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Another Favorite Education Video: Meet Nel Noddings

I can see by the web traffic to Dewey21C, that people seem to like videos. So, I am really pleased to bring to you a name that is not all that well known in arts education circles: Nel Noddings.

If you want insight into the art of teaching, not to the tests, but teaching of actual human beings, and you also want to know more about what it means to care for your students as people, then Nel Noddings is just the ticket.

When one thinks of counter-narratives to the corporatization of education, Nel Noddings may simply be the best there is.

Ed Week: Teacher Tess in Testing Land, by Nel Noddings

Ed Week: Differentiate, Don’t Standardize, by Nel Noddings.

And to connect this just a bit more directly to arts education, in this case through Maxine Greene (yes, that radical trouble maker and “hijacker of art education”), I strongly recommend this book, for which Nel Noddings wrote the introduction:

Dear Maxine –Letters From The Unfinished Conversation

“Robert Lake
has brought together the various pieces of Maxine Greene’s life in these
pages: Here are teachers, dancers, graphic artists, educational
philosophers, and others. No one in these pages is content with things
as they are; we have learned from life and from Maxine that there are
always unanswered questions.”

–From the Foreword by Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Okay you video hounds, here’s Nel Noddings:


  1. Thank you for posting this video. I am a teacher and a staff developer, I am putting together a presentation for our staff development day based on Noddings’ work. Do you know if there is a way to get in touch with her? We have recently made a shift toward the workshop model. If we want our kids to care about books – to treat them “like gold” then we have to understand what it really means to care. To dare to care is greater than a four letter word. The greater implication for focused attention without expectation is a uncharted discipline that I think we need more so than ever before in the face of rigorous Common Core State Standards. I think this idea of moral credit is the next big revelation. Moreover, we are the model – what are we teaching? Are we making these sacred spaces where students can learn and grow? I don’t think we can even begin this work unless we explore Noddings’ work to a greater degree.

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