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Educating For Human Greatness

Susan Notes:

Read this statement from a coalition of researchers, educators, and parents, a statement advocating a new vision for education. Read and then join the effort.

Educating for Human Greatness represents the recommendations of a coalition of researchers, educators, and parents whose mission is to advocate a new vision for education. Our combined experience tells us that the goal of passing standardized tests is superficial and temporary whereas learning from personal inquiry is deep and enduring. We have a vision of schools where leaders, teachers, parents and students are mutually respected and where they help each other draw forth intellectual capacities aligned with their best gifts, talents and abilities.

America’s vision needs to focus on developing individuals who can make positive contributions to society. As education responds to the ever expanding use of technology and the emerging knowledge of how people learn, it will become fully evident that teaching tied to standardized testing can no longer serve as the center piece for American education.

The framework we propose is based upon a higher purpose for education: Develop human beings to be positive contributors to society. We want students to fall in love with learning, to develop their full potential, and to become resilient, innovative thinkers.

Educating for Human Greatness embraces seven principles:

â€Â˘ Identity – Help students learn who they are and who they could become.

â€Â˘ Inquiry – Stimulate curiosity and cultivate an appreciation for the natural world.

â€Â˘ Interaction – Promote courtesy, caring, communication, and cooperation.

â€Â˘ Initiative – Foster independent learning, self-discipline, and critical analysis.

â€Â˘ Imagination – Actively nurture creativity and innovation.

â€Â˘ Intuition – Help students learn how to seek truth with their hearts as well as with their minds.

â€Â˘ Integrity – Develop honesty, character, morality and responsibility for self and others.

Rather than relying solely on standardized tests created by corporations, Educating for Human Greatness recommends giving credence to the expertise of teachers (who see students every day) to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of learning.

Specific details on implementing these recommendations can be found at http://definegreat.ning.com.

See below for the people who have contributed to and/or endorsed this proposal.

Lawrence Baines - is the Judith Daso Herb Chair in Adolescent Literacy at the University of Toledo. lbaines@UTNet.UToledo.edu

Darryl Lee Baynes - is Founder and President of MAEA Interactive Science Programs, the largest science and math outreach company in the nation owned and operated by African Americans, initially formed to combat the under-representation of African Americans and women in math and science based careers. dbaynes@maeaonline.org

Dr. Laurence A Becker - served 10 years as English Department Chair at St. Stephen's Episcopal School and has worked with autistic savant artists since 1976. He produced the award-winning documentary film “With Eyes Wide Open”, and is currently writing a monthly essay for Autism Today RBecker64@aol.com

Emmanuel Bernstein - is a veteran public school educator of all ages, an educational researcher, and a school guidance counselor. He wrote the book, The Secret Revolution: A Psychologist’s Adventures in Education. mannyber@yahoo.com

Kenneth Bernstein - is a National Board Certified Teacher in Maryland. Now in his 14th year of teaching, he came to education after a long career in data processing in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a resource and advisor on educational matters to a number of candidates for and members of the U. S. House and Senate. kber@earthlink.net or teacherken@gmail.com.

Renate N. Caine - is an educational psychologist and consultant currently serving as the director of research and professional development for the Natural Learning Research Institute in Idyllwild, California: www.naturallearninginstitute.org. Dr. Caine has co-authored 7 books on learning that focus on how neuroscience and technology impact education. She is currently involved in training future educators through the Caine Learning Center. www.cainelearning.com.

Doug Christensen - recently served as Nebraska State Commissioner of Education and is currently writing a book. dougchristensen111@gmail.com
Boyd R. Cox, EdD - is a retired educator with 25 years experience as an elementary teacher, 1 ½ years as the director of the Utah Boys Ranch school, and taught basic mathematics and electronics for 8 years at community college. coxbo@msn.com

Rob Erwin - an educator with 14 years of teaching. Currently he is working on a documentary of a school founded on the principles of Lynn Stoddard's book, Educating for Human Greatness. rerwin901@comcast.net

Don Glines, Ph.D. - is Director of the Educational Futures Projects in Sacramento, CA and at his Wilson School in Minnesota, acclaimed as an innovative, cradle-to-grave learning center, he has focused on personalized learning and educational alternatives for everyone. (916) 392-1946

Alfie Kohn - is the author of eleven books, including The Schools our Children Deserve, The Case Against Standardized Testing, and What Does it Mean to be Well Educated? He has been described by Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” www.alfiekohn.org.

Philip Kovacs - is a former high school English teacher now teaching teachers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He helped organize the Educator Roundtable on the Internet and has worked toward dismantling NCLB. philipkovacs@yahoo.com

Stephen Krashen - developed the first comprehensive theory of second language acquisition and is the co-inventor of the Natural Approach. His current books are Summer Reading: Program and Evidence, English Learners in American Classrooms, and English Fever. skrashen@yahoo.com

Michael Mendizza- is an author, educator, documentary filmmaker and founder of Touch the Future, a nonprofit learning design center. He co-authored Magical Parent-Magical Child with Joseph Chilton Pearce. www.ttfuture.org www.nurturing.us michael@ttfuture.org

Dr. MaryBeth Merritt - is an educator, scientist, parent, artist and activist championing holistic education for close to 20 years. She is a founder of Four Winds (www.fourwindsgreatbarrington.org), a non-profit educational organization. merrittmb@aol.com

Dr. Ronald J. Newell, Ed.D. - is the Director of Evaluation and Assessment for EdVisions Schools, was a founder of the Minnesota New Country School and EdVisions Cooperative, and has published three books on the subject. He was formerly a high school history teacher, mentor teacher, and college professor. ron@edvisions.coop

Nel Noddings - is a Lee L. Jacks Professor of Childhood Education, Emerita at Stanford University. Her latest book is When School Reform Goes Wrong. noddings@stanford.edu

Christopher Nye - is a retired professor and college administrator, vice president of The Myrin Institute, children’s book author (The Old Shepherd’s Tale, 2004, 2008), and poet (Poems Out of Thin Air, 2008). He now co-leads an education initiative at The Orion Society to build a constituency for spirited, whole-child education. cnye@orionsociety.org

Susan Ohanian - is a longtime teacher and prolific writer on education issues. She maintains a website in opposition to the corporate-politico takeover of schools and the standardization of curriculum. susano@gmavt.net

Mary Orlando - has been a Montessori educator for the past 40 years. She is currently assistant principal at Villa Montessori Charter School in Phoenix, AZ. morlando@villamontessori.com

Don Perl - is an educator of 35 years, who has taught in the public schools of Colorado for 20 years, is a high-stakes test resister and is presently an adjunct professor of Spanish at the University of Northern Colorado. dperl@myexcel.com

Lu Pilgrim - an advocate of project and place-based learning with 50 years experience as a public and independent school teacher and administrator, is on the faculty at Pacific Oaks College. pilgrims@mcn.org

Phoebe Plank - is a teacher for 15 years, who is currently volunteering in an alternative school to bring opportunities for Educating for Human Greatness to students, teachers and administrators. plankphoebe@yahoo.com

David Polochanin - teaches Language Arts in Glastonbury, CT., and has published articles on education and other subjects, appearing in Education Week and Middle Ground. He has written for the Providence Journal, the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and Hartford Courant. polochanind@glastonburyus.org

Dorothy Rupert - retired Senator and State Representative from Boulder, Co. (1986-2001), retired 35 yr. English teacher and counselor for Boulder and Fairview High Schools, teaches courses at U of Co. Boulder campus, and works with Youth Advisory Board to Boulder City Council. In 2005, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. dorothyrupert@earthlink.net

Dr. Yvonne Siu-Runyan - is a former public school teacher and professor emerita at the University of Northern Colorado and a current member of the presidential team for the National Council Teachers of English. She has 40 years of professional educational experiences. hanalei@indra.com

William Spady - is the author of five books, and a key developer of the ”HeartLight” model of learning and living described in Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations With God books. He is the current Director of the New Possibilities Network and taught at Harvard University and OISE early in his career. billspady@earthlink.net

Darrell Stoddard - is founder of the Pain Research Institute www.healpain.net and author of Pain Free for Life. stoddard@healpain.net

Lynn Stoddard - is an educator with 50+ years experience as an elementary teacher, principal, consultant. He is the author of 3 books and numerous articles on the need and ways to reinvent schooling. lstrd@yahoo.com

Betty Terrell - has been an educator for 34 years, working in Head Start administration, grant writing, teacher training, and special and general education classrooms. Currently, she is a third grade teacher at Sacajawea Elementary School in Seattle WA. bettyrterrell@yahoo.com

Cooper Zale - is a parent of two children, who unschooled through their high school years, and is blogging at www.leftyparent.com and can be reached at czale@socal.rr.com

— Educating for Human Greatness coalition
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