Constructing Modern Knowledge 2020 is committed to making connections between child-centered learning theories and the creative construction of knowledge with computers. In addition to providing a rich sandbox where educators enjoy the luxury of time to work on personally rewarding projects, there are occasional opportunities to interact with some of the greatest educational minds of our time.
We want CMK participants to return home able to say, “I spent time with one of my heroes,” or “My favorite education author helped with my project,” rather than “I heard X speak.”
See the impressive list of past CMK guest speakers here.
Journalist, author, speaker, and television host, Lenore Skenazy is president of the non-profit, Let Grow, and founder of the Free-Range Kids movement. After her column “Why I Let My 9 Year Old Ride the Subway Alone” landed her on every talk show and earned her the title, “worst Mom in America,” Skenazy wrote the influential book, “Free-Range Kids,” and started a related blog to reject the factually inaccurate notion that kids are in constant danger. Allow children to enjoy a little more freedom and everyone wins. Let Grow, which grew out of that movement, is a national, nonpartisan organization making it easy, normal and legal to give kids some independence – a critical part of childhood. Her life’s mission has become helping children enjoy the sorts of childhood experiences their parents took for granted when they were kids.
Returning to CMK for a 3rd time by popular demand, Alfie Kohn was a guest speaker during the first-ever Constructing Modern Knowledge, then in 2011 with Deborah Meier. His personal genius lies in his ability to cause educators to confront their compromises.
Alfie Kohn is the author of 14 books on education, parenting, and human behavior, including Punished By Rewards (1993), Beyond Discipline (1996), The Schools Our Children Deserve (1999), Unconditional Parenting (2005), The Homework Myth (2006), and The Myth Of The Spoiled Child (2014).
Gary S. Stager, Ph.D. (13th year)
Founder & Host: Constructing Modern Knowledge
Gary Stager is one of the world’s leading experts and advocates for computer programming, robotics and learning-by-doing in classrooms. In 1990, Dr. Stager led professional development in the world’s first laptop schools and played a major role in the early days of online education.
In addition to being a popular keynote speaker at some of the world’s most prestigious education conferences, Gary is a journalist, teacher educator, consultant, professor, software developer, publisher, and school STEM. Director. An elementary teacher by training, he has taught students from preschool through doctoral studies. Gary is the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute for educators.
Dr. Stager’s latest book, Invent To Learn – Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom has been called the “bible of the maker movement in schools.” Dr. Stager recently served as the Special Assistant to the Head of School for Innovation at The Willows Community School in Culver City, California. He earned a Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education and was part of a project that won a Grammy Award.
Gary is also on the advisory board of the NSF-funded project, BJC4NYC: Bringing a Rigorous Computer Science Principles Course to the Largest School System in the US.
Read bios of previous guest speakers