Upcoming Education Gurus

If you know of Highly Skilled speakers, trainers, consultants and thought leaders in the Education field, please nominate them

CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; and is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. Professor Christensen holds a B.A. with highest honors in economics from Brigham Young University (1975), and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University (1977), where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Professor Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served through 1983 as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was awarded his DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1992. Professor Christensen became a faculty member there in 1992, and was awarded a full professorship with tenure in 1998. He holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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PETER SENGE

Peter Senge, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Founding Chair of the Society of Organizational Learning (SoL), a global network of people and institutions working together for systemic change. His work centers on promoting shared understanding of complex issues and shared leadership for creating healthier human systems. Today, this involves major cross-sector collaborative projects focused on global food systems, climate change, circular (zero waste) business models and regenerative economies, and youth leadership and the future of education.

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LOUISE STOLL

Professor Louise Stoll’s research and development activity focuses on how schools,districts and national systems create capacity for learning and improvement, with particular emphasis on creative leadership, leadership development, professional learning communities and learning networks. She has also explored some of these issues in the health and other public sectors. Louise is committed to finding ways to help make better connections between research and practice, and particularly enjoys working with school principals and other leaders. A former President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement, she is part-time Professor at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London, a freelance researcher, OECD expert and international consultant. She started her career as a teacher in Inner London, and also spent six years working in Ontario, Canada. Author and editor of many publications including Professional Learning Communities with Karen Seashore Louis; It’s About Learning (and It’s About Time) with Dean Fink and Lorna Earl; Changing Our Schools: Linking School Effectiveness and School Improvement with Dean Fink; No Quick Fixes with Kate Myers, and articles on creating capacity for learning, networking between schools and creative leadership, her books have been translated into five languages. She has developed research-based materials on professional learning communities, a simulation on networking between schools, and The Toolkit: Improving School Leadership, for the OECD. Co-editor of a new book series, Expanding Educational Horizons, she presented a series of Hot Research on Teachers’ TV in England. She is a popular keynote presenter and workshop facilitator, OECD expert and consultant in many countries. Louise is a governor of a special school and she also sings in a jazz choir.

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WILLARD R. DAGGETT

Willard R. Daggett, Ed.D., CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education, is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move preK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. He has assisted a number of states and hundreds of school districts with their school improvement initiatives. Dr. Daggett has also collaborated with education ministries in several countries and with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Governors Association, and many other national organizations. He serves on several advisory boards, including: NASA Education Advisory Board – 2008 to present USA Today (national newspaper) Education Advisory Board. Before founding the International Center for Leadership in Education in 1991, Dr. Daggett was a teacher and administrator at the secondary and postsecondary levels and a director with the New York State Education Department, where he spearheaded restructuring initiatives to focus the state’s education system on the skills and knowledge students need in a technological, information-based society.

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Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell has earned an award-winning reputation for her steadfast commitment to the future of education. Her impact as a change agent runs deep. So deep, in fact, that her story attracted Hollywood’s attention. In January 2007, Paramount Pictures released Freedom Writers, starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Erin. The film is based on The Freedom Writers Diary, the New York Times bestseller that chronicled Erin’s extraordinary journey with 150 high school students who had been written off by the education system. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, Erin Gruwell transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions, and ultimately re-chart their futures. With Erin’s support, they chose to forego teenage pregnancy, drugs, and violence to become aspiring college students, published writers, and citizens for change. They dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders” and published a book.

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DR NEIL KOBRIN

Dr Neil Kobrin is the founder and president of the Academy of Mindful Psychology, which introduces an emerging field called Mindful Psychology. Mindful Psychology is an interdisciplinary theory which integrates aspects of mindfulness with Western and Eastern psychology; neuroscience, specifically affective neuroscience; health and wellness, including nutrition, sleep and exercise; and consciousness and spirituality. It is a holistic approach that combines essential elements of these disciplines and blends them into a theory of human functioning that is based on current research and science alike. The Academy offers online/live courses related to Mindful Psychology, a free Resource Center and many Partnership Opportunities. Dr. Kobrin is committed to the alleviation of suffering. In accordance to this commitment, as a university/graduate school president and psychology professor, he has trained psychotherapist throughout the world. Dr. Kobrin’s book, Emotional Well-Being: Embracing the Gift of Life, shows us how through mindful awareness and embracing the present moment, we can transform our life. It provides a rich illustration of how we developed emotionally and what we can do as adults to lead a happier, more meaningful life. It brings a modern day perspective to topics that have always seemed to intrigue us, such as the meaning of life, our happiness, and our feelings of isolation and separateness. Presenting ways to cope with life in the wake of stress, anxiety and misperception. It examines issues related to identity, and explores the basic question, “Who are we?”

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STEVE KAUFMANN

Steve Kaufmann grew up in the English speaking part of Montreal, Quebec in the 1950s. Although he was taught French in school, he could not communicate in that language. It was only after he left high school that he became interested in learning French and was able to make himself fluent. This experience inspired a life-long interest in the discovery of languages and other cultures. After two years at Montreal’s McGill University, Steve hitchhiked on a tramp freighter to get to Europe. He ended up studying in France while supporting himself at various odd jobs. He graduated from the elite Paris School of Political Science, l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in 1966 and entered the Canadian Foreign Service. As a Diplomat, Steve continued to immerse himself in the culture and languages of other countries. In preparation for the opening of diplomat relations with China, Steve was assigned to Hong Kong to learn Mandarin. During this time he made regular visits to China which was then at the height of the Cultural Revolution. He next served at the Canadian Embassy in Japan, where he made himself fluent in Japanese, essentially by studying in his spare time. While at the Embassy, Steve was heavily involved in developing markets for Canadian forest products. In 1974 Steve left the Diplomatic Service to establish and manage Asian subsidiaries for two major Canadian forest products companies. In the early 1980s he returned to live in Vancouver. In 1987 he founded his own company which today has offices in Japan, Sweden and Canada, and of which he is the President and CEO. Steve is fluent in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Swedish and English and is working on two more, Korean and Portuguese. Steve I married with two sons and five grandchildren and lives in Vancouver, Canada. In 2003, Steve decided to write of his experiences in exploring and discovering different cultures and languages in the hope that it would encourage more people to become “

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DIRK VAN DAMME

Dirk Van Damme is currently Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division IMEP which covers both the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation CERI and the Indicators of Educational Systems INES programme in the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills. He is also professionally involved in educational policy development between 1992 and 2008 and served as chief of staff of Mr Frank Vandenbroucke, Flemish minister of education between 2004 and 2008. His current interests are evidence based innovation in education comparative analyses of educational systems new developments in the learning sciences and knowledge management in education.

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DR J JAY MARINO

Dr J Jay Marino is a Superintendent of schools in the Dunlap Community Unit School District 323 in Dunlap IL. He previously held many positions in schools and has taken the initiative on an ongoing basis for the improvement of education in schools. In addition to his efforts in education, he also helped school organizations in Europe and the US. He also gave numerous presentations at local state, national and international conferences. Among his endeavors, he also writes and became the editor for many publications including Leading Continuous Improvement Inspiring Quality Education Worldwide Magistrum in 2011, A Study of School Boards and Their Implementation of Continuous Improvement Practices, The Journal for Quality and Participation Vol 34 Issue 2 2011

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is an education writer whose work has appeared in Slate, Miller-McCune, The Washington Monthly, City Limits, the Huffington Post, National Review, and Washington Post. He is also the creator of two education blogs, “This Week In Education” and District 299: The Chicago Schools Blog, (sponsored by the Chicago Tribune). The Washington Post recently named “This Week In Education” one of its best education blogs of 2010. Chicago Magazine has named District 299 one of the best blogs in the city. He has been a guest commentator on WBUR’s On Point, WNYC’s On The Media, Chicago Public Radio, Chicago Public Television, and Fox TV Chicago. Before becoming a writer, Alexander was a teacher, an education researcher, and a policy advisor to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Jeff Bingaman, and Ramon Cortines (currently the superintendent of schools in Los Angeles). He has an MA in Education Policy from Harvard and a BA from Stanford. During 2008-2009, Alexander was a Spencer Education Journalism Fellow at Columbia University.

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DR ALMA HARRIS

Alma Harris is a Professor and Pro Director Leadership at the Institute of Education London. She is committed in lifting the effectiveness in education systems mainly for school to boost students reputation and she likes to assist schools with the most disadvantaged contexts. Her research includes school leadership transformation and improvement as well as organizational changes.In her most recent research with Andy Hargreaves, they focused on business education and sport sectors for high performing organizations. Alma Harris is the author of Distributed Leadership in Schools Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow and has been translated into a number of languages.

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ARNE DUNCAN

Arne Duncan became the U.S. Secretary of Education in 2009. Teaching runs in Duncan’s family: his mother, Sue Duncan, runs an independent early-learning center for children on Chicago’s South Side, and his father was a professor at the University of Chicago. Arne Duncan went to Harvard University, where he was co-captain of the basketball team before graduating with a sociology degree in 1987. He played pro basketball in Australia from 1987-91. He then returned to Chicago and in 1992, along with his sister, helped create Ariel Community Academy, a new charter public school which he ran for six years. He became director of the magnet school program for Chicago Public Schools in 1998 and in 2001 was named chief executive officer — the equivalent of superintendent — of Chicago’s public schools. His friend and fellow Chicagoan, Barack Obama, was elected president in 2008 and then named Duncan as Secretary of Education.

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