December 2009 Archives

Origins of the magic wand

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It's probably an appropriate time to explain the magic wand metaphor and thank my benefactors. Throughout my career I have been committed to initiatives that involve extended collaboration with teachers, teacher educators, scientists, and education technology specialists. The work has been productive and important, but nurturing these research­-practice communities requires intentional efforts and resources, some of which are challenging to provide using traditional funding models. Thanks to an endowed professorship that was developed though a generous gift from Donna and Gilbert Kahn, and for which I am privileged to serve as the first 5-year recipient, I am able to support what I have come to refer to as the "spaces between" (funded research and practice). Last year, a colleague referred to my ability to pull groups of people and resources together to make things happen as "waving my magic wand" - hence the name of this blog.

At the end of the day, there is little magic involved, but rather an unyielding belief that when smart people from diverse fields come together to tackle a problem, amazing things can happen.