Entries by Richard Clemens

On the Continuance of Just Causes

On November 11, 1918—almost exactly one hundred years from this, my last year as Dean of our college — leaders of both sides of a terrible conflict met in Compiegne, France to sign the Armistice which signaled the cessation of WWI hostilities.  Thus ended —“forever”, thought many who survived the war, though that was not […]

A Critical Focus of STEM-Related Studies

Engagement in deeply-absorbed searches for that which is just beyond our intellectual and emotional understanding is central to the core of our nature as humans. Through such journeys of discovery in which the generation and testing of ideas is emphasized, we learn to connect with our personal and shared humanity, experiencing in the process discovery […]

Civic Engagement, Ethics and the Choices One Makes

Imagine that it is the fall of 1927 and that you are a student in a Biology class at the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College). Imagine also that your lab partner is a young woman named Rachel Carson, just starting her junior year, a dedicated student eager to discuss with you her developing […]

Reflections on the NCTQ Adventure

Several weeks ago the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its national review of education schools, published in a report as ratings in U.S. News & World Report. Incorporating a “research” approach that can be characterized as relying on nothing so much as threats, demands, and intimidation, NCTQ used an inputs-based documents-review process to […]

Remembering Mr. Rogers

With Fred Rogers’ death ten years ago this month at the age of 74, America’s families lost the best friend they ever had. Every parent and every child who bathed in the grace of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, if even for only an hour, benefited from his gentle and loving heart, and his soothing and unhurried […]

Reflections on Those Who Teach

In recent memory, academic testing and holding educators accountable for students meeting academic achievement standards has been the cardinal impulse of public schools. Teachers and administrators continue to face increasing pressure to respond to a high-stakes accountability movement that often forsakes much of what else (besides core academics) is worthwhile in the curriculum. Accountability policies […]

Nightmare or Dream

As the shadow of the second decade of the new millennium continues to lengthen, the disparity between the advantaged in our society and those residing at the margins of American society is thrown into sharp relief. Burdened by poverty, poor health, neglect, bigotry, and emotional isolation, children at the margins may seldom count on the […]