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Chuck Carney
School of Education

Last modified: Wednesday, November 5, 2008

IU School of Education marking 100 years with symposium, dinner, presentations

Jonathan Kozol, Deborah Meier highlight events

Nov. 5, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Education is formally marking its 100th anniversary, Nov. 16-20 (Sunday-Thursday), with a series of symposium events. The celebration includes a dinner, keynoted by the founder of the modern small schools movement, Deborah Meier, and a presentation by education writer and activist Jonathan Kozol. A symposium on historical, as well as contemporary educational developments, and a formal ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary are scheduled.

The IU School of Education opened its doors in 1908 with four professors and 189 students the first semester. Since then the school has become one of the premier institutions of research and teacher preparation in the country.

Gerardo Gonzalez

Gerardo M. Gonzalez

Print-Quality Photo

Education programs now are offered on all eight campuses of IU, and about a third of Indiana's newly-licensed teachers each year hold degrees from the IU School of Education. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the graduate program of the IU School of Education in Bloomington among the top 20 nationally for the last 10 years.

"A centennial celebration provides a chance for reflection about what has been accomplished and future directions," said Gerardo M. Gonzalez, dean of the school. "The School of Education has a long legacy of producing educational leaders who have had impact at the local, national and international levels. Alumni and friends have been loyal throughout the decades and together with our faculty, students and staff, have built a tradition of excellence unsurpassed among colleges and schools of education in the country."

On Nov. 16, at 2 p.m., a symposium focused on major educational reform movements of the 20th century and current issues will begin in the Willkie Auditorium, located across Rose Avenue from the Wright Education Building in Bloomington. The symposium will feature two panel discussions the same afternoon, then a dinner featuring Meier, a leading voice in education reform. Her ideas have influenced schools across the country heavily, including Bloomington's Harmony School. The dinner begins at 6 p.m.

"Deborah Meier is really an icon of democratic education, progressive education and the small school movement," said Steve Bonchek, executive director of the Harmony Education Center. "We're honored to have her associated with Harmony."

Meier now serves as Harmony's senior advisor for New Initiatives. She started a New York City alternative elementary school in 1974, later founding two others and a secondary school based on the progressive school model. Meier's books include The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem and Will Standards Save Public Education?

Harmony Education Center houses Harmony School and the National School Reform Faculty, and operates Rhino's Youth Media Center in Bloomington. The center promotes the development and practice of democratic education.

The symposium continues on Nov. 17, starting with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and then four more panel discussions, and a lunch event at noon. The final panel concludes at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., a formal commemorative ceremony will take place in the atrium of the Wright Education Building, with IU President Michael A. McRobbie and other dignitaries speaking.

Jonathan Kozol

Jonathan Kozol

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On Nov. 20, education writer and activist Jonathan Kozol will speak at 4 p.m. in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. His speech is titled "Joy and Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in an Age of Inequality, Resurgent Segregation and Relentless Testing."

Kozol is known for many provocative books on education, including Savage Inequalities and The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. His most recent book, released last year, is Letters to a Young Teacher. He wrote his first book, Death at an Early Age, following his experience of being fired for teaching African-American students in a Boston classroom about a Langston Hughes poem that wasn't part of the approved curriculum.

All of the events are free and open to the public, although an RSVP to is requested by 5 p.m., Nov. 10. A full schedule is available on the IU School of Education homepage,, under the "Events" heading.