Diane Silvers Ravitch Lecture Series

The Diane Silvers Ravitch Lecture Series

2017 Lecture by Andy Hargreaves "Teaching for Life in Today's World: How Teachers Collaborate for Good"

Renowned scholar of international education, teaching, and education reform who consults with organizations and governments all over the world, Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, is author or editor of over 30 books. In this lecture, he describes what teaching for life, not just for tests, skills, careers, or individual gain looks like in different communities internationally where teachers work together to fight for dignity, peace, and democracy, even in the most difficult circumstances. Drawing on examples from around the world, he discusses how we can help teachers in the United States work together to teach for good in their communities.

2016 Lecture by Pasi Sahlberg "The inconvenient Truth About American Education"


Wellesley College’s Department of Education welcomed Pasi Sahlberg for the second Diane Silvers Ravitch Class of ’60 lecture on current issues in public education. His talk, entitled “The Inconvenient Truth About American Education Reform,” addressed some of the problematic and unintended consequences of approaches to reform in the American education system.

Sahlberg is a Finnish educator and scholar. He worked as a teacher, teacher educator, and policy adviser in Finland and was actively engaged in planning and implementing education reforms in Finland in the 1990s. His research interests include international education policies, educational change, teacher education, and classroom teaching and learning. In this lecture, Sahlberg will discuss the critical importance of teacher professionalism, collective autonomy, and trust, and argue that the most important educational ideas behind Finland’s success are borrowed from American public schools.

In addition to his popular Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? (2015), Finnish Lessons (2011), and other books, he has published more than one hundred articles in journals, research periodicals and magazines around the world. Some of the most read ones include “The Fourth Way of Finland” (2011), “Rethinking Accountability in a Knowledge Society” (2010), “Creativity and innovation through lifelong learning” (2009), and “Education Reform for Raising Economic Competitiveness” (2006).

Sahlberg received a Master of Science (Mathematics) in 1984 from University of Turku and PhD from the University of Jyvaskylä in 1996. He has served the World Bank in Washington, D.C., the European Commission and the OECD as an external expert advising foreign governments in more than 50 countries around the world.

Generously supported by The Diane Silvers Ravitch Fund for Public Education.

2015 Lecture "How to Ruin or Revive Public Education"

Wellesley College was proud to welcome Diane Ravitch ‘60 for the inaugural lecture in a new series of talks on current issues in public education. A national advocate for public schools who is ranked at the top of Education Week’s 2015 listing of influential scholars, she discussed how testing and privatization are damaging children, teachers, schools, and communities, and are threatening public education as a common good. Author of the New York Times bestsellers The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education and Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement, and many other books and articles on education history and policy, Ravitch also maintains a popular blog with nearly 23 million page reviews. In this lecture, she put forth her plan for preserving and strengthening public education, and why we need to act now.

In Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, a New York Times bestseller, Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement, but of the destruction of public schools. The story begins where her previous book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, left off, providing a deeper argument against privatization and for public education. In a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, Ravitch makes clear what is right and wrong about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root cause of educational failure, and how we can fix it. 

A native of Texas, Ravitch attended and graduated from the public schools in Houston. She received a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD in history from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor under President George H.W. Bush. Later, from 1997 to 2001, she was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board by President Bill Clinton. 

Follow her on Twitter at @DianeRavitch or visit her website or blog for more information.