“[O]f all our cognitive capacities, imagination is the one that permits us to give credence to alternative realities. It allows us to break with the taken for granted, to set aside familiar distinctions and definitions” (p. 3). – Maxine Greene
During this recent spring semester (2014) Teachers College, Columbia University I had the fantastic opportunity to take a course from Dr Maxine Greene. This experience truly changed my life forever. My time with Maxine helped change the why I imagine the world and my place in it. Her attitude is amazing, and I truly love her incredible curiosity for the varieties of freedom that exist in the world. She has become my intellectual mentor. Her positive comments have helped me be braver and sure of the direction that I am traveling in. Her works, “The Dialectic of Freedom” as well as “Releasing the Imagination” have given me tremendous amounts of reflective material to build my understanding of freedom, power and the connection that the imagination has to it. She and Stephen D. Brookfield have given me an insight into critical pedagogy and its place in current education.
Aesthetic experience is tremendous! Thanks Maxine for allowing me into your home and sharing your thoughts with me. I love you and admire your courage. I hope that I will be half as productive and courageous as you!
Maxine Greene (born December 23, 1917) is an American educational philosopher, author, social activist, and teacher.
American educational philosopher, author, social activist and teacher who values experiential learning in its “entirety”, Maxine Greene has influenced thousands of educators to bring the vitality of the arts to teachers and children. For Greene, art provided a conduit to mean-making, a way of making sense of the world. For more than 30 years she has been Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) philosopher-in-residence.
Greene earned her PhD. (1955) and M.A. (1949) from New York University and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University (1938). She taught at New York University,Montclair State College and Brooklyn College. In 1965, she joined the faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University.
In 1973 she was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II. As Philosopher-in-Residence of Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education since 1976, Greene conducts workshops (especially in literature as art) and lectures at LCI’s summer sessions.
In 2003, she founded the Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, the Arts, and Education. The foundation supports the creation and appreciation of works that embody fresh social visions. Its goal is “to generate inquiry, imagination and the creation of art works by diverse people.” Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to educators and artists.
In 2005, she inspired the creation for the High School of Arts, Imagination and Inquiry in association with LCI and New Visions for Public Schools. The school encourages students to expand their imaginative capacities in the arts and other subject areas.
Greene is past President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Philosophy of Education Society, American Educational Studies Association (AESA), and theMiddle Atlantic States Philosophy of Education Society.
She is the recipient of honorary degrees in the Humanities from Lehigh University, Hofstra University, the University of Colorado at Denver, Indiana University, Goddard College,Bank Street College, Nazareth College (Rochester, New York), McGill University, College Misericordia, and Binghamton University.
She was awarded the Medal of Honor from Teachers College and Barnard College; Educator of the Year Award from Phi Delta Kappa; the Scholarly Achievement Award from Barnard College; AERA’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and received a Fulbright Program fellowship, which took her to New Zealand.
In 2004, the Teachers College Trustees created the Maxine Greene Chair for Distinguished Contributions to Education.
- The public school and the private vision : a search for America in education and literature (New York : Random House, 1965)
- Critical Literacy: Politics, Praxis, and the Postmodern (State University of New York, 1993)
- Existential Encounters for Teachers (Random House, 1967)
- The Dialectic of Freedom (Teacher’s College Press, 1988)
- Landscapes of Learning (Teacher’s College Press, 1978)
- A Light in Dark Times: Maxine Greene and the Unfinished Conversation, with William Ayers & Janet L. Miller (Teachers College Press, 1997)
- The Public School and the Private Vision: A Search for America in Education and Literature (Jossey Bass Publishers, 1965)
- Teacher as Stranger: Educational Philosophy for the Modern Age (Wadsworth Publishing, 1973)
- Variations on a Blue Guitar: The Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education (Teacher’s College Press, 2001)
- Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change (National Association of Independent Schools, 2004)
Other important works include:
- Arts and the Search for Social Justice (Lecture at The Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, The Arts & Education, 2003)
- Active Learning and Aesthetic Encounters (Talks at the Lincoln Center Institute, National Center for Reconstructing Education, Schools and Teaching, 1994)
- Education, Freedom and Possibility (Russell Lecture, 1975)
- Lending the Work your Life: A Celebration with Maxine Greene (Lincoln Center Institute, 2006)
- Naturalist-humanism in eighteenth century England: An Essay in the Sociology of Knowledge (Thesis, 1956)
- A Teacher Talks to Teachers: Perspectives on the Lincoln Center Institute (Lincoln Center, 1980)