World's Top 30 Education Professionals for 2021

Guru #1

Eric Jensen

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Dr. Eric Jensen is a former teacher with a specialty in the applied cognitive science of learning. His M.A. is in Organizational Development and Ph.D. is in Human Development. Jensen is currently a member of the invitation-only Society for Neuroscience and the New York Academy of Sciences. He has worked with three universities and co-founded three multimillion dollar educational companies. Jensen cofounded the first and largest brain-compatible enrichment program, now with more than 70,000 graduates, held in 16 countries. He has written Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Brain-Based Learning, Teaching with Poverty in Mind and 29 other books on learning and the brain. He was the founder of the Learning Brain EXPO and has trained educators and trainers worldwide in this field for 25 years. He is deeply committed to making a positive, lasting difference in the way we learn.

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Guru #2

Diane Ravitch

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Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is also president and co-founder of the Network for Public Education, with 350,000 followers. She blogs at dianeravitch.net, Her blog has had more than 32 million page views since she started it April 26, 2012. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. She was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. As Assistant Secretary, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards. From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program. She was appointed by the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed by him in 2001. From 1995 until 2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government service, she was Adjunct Professor of History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2011, She was honored to receive the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award from the merican Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Her last two books were national bestsellers. And she received the Grawemeyer Prize in 2014 for “The Death and Life of the Great American School System. She has received 12 honorary degrees.

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Guru #3

Joseph S. Renzulli

Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli is a leader and pioneer in gifted education and applying the pedagogy of gifted education teaching strategies to all students. The American Psychological Association named him among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world. Dr. Renzulli received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education, considered by many to be “the Nobel” for educators, and was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented.

Joseph S. Renzulli is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, where he also serves as director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. His research has focused on the identification and development of creativity and giftedness in young people and on organizational models and curricular strategies for total school improvement. A focus of his work has been on applying the strategies of gifted education to the improvement of learning for all students.

Dr. Renzulli’s work on the Three Ring Conception of Giftedness, the Enrichment Triad Model and curriculum compacting and differentiation were pioneering efforts in the 1970s, and he has contributed hundreds of books, book chapters, articles, and monographs to the professional literature, many of which have been translated to other languages. Dr. Renzulli’s enrichment-based and differentiated teaching model has been utilized by more than 35,000 teachers from around the world since 1978.

Dr. Renzulli’s work also provides the foundation for the Renzulli Creativity Program, as well as the Renzulli Learning System, which is an online personalized learning program that provides profiles of each student’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression. This unique program also has a search engine that matches multiple coded resources with student profiles. The Renzulli Creativity Program and schools that have embraced the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) or Renzulli Learning System, also utilize Dr. Renzulli’s educational philosophy, which infuses high engagement enrichment activities into any and all standardized curriculum topics.

Dr. Renzulli is also the founder, along with Dr. Sally Reis, of the Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy in Hartford, Connecticut which has become a model for local and national urban school reform for high potential/low income students.

Although Dr. Renzulli has obtained more than $50 million in research grants, he lists as his proudest accomplishment the professional development he has provided at the annual summer Confratute program for teachers and administrators, which has enrolled more than 35,000 participants over the past four decades.

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Guru #4

Elliott Masie

Elliott Masie is a provocative, engaging, and entertaining researcher, educator, analyst, and speaker – focused on the changing world of the workplace, learning, and technology. Elliott is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term eLearning and has advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises.

He heads The MASIE Center in Saratoga Springs, NY focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning COLLABORATIVE, a coalition of 75 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. Members include Amazon, Zoom, Bank of America, Subway, The Hartford, and others.

He is the editor of e-NOTES & Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie (Internet newsletters read by business executives worldwide), and a regular columnist in professional publications, including CLO Magazine. He is the author of 12 books, including the ASTD/MASIE Center’s Big Learning Data and recent eBooks on “Learning Pivots” and “Empathy”.

Elliott’s professional focus has been in the fields of corporate learning, organizational performance, and emerging technology. He has developed models for accelerating the spread of knowledge, learning, and collaboration throughout organizations.

Elliott serves as an advisor to a wide range of government, education, and non-profit groups. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Skidmore College, as a member of FIRST Robotics Board of Directors, and as a board member for the Williamstown Theater Festival. He has also served as a pro-bono advisor to the Department of Defense and on the White House Advisory Council on Expanding Learning Opportunities, and as a member of the CIA University Board of Visitors.

Elliott is known as a highly approachable speaker and trainer, blending humor, applicable stories of best practice, and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past thirty-five years, he has presented programs, courses, and speeches to over 3,100,000 professionals around the world. He lives in Saratoga Springs, owns thoroughbred horses, and is a Tony Nominated Broadway Producer of shows, which include: Kinky Boots, An American in Paris, The Prom, The CHER Show, Anastasia, The Play that Goes Wrong, SpongeBob The Broadway Musical, and, most recently, “Seared”.

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Guru #5

Salman Khan

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Salman Khan is a Bangladeshi Indian American educator entrepreneur and former hedge fund analyst. He is founder of Khan Academy which is a free online platform for education worldwide. It is mainly focused on sciences and mathematical field and those subjects are presented through more than 4000 videos which is having more than 1 million subscribers. As the discoverer of this new kind of education world TIME and Forbes recognize him as one of the 100 Most influential People in the World and $1 Trillion Opportunity

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Guru #6

Sir Ken Robinson

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Sir Ken Robinson is a professor emeritus and a great thinker in education and business revolution through his thoughts on creativity innovation and human potential. His speech at the prestigious TED conference in 2006 and 2010 has a highest number of viewers in TED history with 25 million viewers from 150 countries worldwide. He was also honored as one of the Worlds Elite Thinkers on Creativity and Innovation in 2011 by Fast Company Magazine and also as one of the Top 50 Thinkers in the business world. He is also the author of best selling book The Element How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything which he composed in 2009 and was translated into 20 languages.

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Guru #7

Deborah Meier

Deborah Meier has been working in public education as a teacher, principal, writer, advocate since the early 1960s, and ranks among the most acclaimed leaders of the school reform movement in the U.S. She started her work as an early childhood teacher in Chicago after graduating from the U of Chicago. Her family moved to NYC in the late 1960s where she worked as a kindergarten teacher in Central Harlem. For the next 20 years, Meier helped revitalize public schools in New York City’s East Harlem District 4. In 1974, she founded Central Park East Elementary School (CPE I), a highly successful public school of choice that served predominantly local African American and Hispanic families. During the next dozen years, Meier opened two other Central Park East elementary schools in District 4 as well as an acclaimed secondary school (CPESS), while also supporting and directing the development of similar schools throughout NYC. She  helped found the Coalition of Essential Schools, in the 1980s, under the leadership of Ted Sizer.  In 1987 she received a MacArthur “genius” Award for her work in public education. During the 1990s she also served as an Urban Fellow at the Annenberg Institute. In 1995 she moved to Boston to start Mission Hill, a K-8 school in Roxbury. These schools were part of a network Meier created that helped initiate new small schools, both elementary and secondary, both in NYC and Boston. At Coalition schools, Meier helped foster democratic communities, giving teachers greater autonomy in the running of a school, giving parents a voice in what happens to their children in schools, and promoting intergenerational connections. She has always been a proponent of active, project-based learning, and of graduation through a series of exhibitions of high quality work. She is the author of many books and articles, including The Power of Their Ideas, Lessons to America from a Small School in Harlem, and In Schools we Trust. She is an outspoken critic of state-mandated curriculum and high stakes standardized testing and has written extensively on their unreliability and class/race biases. She is on the board of  FairTest, Save Our Schools, Center for Collaborative Education and the Association for Union Democracy. She is also on the editorial board of The Nation, The Harvard Education Letter, and Dissent magazines.

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Guru #8

Otto Scharmer

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Dr. Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT, Boston, a Thousand Talents Program Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation that helps leaders from business, government, civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He is author of Theory U and co-author of Presence and Leading from the Emerging Future. In 2015 he co-founded the MITx u.lab, a massive open online course for leading profound change that has since activated a global platform and eco-system of societal and personal renewal involving more than 100,000 users from 185 countries. With his colleagues he delivered award winning programs for companies including Alibaba, Daimler, Eileen Fisher and Google and co-facilitated innovation labs on reinventing education, health, business, government, and well-being. Otto received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015) and the EU Leonardo Corporate Learning Award for the contributions of Theory U to the future of management and learning (2016).

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Guru #9

Bonita Thompson

Bonita Thompson is the 2019 Business Leader of the Year, Harvard Club NYC (GC4W) Global Connections for Women–awarded for her Leadership Innovation and Workforce Reinvention at Bank of America, Levi Strauss, Genentech, Virgin Unite, Varian, Pacific Telesis and The World Bank. Bonita motivates and accelerates growth and change with her first-person professional experience as a global executive. Her books and keynotes inspire audiences with emotional storytelling that engage people to embrace innovation and transformation.

As a rare award-winning Woman Business Leader, Bonita is today’s ideal keynote: (1) Corporate Executive for 30 years who understands your corporate transformation at global companies, (2) Research Director for the World Success Survey at Wharton, and Adjunct Faculty at Institute of Coaching at Harvard and John F. Kennedy School and (3) New York Times Bestselling Leadership Author of Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value.

At Bank of America, she energized employees with a global transformation of 100,000 jobs using people analytics and inspiring examples of ordinary employees embracing extraordinary change.

At Levi Strauss, she empowered employees as project manager on five continents with the launch of the world’s first corporate HR INTRANET. Bonita helped launch the Institute for Contemporary Leadership and served on the Board of the Drucker/Hesselbein Leader to Leader Institute. She holds an MBA from U.C. Berkeley and is a doctoral fellow in Educational Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Guru #10

Carol Ann Tomlinson

Carol Ann Tomlinson is William Clay Parrish, Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy and co-director of the Institutes on Academic Diversity at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. She works throughout the United States and internationally with educators who want to create classrooms that are more responsive to a broad range of learners.

Tomlinson’s experience as an educator includes 21 years as a public school teacher working with preschoolers, middle school students, and high school students. At the secondary level, she taught English, language arts, German, and history. She also administered district-level programs for struggling and advanced learners and was Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in 1974.

At the University of Virginia, Tomlinson teaches undergraduates, master’s students, and doctoral students, predominantly in the areas of curriculum design and differentiated instruction. She was named Outstanding Professor at Curry School of Education in 2004 and received an All-University Teaching Award in 2008.

In 2014’s EducationNext Edu-Scholar Public Presence rankings, she was named one of the two most influential higher education voices in the United States in Psychology and the 16th most influential in all education-related fields.

She has written more than 300 books, book chapters, articles, and other materials for educators, and her books have been translated into 12 languages.

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Guru #11

Mike Kim

Mike Kim is one of the most well-known and well-respected teachers in the LSAT industry. Mike has a unique ability to understand the architecture of standardized exams, and more importantly, Mike has a proven ability to help students drastically improve their scores. Previously, Mike co-created and oversaw the development of the Manhattan LSAT books and courses. Inspired by self-driven students who prepare for the LSAT on their own, he set out to create the ultimate self-study guide, and The LSAT Trainer is the result.

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Guru #12

Erik M. Francis

Erik M. Francis, M.Ed., M.S. is an international author and presenter with over 20 years of experience working as a classroom teacher, a site administrator, an education program specialist with a state education agency, and a professional development trainer.   He is  the author of Now THAT’S a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning published by ASCD.   His book on teaching and learning for depth of knowledge (DOK) will be published by Solution Tree International in Fall 2020.

Erik is the owner of Maverik Education LLC, providing academic professional development and consultation to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities on developing learning environments and delivering educational experiences that challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge (DOK). His areas of expertise include teaching and learning for depth of knowledge (Webb’s DOK), higher level questioning and inquiry, authentic learning, differentiated instruction, personalized learning, and talent development.   Erik also has extensive experience working with students who are academically at-risk, gifted and talented students, English language learners, and students with special needs.

Erik’s professional development seminars and workshops have been featured at national, state, and regional education conferences hosted by organizations such as ASCD, Learning Forward, the College Board, the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the National Teacher Center, and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).   He has conducted professional trainings at K-12 schools, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Erik is an ASCD Author and Faculty Member, a professional development consultant for the Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE), a presenter and consultant for First Educational Resources, a presenter for Staff Development for Educators, Inc. and a presenter and instructional coach for FACTS Management.

Erik received his Master’s in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University and Master’s of Science in Film and Television Production and Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  He also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication and English from the University at Albany.

Erik lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family.

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Guru #13

John Hattie

Professor John Hattie is a researcher in education. His research interests include performance indicators, models of measurement and evaluation of teaching and learning. John Hattie became known to a wider public with his two books Visible Learning and Visible Learning for teachers. Visible Learning is a synthesis of more than 800 meta-studies covering more than 80 million students.  According to John Hattie Visible Learning is the result of 15 years of research about what works best for learning in schools. TES once called him “possibly the world’s most influential education academic”.

John Hattie has been Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. Before, he was Project Director of asTTle and Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada. You can find a full CV of Professor John Hattie (PDF) at the website of the University of Auckland.

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Guru #14

Baruti Kafele

A highly regarded urban public school educator in New Jersey for nearly 30 years, Baruti K. Kafele has distinguished himself both as a classroom teacher and as a school principal.

As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, N.J., Principal Kafele was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal in East Orange, Plainfield and Newark, N.J., he led the transformation of four different schools, including Newark Tech High School, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to recognition by U.S.News and World Report as one of America’s best high schools.

Kafele is one of the most sought-after education speakers in North America. He is the author of eight books, including his four ASCD best sellers—Closing the Attitude GapMotivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in LifeThe Principal 50, and The Teacher 50. He is the recipient of more than 100 educational, professional and community awards, which include the prestigious Milken National Educator Award in 2009 and the City of Dickinson, Tex., proclaiming February 8, 1998, as Baruti Kafele Day.

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Guru #15

Barbara Blackburn

Barbara Blackburn

Barbara Blackburn, Ph.D has dedicated her life to raising the level of rigor and motivation for professional educators and students alike. Barbara’s 28 books, including Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word, Rigor and Differentiation in the Classroom, Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom, and Rigor in Your School: A Toolkit for Leaders, provide easy-to-implement concrete examples based on decades of experience as a teacher, professor, and consultant. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2006, she received the award for Outstanding Junior Professor at Winthrop University. She left her position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to write and speak full-time. An international speaker, she presents lively, engaging, and practical on-site and technology-based keynotes and workshops for teachers and administrators in elementary, middle, and high schools. Her current emphasis also includes providing “Rigor Checks”, which are evaluations of tasks, assignments, and assessments, as well as training teachers and leaders to implement “Rigor Checks” in their schools.

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Guru #16

Dennis Littky

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Dennis Littky is the co founder and co director of Big Picture Company, The Met School and College Unbound. Throughout the years, he challenged the conventional education and school system by introducing different ways in teaching students critically challenging real world based and entrepreneurial course of studies. He has received many recognitions including the 2002 McGraw Hill Prize in Education, The George Lucas Daring Dozen in Education Award and the 2006 Innovator of the Year Award from the Rhode Island Development Corporation.

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Guru #17

Rick Jetter

Rick Jetter, Ph.D. is an educator, author, speaker, trainer and national education consultant. He has worked in the field of education for over 21 years and has held the positions of: alternative education teacher, English teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools before pursuing a career in consulting, speaking, writing and publishing. Known as “Dr. J.,” he is also the co-founder and lead consultant at Pushing Boundaries Consulting, LLC and a 2020-2021 fellow for the NY Education Policy Fellowship Program sponsored by Teachers College, Columbia University and Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. Dr. J. is currently one (of a very small handful) of scholars and thought leaders across the nation who develops narrative theory research models for transforming school culture and carrying out school reform initiatives.

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Guru #18

Robert j Marzano

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Robert j Marzano PhD, is cofounder and CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory in Colorado. A leading researcher in education, he is a speaker, trainer, and author of more than 30 books and 150 articles on topics such as instruction, assessment, writing and implementing standards, cognition, effective leadership, and school intervention. His books include The Art and Science of Teaching and Effective Supervision. His practical translations of the most current research and theory into classroom strategies are internationally known and widely practiced by both teachers and administrators. Dr. Marzano received a bachelor’s degree from Iona College in New York, a master’s degree from Seattle University, and a doctorate from the University of Washington.

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Guru #19

Andy Hargreaves

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Andy Hargreaves is Director of Chenine (Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education) at the University of Ottawa in Canada,  Emeritus Professor at Boston College, USA, and Honorary Professor at Swansea University, UK. He is co-founder and President of the ARC Education Collaboratory that brings together Ministers and professional leaders to promote broad excellence, equity, well-being, inclusion, democracy and human rights in education.  Andy was President of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement 2017-2019, former Adviser in Education to the Premier of Ontario (2015-2018) and is current adviser to the First Minister of Scotland. He founded The Journal of Educational Change, and the Journal of Professional Capital and Community. He has published more than 30 books and has 8 Outstanding Writing Awards. Andy co-invented the concept of professional capital, is one of the most important and long-standing writers on teacher collaboration, and has helped educators build and develop eight different systemwide networks of innovation and improvement. He has been honoured in Canada, the US and UK for services to public education and educational research and is ranked by US Education Week among the scholars with most influence on US education policy debate. In 2015, Boston College gave him its Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award. Andy holds Honorary Doctorates from the Education University of Hong Kong and the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Hargreaves has delivered invited addresses in more than 50 countries, 47 US states, and all Australian states and Canadian provinces. His most recent books are Collaborative Professionalism (with Michael O’Connor), 2018; Moving: a memoir of education and social mobility, 2020; Five Paths of Student Engagement (with Dennis Shirley), June 202; and Well-Being in Schools: three forces that will uplift all students (also with Dennis Shirley), January, 2022.

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Guru #20

Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels and roles in public education. His experiences as a teacher, administrator, district leader, department of education project leader, and executive director have provided a unique context for his education philosophy.

With 29 years of experience in public education—including secondary, middle, and elementary schools—Tom is a compelling presenter and staff developer, infusing his message of hope with strategies culled from the real world. He understands that educators in North America face unprecedented challenges and knows the proactive strategies that will serve learning communities best. His belief that “every student is a success story waiting to be told” has led him to work with teachers and administrators to create positive school cultures and build effective relationships that facilitate learning for all students.

Tom has presented to schools and districts across North America. He has recently published a book (see to the right) that examines the connection between behavior and academics and delivers the message in the form of seven keys. He is also the best selling author of a book that celebrates the role of the teacher, and has contributed chapters to the Tom Guskey edited anthologies TAAL and PAAL. All the titles are available through Solution Tree. Tom’s message is one of celebration for educators who are seeking to make a difference in the lives of students. His dynamic presentations explore the importance of positive learning environments and the role of assessment to improve student learning.

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Guru #21

Bryan Goodwin

Bryan Goodwin is the president and CEO of McREL International, a Denver-based nonprofit education research and development organization. Goodwin, a former teacher and journalist, has been at McREL for 15 years, serving previously as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Communications and Marketing.

He has authored or co-authored several books, including Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student SuccessThe 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every DayBalanced Leadership for Powerful Learning: Tools for Achieving Success in Your School and The Future of Schooling: Educating America in 2020. Goodwin writes a monthly research column for Educational Leadership and presents research findings and insights to audiences across the United States and in Canada and Australia.

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Guru #22

Richard Gerver

Richard Gerver has been described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation. He is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker.

Richard began his career in education, most notably as headmaster of the failing Grange Primary School. In just two years, he famously transformed the school into one of the most acclaimed learning environments in the world. He was celebrated by UNESCO and the UK Government for its incredible turnaround.

Richard has since transitioned to the global stage where he uses his trademark humour and natural style to deliver passionate, provocative and authentic speeches. He draws upon the first-hand experiences and unique insights garnered from frontline education to explore the links between great leadership, human potential, change and innovation. His ability to connect experiences across many seemingly different environments helps people to expand their thinking and perception of potential. It is this authenticity and uniqueness which has helped Richard win him global acclaim and invitations to speak on the most recognised stages, including TED, the RSA and BBC radio.

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Guru #23

Rachael Mann

Rachael Mann is passionate about all things related to education, technology, and science. She is an “edufuturist” who believes in the importance of shaping the educational philosophies and spaces of today by looking toward the innovations of tomorrow. Rachael is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and events across the country, and she speaks and writes about disruptive technology, education, and careers. She is the author of The Spaces You Will Go and coauthor of Martians in Your Classroom, an educational title about integrating STEM into the classroom utilizing space-related initiatives.

Rachael holds an MA in educational leadership and  has 14 years of classroom teaching experience as a career and technical education instructor. Ms. Mann’s experience includes her work as the Network to Transform Teaching State Director, the Professional Learning Director of STEM, and the Arizona State Director for Educators Rising.   She is a founding member of the Council on the Future of Education, president-elect for the NCLA executive board, vice-president of New and Related Services for ACTE, and a member of the Region V Policy Committee.

From professional growth to motivational talks to workshops, Rachael loves to inspire audiences to think bigger and dream beyond. Connect with Rachael on social media @RachaelEdu to learn more about her work.

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Guru #24

Elizabeth Ross Hubbell

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Elizabeth Ross Hubbell is an educator, author, and speaker with more than 20 years’ experience across many levels of education. She serves as Senior Program Manager for Student Affairs at Academic Impressions where designs professional learning experiences for higher ed. Her primary topics of interest include developing women leaders in education, helping marginalized students succeed, and using data in a high tech/high touch way to impact student success. Prior to joining Academic Impressions, Elizabeth served as a K12 consultant at McREL International, focusing on instructional strategies and technologies. She has presented at ASCD, ISTE, EARCOS, and ACEL conferences. Elizabeth is a former Montessori teacher.

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Guru #25

Pasi Sahlberg

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Pasi Sahlberg is a global academic from Finland who analyze academic systems around the globe and reforms to education systems. He engages directly to communities and practitioners and he is recognized as an international school improvement activist. He is an active speaker who made more than 300 keynote speeches and which was published over 100 articles chapters and on books regarding education. In 2013 he won a Grawemeyer Award for his best seller book Finnish Lessons What Can the World Learn from educational Change in Finland.

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Guru #26

David Cooperrider

David L. Cooperrider, PhD, is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and holds two chaired professorships: Char and Chuck Fowler Professor of Business as an Agent of World Benefit and the Covia – David L. Cooperrider Professorship in Appreciative Inquiry, both at the Weatherhead School of Management.  David is the Founder and Faculty Director of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit and is also the Honorary Chairman of Champlain College’s David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business. Recently David was placed in the Organization Development field’s Hall of Fame and received “The Lifetime Achievement Award”–the highest honor in his field of Organization Development and the OD Network—for his work on Appreciative Inquiry for large group multi-stakeholder planning, and his advancement the concept of Business as an Agent of World Benefit” as the field’s North Star.

David is best known for his original theoretical articulation of “AI” or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Suresh Srivastva. Today AI’s approach to strengths-inspired, instead of problematizing change, is being practiced everywhere: the corporate world, the world of public service, of economics, of education, of faith, of philanthropy, and social science scholarship-it is affecting them all. Jane Nelson, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Leadership recently wrote  “David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation.”

David has served as advisor to prominent leaders in business and society, including projects with five Presidents and/or Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter. David advises a wide variety of corporations including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Verizon, Hunter Douglas, Cleveland Clinic, National Grid, Smuckers, Clarke, Fairmount Minerals, McKinsey, Parker, Dealer Tire, Webasto, and Wal-Mart as well as the Navy, Red Cross, United Way of America, USAID, United Nations, the UN Global Compact, and hundreds of international private voluntary organizations (the GEM project.) David is also a founding Board Member of the International Association of Positive Psychology, the Taos Institute, and a Fellow of the World Business Academy and International Academy of Management. Early in the growth of the UN’s Global Compact David was called upon by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to facilitate (using Appreciative Inquiry) the largest summit in history between business CEOs and leaders of government and civil society. It was one of the high point moments in David’s career, and shifted  the focus of his work to the discovery and design of positive institutions and a world of full spectrum flourishing, that is “a world where businesses can excel, all people can thrive, and nature can flourish now and across the generations.”

David has published 25 books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters. He has served as editor of both the Journal of Corporate Citizenship with Ron Fry and the current academic research 4-volume series on Advances for Appreciative Inquiry, with Michel Avital. In 2010 David was honored with the Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow award. David’s books include Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change (with Diana Whitney); The Organization Dimensions of Global Change (with Jane Dutton); Handbook of Transformative Cooperation (Stanford Press) Organizational Courage and Executive Wisdom (with Suresh Srivastva); and The Strengths-based Leadership Handbook (with Brun & Ejsing.) David’s work has received numerous awards including Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning by ASTD; the Porter Award for Best writing in the field of Organization Development and the Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award in the domain of Sustainable Development. In 2016 David was named as one of the nation’s top thought leaders by Trust Across America, and honored as one of “AACSB’s Most Influential Leaders in the Field of Management.” He was recently named Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University.

In perhaps the highest recognition of his thought leadership, Champlain College’s Stiller School of Business honored David’s impact with an academic center in his name. Opened in 2014 it is called the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and David serves as its Honorary Chair. For the center’s dedication Professor Marty Seligman, the father of the positive psychology movement wrote: “David Cooperrider is a giant: a giant of discovery, a giant of dissemination, and a giant of generosity.” Likewise, Jane Dutton, University of Michigan thought leader and former President of the Academy of Management said:

“David Cooperrider is changing the world with his ideas and who he is as a person. There are few who combine such insight, inspiration and energy.”

David is the founder the Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit—it was launched in partnership with the UN Global Compact and with the Academy of Management. David’s most recent book,  co-authored with Audrey Selian and others, is called: The Business of Building a Better World: The Leadership Revolution That is Changing Everything.

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Guru #27

Michael Fullan

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Michael Fullan is a Canadian researcher on education and the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He is one of those who reform educational system to achieve moral purposes of all children learning. As an award winning author, he also received several awards through his books including Leading in a Culture of Change, Breakthrough with Peter Hill and Carmel Crevola, Turnaround Leadership in Higher Education with Geoff Scott and Change Wars with Andy Hargreaves. Winner (with Andy Hargreaves) of the Grawemeyer Award in 2015 for the book Professional Capital of Teachers—award for “the power of a single creative idea that can impact on the world”.Latest two books ar the bestsellers : Coherence (with Joanne Quinn), and Deep Learning ; Engage the world Change the world (with Joanne Quinn, and Joanne McEachen).

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Guru #28

Angela Maiers

Leader. Visionary. Entrepreneur. Disruptor. Change Maker. Angela embodies each of these descriptors with passion, commitment and fierce determination. She has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 31 years, teaching every level of school from grade school to graduate school and consulting with companies around the world.

Angela founded Choose2Matter to bring the world hope by helping every individual embrace their value and potential contribution. Initially launched to challenge and inspire students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems, Choose2Matter has evolved into a movement that support parents, educators, and employees around the world. Her work in 60,000 classrooms across 100 countries has rallied more than a million children who have banded together to launch 170 social enterprises and pass 17 laws. And organizations across all industries are finding new ways to ignite the genius of their employees, successfully addressing a $15 trillion employee engagement problem

Angela earned a BS in Education with a minor in Neuroscience and Master Degrees in Literacy and Ed Leadership.

She is the author of eight books, including Liberating Genius,The Habitudes and The Passion Driven Classroom. Angela is widely recognized as one of most influential voices on social media today, consistently ranking in the top 1% and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. @angelamaiers

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Guru #29

Dylan Wiliam

Dylan Ap Rhys Wiliam is a British educationalist and Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education and lives in Bradford County, Florida.

Wiliam was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School in Cardiff and at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in Greater Manchester. He continued his education at the University of Durham (Bachelor of Science, 1976), the Open University (Bachelor of Arts, 1983), the Polytechnic of the South Bank (Master of Science, 1985) and the University of London (PhD, 1993).

His research focus is the professional development of teachers. His 1998 book, Inside the Black Box, which he wrote with Paul Black, was a successful polemic about formative assessment, selling over 100,000 copies. He demonstrated his ideas in a 2010 BBC documentary series, The Classroom Experiment, in which a class at Hertswood School was encouraged to participate more widely in activities such as answering questions. He further expands on these ideas in his 2011 book, Embedded Formative Assessment, which describes five key strategies of effective formative assessment in the classroom.

According to Google Scholar and Scopus his most cited peer reviewed publications are on Assessment for learning (AFL) and formative assessment.

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Guru #30

Anthony Muhammad

Anthony Muhammad, PhD, is a much sought-after consultant. A practitioner for nearly 20 years, he has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, and principal, and as a high school principal. His Transforming School Culture approach explores the root causes of staff resistance to change.

Dr. Muhammad’s tenure as a practitioner has earned him several awards as both a teacher and a principal. His most notable accomplishment came as principal of Levey Middle School in Southfield, Michigan, a National School of Excellence, where student proficiency on state assessments more than doubled in five years. Dr. Muhammad and the staff at Levey used the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process for school improvement, and they have been recognized in several videos and articles as a model high-performing PLC.

As a researcher, Dr. Muhammad has published articles in several publications in both the United States and Canada

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