The life and ideas of John Dewey, America’s most important philosopher and educational reformer, was the theme for the New England Pragmatist Forum held at GMC last week. Fifteen scholars from across the U.S. and Canada converged on the Poultney campus for two days of public presentations and conversations with students about Dewey’s influence and legacy.
Take part in a three-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire! Friday, October 16 – 8 a.m. through Sunday, October 18 at noon. Visit the Green MAP office for more info and to register!
As a backdrop to this week’s “The Philosophy of John Dewey” conference GMC prof. Steve Fesmire (philosophy) was a guest on VPR’s Vermont Edition program yesterday. Along with Middlebury prof. Jonathan Miller Lane (education studies), Steve shared perspectives on Dewey’s lasting legacy as America’s leading philosopher. Listen in at: http://digital.vpr.net/post/how-john-dewey-changed-world#stream/0
Check out the Cerridwen Farm Store in in the CSA barn! We are still selling lots of fall greens, eggs, chicken and our very own Goat Milk Soap. All also available at the Withey Hall Farmers’ Market Fridays from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Now available: Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, green and red tomatoes, peppers, onions, dilly beans, pickles and more!
Compile a list of the most famous Vermonters, and philosopher and education reformer John Dewey would certainly be in the top ten. Born in Burlington October 20, 1859, Dewey has been described as America’s greatest philosopher and its leading educational theorist. His work continues to be a source of insight for educational reformers, and his influence in philosophy has expanded exponentially in recent decades.
His life and ideas are the theme for the inaugural conference of the New England Pragmatist Forum, “The Philosophy of John Dewey,” October 15-17 at Green Mountain College. Fifteen scholars from across the U.S. and Canada will converge on the Poultney campus for two days of public presentations and conversations about Dewey’s influence and legacy.
“Dewey is the most cited academic philosopher of the twentieth century, and he made, arguably, the most significant contribution to the development of educational thinking in the twentieth century,” said prof. Steven Fesmire (philosophy), author of the recent book Dewey, published in the Routledge Philosophers series.
“Dewey approached philosophy as a practical necessity for interpreting, evaluating, criticizing, and redirecting culture. But it can also degenerate into a form of theater, a complacent professional identity, or an esoteric form of verbal conquest. Philosophy matters, for Dewey, when it helps us to deal with shared difficulties and when it extends and deepens our most worthwhile experiences.”
The keynote speaker on Friday, October 16 is Peter Godfrey-Smith (City University of New York Graduate Center) from 11 a.m.-noon in the East Room (Withey Hall). His presentation is titled “Dewey and Anti-Representationalism.” In the closing plenary Saturday, October 17, Cheryl Misak (University of Toronto) and Catharine Wells on (Boston College) will explore the authority of law in light of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Dewey.
The conference bookseller, Hermit Hill Books on 95 Main Street in Poultney, will have a book exhibit (Thurs. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 10-6 a.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Books from many presenters will be available for perusal and purchase.
For a complete program listing see this schedule.
Prof. Christopher Brooks (environmental studies and natural resource management) published an article titled “Lively Litigation Over Dead Zones – Ocean Acidity Poses Major Ecological Threat” in August for the American Bar Association’s Section for Environment, Energy, and Resources. The article looks at how Federal courts grapple with the cooperative federalism regime embedded in the Clean Water Act in order to address coastal water quality issues. Chris also examines ongoing litigation involving aquatic dead zones impacting shrimp fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and oyster hatcheries along the coast of Oregon and Washington.
Serena Eddy Guiles, the new director of career and personal development at GMC, loves to help students discover their passions and develop skills they never knew they had.
“The vast majority of us had no clear idea what we wanted to do for a career when we were in college—myself included,” she said. “The good news is, we’re reinventing ourselves all the time. Deciding what to do is a lifelong process.”
Serena brings a broad range of skills and interests to her new job. Educated at Harvard/Radcliffe College, she most recently served as program coordinator for RSVP and the Volunteer Center of the United Way in her native Middlebury, Vt. She also served as assistant director of career services at Harvard Law School and associate director of career services at Boston College Law School.
Since 2007 she’s been an active volunteer for the Middlebury Community Players as an actor and music director, and is assistant director of the Maiden Vermont Chorus. An elite athlete, she was a member of the U.S National Rowing Team, earning a 5th place in quadruple sculls in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games and competing in numerous world championships.
“I think the liberal arts education is a great background for any pursuit because you learn how to think, to write, to speak, to problem-solve. If you can acquire those skills, you can do anything,” she said.
Serena’s office is located in the CAT Center in Withey Hall.
Lindsey Pekurny ’16 recently attended the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshop at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Bomoseen, Vt. Dr. Valorie Titus (natural resources management) also attended as an instructor. Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLfT) is a professional development program designed for student and professional leaders within the natural resource sciences. CLfT focuses on hunting awareness and conservation education among academic programs and government agencies. CLfT consists of four-day workshops that blend interactive classroom discussion with field experiences. Workshop participants engage with leading natural resource professionals and conservationists in a highly interactive educational setting.
Prof. Steven Fesmire (philosophy) recently published Dewey, an exploration into the life and ideas of one of America’s foremost philosophers. The book was recently given an “essential” review from the magazine Choice, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries. The essential designation refers to publications “of exceptional quality for academic audiences and a core title for academic libraries supporting programs in relevant disciplines.” The review reads in part: “Fesmire helpfully ends with a suggestive discussion of Dewey’s influence and legacy. This book is superb in showing the interconnectedness of Dewey’s philosophy, with each chapter building on the ideas developed in previous ones.”
Nearly 9,000 Nepalis were killed in earthquakes last spring, with over 25,000 injured. “The United Nations estimates that while 10 percent of the Nepali population—some three million residents—are in dire need of basic resources like food, shelter, and medical care, the Nepali government has made no arrangements to receive and use the $4.1 billion in donations from foreign countries and international agencies,” writes prof. Kevin Bubriski (fine art) in a photo essay that appeared last weekend in the New York Review of Books. Kevin has been taking photographs in Nepal since he first arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1975. See the feature here.