The Edmund Gordon Centennial

Dr. Edmund Gordon

Open quotesI have tried to re-conceptualize a widely accepted notion concerning Equality of Educational Opportunity. Some of my students and I believe that given the state of educational development for the diverse population of students in the U.S., the pursuit of Equity in Opportunities is more appropriate than the pursuit of equality, defined as sameness. We also believe that equity will require that we take advantage of recent findings concerning the nature of human learning that move us away from teaching and learning as the transmission of knowledge and technique toward learning as the enablement of learners to orchestrate and mediate their own learning. In the words of William Butler Yeats, ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’Close quotes

Edmund Gordon
Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education

Speakers & Sessions

Click the links below to explore our sessions and confirmed speakers.


Day 1, June 2, 2021

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Speech
Linda Darling-Hammond: “The Quest for Educative Assessments”

10:30 - 11:40 AM EDT

Keynote Details

Session 1
Towards the Affirmative Development of Intellective Competence and Agency in Every Human Being

12:30 - 2:30 PM EDT

Session 1 Details

Session 2
Towards “Next Generation” Affirmative Pedagogies, Situated and Social Learning

3:30 - 5:30 PM EDT

Session 2 Details

Day 2, June 3, 2021

Session 3
Towards “Next Generation” Affirmative and Formative Assessments for Learning, and in the Service of Learning

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM EDT

Session 3 Details

Session 4
From Affirmative Action to Affirmative Development: Towards Rights-based and Equity-centered
Pedagogy, Assessment, and Policy

1:00 - 3:00 PM EDT

Session 4 Details

Reflection Salon: A Multidisciplinary and Multi-generational Thinking Space
The Next 100 Years of Research, Practice and Policy—Where We Want to be on Learning,
Repurposing Assessment for Learning and Educational Equity

3:30 - 5:30 PM EDT

Reflection Details

Closing Ceremony

6:00 - 7:00 PM EDT

Closing Session Details

Conference Program

About The Conference


As his longest academic home, Teachers College, Columbia University is honored to host a two-day invitational conference on June 2-3, 2021, to celebrate  the 100-year life and intellectual legacy of Dr. Edmund W.Gordon. A distinguished group of speakers will offer insights and perspectives on his major writings. The event will launch a series of Centennial Celebration events across the country.

There is no better time to commemorate, revisit and re-engage with Dr. Gordon’s ideas than this moment. Throughout his career and life, Dr. Gordon has steadily called for “affirmative development” of intellective competence in every human being by repurposing  pedagogy and assessment in the service of learning, across the lifespan.  Dr. Gordon’s corpus of research, much of which was undertaken as the Richard March Hoe Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College [insert Link to his bio}, provides the vision and foundations to refashion our understandings of human development, teaching and learning, with new directions in student pedagogy, assessment, and accountability. His work with respect for human and civil rights shows us the importance of race and social class in the interplay of education and outcomes. His concept of affirmative development helps us appreciate the emancipatory potential of education and its many branches of research and practice.

Upcoming Events


Centennial Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors!


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