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College of Education

The Museum of Education Gallery Talks

The Museum periodically stages gallery talks and discussions when nationally-renowned educators pass through Columbia. Past events have included “Learning Through Life” by Bill Ayers, January 28, 2008, and “Performing Feminist Poststructural Research” by Patti Lather and Janet Miller, October 28, 2008.

William Ayers serves as Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. Bill has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the political and cultural contexts of schooling, and the meaning-making and ethical purposes of students and families and teachers. In his pedagogical memoir, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Bill Ayers writes: “The fundamental message of the teacher is this: You must change your life. Whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, the teacher invites you to a second chance, another round, perhaps a different conclusion. The teacher posits possibility, openness and alternative; the teacher points to what could be, but is not yet. The teacher beckons you to change your path.” Bill Ayers reflects this sentiment not only as teacher but also as life-long learner, as an individual who has taken and is taking many paths and has had many careers: as longshoreman, co-director of a day care center, community activist, early childhood/preschool teacher, deputy commissioner of education for the city of Chicago, baker, founder and director of three alternative schools, and, now, Professor of Education at the University of Illinois- Chicago.


Patti Lather is a professor of education in the School of Educational Policy and Leadership at Ohio State University, where she teaches courses in qualitative research, gender in education, and cultural studies. Patti is also an associated faculty member in women's studies and comparative studies. Her books include Getting Smart: Feminist Research and Pedagogy with/in the Postmodern published in 1991 and recipient of the American Educational Studies Association's (AESA) Critics' Choice Award; Troubling the Angels: Women Living with HIV/AIDS in 1997, selected as one of  CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Book of the Year, and most recently Getting Lost: Feminist Practices Toward a Double(d) Science published in 2007.


Janet L. Miller is Professor of English Education/The Teaching of English at Teachers College, Columbia University. One of the defining figures in curriculum studies and the reconceptualist movement, Janet has served as Vice President of AERA for Division B-Curriculum Studies and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies as well as serving for years—decades—as Managing Editor of The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and Program Chair of the Bergamo Curriculum Theory Conferences. Her publications include Creating Spaces and Finding Voices: Teachers Collaborating for Empowerment (1990), A Light in Dark Times: Maxine Greene and the Unfinished Conversation (in 1998), and recently Sounds of Silence Breaking: Women, Autobiography, Curriculum, published in 2005.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.