Askwith Forum

Askwith Forum: Cornel West – Spiritual Blackout, Imperial Meltdown, Prophetic Fightback

Speaker: Cornel R. West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School

Introduction: Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Ed.M.'11, Ed.D.'13, lecturer on education and co-chair, Dean's Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity (DACED), HGSE.

Don't miss dynamic speaker Cornel West, a professor at the Harvard Divinity School and in the Harvard Department of African and African American Studies.

Askwith Forum: Changes in Mind - Five Decades of Insights into Intelligence, Thinking, and Learning


Drew Gilpin Faust, president and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University
James E. Ryan, dean and Charles William Eliot Professor, HGSE
Howard Gardner, co-founder and co-director, Project Zero (1972-2000); Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, HGSE; adjunct professor of Psychology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Dave Perkins, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Emeritus, HGSE
Steven Seidel, Ed.M.’89, Ed.D.’95, director, Project Zero (2000-2007); Bauman and Bryant Senior Lecturer on Arts in Education, HGSE
Shari Tishman, Ed.D.’91, director, Project Zero (2007-2014); lecturer on education, HGSE
Daniel Wilson, Ed.M.’94, Ed.D.’07, director, Project Zero (2014-present)

This Askwith Forum will offer insights gleaned from a half-century of iconoclastic investigations into changing conceptions of the mind and the implications of these changes for today’s teachers, schools, and society.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to explore and reflect on how our perceptions of how our minds work have changed over the past fifty years,” said Daniel Wilson, director of Project Zero. The role of education in today’s complex world requires us to take stock in what we know about the human mind and consider how to best cultivate citizens of tomorrow. We look forward to sharing views on major insights, and discussing implications for educators from current luminary thinkers in our field.”

Project Zero (PZ) is a Harvard Graduate School of Education research center that focuses on learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels. Project Zero will launch its year-long 50th anniversary by hosting this special Askwith Forum as part of HUBweek in Boston.

Askwith Forum: Empowering Youth as Changemakers

Speaker: Bill Drayton, CEO and chairman, Ashoka

Discussants from the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI):

Monica Higgins, Kathleen McCartney Professor of Education Leadership, HGSE; faculty co-chair, ALI
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; chair and director, ALI
Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and director of the International Education Policy Program and of the Global Education Innovation Initiative, HGSE; faculty co-chair, ALI

This forum is held in conjunction with the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Education Deep Dive, Empowerment in Education: Understanding the Possibilities for Change

Askwith Forum: How Mayors Are Leading the Way on Child Development and Education

Introduction by: Paul Reville, Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration, and director, Education Redesign Lab, HGSE

Moderator: Jorrit de Jong, Lecturer in Public Policy and Management, and faculty director, Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

• Joseph Curtatone, Somerville, MA
• Jorge Elorza, Providence, RI
• Greg Fischer, Mayor, Louisville, KY
• Libby Schaaf, Oakland, CA

In an era of widespread disagreement on education reform, increased confidence in local control of education, and the absence of a dominant theory on where reform goes from here, visionary mayors are emerging as leaders of thought and action in defining a new role for municipalities to play in developing and educating young people, with particular attention to children living in poverty. Several mayors who are participating in both HGSE's By All Means Initiative and HKS’s Bloomberg City Leadership Initiative are mapping out cradle-to-career pathways to success for children in their communities. They will discuss their ambitious plans with the head of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Jorrit de Jong.

This forum is held in conjunction with the By All Means initiative.

Askwith Forums- Immigration, Activism, and DACA: An Evening with Jose Antonio Vargas and Joy Reid

DACA, Communities, and the Future of Immigration Policy:
An Evening with Jose Antonio Vargas and Joy Reid

• Joy Reid, political analyst and host of “AM Joy,” MSNBC
• Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist; founder and CEO, Define American

Moderator: Roberto G. Gonzales, professor of education, HGSE

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Obama policy that shielded nearly 800,000 young people from deportation. In light of DACA’s termination and new concerns over immigration policy, Professor Roberto G. Gonzales will kick-off a multi-week series on DACA, immigration reform, and community responses to restrictionist policies. The conversation with political analyst and MSNBC host Joy Reid and Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and CEO of Define American, will address the politics and policies of immigration, the termination of DACA, and the meaning of American in this current political moment.

This forum is in conjunction with the DACA Seminar, a multi-week series of events facilitating conversations between academics, activists, and artists on policies and politics of immigration.

Askwith Forum: Learning to Change the World

HGSE speakers:
• Felipe Barrera-Osorio, associate professor of education and economics
• Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Ed.D.’09, associate professor of education
• Dana McCoy, assistant professor of education
Moderator and speaker: Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and director of the International Education Policy Program and of the Global Education Innovation Initiative, HGSE
Our motto at Harvard Graduate School of Education is “Learn to Change the World,” and as part of Worldwide Week at Harvard, we are celebrating and showcasing HGSE’s global presence and educational opportunities that extend beyond Cambridge and Boston.

What does learning to change the world look like? In this Askwith Forum, four faculty members will individually share their perspectives in dynamic, TED Talk-style presentations.

For them, learning to change the world requires evaluating refugee education and how we prepare children globally in a variety of environments and societies; studying how public education is delivered in developing nations and the role of public-private partnerships; creating cross-cultural measures of early childhood development; and developing a set of global competencies.

Askwith Forum: Stephen Wolfram and Howard Gardner - Best Education in Computational Thinking

Stephen Wolfram, in Conversation with Howard Gardner:
What Is the Best Education in Computational Thinking for the 21st Century?

• Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, HGSE; adjunct professor of Psychology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; co-founder and senior director, Project Zero
• Stephen Wolfram, founder & CEO, Wolfram Research; creator, Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language; author, A New Kind of Science
Join Dr. Stephen Wolfram and Dr. Howard Gardner as they discuss views on mathematical thinking in 21st century education. Topics will include: relations among mathematical, logical, computational, programming, and coding skills; whether, and if so in what ways, other disciplines (from science to the arts) should be included in mathematical education; and how we should be thinking about mathematical education, broadly construed, over the lifetime.

PLEASE NOTE: Seating for this forum will be available on a first come, first seated basis. Askwith Hall is expected to fill up quickly and we encourage participants to arrive early in order to obtain a seat. Seats may not be saved for those pending arrival. Additional seating will be available in satellite spaces on campus once Askwith Hall fills to capacity.

Askwith Forum: Everybody's Talking about Equity, But Nobody Knows the Meaning of the Word

Moderator: Charles Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School

Remarks: Robert Peterkin, Professor of Practice, Emeritus, HGSE

Introduction: Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.M.’92, Ed.D.’95, Professor of Practice, HGSE

• Jennifer Cheatham, Ed.M.’06, Ed.D.’10, Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District, WI
• Joseph Davis, Ed.M.’00, Ed.D.’08, Superintendent, Ferguson-Florrisant School District, MO
• Stephen Zrike, Jr., Ed.M.’03, Ed.D.’10, Receiver of the Holyoke Public Schools, MA

The equity mission of urban school districts — to provide an excellent education to all students — is more difficult than ever to achieve. This Askwith Forum examines the social responsibility superintendents bear in leading their districts in educating underserved students. How can these leaders move their districts beyond providing “equity of access” to achieve “equity of outcomes” with students’ more advantaged peers? Our panel of urban superintendents shares their unique perspectives on this work with Charles Ogletree, and Robert Peterkin closes the evening by examining the implications for future leadership practice.

This forum is being held in conjunction with the Urban Superintendents Program convening in celebration of the USP program, which began 25 years ago.

Part of HGSE's Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity community conversation.

Askwith Forum: College + Athletics = A Complex American Relationship

• Mark Emmert, president, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
• Robin Harris, executive director, The Ivy League
• Susan Herbst, president, University of Connecticut
• Chris Howard, president, Robert Morris University

Moderator: James Soto Antony, senior lecturer on education and faculty director,
Higher Education Program, HGSE

There are few traditions as storied and entrenched in our culture and society as college athletics. While the visibility and challenges of college athletics are widely recognized, less-known are the positive impacts participation in college athletics has on student athletes, 20 percent of whom are the first in their family to attend college. Yet, only in the United States do colleges and universities formally sponsor athletic programs, the costs of which can be high. Why do so many institutions put such an emphasis on athletics, and what impact does this have on colleges and universities, students, and our education system overall? How can college athletics be improved to better serve both students and institutions? And what would the country be like without college athletics?
In this forum, experts will engage in a conversation about the tangible and intangible benefits of college athletics, with the aim of broadening how we think about the role of sport and its impact on education and society.

Askwith Forum: Making Education Relevant in the Face of Global Challenges

***Note the 4 p.m. start time***

Moderator: Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and Faculty Director, International Education Policy Program, HGSE; Co-Chair, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative

• William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development and Faculty Chair, Energy and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center for International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
• Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society, Harvard College Professor, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Member of the Faculty, Harvard Divinity School
• Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Chair and Director, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative
• Howard Koh, Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership and Director of the Leading Change Studio, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Chair, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative

This panel opens a think tank focused on the question of how to make education relevant. Issues addressed will include how we align what schools and universities teach with some of the biggest global challenges we face; how to prevent and address the potential for religious, ethnic, and racial conflict; and the challenge of closing gender gaps, promoting health, and fostering environmental sustainability.

Askwith Forum: If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together

Moderator: Karen L. Mapp, Ed.M.’93, Ed.D.’99, Senior Lecturer on Education and Faculty Director, Education Policy and Management Program, HGSE

• Kaya Henderson, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools
• Josephine Bias Robinson, Chief, Office of Family and Public Engagement, Office of the Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

In the Race to the Top across our nation’s schools, the drive for reform has been urgent and disruptive. Reform efforts in urban school districts seek to transform the educational experience, but often by doing the work in spite of, or to, communities, instead of listening and collaborating with them. DC Public Schools, under the leadership of Chancellor Kaya Henderson, is demonstrating that positive change can happen when family and community engagement is coupled with and integrated into the efforts to transform and improve the classroom experience. Hear how DC Public Schools are going farther, faster, together with their families to create sustainable improvements in educational outcomes for all their children.

Part of HGSE's Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity community conversation.

Doug Lemov Askwith Forum: Teach Like A Champion

At the Askwith Forum, Doug Lemov, author and managing director at Uncommon Schools, will reflect on what makes for effective teaching, how teaching can and should be the centerpiece of school reform, and how teaching skills can be effectively developed.

Read more:

Askwith Forums- Realizing Human Potential through Education

Realizing Human Potential through Education

Inaugural Yidan Prize Laureates:
• Vicky Colbert, Yidan Prize for Education Development; founder and director, Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia
• Carol Dweck, Yidan Prize for Education Research; Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Moderator: Catherine Snow, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education, HGSE

Founded in 2016, The Yidan Prize Foundation has a mission to create a better world through education. Yidan Prize consists of two awards: the Yidan Prize for Education Research and
the Yidan Prize for Education Development that include a cash prize and a project fund. Join
Professor Snow in a conversation with the inaugural Prize laureates about their work.

Askwith Forum | M. Night Shyamalan: "I Got Schooled"

On April 28, 2014, HGSE Prof. Paul Reville introduced filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who discussed on his work on education reform.

Askwith Forum: Transforming Teaching

Moderator: Jal Mehta, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education


• Anthony S. Bryk, Ed.D.’77, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
• Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education, San Francisco State University; Co-Founder, Teaching Excellence Network
• Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

Imagine a world in which every child has a great teacher, where strong graduates choose teaching careers, and where knowledge about good teaching is readily available and accessible. In this Askwith Forum, our panel explores ways to transform the teaching profession into one that is committed to building practitioners' skills over time. Join us as we examine what it would take to develop the systems, the institutions, and the teachers we need to achieve educational equity and prepare all students for the challenges of the future.

Askwith Forum - Teens and Sex: Navigating from Shame and Regret to Integrity and Wellness

Speaker: Peggy Orenstein, Author, Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape and Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Moderator: Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.M.’92, Ed.D.’95, Professor of Practice, HGSE

• Justine Fonte, Director of Health & Wellness, The Dalton School, New York, NY
• Richard Weissbourd, Ed.D.’87, Senior Lecturer on Education; Faculty Director, Human Development and Psychology Program; Co-Director, Making Caring Common, HGSE

In this forum Peggy Orenstein will discuss her New York Times best-selling book, Girls and Sex. Orenstein, a renowned journalist and the author of several books, including Cinderella Ate My Daughter, examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; why we need to redefine “virginity”; what we can learn from queer girls; the complicated terrain of hookup culture; and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. Weissbourd and Fonte will engage with Orenstein in a discussion on how educators and parents can far more effectively guide both teen girls and boys in navigating this complex terrain. Audience Q&A will follow the panel discussion.

In conjunction with Making Caring Common and the HGSE Task Force on Sexual Assault and Harassment.

Askwith Forum | Educational Challenges of the 21st Century

On April 24, 2014, HGSE Prof. Fernando Reimers hosted an Askwith Forum with panelists Amar Bhidé, Michael Casserly, Mitchell Chester, Deb Delisle, and Nancy Hoffman.

Askwith Forum - Engineering Personalized Learning: The Story of Summit Schools and Facebook

Askwith Forum - Engineering Personalized Learning: The Story of Summit Schools and Facebook
Moderator: Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, HGSE


Mike Sego, Director of Engineering, Facebook
Diane Tavenner, Founder and CEO, Summit Public Schools
Discussants from the first Cohort:
Gara Field, Ed.M.’04, Principle, Pleasant View Elementary School, Providence, RI
Kairav Sinha, Science Teacher, Blackstone Valley Prep High School, Cumberland, RI
Simone Barros, Student, Blackstone Valley Prep High School, Cumberland, RI

In the past few years, personalized learning has gone from concept to reality in the classroom. Schools across the country are customizing instruction to meet the needs, skills, and passions of their students — and teachers are leading the way. In this Askwith Forum, Tavenner and Sego will discuss how Summit teachers partnered with Facebook engineers to develop an online personalized learning platform and make it available to any school for free. Join us to hear how personalized learning is shifting teacher practice and encouraging students to take greater ownership of their learning, while building their leadership, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Tavenner and Sego will also share the experiences of 29 schools, 4,800 students, and 270 teachers who are part of Summit and its Basecamp partnership program.
Networking reception with members of the Facebook product and engineering team and Summit team immediately following the forum.

This is not a ticketed event and RSVP is not required. To assist us in our planning, please let us know if you are “going” and please “invite” others at:

Askwith Forum: The End of Race-Based College Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling this spring upheld the Michigan ban on affirmative action and further fueled ongoing debates about whether race should be considered in college admission decisions across the United States. Should selective college admissions policies replace race-based affirmative action with preferences for high achieving students from disadvantaged places or low family wealth, without regard to race? Does race-based affirmative action create needless political barriers to progressive policy for the future? Join Sheryll Cashin, a professor at Georgetown Law and author of the widely acclaimed book, Place, Not Race, and Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute, as they discuss the role of race and class in the future of college campuses.

Moderator: Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Ed.M.'97, associate professor of education, HGSE

Sheryll Cashin, professor of law, Georgetown Law; author of Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America
Richard Rothstein, visiting scholar in education, HGSE; research associate, Economic Policy Institute; senior fellow, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California Berkeley School of Law

Askwith Forum - Against the Odds: Educating Girls Globally


Irina Bokova, Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Sakena Yacoobi, CEO, Afghan Institute of Learning; Co- Founder and Vice President, Creating Hope International; WISE Prize for Education Laureate
Discussants from the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI):
Monica Higgins, Kathleen McCartney Professor of Education Leadership, HGSE; Faculty Co-Chair, ALI
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Chair and Director, ALI
Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and Director of the International Education Policy Program and of the Global Education Innovation Initiative, HGSE; Faculty Co-Chair, ALI
This forum will examine the challenges that remain for girls around the world to access a high quality education that empowers them, and the work that activists, teachers, governments, and intergovernmental organizations are advancing to address these challenges. Yacoobi will discuss the constraints that girls and women face to receiving an education in Afghanistan, and highlight the work that she and other social entrepreneurs have advanced, under the most challenging conditions, to support the educational opportunities of girls against the odds. She is an award-winning social innovator who has devoted her life to creating educational opportunities for girls and women. Bokova will address the same issues from the perspective of the international development community, and of UNESCO specifically. After these presentations, there will be a panel discussion with Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative faculty.


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