporary practices. It makes an argument for the special relevance of slow looking in today’s educational climate, and shows how slow looking is a learnable practice with a distinctive set of skills and dispositions that differ from thos involved in other modes of learning. Along the way, the talk shares some surprising research about the appeal of slow looking for today’s youth, and invites audience members to try out some slow looking themselves. 

Shari Tishman, Ed.D.’91, is a Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, where she  recently served as Director.  Her research focuses on the development of thinking and understanding, the role of close observation in learning, and learning in and through the arts.

Research in Mind, Brain, and Education

Marc Schwartz, E. Juliana Paré-Blagoev, and Michael W. Connell

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Panel Discussion: 5:30pm-7:00pm in Askwith Hall
Reception: 7pm-8pm in Eliot Lyman Room

Research in Mind, Brain, and Education is a companion book for new researchers, students, and scholars interested in the emerging interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE). The book explores connections between research in the learning sciences and educational practice through the work of twelve MBE  researchers. Each chapter blends two narratives to provide a richer view of the author’s journey into MBE: The first focuses on the science (both the tools and models) being advanced as authors face specific issues and challenges in the field. The second narrative highlights the more  dynamic, less linear process that brought each researcher to their current focus. Collectively their experiences provide a more complex view of how MBE is evolving, and, in turn, how the field is influencing their research. The goal is to provide a guide that will help bring readers into the conversation and equip them with the trans-disciplinary mindset necessary to participate in the collaborative work necessary to bridge three different areas of study: Mind, Brain and Education.

Marc Schwartz, Ed.D.’00 is Professor of Education at the University of Texas at Arlington. At UTA he created and now directs the SW Center for Mind, Brain and Education, which includes a new masters program in MBE. Schwartz is also a charter member of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES), its former vice president and a two-term president.

E. Juliana Paré-Blagoev, Ed.D.’06 is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Current research efforts include understanding and addressing return to school challenges of families affected by pediatric cancer. She was a founding board member of IMBES and is currently Associate Editor for the Society’s journal.

Michael W. Connell, M.Ed.’98, Ed.D.’05 is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, computer science, AI, and education. A former Software Design Engineer at Microsoft, he also served on the faculties of Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Texas. Dr. Connell co-founded and led the education startup Native Brain.

Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education

John Merrow

February 1, 2018
Gutman Conference Center

In Addicted to Reform, Merrow argues that current school reform efforts are too focused on “symptoms” like graduation rates instead of the root cause of our problems: an antiquated approach to schooling that cannot fulfill the needs of the twenty-first century. Year after year, we rely on standards like Common Core that place unfair burdens on students and under-resourced public schools. We launch reforms that ask “heroic teachers” to compensate for societal problems like poverty and inequality. And just when modern technologies allow students to move at individual speeds and different levels, we reduce kids to test scores, producing graduates who never learn to ask questions, dig deep, or discover and follow their passions.

A former education correspondent for PBS NewsHour, Merrow has won the George Polk Award, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and the McGraw Prize in Education. His books include Addicted to Reform (The New Press), The Influence of Teachers, Declining by Degrees, and Choosing Excellence.

Fall 2017

When Grit Isn’t Enough: A High School Principal  Examines How Poverty and Inequality Thwart the College-for-All Promise

Linda Nathan

October 31, 2017
Gutman Conference Center

When Grit Isn’t Enough examines major myths informing education and explores how educators can better serve students, increase college retention rates, and develop alternatives to college that don't disadvantage students on the basis of race or income. In this book, Linda Nathan, founder and co-headmaster of the urban high school, Boston Arts Academy (BAA), reflects on the assumptions she herself has perpetuated about education: that college is for all, that hard work and determination are enough to get you through, that America is a land of equality.

Linda Nathan is the Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship and teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Nathan served as founding headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, Boston's only public high school for the visual and performing arts. She is the author of The Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test.


Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today

Cynthia & Sanford Levinson

October 25, 2017
 Harvard Law School WCC 2036, Milstein East C

Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications.

Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story—all but one of them true—that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.

Learning for Careers: The Pathways to Prosperity Network

Nancy Hoffman & Robert B. Schwartz

October 18, 2017
Location TBD

Learning for Careers provides a comprehensive account of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a US initiative that offers urgently needed career pathways for young Americans who do not have a four-year college degree. It takes as its starting point the influential 2011 Pathways to Prosperity report, which challenged the prevailing idea that the core mission of high schools was to prepare all students for college. In response, the Pathways Network was founded in 2012 to promote cooperative arrangements between educational and business institutions, in order to fashion pathways for young people to acquire 21st century skills and achieve professional success.

Faith Ed.: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance

Linda Wertheimer

October 10, 2017
Gutman Conference Center - Area 3

Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance chronicles public schools’ efforts to teach about the world’s religions, often in the face of controversy over lessons on Islam. Veteran journalist Linda K. Wertheimer traveled to other communities around the nation, in Texas, Massachusetts, Kansas and Florida, listening to voices on all sides of the controversy, including those of clergy, teachers, children, and parents who are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh, or atheist. She also went to Modesto, California, where high schools have taught a required world religions course without fuss for more than a decade. Wertheimer’s investigation, which includes a return to her rural Ohio school, which once ran weekly Christian Bible classes, reveals a public education system struggling to find the right path forward and offers a promising roadmap for raising a new generation of religiously literate Americans.

Waiting for the Light to Change

Scott Ruescher

September 21, 2017
Gutman Conference Center - Area 3

Scott Ruescher has worked at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than 25 years, since 2002 as administrator of the HSGE Arts in Education program. Ohio native and recipient of an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, for many years he has also moonlighted as an English teacher in the Boston University Prison Education Program. His book of poems, Waiting for the Light to Change, was published by Prolific Press in May 2017.

“It is about race and class — and Boston. Much of the book feels rooted here in its references to the Longfellow Bridge, the BPL, the corner of Mass Ave and Tremont Street. In these lines, an anger simmers now and then, a jaded sense of resignation, and an openness to being moved. They serve as elegies for the passing moment."  - Nina MacLaughlin, New England Literary News, Boston Sunday Globe, June 4, 2017.