In my quarter-century in colleges and universities, I have taught more than 2,500 students at all levels in higher education, led academic units in two large public research universities, written or co-edited four books, learned and written about the history of education policy in the United States, and never been bored.
I look skeptically on the collective definitions of education problems: are we seeing issues correctly? In my research, I have focused on how we defined dropping out of high school as a problem, how we think of public-private distinctions in education, how school accountability evolved, and how we have defined schools as communities. I believe that as individuals, we have holes in our mental model of social problems, and as a society, those holes are reflected in what we think are educational problems and how we try to solve them. We need to identify those mental holes so we are not limited by them.
You can follow me on Twitter at @shermandorn
American Educational Research Association Review of Research Award, 2017