Education

All things having to do with schooling, training, book-learning, and my and my family’s role therein

Education Matters

Education Matters

I think education, particularly higher ed, is the key to the American middle class dream, such as it still exists. Over lunch one day, I asked some of my aunts and uncles why they thought anyone should go to college.  What does college do?  Mind you, everyone at the table had […]

Power and Persona: Constructing an Online Voice for Professionals

Power and Persona: Constructing an Online Voice for Professionals

Joyce Johnston is an internationally recognized presenter on digital rights, online curriculum and pedagogy.  A professor at George Mason University, she also is a National Board high school teacher.  I find her thoughtful, insightful, and sometimes really funny.  She has a great deal of practical knowledge of how good teaching […]

Sometimes students really get it

Sometimes students really get it

I used to teach Anatomy and Physiology – a twelve-month long, three hour a week course, half anatomy, half physiology.  A&P has a deadly reputation for difficulty and tedium that it completely deserves.  We instructors did what we could to lighten it up.  We had foot-high wooden skeletons and modelling clay; […]

Dr. M. Carr Payne on Georgia Tech

Dr. M. Carr Payne on Georgia Tech

My Uncle Carr is a retired professor emeritus from the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech.  He was one of the original four professors when the School of Psychology was first formed in 1959.  On its 50th anniversary, they recorded interviews with five faculty and former faculty members, of whom my uncle was […]

The Works of Bruce Ryburn Payne, first President of Peabody College (great-grandfather)

The Works of Bruce Ryburn Payne, first President of Peabody College (great-grandfather)

Quite by accident, I stumbled on a list of my great-grandfather’s published works.  Some are still in print!  This is the man who founded Peabody College, a teachers’ college in the South, now the Education School of Vanderbilt University.  I am struck by the gentle teaching and learning focus in […]

Southern Prose and Poetry for Schools

Southern Prose and Poetry for Schools

The year is 1910.  The southeastern U.S. is still recovering from the Civil war, which devastated the region though it ended years before.  Edwin Mims and my great-grandfather Bruce Payne edit a volume – 454 pages in today’s edition! – to share the wealth of southern culture and make it […]

Academic Feedom and Peabody College

Academic Feedom and Peabody College

Joseph Hart was an academic who fought for academic freedom, testing “the distinctions between academic freedom and freedom of speech and may have crossed those boundaries intentionally”.  Hart was Vanderbilt University’s first chair of their new Department of Education; after four years he was dismissed and the department closed. Nearby […]

Educating Girls in 1887:  Grow To Your Full Height

Educating Girls in 1887: Grow To Your Full Height

Mary Kerr Breckenridge Kavanagh (1869-1900) was my great-grandmother.  She graduated with top honors from Howard College in Fayette, Missouri, in 1887.  We called her Mary Kerr, or Mary Breckenridge.  She played piano, loved theatre, belonged to debating societies and card clubs, and generally sought an intellectual life wherever she could.  […]

She joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1927: Elizabeth Tarpley, great aunt

She joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1927: Elizabeth Tarpley, great aunt

My great aunt Elizabeth Tarpley (known to us as Wupa) was a textiles expert and a woman who knew her own mind.  She taught what was then called Home Economics at the University of Texas at Austin for 34 years, and was head of the Division of Textiles and Clothing […]