Shoulders of Giants

Shoulders of GiantsA listing of thinkers contributing
to the education conversation.

What does it mean to stand on the “shoulders of giants.”  The Phrase Finder offers this interpretation: “Using the understanding gained by major thinkers who have gone before in order to make intellectual progress.”

There is a tension here, to resist being anchored in past paradigms and to resist re-inventing the wheel.  Another issue is simply keeping track.  To that end, this page begins a  listing of  theorists who have contributed foundational concepts (and, yes, some Edu-Speak buzzwords) to our current educational conversations.

Learning Theory v5.cmapThis compilation is a work in progress begun late October 2017. Thanks for bearing with the construction.

In the meantime, you can also view this ambition mindmap of all things Learning Theory (2013, Millwood, R.) that you see here on the right.

Links below to biographies or theories will likely connect to a Wikipedia page (you will need to practice your media literacy skills to determine if that is really the best source of information) and, where applicable, there are Amazon links to a book written by the thinker.  As a reminder, this is a list of “theorists” (vs. the universe of amazing humans who have contributed in ways other than a formal written treatise).

  • Bronfrenbrenner, Uri.
    Ecosystems Theory. Listing in progress.
  • Darling-Hammond, Linda.
    Theories on equity and teaching. Listing in progress.
  • Dewey, John.
    Progression education.  Listing in progress.
    Dweck, Carol.
    Dweck works in the fields of developmental and social psychology. She developed the concept of the Growth Mindset. A mindset (on a continuum of “fixed” to “growth”) is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves.  Some critique regarding her emphasis on effort.
  • Duckworth, Angela Lee.
    A psychologist, Duckworth offers that achievement is not a talent, but a combination of passion, persistence, and the education buzzword, “Grit.”
  • Emdin, Christopher
    Reality pedagogy.  Listing in progress.
  • Epstein, Joyce.
    Model of parent engagement.  Listing in progress.
  • Freire, Paulo.
    Pedagogy of the oppressed.  Listing in progress.
  • Gardner, Howard.
    A development psychologist, Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences asserts that humans have several different ways of processing information, and these ways are relatively independent of one another.
  • Giroux, Henry.
    Critical pedagogy.  Listing in progress.
  • Hattie, John.
    Hattie performed a meta-analysis of 800 studies linking different factors to educational outcomes.  Hattie’s findings are framed as Visible Learning.  Best results are found when teachers see the learning through the eyes of the child.  Some questions arise regarding the research methodology.
  • Ladson-Billings, Gloria.
    Culturally relevant pedagogy.  Listing in progress.
  • Moll, Luis.
    Funds of knowledge.  Listing in progress.
  • Montessori, Maria.
    Whole child learning.  Listing in progress.
  • Oakes, Jeannie.
    Grassroots organizing and educational equity.  Listing in progress.
  • Olivos, Edward.
    Model for bi-cultural parent involvement.  Listing in progress.
  • Piaget, Jean.
    Piaget was a development psychologist and developed a theory of cognitive development.  He was also a pioneer in the Constructivist Theory of Knowing – how people make meaning between their experiences and their ideas.
  • Puentedura, Ruben.
    SAMR Model.  Listing in progress.
  • Spring, Joel.
    Multicultural education.  Listing in progress.
  • Renee, Michelle.
    Social movement organizing and equity-focused educational change.  Listing in progress.
  • Robinson, Ken.
    Robinson is an educationalist who suggests a climate of creativity and  curiosity that fosters Finding Your Passion is essential to the academic environment.
  • Rogers, Everett.
    Diffusion of innovation theory.  Listing in progress.