Interviewsand Articles


Education: Newletter #35

by Richard Whittaker, Nov 16, 2015



This issue, #35, of our newsletter, opens with two extraordinary educators, John Malloy and Ida Oberman, who talk about their unique journeys. How often do we stop to think about education? And yet how central the quality of education is for what each one of us becomes in life. Perhaps nothing is more important than an education that helps the whole person grow. Reading their stories, one can’t help asking, “How can the work of such exemplars be multiplied?” As Malloy says about his work with troubled kids, “Instinctively, I found that the circle was the form needed.” As he always makes clear, “We’re all in this together.” To feel that, not just as a nice thought, but as reality, can be the beginning of healing.
     Ida Oberman’s story has parallels with Malloy’s; in each case, they found their ways as strangers in cultures not their own. And in both cases most of their energy is focused on bringing education to the kids and communities on the short end when the resources are handed out.
     Anne Veh’s conversation with master storyteller Nancy Mellon goes well with these first two features. The way Mellon brings a teaching moment vividly to life comes through in the text alone.
     And what to say about the last two pieces in this issue? I find each one of them a treasure. Journalist and avid photographer Paul Van Slambrouck writes about a moment of seeing. And when I first read artist Phil Chan’s little essay I was completely astonished. I’d never read anything quite like it. All these years later, it still amazes me.
     Please enjoy… 

About the Author

Richard Whittaker is the founder of works & conversations magazine and West Coast editor of Parabola magazine.


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