“He believed in creating school experiences that provided children access to wonderful lives, because he believed children have the capacity to see the wonderful in the ordinary,” said Catharine Bell, PhD ’07, Jackson’s former doctoral student and friend.
Philip W. Jackson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, was a true, internationally respected education expert who was dedicated to the education of all children. He died on July 21, 2015 and is marvelously memorialized in a University of Chicago News obituary which draws our attention to his humane educational efforts for educating our children as children.
Unlike the inhumane, data driven, corporate-education-reform, TV talking heads and the political/corporate appointees disguised as education experts, Prof. Jackson actually knew and lived the education processes which are far from standardized.
Prof. Jackson himself was proof of the absurdity of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s arrogant statement, “We should be able to look every second grader in the eye and say, ‘You’re on track, you’re going to be able to go to a good college, or you’re not.’”
As part of the full obituary we discover the brilliant Prof. Jackson’s personal background.
“Born Dec. 2, 1928, in Vineland, N.J., Jackson was adopted and raised by a family of chicken farmers in rural southern New Jersey. His adoptive parents could not but notice his irrepressible talents, particularly in singing and poetry recitation. At age 6, Jackson began performing a vaudeville act in movie theaters where, between reels, he would recite poems and put on a snake-charmer act, complete with turban, pantaloons and a jersey garden snake coaxed from a basket.
In 1948, Jackson married his high school sweetheart, Josephine D’Andrea, then served six months in the Navy. He had no ambitions of higher education until a fellow sailor encouraged him to attend community college. Jackson enrolled at what is now Rowan University in New Jersey, earned a master’s degree from Temple University and continued on to Columbia University.
Jackson became an internationally recognized expert on John Dewey, founder of the Laboratory Schools. He wrote two widely praised books on Dewey’s philosophy of education, including John Dewey and the Lessons of Art (1998) and John Dewey and the Philosopher’s Task (2002), and served as president of the John Dewey Society from 1996-98.”
Prof. Jackson knew “children have the capacity to see the wonderful in the ordinary.”
Please remember this as we opt out or refuse high stakes standardized testing for our children.
Prof. Philip W. Jackson knew the human value of our children.
Let us take a moment to honor him and his memory.