Dr. David T. Hansen, Professor, Columbia University, USA
Friday, February 16, 2018
12:30 – 2:00 pm
* Light refreshments will be served at 12:00 pm.
* Lecture will commence at 12:30 p.m.
This presentation will draw upon a recently completed, two-year-long undertaking in which I worked with sixteen highly regarded teachers from eight state-funded schools in a large, culturally diverse US metropolis. The study pivoted around two questions: What does it mean to be a person in the world today? and What does it mean to be a person in the role of teacher? The endeavor encompassed extensive classroom visits, whole-group discussions, and individual interviews. I cultivated an orientation in the inquiry that is best named bearing witness to teaching and teachers. The orientation calls upon the witness to heed teachers in their human singularity as they enact as well as speak of the role of teacher. This ethical heeding metamorphoses into fresh ground for addressing epistemic, policy, and political concerns regarding teaching. The presentation will fuse a conception of bearing witness to teaching and teachers with vignettes drawn from the intensive fieldwork that was part of the study.
David T. Hansen is the John L. and Sue Ann Weinberg Professor in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of the Program in Philosophy and Education. Hansen has written widely on the work of teachers, including in books such as The Call to Teach (1995), Exploring the Moral Heart of Teaching (2001), and The Teacher and the World (2011). At present, he is examining the idea of ‘bearing witness’ to the work of teaching and teachers in today’s difficult educational zeitgeist, and has published articles on the topic in Educational Theory and Journal of Curriculum Studies. Before taking up his present position, Hansen was director for ten years of the secondary teacher education program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a Past-President of the John Dewey Society and of The Philosophy of Education Society, and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.