Brian Collier, Ph.D., will present the 2018 Hebsurgh Lecture titled, “Save Our Schools, Save Our Country, and Save Your Family: A History of Change in Education in America,” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center at Newman University.
Collier is a professor at Notre Dame and works with the Alliance for Catholic Education and the Institute for Educational Initiatives. He earned his Ph.D. in American Indian history and the history of education in America.
He hopes to inform his audience about educational issues and educational practices as well as give them ideas for ways in which they can get involved to make a difference in their schools, communities and families.
“I hope the audience learns a great deal about how schools and schooling have been set up in this country, and typically people tell me they learn these very things through the humor that I infuse into the lecture,” said Collier. “So, I promise that if nothing else, this won’t be your typical boring lecture on American history, but rather an evening where you hear some ideas that you might have an interest in following up on in the future.”
Collier is highly invested in the subject. He believes it’s important for individuals to realize that all of the changes occurring in our schools are not producing better results. Studying the research to find best practices in education is key to moving forward.
“The school should not be a place where the culture wars are fought and so we need our legislators to have more of a handle on best teaching practices and less of a say on specific curricula,” he said.
His passion for the topic stems from his belief that education is a place that can make a huge change in our society. He said there are always ways of improving your reading, writing and math skills wherein with other skills that may not be the case. He believes a great majority of children can change their social situation through a great education.
Audience members may be surprised to learn about the history and involvement of the education system in America.
“I think that most people will be surprised to learn how our education system was set up in a deliberate way to benefit businesses and to help the American economy. People will also be surprised to learn about ways that citizenship has been broadcast through the educational system and how the educational system has changed over time to accommodate specific views, languages, beliefs and more,” said Collier.