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Learning at its Best

A list of incredible humans who know what real education looks like

Late last week, I was in a conversation with Sheryl Petty where she graciously encouraged me to look at just how much IDEA and my own thinking is impacted by other humans who have put their ideas and love into words.

In support of #blog4idec and today’s theme of “Human”, I thought I’d try to brainstorm off the cuff (no help from Google) the names of the people whose writing has profoundly shaped my thinking about what real education looks like at the most human level.

Feel free to add your own incredible humans in the comments box.

And yes, I am inviting several moments of, “how could I forget ________, and _____________, and __________ . . .”

Here’s my list of incredible humans:

Eugenia María de Hostos, Grace Lee Boggs, Paulo Freire, Martin Buber, bell hooks, Seth Godin, Ken Wilber, Greg Smith, Dr. Vincent Harding, George Dennison, Riane Eisler, Daniel Quinn, Krishnamurti, Rachel Kessler, Paul Goodman, Maria Montessori, Paul Hawken, Ron Miller, Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Myles Horton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Parker Palmer, Vaclav Ha’vel, Arundahti Roy, Theodore Sizer, Jonathan Kozol, John Goodlad, Deborah Meier, Dr. Angela Valenzuela, Ivan Illich, Kirsten Olson, John Holt, Susan Sontag, Margaret Atwood, Dalton Trumbo, Randy Shilts, Herman Hesse, Carlos Castaneda, Bruce Scott, Thomas Merton, Arnold Mindell, Jane Addams, Bill Ayers, Dr. Cornel West, Joanna Macy, Karen Armstrong, Wendell Berry, Bill McKibbon, Courtney Martin, Thich Naht Hanh, Barbara Kingsolver, Wangari Maathai, Terry Tempest Williams, Thom Hartmann . . .

While IDEC 2012 won’t bring all of these people together (though that would make for one interesting gathering) it will having some amazing folks present.  I hope you are one of them.


4 thoughts on “A list of incredible humans who know what real education looks like

  1. Scott,

    I like your list by way of those you included and for some “biggies” not listed.


    Posted by Brent Snavely | November 1, 2011, 1:31 pm
  2. What is great about this list Scott…is that it is YOUR list. It is nice that you recognize that. Often times, educators are heavily influenced into whom they should or should not like, but even off the top of your head, you have seem to come up with an unique and original list, all of your own accord. Furthermore, it is nice that each of us have our own list and individuals who through their humanity have shaped each of us, as well. This post has caused me to think of a similar list as well. Thank you.

    Casey K. Caronna

    Posted by caseykcaronna | November 1, 2011, 11:09 pm
  3. I share many of the same authors/mentors. Here are a few more, some of whom I am sure will cause the head-slapping that you mentioned, Scott: Sylvia Ashton-Warner (“Teacher”), George Prince (“The Practice of Creativity”), James Herndon (“The Way It Spozed to Be”), Robert Fritz (“The Path of Least Resistance”), Eric Berne (“Games People Play”), A.S. Neill (“Summerhill”), Malcolm Gladwell (“The Tipping Point” and “Outliers”), Geoff Colvin (“Talent is Overrated”), John Knowles (“A Separate Peace”), Sidney Jourard (“Disclosing Man to HImself”), Fritz Perls (“Gestalt Therapy Verbatim”), Marshall Rosenberg (“Non-violent Communication”), Alfie Kohn (“No Contest”, “Punished By Rewards”, “The Schools Our Children Deserve”).

    That will do for now. So many books, so little time, as the tee-shirts say. What amazes/distresses me is that so many great thinkers/writers have been so overlooked by policymakers. Surely now must be the time to make a lasting shift–“the great turning” that David Korten has written about (and which is on my proverbial nightstand).

    Peter Bergson

    Posted by Peter A. Bergson | November 10, 2011, 7:20 pm


  1. Pingback: Blog for IDEC 2012 Week Roundup: Real Education Is… « Cooperative Catalyst - November 3, 2011

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