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Berube, Maurice R. (2000. “Eminent Educators:
Studies in Intellectual Influence.” Greenwoood Press.
(Reviewed by Martha Maxwell).

This slim volume is must reading for all of us who
consider ourselves educators and want to remain up
to date on its current thinking.  Berube describes the
four educators he considers the most influential
intellectuals in the 20th century including  --John
Dewey, the father of progressive education, Howard
Gardner for his work on multiple intelligence, Carol
Gilligan for her work on the moral development of girls
and women and John Ogbu for his theory and research
on how the US caste system affects the attitudes of
Black-American youths toward education.

I found it surprising to find that so many of John
Dewey’s ideas are still current. For example, his views
on the importance of experience in learning, teaching
to the whole child involving not only intellectual but
social, moral and cultural aspects as well, the
concept of reading, writing, and mathematics as
processes, not disciplines, and many more. Berube
devotes one chapter to explaining how Dewey’s book,
“Art As Experience” was a major influence on
American Abstract Expressionists such as Robert
Motherwell, Jackson Pollack, William De Koonig, Mark
Rothko  and others.

Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, whose
work on multiple intelligence has changed the way we
think about this topic. Gardner postulates that there
are at least seven different types of intelligence :
verbal, analytical (logical-mathematical), musical,
spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal (ability to deal with
others), and intrapersonal (knowledge of self).
assuming an entirely different perspective than has
characterized our development of standardize
intelligence tests.
So pervasive have Gardner’s efforts been in
introducing his concepts of multiple intelligence into
school curriculum that Berube describes him as an
educational industry.

Carol Gillingham is the first female culture star to
have substantial impact on American education. Her
work on the moral development of girls and women
and how they form feminist identities has shown  that
women develop a different voice than men do on
moral issues. Women develop an ethic of care that
contrasts with the masculine ethic of justice and
Gillingham’s work laid the foundation for subsequent
work on women’s ways of knowing.

John Ogbu, a native Nigerian, came to this country as
a graduate student -- first in theology at Princeton, the
trained as an anthropologist at UC Berkeley. In his
research on school children in Stockton, Ca. he
observed the negative impact of the American caste
system on Black students. He found that in the US
Blacks were considered a “pariah caste” and that
Black parents, although paying lip service to the idea
of affirmative action did not encourage their children
to succeed in school. Also, the low expectations of
teachers and the acceptance that Blacks were, by
definition, not as intelligent as whites became
internalized by Black students as a negative
self-fulfilling prophecy. Thus Ogbu held that
affirmative action policies could never be totally
successful in removing the stigma.
He later compared the school performance of lower
caste minorities who were the same race as majority
students ( i.e., those natives from Japan, India, etc..)
with immigrants to a new country (such as Koreans in
Japan, Hmong in the US) He found that the immigrant
society who have moved voluntarily to the US (or
another country) because they want better
opportunities, and/or greater economic well being,
tend to do well in school because of these
expectations. On the other hand, US Black students
regard their peers who do well in school as brainiacs,
or not truly black and disparage thems as “acting
white.” He urges Black parents to help children get
over the ghetto cultural attitude that value athletic
and entertainment successes over academic
achievement.

This book should be in every college library.  Make
sure your campus has a copy.

Berube, Maurice R. (2000. “Eminent Educators:
Studies in Intellectual Influence.”  Greenwood Press,
P.O. Box 5007 Westport , CT 06881-5007 .  Phone:
(202)226-3571; 192 PP.  $57.95