Ron Glass

Dr. GlassDr. Glass is a philosopher of education whose work focuses on education as a practice of freedom, school reform in low-income, racially, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and the role of education in the struggle for a just, pluralistic democracy.

Dr. Glass is currently an Associate Professor in the Education Department of the University of California Santa Cruz, where he chairs the Social Context and Policy Studies Ph.D. program, and also directs the Ed.D. in Collaborative Leadership program. Before joining the UC Santa Cruz faculty, Dr. Glass had taught at Stanford University, the University of California Berkeley, and Arizona State University. He has provided consultation on program development and evaluation, educational reform, and institutional strategic planning for community organizations, schools, districts, and universities. Prior to being on university faculties, he directed the San Francisco-based Adult Education Development Project, benefiting from the collaboration of Paulo Freire and Myles Horton, the world-renowned educators for democracy.

Dr. Glass is the recipient of numerous honors, including: the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teaching Award; the Arizona State University Excellence in Diversity Award and the Dondrell Swanson Advocate for Social Justice Award; and, the City of Phoenix, AZ, Human Relations Commission Martin Luther King, Jr., Living the Dream Award.

Dr. Glass received a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education and an M.A. in Philosophy from Stanford University, a C.Phil. in Philosophy of Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Ed.M. and an A.B. with honors in History and Science from Harvard University.

It is probably never easy to have a deep conversation with another person; each person’s hopes, fears, anxieties, doubts, dreams, and many other powerful feelings, conscious and unconscious, easily get in the way of honest and full expression. To have a deep conversation with a stranger, or with whole groups of strangers and even an entire community, can seem impossible.

To talk openly and honestly about our experiences of schooling is equally challenging. Some of our most significant identities get shaped in schools: we are judged to be smart or not, popular or not, attractive or not, athletic or not; we discover that our race, class, and gender are significant for how we are judged in school and for the opportunities we will have beyond school. In school most of us learn that we are an Anybody, anonymous members of a mass; some, who can exceed the norms and standards, learn they can be a Somebody; and some, who cannot or refuse to meet the norms and standards, learn that they are Nobodies.[i] Thus, the stakes in conversations about schooling are huge; far too often, students and parents feel that they are on opposite sides of an enormous divide separating them from teachers and administrators, so the conversations can barely get started.

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