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Monday, February 6, 2012

Student Employment and Teaching

Mat Lipman is best known as founder of the international Philosophy for Children movement, a great educational innovator in the tradition of John Dewey. He is less well known as a teacher of individual students, but, in that area also, Lipman was an important innovator. One story to illustrate this: the amazing 30 year career of Joanne Matkowski, who came to Lipman's Institute in its early days as a student worker. She was invited early on into the daily policy discussions and into the activity of philosophic inquiry. Over 30 years, she took on increasing responsibility, finally running the business side of the operation and consulting on a broad range of important questions; her cover art even appeared on one of Mat's novels for children. Joanne's story can serve as an important reminder of what can be accomplished, if those supervising student workers in academic settings take their teaching responsibilities seriously.

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