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New Book Provides Inspiration, Insights for 21st Century Educators

we saved the best for you photoIf daily headlines are any indication, the challenges faced by the field of education seem insurmountable. It’s not surprising that the underlying message the public– and the field of education — hears is that education was better in “the good old days.”  While no one really wants to turn back the clock, COE Associate Professor Robert Lake, Ed.D., says it’s important to create a different message, one of possibility. “We want to present a vision of hope, wisdom and imagination for addressing the educational challenges facing the field today,” Lake said. And what better way to do that than speaking directly to 21st century educators through personal letters written by educators and non-educators alike.

Lake has done just that in a new book co-edited with Dr. Tricia Kress, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, “We Saved the Best for You: Letters of Hope, Imagination and Wisdom for 21st Century Educators.”

“We have all benefitted from the vision of great scholars, philosophers, and artists, as well as our own teachers, friends, neighbors and family,” said Lake. “We Saved the Best for You” builds on that tradition by collecting the wisdom and insights of educators to pass on to present and future educators. Lake emphasized the pieces are inspirational but also have a “scholarly backbone.”  “The letters are serious discussions about serious issues in teaching and the field of education,” Lake said. “They’re informed by the past  but oriented toward the future,” he continued.

Authors cross disciplines and academic professions, are young and old, in the middle of careers and retired. Yet they all share a dedication to the role of education and to its future, a vision as Lake said, of “what can be.” And that’s the “best” the authors have saved for their readers and what inspired the title: “we saved the best for you because the best is the world you will create,” Lake added.

In addition to well-known writers such as Mike Rose, Nel Noddings, Bill Schubert and Sonia Nieto, other COE faculty contributing to the book include James Jupp,  Julie Maudlin,  and William Reynolds,  Wendy Chambers who  created  the cover photograph. 

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