Newsletter page 4
In May of this year, the John Dewey Project hosted a summit of leaders of national progressive education groups to discuss the future of progressive education and explore possible ways to work together on funding, media outreach, and research. It took place in Bloomington, Indiana, and was hosted by the Harmony School. Many issues surfaced as areas of shared concern at this meeting, but the primary one at the time was the national high stakes testing initiative. Currently, a concept paper is in the works, which will be used as a vehicle to attract other organizations into an “alliance for progressive education.”
Every October, the JDPPE celebrates Dewey’s birthday with a conference, forum, or lecture series. This year, we chose to host a two-day statewide summit, building on the work at the national summit, which would bring together progressive educators and activists to discuss our mutual efforts to “enliven our democracy through education and learning.” Keynote speaker William Watkins, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, spoke on the topic of “Reconstructing Society: Toward Education for Equality and Social Justice.” His talk was very well received. That same day, we offered workshops on Democratic Education and the Testing Culture, Youth Engage in Society: The Women’s Prison Project, Teachers Unions and Social Change, Cross Cultural Communication for Global Citizenship, and Queer Teens in Vermont Schools. The following day was devoted to learning circles about different aspects of democratic education. A report of the statewide summit will be available on our web site soon
Kathleen Kesson, Chris Koliba, and former graduate assistant Kate Paxton completed a chapter for the new edition of Creativity and Collaborative Learning: A Practical Guide to Empowering Students and Teachers, by Jacqueline S. Thousand, Richard A. Villa, & Ann I. Nevin. The chapter is entitled “Democratic Education and the Creation of the Loving and Just Community” and highlights three of the research projects carried out by John Dewey Project researchers.
Kathleen Kesson contributed a chapter to a forthcoming book entitled Nurturing our Wholeness, edited by Jack Miller, and published by the Foundation for Educational Renewal in Brandon, Vermont. Her contribution to this volume of essays on spirituality and education is entitled “Tantra: The Quest for the Ecstatic Mind.” Kathleen also co-authored, with Jim Henderson, an introductory chapter for the conference proceedings of the Curriculum and Pedagogy conference entitled “Curriculum Work as Public Intellectual Leadership.”