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Maxine Greene, TC's Great Philosopher, Dies at 96

Maxine Greene, the philosopher, author and professor emerita who was perhaps the most iconic and influential living figure associated with Teachers College, passed away on May 29th at the age of 96. Described by The New York Times as “one of the most important education philosophers of the past 50 years” and “an idol to thousands of educators,” Greene was regarded by many as the spiritual heir to John Dewey. Her work remains a touchstone for generations of TC faculty, alumni and students, as well as for scholars and artists around the world.

“With the passing of Maxine Greene, Teachers College has lost an extraordinary mind and spirit embodying all that is best and most essential about our mission and work,” said TC President Susan Fuhrman. “Maxine’s brilliant vision of art as a means to awaken each of us to how we respond to the world will endure as her greatest legacy. She will be tremendously missed and deeply mourned.”

To read the New York Times' obituary of Maxine Greene, click here

VIDEO: A Celebration of Maxine Greene

The author of works such as The Dialectic of Freedom (Teachers College Press, 1988), Landscapes of Learning (Teachers College Press, 1978), The Public School and the Private Vision: A Search for America in Education and Literature (Random House, 1965, and New Press 2007), Teacher as Stranger: Educational Philosophy for the Modern Age (Wadsworth Publishing, 1973), and Variations on a Blue Guitar: The Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education (Teachers College Press, 2001), Greene is perhaps best known for her exhortation to “look at things as if they could be otherwise” and for her  passion for the arts as a catalyst to “wide-awakeness.” She articulated the latter concept in response to Henry David Thoreau’s assertion that “the millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life.”

“I am suggesting that, for too many individuals in modern society, there is a feeling of being dominated and that feelings of powerlessness are almost inescapable,” Greene wrote in “Wide-Awakeness and the Moral Life,” an essay in Landscapes of Learning. “I am also suggesting that such feelings can to a large degree be overcome through conscious endeavor on the part of individuals to keep themselves awake, to think about their condition in the world, to inquire into the forces that appear to dominate them, to interpret the experiences they are having day by day. Only as they learn to make sense of what is happening, can they feel themselves to be autonomous. Only then can they develop the sense of agency required for living a moral life.”

In an essay in TC Today magazine in Fall 2010, Greene’s long-time friend Janet Miller, Professor of English Education, wrote that “The gift that Maxine Greene has offered and continues to confer on the field of education writ large is her passion for forging ways to ‘come together to act on the possibility of repair,’ a possibility that she herself so magnificently has envisioned, embodied and enacted.”

At her death, Greene was Teachers College’s William F. Russell Professor Emerita in the Foundations of Education, and was teaching courses through the College as recently as this spring. In past years, the salons she held in her apartment on Fifth Avenue, near the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were legendary.

Since 1976, Greene had also served as Philosopher-in-Residence of the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education (LCI). In 2004, the Teachers College Trustees created the Maxine Greene Chair for Distinguished Contributions to Education. Greene was also a past President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Philosophy of Education Society, American Educational Studies Association (AESA) and the Middle Atlantic States Philosophy of Education Society, and a past Editor of the Teachers College Record. She received the Medal of Honor from Teachers College and Barnard College; the Educator of the Year Award from Phi Delta Kappa; the Scholarly Achievement Award from Barnard College; AERA’s Lifetime Achievement Award; a Fulbright fellowship; and more than 10 honorary degrees. Greene’s life story is the subject of a documentary film, “Exclusions & Awakenings: The Life of Maxine Greene,” by Markie Hancock.

In Search of the Real World

Maxine Greene was born on December 23, 1917 and, as she has described it, was “brought up in Brooklyn, New York, almost always with a desire to cross the bridge and live in the real world... beyond and free from what was thought of as the ordinary.” Though she came from a family that, in her words, “discouraged intellectual adventure and risk,” she was a compulsive story-teller who came to political consciousness in college after meeting members of the anti-fascist forces in Spain. She was an ardent feminist, a crusader against anti-Semitism and a critic of capitalism who disdained her own privileged background.

She graduated from Barnard College in 1938 and earned a master’s degree in 1949 and a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Education in 1955, both from New York University.  She taught at Montclair College and Brooklyn College before joining the faculty of TC in 1965 as the sole woman in the Philosophy of Education Department. Before an interview for that position that took place at the College’s Faculty Club, she had to wait in a restroom because the club admitted only men.

Greene went on to write and comment on topics ranging from the imagination, aesthetics and multiculturalism to standardized testing, the Columbine shootings and films by Mel Brooks. Influenced in part by personal tragedy – she lost her beloved daughter, Linda, to cancer – she frequently addressed the darker sides of human experience and human nature, but her message was consistently one of hope. In a New York Times profile of her a decade ago, Peter Willis, a faculty member at the University of South Australia who had taken a series of workshops with Greene, called her “the most incurably romantic person I’ve ever met…a person who dreams of human betterment… She makes people feel optimistic, as if it’s all worth the struggle.”

Greene’s work is too far-ranging and diverse to lend itself to easy labeling. Her education theories draw on the writings of phenomenologists and existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, but among her contemporaries she is often spoken of and written about in the context of social activists and teacher-scholars such as Paulo Freire, Hannah Arendt, and Fritjof Capra. The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination (formerly The Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, the Arts and Education), founded by Greene, seeks to “generate inquiry, imagination, and the creation of art works by diverse people.” Organizations funded by the Greene Foundation include Barnard College’s Storytelling Project, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Boston Arts Academy Foundation, the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, and the Center for Peace Building International. In the 1990s, collaborating with Teachers College and her friend and Teachers College Press publisher, Carole Saltz, Greene created a series of conferences on “Exploring Imagination.” Hundreds attended; among the invited speakers were such luminaries in the world of education and the arts as poet Sonia Sanchez, musician Midori, educators Leon Botstein, Nel Noddings, Elliot Eisner, Michelle Fine and Linda Darling-Hammond, and New York City public school teachers, principals and students.

“There are, of course,” Greene wrote, “young persons in the inner cities, the ones lashed by ‘savage inequalities,’ the ones whose very schools are made sick by the social problems the young bring in from without. Here, more frequently than not, are the real tests of ‘teaching as possibility’ in the face of what looks like an impossible social reality at a time when few adults seem to care.”

Maxine Greene is survived by her son, Timothy Greene; her sister, Jeanne Shinefield; her step-daughter, Elizabeth Greene; her daughter-in-law, Constance Gemson; and her grandson, Daniel Greene. Her brother, Joseph Meyer, died in 2002; her sister, Carol Meyer (who was a professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work), died in 1997; and her daughter, Linda Lechner, died in 1986.  – Joe Levine

Maxine Greene on video

In 2008, the College celebrated Greene’s 90th birthday with festivities that included a lecture by Greene titled “Toward Pedagogy of Thought and Imagination” and lectures by Greene, Broughton and Nancy Lesko (the College’s first holder of the Maxine Greene Chair) collectively titled “Education in Exceptional Times.”  


WATCH: 'Towards Pedagogy of Thought & Imagination' from The Cowin Center on 3/5/2008

In spring 2010, Teachers College created the Maxine Greene Society to “thank a community of donors whose reliable participation – year after year – exemplifies Maxine Greene’s value of deep engagement and helps further our common purpose here at Teachers College.” At the launch of the Greene Society, Greene herself spoke as part of a conversation with Janet Miller and another TC faculty member, John Broughton.  In addition, TC’s Maxine Greene Scholarship in Philosophy and Education supports students in the Philosophy and Education program who mirror Greene's inspiring commitment to philosophical inquiry and poetic imagination in the life of the nation.

In Fall 2010, at another gathering of the Greene Society, the College aired a video interview with Greene in her home. That same year, Greene also recorded an interview for the TC oral history series, Mini Moments with Big Thinkers.  


WATCH: Part I of full Maxine Greene interview from the TC Oral History Project. Click here for Part II.
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Your Memories

  • Maxine,

    I'm forever indebted to you for taking me on as an independent study student (twice) and letting me join your philosophy and aesthetic experience classes at Columbia. I'm thankful for the evening discussions over chinese food. I'm thankful that we crossed paths when we did, because you changed my life for the better. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for you. I know you didn't want us to idolize you, but you are my idol. Your legacy will live on eternally in generation after generation of teachers who dare to be bold. - Jason Noble

  • I am one of the many hundreds (thousands?) of dance educators who is forever indebted to you. I was so happy to consider you a friend. Your humble generosity invited so many into your circle and gave us all a special and honored place. Thank you for giving voice to my dissertation, my time as an Assistant Professor at TC and for all my teaching. You will be forever missed but kept alive and vital by all of us. - Susan Koff

  • Remembering Maxine: http://alexandramiletta.blogspot.com/2014/05/remembering-maxine-greene.html - Alexandra Miletta

  • Being in her presence and learning from her was a significant moment in time. I am grateful to have had it. Appreciatively, I look forward to the many ways her legacy will live on. - Sandra Hayes

  • I have known Maxine for over 40 years and was shocked and saddened to learn of her passing. Maxine was a life force in everything she did. There was absolutely nobody like her. She was one of a kind. At my graduation from TC, she seemed to be standing at every corner as the procession marched through; her presence was everywhere. I have visited with her from time to time over the years and I always come away feeling fortunate and lucky to have spent that time with her. I already miss her deeply.

    Maxine, if I could talk to you right now, I would tell you that your wide-awakeness and vitality will live on always and I would thank you for all you have given and for all you have given me. - Barry G. Cohen, Ed.D., '79

  • I loved her so....I was so lucky to have met her. I was her student at TC, when I was working at NCREST & working on my masters. We discussed education, the arts, how hard it was to be a teacher. We talked about loss, hers and mine. I attended her educational salons at her apartment. Her lectures were open doors on the possible, to what could be possible. At that time she was just thinking about starting a center at TC that she thought should be called the center for the imagination & asked me to run it. Shocked, I declined because I knew she needed someone more qualified...but so inspired that she thought I had what was possible inside me. She was an educator's educator. I think of her often, still. She was a soft spoken petite powerful force for children & their teachers. What an amazing spirit. I will continue to be inspired by her - as I believe she would want us to be - and search for what is still possible. - Julie Greene

  • Sitting in Thompson Hall in the mid eighties Maxine's invitation to dialogue radiated throughout our classroom. I like to think that Maxine's courses were transformative experience for all of us as I know they were for me. Less that two weeks ago I was speaking to a group of aspiring teachers at the liberal arts college my daughter attends. The greatest gift I gave them during our time together was an introduction to Maxine and a promise from them to read and listen to her canon of work. Maxine, you are the North Star and will continue to awaken and inspire the multitudes for generations. I am in your debt and honor your legacy. - Lisa Wright

  • I took Maxine's Literature in Education class in 2003. Something magical happened in that class: I would sit and listen to her musings on Hawthorne and Thoreau and jot down ideas for novels of my own. Why I was moved to write creatively wasn't clear; there was just something in the way her words engaged me. Ten years later, my first novel is being published. Thank you, Maxine, for inspiring my creativity and my career. I will never forget you. - Elaine D.

  • For the Brooklyn in her, I loved to hear her say "bottles." For the chutzpah in her, I was a devoted acolyte. For the breadth of knowledge and the compassionate sensibilities, I was her student. For the kindnesses of her daughter, I was a link. Her office, her apartment, her grand soul was the salon that we all attended. - Brooks Goddard, MA '69

  • I am so grateful that we knew each other for a while...I will always be able to hear your voice and see your smile. Thank you for all you have given me. - Lor Don Levan

  • Toward the end of my course work at TC, I decided to register to courses with the "STARS." Dr. Greene was one of those people. I treasure my memories of her course and the discussions we had. She truly made my experience at TC very special. Sometimes I wondered if I understood 1/2 of what she was saying, but at the end of the course I was motivated to explore more in the land of Educational Philosophy.

    Thank you Dr. Greene for sharing you knowledge and ideas with us all. - Barb M. Ed.D. '79

  • I am saddened to hear that we've lost Maxine Green. I spent a semester sharing a desk with her in the fall of 1999 while her office was being refurbished. I remember her sage conversations fondly. - Rosemarie Piccioni, Ed.D. '03


  • Professor Maxine Greene inspires me as an educator and mentored me as a member of the administrative staff in the Teachers College community. The achievements of all her students, colleagues, and friends are Professor Greene's humanitarian legacy. She is with us always in heart, mind, and spirit. -Colette Mazzucelli, PhD, EdM, MALD


  • Dr. Greene, I'll never forget eating pasta and discussing Madame Bouvary at a salon in your apt overlooking the park. I recall being incredibly caught up with being in your presence and all the ambiance. And, you stopped my daydream and told me that you thought I was a much better orator than writer. You thought I needed to spend more time on expressing my ideas and still find ways to use my voice. I took your wisdom to heart and I'm all the better for it. Thank you! - Jasmine Thomas, Class of '03 (M.Ed. Philosophy & Education)

  • I have never forgotten and will never forget Maxine Greene. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from her way back in the late 80s. My deepest condolences to her family. - Maria G. Carmona '91

  • Maxine Greene, you were the highlight of my experience at TC. You confirmed my belief in the importance of imagination in surviving and thriving: "to see beyond necessities and imagine the possibilities". - Tatiana Garakani

  • The most memorable teacher I ever had. - Scott Pfundt

  • Maxine Greene, a gift to humanity has passed but not to be forgotten. During my time at TC in the late 1970's-early 1980's she dominated and inspired my colleagues leading us to exploration and innovation. - Dr. Mae Sakharov Ed.D

  • She was a powerful, centered presence. - Diya Bhattacharya


  • As a student I was profoundly affected by my study of Merleau-Ponty with Maxine and, later, teaching, shared an office with her. She never lost the fiery determination or the deep commitment to humanity that she had honed in the her early years as a radical thinker. Her death is both a deep loss and a time to reflect on the importance and power of academic life. - Michael Hanchett Hanson, Dept of Human Development



  • I received an MA in the Teaching of English in 1968.I took Maxine's course focusing on modernism, literature, and education; and through many office-hour chats thought she was selfless, dedicated to student growth, brilliant, and charismatic. - Belford V. Lawson III, Esq.

  • As a student at TC during the tumultuous spring of 1968, I remember that Maxine was a calming force, encouraging us to live in our highest integrity. I'm imagining her and Maya Angelou sharing poetry together, in a place beyond our understanding. - Sandi Schwartz

  • Maxine will long be remembered as the soft, insistent voice for human learning at Teachers College. She always seemed to stand for the right things in the right way -- always thoughtful, never hectoring. She helped countless colleagues and students and cannot be replaced. - Robbie

  • I was amazed how sharp you were in your 90's. I was one of the luckiest to chat with you in your house, thanks to your TA and Academic Computing for introducing me to you. You are alive with your work. Peace to the soul! - Genzeb Jan

  • I stopped today and pulled The Dialectic of Freedom from my shelf at work. It's there to remind me why I work at a museum in the first place. I am so grateful to have been your student. - Scott Howe

  • The truest champion of teaching as an art and learning as appreciation. - Jonathan Goldberg MA, Philosophy '82

  • When I began my Master's program in Art Education in 1977 I felt a very special and powerful force guiding my decision to pursue a teaching career. I came to recognize that force as Professor Maxine Greene. She has and will always be an inspiration to many. - Lenore Lessall

  • I took one class with Maxine during my studies in 1994 and cannot describe the influence she had on my studies and perspective on life in general. I feel very fortunate to have known her, and learned from her. My deepest condolences to her family. - Joeann C. MA '96

  • In the late 1950s when I was a graduate student at TC, one of my professors suggested that I attend one of Maxine Greene's lectures that he thought was relevant to an aspect of my dissertation project.

    It not only was relevant but but it so stimulated my thinking that I redesigned that component of my project. I never took a course with Dr. Green but attended a number of her lectures thereafter and read a good bit of her writing. She had the rare ability of altering the perspective of others so that one looks differently at the world thereafter.

    Although it sounds trite today, at the time where were very few women who were among the nation's leading philosophical thinkers, and many people frequently commented on how readily and easily she held her own and often intellectually bettered many of her male colleagues. Her intellect, demeanor, and style were modeled by male and female students alike at a time when most people did not really believe that women could function at the loftiest of intellectual levels.

    As the same time she was a very nice person who was helpful to all who sought it. I am sure that there are many thousands of people whose professional and personal lives were enhanced by Professor Green. And from those thousands, hundreds of thousands more have been positively affected as a result of her thinking being translated to action by so many students. While she will be missed by those closest to her, she is indelibly imprinted an so many including those who never knew her name. - Lewis D. Eigen

  • I consider Maxine to be one of my most important mentors and worked with her both at TC and Lincoln Center. One of our Ph.D. in Urban Education students from CUNY's Graduate Center did a dissertation analyzing Maxine's work and defended it in Maxine's living room! She was so welcoming and brilliant, and ireplaceable.

    One memory--I always use Maxine's words, "You can't become what you can't imagine." A few years ago I asked her exactly where that thought was published so I could cite it. In true existentialist fashion she said, "I don't think I believe that any more." :-) - Nick Michelli

  • Maxine Greene was one of my first professors at Teachers College, in the summer of 1976. I loved every minute of that course, the name of which I would have to look up on my transcript. But she taught me how to read "between the lines" and to look for the backstory in everything you read. I've never forgotten her lectures and somewhere among my files are my notes in a blue TC spiral notebook. I too am grateful and thrilled to have been touched by her teaching and her life. - Edna Runnels Ranck, EdD, C&T, '86

  • Learning with Professor Greene at Teachers College and later on at LCI had a most profound impact on my life and on my career choices. I am so thankful for the opportunity to study with you. Your memory will be a blessing for all of us. - Ofra Backenroth

  • A challenging and captivating teacher. RIP. - Lesley Woodward

  • One of my treasured experiences with Maxine was creating, through a series of conversations with her, the Maxine Greene Scholarship in Philosophy and Education here at Teachers College.  It was a special delight to meet her for lunch on a recurring basis at one of her favorite spots, Demarchelier's on E. 86th.  This was not long after I had joined the College's faculty, and I felt like I was getting a true intellectual's introduction to New York City.  I remain moved that the Scholarship that bears her name has, since that time, gone to support this generation's scholars in philosophy and education.  She lives in more ways than one. - David HansenH.

  • I had the great privilege of taking a course at TC with Maxine in 1992. With a weak foundation in the liberal arts (I had been a chemistry major in college), I was immersed in her free-flowing and well-integrated critique and appreciation of everything from Greek philosophy, to American colonial music, to the evolution of social work and the visual arts, all while weaving in the latest films and what was on Charlie Rose last night. As a returning student (I was near 47 yrs of age when I entered TC), I was encouraged by her openness about her own journey to scholarly pursuits in mid-life.

    One additional thought . . . as I came to TC an acquaintance spoke to me of Maxine, telling me that they were babies in carriages together in Brooklyn, their mothers being friends.

    RIP, Dear Maxine Greene. You have taught us well. - Loretta Donovan

  • I am grateful and indebted to Maxine Greene for transforming my worldview as an educator and as a human being. Through the power of her writing she will continue to be a lifeline for educators for believing in the art of possibility,  wide-awakeness, civility, courage and hope. Very grateful to have been in her class 'across the park'. - Razia I. Sadik, Ed.D, 2011

  • My wonderful teacher. I will miss but always remember. - Ted Fleming

  • Maxine you live in our hearts and imaginations, forever and ever. - Rika

  • I remember seeing Dr. Greene sitting in the cafeteria, sometimes by herself, with a student or colleague. She never seemed to have pretense. It didn't matter where she connected with others, what mattered were that connections were made. Dr. Greene allowed me to sit in her class aesthetics class that was fully enrolled with students. There was something about her aura, the substance of her words. I recall the first day of class, she entree the room slowly, with her cane in hand. Standing at the podium, she transformed the atmosphere of the classroom. Very rare do we find ourselves in the company of someone who has the power to mold one's understanding of life, society, education. Dr. Greene, I never had the honor of attending your legendary salons, but I can't thank you enough for bringing me into your circle, albeit brief, to think, reflect, question, and connect. - Sumi H. Ph.D., M.Phil; Math, Science, Technology

  • There are almost no words (that are not already hers) to describe the uniqueness of thought the voraciousness of intellectual appetite, and always the knowledge of her roots. Thank you, Maxine, for helping me, my students and graduates of the Arts Administration program understand and cherish culture, ourselves and each other. - Joan Jeffri

  • I was so so very lucky to be able to take a class with Maxine Greene at TC.  The class was during the semester when 9/11 happened.  She challenged us to consider Why Art? in a world (on an island) when we were personally and professionally contemplating such horror.

    Her belief in the centrality of aesthetic experience in education has remained with me and always will in my own life and work. - Jennifer W.


  • The passions that Maxine shared for so many things, but especially phenomenology, was a priceless part of my graduate experience that continues to influence how i move and think in the world. - ECS

  •  I can only chime in with everyone else about how memorable her class was.  Who can forget the Heidegger Help Room?  Maxine was truly one of the lights of TC and the whole world of education, and a wonderful person.  We were lucky to have her here. - Barbara T.

  • Dr. Greene encouraged me not to drop out of my doctoral program when I was going through a divorce. Being in her course that semester kept me going and I thanked her at my graduation. - Dr. Jacquelyn Vanden Dorpel


  • She was amazing.  She will be missed.  - Margaret Hiett Williams (Lary)

  •  I read Maxine's books in the 80's and knew she was a kindred spirit and then came to Teacher's College in the early 90's to do my Masters Degree and had the opportunity to study with her. For the last 2 and half decades she has been one of the greatest influences on my thinking --as an educator and as an advocate working for social change through the arts. One thing she said that i will always remember, "if you don't name your world, someone else will." This comment has always stayed with me. I will always remember her coming into the lecture hall with her yellow lined papers and when she began to talk, i knew i was in the presence of a true original thinker. Her spirit will live on in my work and so many others. RIP Maxine... - Diana Cohn

  • Maxine, dear, you were my teacher, my guru, my friend when I enrolled at TC for my doctorate. You gave me the courage, as a white woman, to write about Black literature. Yes, you woke me up. I will never forget you. Love, Karel - Karel Rose

  • Maxine,

    I will always remember you as one of my most inspirational professors at TC. You taught me how to be strong as a female in the academic arena.. Thank you, thank  you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. - Veronica H. Ed.D.

  • Maxine's passion was infectious, her work authentic and powerful. Her call for the centrality of aesthetic education, for wide-awareness and thoughtfulness continues to be significant in our time.Thank you for being an inspiration! - Suzanne Choo

  • As a member of my dissertation committee in the 1970s - I was writing on Dewey's philosophy and the values clarification movement, Maxine initially wanted me to simplify my focus, possibly by addressing a topic in Dewey's philosophy instead.  Then, one day, she called me in to her office and pushed a publication across her desk to me.  A copy of the Harvard Educational Review that had just arrived, it had a centerfold article on values clarification.  "How fast can you write," she asked.  Talk about wide awakeness and sense of agency! - Hugh Nevin

  • 1967 and it was my good fortune to schedule a course with Maxine Greene. She changed the  the way I thought about education, about the students, and about the classroom. She connected the ideas of the past with the present in a way that challenged her students to work for positive change in the future. - Mary B. Ross

  • My spiritual mother always. - Jacqueline Ancess

  • I am so very sad to have lost such a dear friend and teacher. She made us all feel loved and important. - Liz Rudey

  • A true pioneer. - Mary Schuler DeWitt, Ed.D., 2013

  • Our beloved Maxine...Her wisdom, clarity, humility, brilliance, courage, grace and peace warrior spirit teaches us every day. Thank you for believing in me. Your honored jazz date and forever student...What jewels you have left us, Maxine. - Adina W. '93, '03

  • Querida Maxine, no se ni como empezar... mi estancia en NY fue poderosa, increiblemente amorosa y contundente por la fortuna de haber sido tu alumna y que me hubieras aceptado para hacer un independent study contigo.... la unica maestra de TC que siempre hizo que su voz se escuchara en el aula y fuera de ella cuestionando todo lo que merecia ser cuestionado... cuando comenzaron los ataques contra Irak, ingenuamente pense que miles de estudiantes se manifestarian, especialmente en los espacios universitarios... fuiste la unica que siempre abordo el tema, que siempre nos hizo reflexionar al respecto, que siempre nos perturbaba, nos sacudia para que despertaramos, para que fueramos concientes de lo que sucedia.... como agradecerte tanto..... nos abriste las puertas de tu casa, de tu corazón, aceptaste estar en escena con nosotros.... compartir ese espacio magico que es el escenario en El hershey man ha sido un regalo extraordinario, ensayar contigo en tu living room....... te abrazo Maxine.... tus enseñanzas viven en miles de nosotros.... aqui en Mexico tus palabras han dado vida a proyectos de educacion artistica maravillosos, miles de niños y jovenes de escasos recursos estan teniendo acceso a programas artisticos tremendamente impulsados, cobijados, por ti, por tu pensamiento, por tu sabiduria.... como agradecerte..... te quiero Maxine, te quiero.... y estas en mi corazon....  - Gabriela Medina

  • I took a course with Prof. Greene in a large lecture hall. The hall was packed. Yet, Prof. Greene had the remarkable ability to transform a lecture into a tutorial. You had the sense that she was carrying on a personal discussion with you, a one on one dialogue that fully engaged you to the point that you lost all track of time. She was not only a great thinker but a great teacher. - Eric Richter, Ed.D. '94

  • Maxine was the best mother-in-law imaginable.  I will always miss her. - Peter H. Salus

  • I took Prof. Greene for a single course while a doctoral student at TC. We studied, in part, Billy Budd. Thirty years later, her presence and inspiration remain as vivid as when I sat in class. Eventually, I tell everyone about Maxine Greene and how at Teachers College she miraculously lit up the room. That is the truth, not hyperbole. It seems to me she personified the essence of education: awakening students to their possibilities without ever knowing it has been done. - Edward Verlander

  • Maxine Greene was my mentor. I did not know her as personally as many did. In fact, I was surprised when she shared her sadness at the death of her daughter during a chat in her office. I remember the discussions of The Color Purple and how she challenged me to go further, especially when we disagreed. I remember how she said feminist movements were the challenge of my generation and to go forward with that thinking regarding feminism in the arts. Her praise for my dissertation was the most meaningful I received. I was lucky to have been taught by her and to learn from her. Thank you, Maxine, for your long life, astute thinking, and long life. - Roberta L., Ed.D '86

  • Existentialism and Education, spring semester 2002 - We read Toni Morrison, Graham Greene and Merleau-Ponty. The most important thing I learned from Maxine is to continue to ask the big questions and to put things in a bigger context. Right after the 9/11 attacks, I went to a discussion held at TC featuring Nancy Lesko, Judith Butler and Maxine Greene, all three trying to help us put things in perspective. Maxine referenced Dewey and the "quest for certainty" that lies at the heart of fundamentalism and other absolutist beliefs. Of course, Dewey and Greene urge becoming comfortable (or at least making peace) with the ever-present uncertainty that is our daily existence. We do not know "the truth", and as much as we would like to control things, we cannot. Her reflections on that day are blazed in my memory because they made so much sense. A great spirit, a beautiful soul and an important scholarly voice. - Flroence Sullivan

  • Maxine was a very humble, kind, and generous soul.  I have many fond memories of Teacher Educator book discussion sessions in her apartment.....she is sorely missed. - Janet K.

  • After having taken her class as a doctoral student, I remember the feeling of coming home to myself. She was awe-inspiring, provocative, and challenging; that spirit permeated the class and I will never forget it. - Patricia S.

  • Dear Maxine,  So much of the richness  of my TC experience I owe to you.  Your brilliance, vitality, disarming humor, and personal warmth were often a life-raft in a stormy sea.  You supported me as I was, rather than as others wanted me to be.  You touched and inspired so many --- artists, teachers--- strivers toward the light. Thank you. - Peggy Brightman EdD '93

  • Dr. Maxine Greene was without a doubt the best professor that I had the great honor and pleasure of studying with at TC. Her knowledge and body of work are outstanding. Dr. Greene greatly influenced my life, career goals, and aspirations.

    Thank you Dr. Greene

    Clarence H. MA '95 and EDM '96

  • I recall Maxine Greene's ability to teach and stir in all of desire and imagination for all of us to go beyond the boundaries of the class. After talking her course in Phenomenology and Existentialism in the Spring of 1973, while a doctoral student, the conversation continued at each of the student's residences.

    Maxine Greene would show up driving her yellow Checker auto and continue the in-depth discussion on education and the salient issues of the world at the time.

    I, along with all of us, were so proud to be in her presence -- knowing decades ahead of time -- she would continue to be the luminary she ascended to be.

    But, further, to me, Maxine Greene not only wrote about teaching but showed us what great teaching can be. - Dr. Lee Elliott Flesicher

  • My sincere sympathy to Maxine Greene's Family.

    When I was enrolled (rather late in life) as a student in Guidance & Counselling curriculum, I thought I would take the course "Philosophy of Education."  I had never heard of Professor Greene.  Before I signed up for the course, I thought I would find out about it and the teacher.  I was able to get an appointment with the teacher, Professor Greene.  She took the time in a very friendly way to answer all my questions and then said, "I advise you to take the course, you will not be sorry."  And, indeed, I was not.  During the class, we were encouraged to make an appointment with her for any clarification, and she was easily available.  

    Professor Greene was a kind, thoughtful, and present person, at home with her students.  She has influenced my thinking and life and will always be remembered.  

    (I took the course 45 years ago) - Ruth King

  • Dear Maxine, I was so inspired by your creative mind and passion in education and art, and so happy that I was lucky to have your nurturing and advice during and after my years at TC. Thank you for being my mentor, encouraging me to further pursue artistic development and to integrate art and creativity into my educational profession. I will keep my imagination and action going, as a helping hand to others, and will well keep your smile and love forever in my heart. - Shiang-Jiun C. Ed.D.

  • For opening my heart to the possibilities of learning through collaboration, for your courage to speak when others would not and for being my very best teacher, inspiring me to go forward with passion and perseverance. - Anne Sears Bennett

  • I took Maxine's course during the turbulent 1969-70 academic year. I'll never forget her classes or the wise speech she gave at the post-Kent State rally. She was an island of wisdom in troubled times. - Mike I. TC '70

  • Maxine was a force of nature; to be with her at a museum or converse with her in her salon was always so illuminating. - Marlene Dodes-Callahan

  • Insightful. Imaginative. Inspiring. And many cherished personal memories. Thank you, Maxine. - Karen Z.

  • Dearest Maxine,

    Metaphors are your life

    We are strangers as teachers
    We play the Blue Guitar; we challenge our taken-for-grantedness and resist, "the things as they are"
    Enthusiastically, I am inspired by you, My Dearest Maxine,
    To imagine what might be, what should be.

    Without you, I might be a hubris rationalist
    who wears a "square hat" in a "square room"?
    if I borrow Wallace Stevens's metaphors,
    Owing to you, I am wearing sombreros here and now
    in front of my students
    And constantly imagining
    How and what "things could be otherwise"
    Your passionate mind & spirit
    That you shared with us as an eternal teacher and philosopher
    are never completed and are always in-the-making=
    Even during the challenging time at Lenox Hill on May 15th
    (Coincidentally, Teacher Appreciation Day in Korea),
    You dwelled in your hallucination in the ward,
    And gave lectures for students, artists, and teachers
    endlessly from the dawn to late afternoon
    by reminding awakening people's apathy, numbnessâ?¦and, dullness

    Indeed, as you said, we need a â?owork of artâ? for our on-going project

    You are remembered via
    Our invaluable moments to share ideas at
    The Met, Guggenheim, Frick Collection, Cooper-Hewitt National Design, etc.
    Most notably, our unfinished conversations in your living room
    On Fifth Avenue, 89th street.

    Our initial conversation, in Spring 2006, was about Korean-ness and Jewish-ness
    while watching a Korean film, "Spring, summer, fall, winter, and spring"
    On Mother's Day in 2011, before I left NYC to Stillwater, Oklahoma
    We talked about ethical imagination when Mi-ja, in Poetry, struggles with the helpless situation in her private space
    Although, it was not her private space exclusively, yet our public space to consider
    How things might be different in our communities.

    I was homeless intellectual in the U.S. in 2005, as a new doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University,
    You became my intellectual, emotional, and spiritual shelter:
    Your food was too exotic yet became the foundation of my life journey
    in the field called Curriculum Studies
    You woke me up towards unfair social issues in our society by prying open the door of aesthetic education Your cozy couch was the place for laughing, crying, and "gossiping" -yeah, we know that you love TC gossip

    About our moment-to-moment experience.

    Now, wearing sombreros, I recite your voice of "I am not yet, I am not yet, I am what I am not yet!"

    We imagine the possibilities
    Always, without hesitation.

    Yes, we are not-yet to prepare any sort of farewell
    You are here with us
    In the articles, books, videos, lectures, and any places, where
    We need imagination for challenging our current challenges in education.

    I join you in imagining different societies as a stranger

    Because this project is incomplete, always in process.
    Most importantly, My love for you is always here with my students,
    As you taught me lessons with your life

    I dare to join your journey of "not yet"
    In this time of loss and mourning
    Of you and Of the communal vision for public education

    Much love, - Seungho Moon

  • I am so sorry and sad to learn the news of her death.I am in Paris right now and I was planning to call her when I came back in June. I have known her for 30years and has been a constant inspiration since I graduated from Tc and Columbia Universiy with a Ph D. besides being my friend, she was my advisor when I was a student. I will miss her for the rest of my life, but I feel very fortunate to have known such a wonderful human being and stimulating mind. My sincere condelence to her family. - Liliane Lazar, former student and friend.

  • Maxine and I became friends when we were both on the faculty at Brooklyn College. I usually gave her a lift when I drove into Manhattan once a week and that ride was the intellectual highlight of the week for me. She expressed her usual skepticism about my bent towards empiricism though our mutual interest in the arts and psychoanalysis more than made up for some differences in our orientations. Maxine had the rare gift of being able to express extremely complex ideas in language that any intelligent person could understand, rather than only specialists in her discipline. Her insights were always filled with concerns about human dignity and often leavened with humor and an understanding of people's foibles.

    We never got to write anything together, though we often planned to do so. I guess we should have made some notes that would have led to a manuscript, but we were both having such a good time that note taking would probably have made it less fun. I treasure the memory of our undisturbed times together.

    After we both left Brooklyn College our meetings were less frequent but just as much fun. Our families became friendly as well and when we had some car troubles Maxine immediately lent us her husbandâ?Ts Lincoln Town Car, which took some getting used to after being accustomed to our tiny vehicle. I especially recall sharing one long flight home from LA with Maxine after the American Educational Research Association convention at which her election as President of that Association became official. Between dozing during that long flight, our conversation included, reminiscing over shared experiences, the usual professional gossip, and Maxine's astonishment at being elected President of an educational research association (I'm not a researcher ).

    All of us who knew her, or read her work, will miss her, and treasure the memory of her immortal ideas, her humor, as well as her love of life. - Sigmund Tobias

  • How fortunate I was to be a doctoral student at Columbia--and to have had the opportunity to attend so many of Maxine's salons at her magical apartment on 5th Avenue. She cast a spell of inquiry and integrity over everyone present and I've since attended two of the LCI summer institutes. Maxine indeed lives on in so many ways! - Jan Buley

  • I was honored to hold Maxine's hand just last week while she was in the hospital. We laughed together about her desire to be a "better existentialist." She said she would like to try again to practice somatic movement - 'awakeness of the physical body.' I know her active mind kept her psycho-physical self nimble for 96 years and her big heart kept me smiling. I am always grateful, that, like John Dewey, Dr. Greene "got" that the vitality of the body and human movement is key in learning/thinking, and that dance as an art-form is an important inroad to what is possible in the face of life challenges and injustices. Thank you, for being you Maxine. - Martha Eddy, RSMT, EdD

  • Dear Maxine-Maybe now you can rest? We will pick up the torch and carry on your light, in dark times. You are much loved and will be truly missed. Thank you, dear friend and mentor. Love, - Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

  • Dr. Greene was a wonderful teacher and advisor. I would never have received my doctorate if it hadn't been for her. She even helped me get a great, but underachieving student into a good college.I have never known a mother person who was her equal. I will always be grateful to her. I am certain that she is now helping other souls in heaven. - Richard Romer

  • Dr. Greene was my professor and an advisor on my dissertation committee. Her brilliance, insight and guidance forever transformed my philosophies on life and education. I am saddened at the loss the world has suffered with her passing and grateful for her indelible contribution to collective wisdom. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and with all those souls whose lives she changed for the better. - Rebecca Comizio

  • I knew her from her incredible work, which significantly impacted my work as an educator.

    I also knew her as a person who shared herself openly and humbly with me as a young educator. We met at a conference and she invited me to join her for breakfast. It was a memorable hour of dialogue, both personal and professional that I will never forget.

    She was a lovely and nourishing human being. - Mark Phillips

  • It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing of Maxine Greene. It has been an immense privilige to have had the opportunity to experience Professor Greene at work during my time as a doctoral student at Teachers College. She has left a lasting imprint on my sense of being as an educator. The endless springs of wisdom and insight in her writings continue to nourish me. Her legagy will continue to live on in my students. They too will have an opportunity to encounter one of the greatest educators of the twentienth century. - Timothy Murphy Ed.D. 2001


  • Deeply moved by her loss. I had the great opportunity of being her student and attendee at the Salon. With great pleasure, I remember my daughter having visited her private library and eating cookies at her kitchen. All my family was touched by this great human being. I love you Professor Greene. - Maria G Villarreal-Guevara

  • Two weeks ago, in a dance studio on a University of California campus, in a course on Arts Education in the Community, I gave students a quotation from Maxine. In small groups, they read and discussed the quotation, then set about creating their interpretations of it through dance, theater, music and visual art. My intention was to awaken them to, and through, the arts in ways they had not yet imagined, and I knew of no one better suited to that task than Maxine Greene who has been my teacher and inspiration for many years. Young undergraduates, the students were visibly moved by Maxine's words, particularly these:

    "To be awake is to take risks, to see things that you probably would not want to see. We have to teach that"an awareness, a courage to see" To be enabled to activate the imagination is to discover not only possibility, but to find the gaps, the empty spaces that require filling as we move from the is to the might be, to the should be. To release the imagination is to release the power of empathy"

    Many thanks, Maxine, for awakening me in ways that have deeply shaped my life as a teaching artist and teacher educator. And for helping me to awaken in a new generation the power to be more present; perhaps to care. Peace. - Susan Freeman

  • Maxine Greene was my mentor. She held my hand while I earned a doctorate in foundations of education at Teachers College. I can hear her voice now. She is my teacher forevermore. - Jonathan T., Ed.D.

  • No other teacher in my life inspired me as completely as Maxine. I don't know how many times I returned to Teacher as Stranger! It was always available to get me through a pedagogical or personal situation. When I got the chance to study with her at TC it was a dream come true. What a great woman and the finest of educators. - B. Paringer

  • How utterly uplifting it was to be in her presence for even a little while. Her words, her humor, her passion for justice and love of humanity were powerful. I am so happy to have had the bounty of spending time with her on a variety of occasions and taking away each time such wonderful gems of wisdom. - Carole Seubert

  • Professor Greene's explanation of Vygotsky's philosophy and its relevance to teaching; indeed, to relationships, was the single most important lesson that I took away from Teachers College. - Raizy Strahl-Zakheim

  • I first studied Maxine works when I was in graduate school. I heard her speak many times at professional meetings. Then as I grew in my profession and I was teaching graduate students and dragged them to professional meetings I was able to get "to know" Maxine as we belonged to many of the same professional groups. I had a professional relationship with her, had many lunches and dinners with her, invited her to speak at professional meetings and developed a friendship that was unique. My students were awed by her and loved her warmth and openness. Maxine was unique. Not only was she America's Philosopher, but she was a great model for woman and a wonderful teacher. The hole she is leaving in our professional world is huge! - Marcella Kysilka

  • Maxine Greene's 'Aesthetics & Education' was the first TC course I took, September 2011; our second class was cancelled when the college shut down following 9/11. After that, most every class evolved from discussions of its significance, how the world had changed, and ways artistic literacies express, bear witness, and help process. Living not far from each other, we shared cabs home, and I was amazed at Maxine's empathy and interest in me, a first semester student. So many others had that same experience - she was interested in students and our perspectives! As I listened, read, and re-read, worlds of possibility unfolded, regarding awakening to significant experiences of visual art, literature, music, and dance. Maxine, you will be truly missed -- The seeds of your conversations, philosophy, and writing will surely continue to move beyond, activating, informing and empowering the generations! - MaryNell Hawk, Ed.M, Communication & Education

  • I was drawn to find and follow an intellectual path inspired by Maxine Greene's after reading a New York Times' profile on her. As her student I felt like a guest at educational feasts that celebrated the arts of reading reflectively and thinking imaginatively. Through her I learned how liberating literature and the arts could be.
    Maxine displayed an unfailing humility and through it, a powerful kind of luminous naivety. Her commitment to education as a free public space will survive in the practice of all those she inspired. - Martha Moore Crowley, Ph.D.

  • Professor Greene, you not only ennobled those who you taught, but also the arc of TC learning and faculty. As an Education Leadership major, I was "allowed" to take two of your courses, philosophy and modernism, and those courses enlightened my entire career, as well as those many whom you taught. It was your universality--little did I know that in this world of numbers, test scores, psychometrics, and diagnostics, your ability to see the world through art and creativity and the "different shapes and sizes" you always talked about would permit me not to be held captive by the current widgetry of education. i only wished that I could have shared you personally with the many inner city students with whom I taught. You will be missed, but the inspiration you imparted to the world will continue. - Arnold F. Fege, TC Alumni Council, '74

  • For the Brooklyn in her, I loved to hear her say "bottles." For the chutzpah in her, I was a devoted acolyte. For the breadth of knowledge and the compassionate sensibilities, I was her student. For the kindnesses of her daughter, I was a link. Her office, her apartment, her grand soul was the salon that we all attended. - Brooks Goddard, MA '68

  • My fondest memories of Dr. Greene include seeing her walk about the campus, stopping to talk with people in her caring, nurturing way. I did not take any courses under her instruction, but I heard her speak on numerous occasions during my 12 years(1985-1997) as an employee and four years a student. I also had several one-on-one conversations which I shall always treasure. I was honored to know such a magnificent women, one whom will not be known again in my lifetime. Thank you Dr. Greene, for being such an inspiration to generations of educators and administrators alike. - Dolores (Lois) Davis, M.A. '00

  • For Professor Maxine Greene

    Greene Light

    Philosophy class
    fit into schedule
    no expectationsin practical mode

    last row visiting
    no ground for roots
    Maxine Greene walks in
    I glance up

    moment flickers
    head lowered disconnected
    she speaks
    words percolate

    brain snaps to attention
    mesmerized
    can't get enough
    magic wand of learning

    annoints holds me
    effortlessly
    - .Gerda Govine, '76 and '84

  • The class I took with Maxine in 2000 at TC was amazing. It wasn't just the experience of re-reading the classics required in high school with an adult perspective. That was interesting, but her lectures were amazing. Incredibly insightful and brilliant. I can't begin to express how much I got out of them. Her talents as a teacher will never be matched and will always be remembered. Some people should just live forever. - Blanche N.

  • I will always remember my favorite teacher in TC- Columbia Univ.

    The lady that inspired and ignited the spark in many of us. R.I.P Prof. Greene! - Joseph Herzog

  • I am saddened to learn the passing of Maxine Greene, the jewel in the crown of Teachers College, Columbia University. When I was a student at TC in the mid-1980s, I took three courses with Professor Greene and not only have I learned philosophy of education in depth but I excelled in her classes because of the nurturing gifts of this wonderful teacher. Maxine Greene was not just my mentor, my teacher, and my idol; she was also my friend and because we were very close, she once said to me, "Araia, you have to come to my house and I will intorduce you to Paulo Freirie." Most people know Maxine Greene as a philosopher and educator par excellence, but I have always sensed in her one refined and rare quality among the homo sapien-sapiens -- an enduring and quintessential human being who had sensitivity especially to the poor and the underprivileged. I will greatly miss her. Ghelawdewos Araia, EdD, Adj Associate Professor, Lehman College/CUNY - Ghelawdewos Araia

  •  What a challenge to capture what I appreciated about our brilliant colleague Maxine Greene.  Her interests in ideas and people were expansive and inclusive, as we know from her writing, speeches, and conversations. Any encounter with her was an opportunity to learn about topics from philosophy to politics to the latest interesting or provocative movie. I'll miss Maxine's intense intelligence, her generosity in imparting knowledge and sharing gossip and humor, her imagination and her reminders to imagine, and her hospitality and friendship.  Her door was literally and metaphorically open to so many, in and out of the TC community.  I can't thank you enough, Maxine. - Celia Genishi

  • Maxine's positive and enthusiastic message can propel education from the doldrums of apathy, neglect, and politics. There is hope! - Dan Mankowski, EdD, Assistant Professor of Speech & Theatre, Holy Family University, Philadelphia, PA

  • Thank you for believing in me. I have ever since striven to be worthy of your amazing support. RIP Professor Greene. - Marci Mann, MPhil, '92

  • Answer: I met you on your last year of life, when your words were few but full, so full of meaning. And I guess they will always remain so, as you always left a door half-opened so that we could join you in the explorations towards the answer. I feel blessed for having met you and having seen that it is possible to BE everything you wrote. That your beautiful words were validated by your own journey.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us.

    From a friend who also loves peoples and trees. -Priscila, PhD Social Studies, '14

  • Maxine was neither a teacher nor an advisor of mine, but when I went to see her about an issue in and with my dissertation, she led me to discover a simple truth that I will never forget - -and she did it with kindness! - Jerry K.

  • Professor Greene,

    Thank you. Without you, I would never have found an aesthetic voice. Without you, I could never have spent a dozen years teaching our children in Brooklyn's city schools. Without you, I would never have peered into each of my student's lives as a "stranger," fit only to learn from each child. Without you, I would never have been able to identify the forces which had dominated me, and from which shackles I would free myself. Without you - I will never be without you. You last... - Mary C., Ed.D.

  • What a teacher...for her brilliant mind, and more for her great kindness and legendary generosity. In 1986, I stayed an extra semester to take her Aesthetics of Literature class, which did not come around too often. The whole college have ran and the class was maxed out and I went to her office to see if I could get in. Of course she signed me in and though she was surly so very busy, we had a great chat. She wanted to know all about my teaching and my studies. I even got to attend one of the many salons she hosted for my class.

    In the late 1990's I spotted her on a subway and I excitedly went over to her and she invited me to sit down. Once I placed my year, she started rattling off Don Quixote and all the topics we explored and then on to what I was up to. Just such joy for life and pleasure in her students.

    God bless her and condolences to her family. - Kathleen Prager '86

  • She will be missed we love you - Lamar Brown

  • Sometime in 1999, I wrote this essay for Maxine:

    ON THE AMBIGUITY OF FREEDOM AND THE FREEDOM TO BE AMBIGUOUS: THOUGHTS IN HONOR OF MAXINE GREENE, Mentor and Philosopher of Hope

    By Azly Rahman

    For Maxine: I'd like to explore this question as part of the requirement of the conference. free from, free to, free of ... and to be free from, to, of what? My writing will be a potpourri of thoughts I have gathered related to the question of freedom, personal history, and the fate of the self in an increasingly cybernated (technologized) society. And I begin with the quote from Benjamin Barber you provided us with: There is endless talk about education; but between the hysteria and the cynicism there seems to be little room for civic learning, hardly any for democracy. Yet the fundamental task of education in a democracy is the apprenticeship of liberty --- learning to be free"

    And in your own words, Maxine, you provide us with these:

    We might add how tied up we are in a society now marked up by some of the flaws, the deficiencies, the inequalities ... We might take into account as well as the impacts of the media, good and bad, the possible openings supplied by the arts, the relations between new technologies and our freedom, between all of these and the making of community.

    Can we for example, be free from the so-called prisonhouse of language, particularly from the English language of this Age of Virtual Capitalism which feeds our consciousness to consume and consume and consume. and to compete and to bring us further away from the existential questions which ought not to be left unexamined... so that life is then worth living? So that life is not a postmodern novel but an epic of heroic proportion with postmodern subplots in between?

    This question on the relationship between historical knowledge, language, and freedom takes us to the center of concern of people like (Frederic) Jameson (see for example his excellent essay "Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism") who will argue that part of the new depthlessness means people giving up a sense of individual history related to the notion of an individual with a certain spiritual and cognitive integrity moving through time towards some goal premised on some conception of self-realization, from the Pythagorean transmigration of souls to Robert Kegan's (in The Evolving Self )model based in a developmental schema that builds on prior developmental work.

    READ MORE HERE: http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2014/05/farewell-my-great-teacher-maxine.html

  • Maxine Greene was on my dissertation committee in 1981, along with our John Allegrante and beloved James Malfetti. Prof. Greene's elegance, insight, generosity, and kindness will remain in our hearts, minds, and spirits forever. Thank you Maxine Greene for the gift of you, rest well and in peace. - Harriet A. Fields, Ed.D., Ed.M.

  • Although I was never a student of Maxine's in the formal sense, I consider myself among the thousands who are part of the "devotee" group. I was an undergraduate when I first heard Maxine speak. Her blazing clarity, poetic freshness, and bold ability to consider everything--from existential philosophers to the novel just published--awakened me to the possibility of being both smitten with the big ideas and a citizen of the everyday world. I then read in "Releasing the Imagination" her call to action: "I say 'we' in the hope that there exists and that I can speak to a community of educators committed to emancipatory pedagogy, particularly in the domain of the arts." That sentence inspired me to direct my life ambitions toward building such a community of educators about whom she wrote.

    Nearly twenty years later, I reference Maxine daily in my work connecting music to children and social change. I cherish the many conversations with Maxine as I built my career, at conferences here in Providence, at salons in apartment 3C, and in letters. I can't accept that the conversation is finished, and nor would she.

    Maxine, thank you for the unfinished, the incomplete, the community always in the making, and for the work that will go on in your honor.

    --Sebastian Ruth

  • Maxine provided me with a unique vision of what it means to be a teacher...opening up new worlds and making it possible for me to aspire to do the same for others. - Joan Daly-Lewis

  • I have never forgotten that in May of 1970 we had an end of the semester paper due. On May 4, Kent State happened and campuses, including ours, were in great turmoil. Maxine was clearly in our corner and told us that she would not expect that paper to be turned in, that she would grade us based on the work already done for the semester. With a wink, she said that if we wanted to, we could turn in the paper over the summer and she would be glad to read it. Maxine had upheld both sides of the bargain and given us all something to think about. Most of us received our degrees a few weeks later and never did turn in those half-completed papers. I felt guilty for years, but then I remembered the wink. - Ann Carol Grossman

  • Inspiring and so intelligent. I took a summer course in women in literature or women's literature and was in awe of her ability to explain, question, and connect everything to everything, all the while leaning on the desk with no notes. - Gay Brookes

  • The summer of 1979 I audited Maxine Greene's seminar on Women and Literature, one of my best decisions. She was an inspiration to me from then on. I've found guidance in Teacher as Stranger. Thank you, Maxine. - Mary N. Hawkes, Ed.D., 1984

  • The planet lost an international treasure!! Very few come around ONCE with such exquisite sense of wonder, wit, and wisdom, and each one of us at TEACHERS COLLEGE was so fortunate to have caught a piece; she broadened voluminous horizons, and her work is only the beginning of a journey to bigger and better things.... That spectacular memory-magic is in the air- lives on in all our hearts....Bon voyage, "DAME" Greene, and thank you for making a BETTER world - Debbie Blonder Pshtissky

  • Truly an educational treasure for all time and people, a phenomenal influence, I was so lucky to have been in her class. - Arlene Pousson Brantner MA, Art and Art Education'71 MA '71

  • Prof. Maxine Greene epitomised intrinsic greatness in her ability to communicate accurately the intricacies of philosophical thought in a variety of specialised areas within the discipline of Philosophy. Supremely brilliant, I sat at her feet and learned, yet the indelible mark this remarkable woman has left on my mind and character is that of her lasting legacy of unsurpassed humility. - Rev. Dr. Lesley G. Anderson

  • TC was a wonderful rich experience for me, and I was proud that I earned my Masters degree there. I continue to be impressed by the richness of the offerings, for both students and alumni.. I still continue to teach, at 87, and thank TC for a large part of that dedication.- Marshall Barron

  • Maxine Greene's classes were like magic; intellectual sparks of light flickering and crossing in many directions, which she very much encouraged, as we discussed the work of Baudelaire, Benjamin, Woolf, Sartre, and Alice Walker. She wanted us to think about teaching and learning through engaged thinking and meaningful deliberation about ideas, rather than through formulaic approaches, and to think about the connections of literacy to power--all of which have deeply influenced my own pedagogy to this day. The legacy of her own writing is very much needed in the current bureaucratisation of teaching in the neoliberal university. Maxine had an intense interest in new ideas, especially in critical theory, and she was on my doctoral committee and responded to my chapters with such flair and genuine interest; the discussions themselves were an impetus for massive re-writing. My first academic post was in the Midwest at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, and she wrote to me and told me to 'counter-normalise.' I've never forgotten that and have tried to do likewise in every subsequent post as well! Maxine was a profound influence and a teacher one never forgets! - William J Spurlin, Ph.D.,1989

  • My class with Maxine was a privilege, a memorable experience, and an enlightening life event. I feel lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to know her! - Patrick J. Dunlavy

  • I am so deeply saddened to hear of Maxine's passing. Maxine was, without a doubt, the most influential educator of my life. During a fairly difficult time in my life, she provided enormous inspiration, intellectual passion, warmth, humor and friendship. I'm no longer in the field of education proper, but I feel that I'm doing the work of Maxine Greene daily in my current work as psychotherapist... (giving, receiving, supporting change, inspiring, creating possibility....) I will never forget her.... - Janet Mittman

  • Maxine is an inspiration to many. Her perspective to an integrated and cohesive global society is impressive and touching to the soul of any sober human kind.She will remain an immortalized icon even in her hereafter.Harrison Njaru Mbogo is a prospective Ph.D Student of Curriculum and Instructions {EarlyChildhood Education) from Kenya - Harrison Njaru Mbogo

  • Maxine's curiosity,world view, scholarship, kindness, humanity and humility will be missed by all who have had the good fortune to have known her. She was a wonderful teacher and a great inspiration to me in both my personal and professional life. I will always be grateful for having been her student. - Richard Santoro

  • I attended one of Maxine Green's courses and will never forget how stimulating and exciting her lectures were. I have been teaching for over 20 years. There has never been a moment that I haven't loved teaching because I am a kindred spirit to her philosophy. - Eileen Schwartz-Bizar

  • Maxine regarded "teaching as possibility" and exhorted us "to look at things as if they could be otherwise." Her legacy lives on in all of us who experienced her brilliance and humanity. - Gregory Jennings, Ed.D.,C&T,1998

  • Dear Maxine - you were a friend and mentor and passionate supporter to so many of us who are teaching artists. You not only introduced us to the possibilities that art works and aesthetic engagement can bring about but you were a champion of the teaching artist and their vital role in the classroom. You showed us the way. You understood how educators and artists can work together through aesthetic education to inspire social imagination and change lives in profound and unexpected ways. Thank you, Maxine. - Holly C. Fairbank, Executive Director, The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination

  • Returning home from a two-year sojourn with the Peace Corps in East Africa in 1967, I enrolled in one of Maxine Greeneā?Ts courses at Teachers College. Coming to New York City I felt the shock of disbelief at how much the country had changed, how angry and disrespectful young people had become, how genders had begun to bend in fashion and behavior, and how fiercely people were protesting the Viet Nam War. Students even closed down the University for a few days. I had missed two of the most important years in recent American history, and I was lost. So I would go talk with Maxine about my confusion. As a linguistics and second language education major, I didn't always follow her references to literature and philosopy. Even then I would remember less about what she said and wrote than about the affirmation I felt being with her.

    Visiting Maxine in later years I always appreciated her interest in my career, my thinking about teaching second language students, and my interest in diversity, culture, and language. I think she was in for the long haul with her students, sitting back and enjoying how we were developing as people and as professionals. Most recently I returned to my earlier love of fiction, enrolling in an OLLI course on four Toni Morrison novels taught by Professor Maxine Montgomery of FSU. Professor Greene would have enjoyed the discussions we had about those stories - making connections with history, with other writers, with our life experiences, and with current events - perhaps not unlike her salons on Central Park East! - Elizabeth Platt

  • I am saddened to hear of Maxine Greene's passing. From the first essay I read of hers in "Releasing the Imagination," through applying and being accepted to TC's philosophy and education program and on to wholly internalizing her ideas of "wide awakeness," Maxine Greene has been a centering force in my own intellectual growth. I am only comforted in the fact that her ideas and writings will live on for future generations. You shall be missed, Maxine. - Cassandra Trousas, PhD



  • I was fortunate to have taken a course back in the 1990s where Maxine Greene spent time with us. She was a prolific, inspiring person. One day we were pleasantly surprised that we would gather together. She was phenomenal tying literature, poetry, art and personal experience to what as teachers do enlighten and be creative in developing and transcendental the imagination and minds of all - teachers, administrators, families, students and staff. She was absolutely wonderful. I concentrated and focused on every word. Later I had to on break and sit alone. I couldn't talk or mingle. I had to process and think. I consider truly blessed to be in her presence. I can only imagine the salon conversations in her apt. - Colleen MacLean



  • I was not student but loved and was so very much influenced by Maxine. I will remember our short friendship always. I can still hear her voice.
    I can still hear her words. - Mildred Libster



  • I knew Charlotte and Larry when I was very young living in Seth Low as my mother worked for and earned her Ed.D, and then ultimately taught there. The Cremin's were special people who always took the time to get to know the people of the TC Community. Rest in peace Charlotte. You will be greatly missed. - Julia Fleischner