Ed. Magazine, Summer 2009

May 27, 2016 | Author: Harvard Graduate School of Education | Category: Types, Magazines/Newspapers
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

The alumni magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Summer 2009 edition. Features include the reduction of ...



the magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education summer 2009 | vol. Lii, no. 3

Arts Education in the United States

How deep will the cuts be in this economy?


The Not-Retiring Retirees One Student’s Second Chance A Former Dean (and Santa) Says Goodbye


The Magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education | summer 2009 | vol. lIi, no. 3



On the Chopping Block, Again Music, painting, theater, literary magazines — even during the best of times, these are often the first to go in public schools when budgets get tight. With today’s economy worse than ever, are students having to say goodbye completely to their beloved arts?

The Third Chapter: An Excerpt When it comes to aging in America, we are at a key moment in history, writes Professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Ed.D.’72, in her new book, The Third Chapter. It’s a time when we are “neither young nor old.” The result? More and more potential retirees are forgoing a life of leisure and instead continuing to work, learn new skills, and even go back to school.


As Luck Would Have It

Pulling Back the Cover

Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar’s family, immigrants from the Philippines, were living the American Dream before they lost it all. With a lot of hard work, and a little boost from a winning lottery ticket, the family got back on track — and this current doctoral student began to realize the importance of higher education.

Poster Campaign The arts, unlike other content areas, have always needed a campaign to justify their inclusion into the curriculum, says Natalie Bortoli, Ed.M.’03. It was this idea of a campaign that lead her, while she was a student at the Ed School, to create this series of propaganda posters, “not only to capture the variety of arguments made for the arts over time,” she says, “but to inspire continued thinking among fellow artists and educators about how we will campaign for the arts moving forward.” Now vice president of education at the Chicago Children’s Museum, which was founded 25 years ago as a response to arts cut backs in Chicago Public Schools, Bortoli says “the posters were a response to a study of the history of arts education, and the various ways the arts have been justified in the school curriculum throughout American history. This included everything from the notion that an education in the arts would create more adept industrial craftsmen to the Progressive argument that the arts helped to produce stronger individuals by creating a society of free thinkers. Later justification argued that arts learning leads to better scores in other subject areas.”

Reflections of a Retiring Former Misfit As he gets set to retire from the Ed School after nearly 40 years, former dean and current professor Jerry Murphy, Ed.D.’73, talks about the nuances of administrative leadership, playing Santa Claus every year, and where his next adventure will take him.



departments 3 Dean’s Perspective 4 Letters

52 6

6 The Appian Way 38 In the Media 46 Alumni News and Notes


52 Recess


• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009



dean’s perspective

The Magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

production manager/editor Marin Jorgensen [email protected] designer Paula Telch Cooney [email protected] Director of Communications Michael Rodman [email protected] Communications intern Amanda Dagg contributing writers Amanda Dagg Denton DeSotel, Ed.M.’09 Amy Magin Wong Mary Tamer copyeditor Abigail Mieko Vargus © 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Ed. magazine is published three times a year, free of charge, for alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This issue is No. 3 of Vol. LII, Summer 2009. Third-class postage paid at Cambridge, MA, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Harvard Graduate School of Education Office of Communications 44R Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 www.gse.harvard.edu To read Ed. online, go to www.gse.harvard.edu/ed.

Chair Margaret Jay Braatz, Ed.M.’93, Ed.D.’99 Vice Chair

Sarah Levine, Ed.M.’77, Ed.D.’80 Anthony DeJesus, Ed.M.’97, Ed.D.’03 Rowena Fong, Ed.D.’90 Tasha Franklin, Ed.M.’95


Irene Hall, C.A.S.’93, Ed.D.’05

Around the time that Barack Obama was being sworn in as our 44th president, music maverick Quincy Jones was lobbying the newly elected administration to create a cabinet-level national ministry of culture and the arts, similar to those already in existence in more than two dozen countries. This idea is not new — Jones has been talking about the need for at least a decade. With the Obama administration’s talk about reinvesting in arts education, including creating an artists corps that would work in low-income schools, Jones, no doubt, felt the time was right to make a move.

Deborah Hirsch, Ed.M.’86, Ed.D.’89 Marc Lewis, Ed.M.’99 Tanya Odom, Ed.M.’98 Darnell Williams, Ed.M.’96 Douglas Wood, Ed.M.’96, Ed.D.’00

David Greene, Ed.M.’91, Ed.M.’94, Ed.D.,02

Today, although still pushing hard for his idea, Jones also acknowledges that with the current economic woes, this may take awhile longer. Every educator reading this magazine knows all too well that when budgets get tight, one of the first things to go is the arts. This, too, isn’t new. So the question becomes: is it going to be even harder for public schools across the country to fund their in-house music and painting classes, student literary magazines, and theater programs? What author Mary Tamer found was bleak, with urban and suburban schools facing the biggest budget cuts since the mid-1980s. As I read this issue’s cover story, what I found particularly distressing is that the fallback for many resource-poor schools — offsite arts organizations that bring their services to the classroom — was also in trouble: the Associated Press predicted that this year alone, about 10,000 arts organizations could fold.

HGSE Visiting Committee, 2008—2009 Chair Alan Bersin, A.B.’68

Ira Krinsky, Ed.D.’79

Vice Chair Marshall Smith, A.B.’59, Ed.M.’63, Ed.D.’70

Arturo Madrid

Arlene Ackerman, Ed.M.’93, Ed.D.’01

Andy Rotherham

Edith Aronson, A.B.’84, Ed.M.’97

Patti Saris, A.B.’73, J.D.’76

Paul Buttenwieser, A.B.’60, MD’64

Steve Seleznow, Ed.M.’89, Ed.D.’94

Idit Harel Caperton, Ed.M.’84, C.A.S.’85

Dacia Toll

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, A.B.’74

David Vitale, A.B.’68

M. Christine DeVita

Susan Wallach

David Gergen, L.L.B.’67, KSGF’84

Roger Wilkins

Richard Melvoin, A.B.’73

John Hobbs, A.B.’60, MBA’65

HGSE Dean’s Council, 2008—2009 Sarah Alturki

David Lubin, Ed.D.’77

Kenneth Bartels, A.B.’73, MBA’76

John McArthur, MBA’59, DBA’63

Donald Burton, MBA’89

Ronay Menschel

Jamie El-Erian

Albert Merck, A.B.’47

John Hobbs, A.B.’60, MBA’65

John Nichols Jr., A.B.’53, MBA‘55

John Humphrey, MBA’64

Susan Noyes

Andrea Kayne Kaufman, Ed.M.’90

Patti Saris, A.B.’73, J.D.’76

Printed at Dynagraf using 100% renewable energy.


Dear Friends:

HGSE Alumni Council, 2008—2009

• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


senior writer/editor Lory Hough [email protected]

Does this mean the end of arts in most public schools, or will many programs be shells of their former selves? Federal aid to education totals about $115 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which President Obama signed into law in February. Advocates hope that some of these funds will be designated for the arts. I am encouraged to see many of the talented students in our Arts in Education Program, as well as many of our alumni, already preparing for the challenges ahead. As Christine Jee, Ed.M.’09, says in the story, “We can have this crisis, and focus on everyone cutting the arts, or we can think creatively of new ways to incorporate them.”


Kathleen McCartney March 2009


• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


letters Perla Praise How circular this world is! I met Perla (“One on One,” winter 2009) in 1974 in Tunis, Tunisia, where, as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Information Agency, I was serving as cultural affairs officer. Perla had a grant to coach tennis to aspiring Tunisians. I encouraged her to apply for the Foreign Service, which she did and where she served for a few years before moving on to her current career. I’m glad I spotted the smarts, talent, imagination, and a sassy sense of humor. William Stephens Jr., via the website

Teaching Teachers Upon receiving my winter issue of Ed., I was delighted to notice an article on middle school readers (“In the Middle,” winter 2009). Unfortunately, although a well-written overview, it was a disappointment. In quoting case studies and describing some of the current scene with readers at the middle school, the writer neglects any mention of the real reason for the problem, i.e., the teaching of reading to grades 1–5. Contrary to current belief, these students do not read well now. Mention is not made of the inadequate training of teachers who, for years, have just taught decoding skills but not comprehension skills. Curing the problem with literacy coaches and short-term pilot programs

as encouraged by colleges of education and others will only serve as a Band-aid. Training institutions need to accept their responsibilities to train and prepare teachers of reading instead of seeking more useless dissertation and study topics. Teachers at all levels and of all subjects need to be readers themselves. Jackie Ziff, Ed.M.’57

Long Days Clearly the quality of teaching and learning is key to the success of ELT schools (“Time Hasn’t Been on Their Side,” winter 2009). Teachers must have rich professional development to engage, challenge, and provide students with 21st century skills. Perhaps, then, professional development needs to be re-envisioned and expanded beyond current teacher collaboration within buildings. Quality online learning for teachers, for example, offers the flexibility to be incorporated within the ELT day or completed at other times convenient for teachers. Bess Kapetanis, via the website

Interesting idea. If you want public school teachers to do this, it is going to mean two things: first, money; second, very clear parameters around extended duties. I teach all day and go home to being a parent of school-aged children that need my help with their homework. How can I help my own kids at night if kids I teach during the day are calling me? How are we supposed to have time to get our kids to the doctor’s or dentist’s or their commitments if we’re teaching so long? Katriona, via the website

I think expanding the hours that students spend in school is not very creative and does not address many other issues that play roles in the success of students. I would like to know



• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009

if anyone has studied when a person’s brain becomes completely functional in the morning and at what point in the evening does it slow down? In my high school, we started at 8:25 a.m. and had a 20-minute break at 10 a.m. We did that because they found that starting too early was not helping anything because people are still waking up. Cornell Woodson, via the website

During the Australian summer holidays I read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. It resonated well with what I have observed having worked as a teacher for 30 years across various socioeconomic environments. Generally, Gladwell maintains that students from high socioeconomic groups are given more out-of-school opportunities. Gladwell calls this “concerted cultivation and intense scheduling.” It made me reflect on the absurdity of our “one-size-fits-all” approach to education. If education is meant to be an equalizer, and it should have this potential, why are we not providing opportunities within education systems for students from poorer homes to access extra time? Maria Leaver, via the website

Tweet Success? This is one of the most intriguing articles (“Thanks for the Add. Now Help Me with My Homework,” winter 2009) I’ve read about online social networking. As a retired high school teacher now in the “world” of social media, I have spent countless hours thinking of how I could have used this phenomenon in my classroom; perhaps a new pen pal, where kids could correspond

online with people from other countries, generations, and cultures, gaining first-hand access to anecdotal history that would otherwise be, in all probability, inaccessible. Or as mentioned in the text of the article, creating a large, universal circle that would include the disadvantaged and immigrant students with just, literally, the tips of fingers and a keyboard. I will go back and reread the article many, many times, internalize it all, and then go on my perpetual campaign to bring the world to each student. A beautiful read. Sharon Couto, via the website

Finally, an article about the potentially positive aspects of social networking sites for teens. I get so tired of adults assuming the worst about technology and teens. Every parent discussion on the topic attempts to scare us into believing that the positive attributes of technology are few and far between. Connecting with people via writing is a great skill to have. Who says my 15-year-old daughter shouldn’t hone that skill in her spare time? Additionally, the focus on low-income teens in the study was great information for me, as I work for a foundation that provides scholarships to low-income teens at independent high schools around the United States. Jennifer Schauffler, Ed.M.’95, via the website

I’ve never doubted that social networking sites and other “cloud apps” could be used by participants in a positive way. What I find disturbing is that discussion and criticism of these tools rarely goes further than user-to-user privacy. Yes, you can you can set your keg party photo album to “private” in Facebook. What I question is the wisdom of subjecting us and our children to the data mining and analysis that these companies are employing. A great deal of information is being collected about us, and we have no say in how it can be used. Dean, via the website

has had. … I know that Howard doesn’t want to be an “MI rock star,” but I think that there is still much to be learned and much to be done with this work. So I will just say thank you Howard, we truly appreciate what you have given us!

Join the Conversation Want to weigh in about arts budgets being further slashed? Feel strongly about students spending more time in school? In addition to writing letters to the editor, you can now add online comments. Go to the magazine’s webpage (www.gse.harvard.edu/ed) and leave your comments at the bottom of each story.

Cheryl Milton Roberts

We’re Impartial “Music to My Ears” (winter 2009) page 14, line 3: “Disinterest”? Please tell me that I am not the only person on earth who still believes there is distinction between “disinterest” and “uninterest.” Gary Blauvelt, M.A.T.’63

Go Gardner! Professor Howard Gardner has impacted more students than he will ever realize (“15 Minutes Has Turned into 25 Years,” fall 2008). I was overwhelmed when I first learned of his theory of MI 14 years ago, at age 42. I am now a teacher. My sole goal is to impress adolescents with the fact that they are smart. I have students tell me that my class, with an MI-Howard Gardner focus, is the first time that they feel smart. It’s overwhelming to hear. Kathy Keene

My children attend New City School in St. Louis, Mo., which was one of the first schools to really turn the multiple intelligence theory into a 20-plus-year practice. Though I will agree that Howard Gardner’s contributions are broader than MI, I think that he is being awfully humble based on the impact that the theory Ed.

Rural Fresh Air I found the article “Boon, Not Boondock” in the recent edition of Ed. (fall 2008) to be a true breath of fresh air for those of us interested in rural education. Much like an individual profiled in the article, I am also “from the hollers” of Appalachia and have seen our education systems to be too heavily influenced by trends that are intended for urban and suburban schools. As pointed out in the article, rural schools share a unique set of concerns and issues that have been overlooked for decades. Frankly, it is refreshing to read that others in the education community are beginning to see that techniques and approaches that have been effective in Boston are a bad fit for rural West Virginia. Conrad Lucas II, Ed.M.’05

Ed. magazine welcomes correspondence from all of its readers. Send letters to:

Ed. magazine Letters to the Editor Harvard Graduate School of Education Office of Communications 44R Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 E-mail: [email protected] Online Comments: www.gse.harvard.edu/ed Please note that letters may be edited for clarity and space.

• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


the appian way How does the parenting process of low-income immigrant parents, many undocumented and all with limited resources, shape how their babies learn? When Hirokazu Yoshikawa first started thinking about this question, he was living and working in New York City. At the time, research in this area was spotty, limited primarily to how older first- and second-generation children learned. So Yoshikawa and his colleagues at New York University did what they had to do: They went into maternity wards in the city and started recruiting families for a long-term project that would follow parents and their babies until the babies were toddlers. Four years later, Yoshikawa, now a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is back in New York as a visiting scholar with the Russell Sage Foundation, where he is working on a book using the data he collected. This past winter he spoke to Ed. about home visits, major findings, and why he decided to write a book.

How many families were involved in the study? We started with 310 Mexican, Dominican, and [U.S.-born] African American families. An additional 60 or so Chinese families were included but followed [only] six months due to high rates of sending [the babies] back to China, though we did go to China to observe the kinds of settings where infants and toddlers such as those in our sample were being raised.

mark morelli

Home Visits and Babies By Lory Hough



• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009

I cannot assess citizenship status directly due to confidentiality issues. However, in assessing aspects of social exclusion that might be associated with citizenship, such as the use of financial services like formal banking instead of informal methods, we find that these differentiate our groups and are related to parents’ levels of hardship, their psychological distress, and their children’s early development.

The newborns you started with are now four years old. How much time did you spend with each family? The entire sample of about 200 families gets two or three home visits every year. That includes a bunch of structured interview questions, direct child assessments, and videotape of the parent and child in a variety of tasks.

You also followed a smaller group more closely.

Yes, low-income, immigrant families in New York are an extremely difficult group of families to track. Of the 310, about 200 remain with us at four years.

Did you notice similarities in how they parented?

Did you only observe them at home?

They are very similar in their goals for their children’s school success. For example, they all state that they want their children to do well academically and in school.

In the ethnography, we accompanied them to places like parks, relatives’ homes, WIC offices, restaurants, beauty salons, viveros — bodegas where chickens and other sources of food are purchased — and childcare settings.

Any major differences?

“They are very similar in their goals for their children’s school success.”

You suspected that the Mexican families were showing the highest level of hardship, perhaps because they had the highest level of undocumented status. How did this affect parenting?

An in-depth, longitudinal qualitative study was conducted with a randomly selected subgroup of 25 families. These families got between eight and 10 visits over a period of two years, with a combination of ethnographic participant observation and semistructured interviews. Each of those visits typically lasted a couple hours. All families also receive birthday cards, holiday cards, etc., in between visits in order to keep them involved.

You said it was hard to keep tabs on this mobile group. How many of the original families are still with you?

Name: Hirokazu Yoshikawa Title: professor of education Focus: early learning and development in low-income immigrant families

was entirely accounted for by the Dominican children’s greater exposure to English and therefore their larger English vocabularies. The Spanish vocabularies were the same size.

Our groups do differ on other conceptualizations of goals for children’s development, such as emphases on definitions of good behavior. More emphasis in the Latino groups on being calm, or tranquilo; more among African Americans on leadership and avoiding negative peer influences. There are also some emerging differences in their social network support, their relationships and involvement with ethnic enclave neighborhoods, and their household budgeting.

What about the children? We found at 24 months that Dominican and Mexican children’s vocabularies were significantly different in size, but this

Has it helped to be back in New York where the study started? Yes. Visiting more of the neighborhoods, for example, gives me a richer sense of the texture of the daily lives of our families.

Why write a book instead of a journal article? The combination of rich ethnographic data and our survey, assessment, and other results make the overall story of these families — including histories of immigration of different groups to New York, their varied strategies to make ends meet, their accounts of their towns and villages of origin, the daily interactions of children with adults, siblings, and others in their lives — difficult to publish in journal article form. Ed.

• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


the appian way STUDENT impact

The Dorm and a Webcam Marriage

Reasons to Know ...

By Denton DeSotel, Ed.M.’09

Tea Gergedava

master’s student Special Studies Program

There was always a pause when students walked into the Department of Foreign Relations at Tbilisi State University in Georgia, a former republic of the Soviet Union, and asked to speak to the director. At 26, Tea Gergedava looked like just another student, not a high-ranking administrator running an elite department in the country’s oldest university. It wasn’t long before they knew they had found an ally in Gergedava — as a recent graduate, she “knew their slang” and could share her personal experience with the classes they were considering. Now, after a year at Harvard, Gergedava is set to return to her homeland to give back. “When you are living in a peaceful prosperous state, you have only a vague understanding of what it means to be a responsible citizen, but if you are living in tiny Georgia, squeezed between the Russian Federation and Turkey, and your country’s territory is being bombed and villages annihilated, you realize that it’s time to pay your share of the citizenship in any way you can.”

1 2 3 4

Despite her country’s troubles, including separatist conflicts, corruption, and last summer’s brief war with Russia, she remains optimistic. “I’ve seen crowds ready to sacrifice anything they could to make Georgia work as an independent, democratic state.” Although technically on leave from her job for a year, she continues to oversee her university’s involvement in a European-wide student exchange program called Erasmus. This is her third master’s degree. The others, both from Tbilisi State, were in social sciences and American studies. She has also studied in Turkey, Austria, and India.

5 8


Asked what she plans to bring back to young Georgians, she says, “I have experiences that I can share and stories to tell. I can also prove to them that there is no goal too distant.”

• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009

martha stewart

During her year studying in Istanbul, she became fluent in Turkish. At Harvard, she kept up with the language by attending weekly universitysponsored “language tables.” “It gave me a chance to meet others I might not otherwise meet and practice my Turkish. It’s a beautiful language — very emotional and melodic.”

My transition from “A” to “B” is somewhat of an interesting story. My life prior to enrolling at Harvard was great. I had a steady career path as an up-and-coming manager at a higher education marketing and consulting firm while simultaneously completing an MBA program. My wife and I, along with our 150-pound Great Dane, lived in a nice Cape Cod-style house in the beautiful state of Iowa. This has all changed in the last five months. My new life now consists of attending the Harvard Graduate School of Education to study higher education policy, living in a 12x12-foot dorm in Cambridge, and carrying out a longdistance marriage. My decision to upend my life stems from a bit of a quarterlife crisis (at 28 I’m far too young for a mid-life crisis). In many ways, my work as a higher education consultant should have been fulfilling. If I did my job correctly, colleges and universities would be equipped with solid data and recommendations that would allow them to make wiser decisions. The colleges would thus improve, and all parties — students, faculty, staff, and alumni — would theoretically be more satisfied. However, I wasn’t sure my work was making a difference in the world. I felt there was more fulfilling work worth doing that would have a greater impact. I felt that if I could just tweak my current career in higher education enough to project me on to a different career path, I could be satisfied. After all, education, at its core, is about helping people reach their full potentials. If I could change my role within education, my career could offer the opportunity to make a difference by creating real and lasting societal change. This idealism is what led me to change career trajectories. It is what has convinced me that these goals are worth nine months of dorm living, cafeteria meals, and a webcam marriage. I had become familiar with the Ed School through my consulting work. My former company was hired by the school to conduct a research study examining why students chose to enroll. In interviewing students, I saw a diverse group of individuals with interests ranging from early childhood development to education administration and policymaking. Each group of students I met was just as passionate about their potential role in education as the next. Most importantly, though, I saw a community of students that shared a common belief — the belief in the power of education to solve most societal problems and the power of their individual contributions to make this happen.

jeff hopkins, Ed.m.’05


A TO B: Why I Got into Education

Being introduced to this community confirmed that there was more I could be doing with my life and the Ed School was the place where I could shape a career that would have a larger and more direct impact in higher education. It was with these points that I made the case to my wife that it was a good idea to leave my job, quit my MBA program, and move a thousand miles away for the better part of one year. Much to my surprise, she was very supportive of my idea. Her support came from her understanding of how important it was to me to engage in a career of work worth doing. She understands how passionate I am about making an impact, and we both know that an education from the Ed School will provide me the opportunities to fulfill these aspirations. Plus, as she likes to joke, there is an unwritten marital vow that says if your spouse is admitted to Harvard, you let him or her go. Admittedly, I do not know exactly where my life will lead me after graduation. My eyes have been opened to a variety of opportunities to make an impact in higher education. HGSE’s focus on operating at the nexus of practice, policy, and research serves as an excellent example of how effective one can be in any of these three areas. The big question I am currently wrestling with is where my talents and abilities best fit within this spectrum. Whether my career leads me into a role as a higher education practitioner, researcher, or perhaps even as a policymaker, I am confident the knowledge and skills I have acquired at the Ed School will serve me well in any of these endeavors. — Denton DeSotel is an Ed.M. candidate in the Higher Education Program from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Upon graduation he plans to leave the dorm and return to eastern Iowa.


• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


Renee Slajda

Emily Ausubel

the appian way



• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009

Katie Robson becca title

Go to www.thinkingbeyondborders.org to learn more about the program, and to read stories written by the students during the trip.

Renee Slajda

trying to make sense of it all. Just over two months in, students have begun to question their deepest assumptions about how the world works, what causes poverty and oppression, and what role they can play in an effort to effect change.” By the time they had reached their sixth country, Vietnam, Pendoley says it was clear that each student was struggling with these questions. “Their assumptions are clearly being challenged and they have begun to see themselves in new ways,” he says. “Some are expressing for the first time that their ethnicity, nationality, and economic class might be significant social and political identifiers for them. Service work has provided an understanding of the challenges of development work, the fragility of wellintentioned idealism, and the need for expertise and careful planning when providing services to those in need. At the same time, many are expressing an understanding of the universality of some human experiences.” For student Renee Slajda, this has meant adding more questions to the ones she initially had in September. “What makes the program exciting is exactly what makes it feel overwhelming at times: There’s just so much to it,” she says during their month in Vietnam. “One question begets five more.” Living with host families proved to be a challenge for many, as did living without cell phones — a deliberate policy set by the staff. “The cell phone rule is primarily about ensuring that students see the program staff as their primary support people, rather than family and friends thousands of miles away,” says Pendoley. (Students can access e-mail.) As the group moved on to their next country, Thailand (India had to be canceled due to the Mumbai attacks), Pendoley talked about having his computer stolen in Peru, the logistical challenges of traveling on buses, boats, and planes and though small villages, and the need to grow their financial aid. (About a quarter of the students receive aid.) But, he added, every challenge is worth it. “It’s rare to go to bed these days without feeling excitement for the possibilities in the day to come.”

robin pendoley

It’s called many things. Time out. Time off. Year off. Deferred year. And perhaps most commonly, gap year. But in many ways, the phrases are misleading, especially for the teenagers enrolled in Thinking Beyond Borders, a new program cocreated by former Peace Corps volunteer Robin Pendoley, Ed.M.’03, that allows students taking off the year between high school and college to travel the world and explore international development through service projects. In Bua, a small village in Ecuador, the students hand-dug a well for a community center and built ecological toilets for local schools. In Kunming, a city of 5 million in China, they taught English at three schools. And in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, they worked with the Waste Collectors Union sifting through trash in an effort to learn about recycling and then hosted a student environmental conference with more than 60 local university students. The 35-week program officially started last September in Costa Rica with 16 students and three staff members. Centered around eight development issues, including clean water, public health, and sustainable agriculture, the program’s purpose is similar to other gap year programs: It allows students time to find their direction and, in some cases, develop maturity and independence, before jumping into college or the work world. “So much of our education system is about reaching the next milestone: winter vacation, the end of the semester, graduation,” says Liz Kuenstner, a current participant, while in Vietnam. “I spent all of high school working towards The Next Big Thing — college — without any real consciousness of the larger picture and what I was ultimately working towards. I certainly don’t know what that is now, but taking this year with Thinking Beyond Borders has challenged me to reflect on what I want to pursue.” Because students travel throughout Asia, South America, Africa, and North America, the program uniquely allows students to reflect globally. “It’s hard to keep the magnitude of what we’re doing in perspective,” says Pendoley in an e-mail while the group is in China, the fourth country on the itinerary. “Each day we venture out into a culture that we are just beginning to understand, the students engage readings that challenge their understanding of themselves and the world around them, and we sit in dialogue

sandy pendoley

No Gap in This Year By Lory Hough


Photos (from top left, clockwise): Renee Slajda and host siblings in Bua, Ecuador; Katie Robson, Lily Bullitt, and Katie Cromack at waste collection site in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; students cleaning up a river in Bua, Ecuador; Ian Chmar and community leader Pati Saju blacksmithing in Huay Hee, Thailand; Liz Kuenstner journaling on the Inca Trail, Peru; Robin Pendoley and Tsa’chila community leader in Bua, Ecuador; and Emily Ausubel teaching in a school in Kunming, China.

• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


the appian way Second Time Around By Lory Hough



• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009

been inspired by my interaction with the fellows and with the participants in the education think tank.” Asked how they will know if the fledgling program is a success, Moss Kanter says, “When the fellows create projects that are viewed as making a meaningful difference in society and the fellows attribute their success to their time at Harvard. And when other colleges and universities offer rigorous, serious educational programs for people at later stages in life, in their own ways.” Visit www.advancedleadership.harvard.edu to learn more about the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.

WHAT THEY KEEP jeff hopkins, Ed.m.’05

Experience matters. That was the message this past February when the first crop of fellows in Harvard University’s newly created Advanced Leadership Initiative arrived on campus. While many their age would be retiring or nearing retirement, these baby boomer lawyers, doctors, military officers, and business executives were here to jumpstart the next phase of their lives: first as students and then as leaders focused on social problems, including education. “I’m too young to die on the golf course,” jokes fellow Hans-Ulrich Maerki, a former executive with IBM. Conceived initially at the Harvard Business School by Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and her colleagues, the initiative is a now a collaboration between five of the university’s graduate schools — education, business, law, public policy, and public health. Fellows like Maerki are spending nine months (February through October) taking classes across the university, mentoring students, leading study groups, meeting with faculty advisors, and attending working dinners where aspects of leadership are discussed and debated. They are all here, says Senior Lecturer James Honan, Ed.M.’85, Ed.D.’89, to figure out how best to harness their existing expertise as they move into new careers in public service. “Given that these fellows have spent their careers primarily in the for-profit world, the question becomes, how do you make a transition to a new operating environment? How do you take the leadership skills you already have and ask what’s new or different?” says Honan, who serves as a faculty leader on the project along with Professor Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88. Initially, in an effort to help answer these questions and to develop the “social purpose plan” that each fellow will present when the program ends, four fellows interested in education turned to Ed School students for advice. During the first of several meetings organized by Reimers, for example, a dozen students spent nearly two hours one afternoon brainstorming ideas about fellow Shelly London’s interest in youth violence and ethics. London, a former corporate communications expert, was toying with the question made famous in 1991 by Rodney King, “Can we all get along?” and hoped the students could help her better understand what educational research was being done in this area. “What or where can I go with this? Where can I make the biggest impact?” she said. “Everyone wants to be a social entrepreneur, but then you have to ask, would I be more effective if I

that teaching and learning is, to a great extent, working with the experience and prior knowledge of the learners — and of the teachers — the opportunity to work with the fellows will give me access to a very different range of experiences than I normally have in the courses I teach at the Ed School.” Reimers says that as a result of his interaction with the fellows and the new program, he has revamped his curriculum for master’s students. “I have redesigned my seminar on education, policy, and inequality in Latin America this semester to include a section that engages the students in doing case studies of leaders who have succeeded at creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged children,” he says. “This has

got in with someone already doing this kind of work?” After hearing a range of advice — do a literature search, focus on family, start small — London, who was busy taking notes, concluded, “My life was much easier when I was in the corporate world.” Throughout the program, fellows also have a chance to analyze issues and problems on deeper levels by getting involved with case-based “think tank” seminars, including one led by Reimers that is looking at education reform in Brazil, among other “cutting-edge education challenges and solutions,” he says. It’s this ability to dig deep that sets the new initiative apart from other short-term programs aimed at experienced professionals. “This program is much more than taking existing courses; it has its own educational offerings and experiences,” says Moss Kanter. “It is also an honor to be selected. Fellows form a peer group and are expected to mentor students based on the fellows’ extensive, successful careers.” The program is also unique for the faculty members involved, says Reimers. Students are not typical — besides being older, few have professional experience in the public service area in which they are focusing. (With education, several served on the boards of education-related projects and one fellow, Vivian Lowery Derryck, did some Africa-based education work with the U.S. Agency for International Development.) “Learning is about developing new understandings based in re-examining our knowledge and experience in light of new ideas and exchange with others,” Reimers says. “Since I believe

One of the small white squares shows a teacher, her embroidered arm writing on a blackboard. Abolitionist Harriet Tubman is in the top right square, drawn in marker. Some of the other squares, 25 in all, show an ice cream cone, the words “Seneca Falls,” and a tiny one-room schoolhouse. Lecturer Sally Schwager, Ed.M.’76, C.A.S.’78, Ed.D.’82, knows the images well — she has been looking at the squares, which are part of a quilt that hangs in her office, for more than two decades now. Made, in secret, by the students in one of the American History: New Scholarship on Women programs that she ran from 1986 through 1998 at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the quilt was a thank-you gift from the students, middle and high school teachers who were attending the intensive four-week summer program, which was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The idea for the quilt started during a class trip to a quilting show in Lowell, Mass., a former mill town about 30 miles north of Cambridge. The students had learned about the importance of needlepoint and quilting in women’s lives, particularly during the abolitionist, suffrage, and temperance movements, and the legitimate historical documentation that these handiworks have provided over the years. Looking at a family quilt and admiring the group component of the piece that still allowed for individual expression, one of the students suggested to the others that they make a quilt and give it to the staff. Already armed with massive amounts of reading to do each night, the students, living in the Chronkhite dorm, had no idea how they could possibly take on another project. Spurred by Nancy Sizer, a student in the class and herself a master quilter, the students decided to give it a shot. “They would meet during lunch breaks and at night, and one person would read the homework assignment while the others worked on the quilt,” Schwager says. “They said they really felt like 19th-century quilters.” What They Keep is an occasional feature that looks at something found in a faculty member’s office and the story behind it.


• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


the appian way

Pilot School Test Scores -'


Do Boston Charters Perform Better?



• Harvard Graduate School of Education • summer 2009


Fifteen years after the first charter school opened in Boston, a research team led by Professor Tom Kane released a highly publicized study that shows that charter schools outperform other public schools in the city, including pilot schools. “Fifteen years ago, the charter school movement in Massachusetts was launched to see if new models could lead to gains in student achievement,” says Kane, faculty director of the school’s Center for Education Policy Research. “The results of this study suggest that charter schools in Boston are making a significant difference.” “Unfortunately, the results for pilot schools are more ambiguous and deserve further study,” the report states. Results were positive for English language arts in elementary school, but not math. In middle school, the study found that pilot school students “may actually lose ground relative to traditional public school students.” Until now, despite standardized test scores and school rankings, there had been little agreement over whether charter or pilot schools in the city actually produced better results or whether one (or both) should be expanded. Part of the skepticism, the authors write, comes from the fact that families volunteer to attend both types of schools and because of the belief that these schools “shed” low-performing students and keep only the best. Developed in the early 1990s, both charter and pilot schools are similar in their goals — to improve student progress and help close the achievement gap. Both operate with a high degree of flexibility when it comes to curricula, budgets, and staffing. However, pilot schools, which were started by Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union, remain part of the local school district and are continuing to grow — seven new schools are slated to open this September; charter schools have independent advisory boards, are mostly nonunion, and report directly to the state. Some cities like Boston are nearing the local cap on the number allowed, despite long waiting lists. Using data from the state, Kane, Jon Fullerton, Sarah Cohodes, and the team were able to follow individual students over a four-year period. They looked at their achievement prior to entering a charter, pilot, or regular public school, as well as their achievement in one of those schools. This allowed them to “compare charter and pilot students to traditional public school students who had similar academic achievement and other traits during an earlier school year.” Since students in Boston are assigned to schools based on a lottery, the researchers also compared the outcome of those students who got into a charter or pilot school to those who applied but did not get in. This made the study unique, says Kane.




-k_>iX[\ .k_>iX[\ >iX[\


Charter School Test Scores /' DXk_
View more...


Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.