Remembering Jonathan Haber, Who Taught So Many to Think Critically
Jonathan, who wrote columns for EdSurge among his many pursuits, was a wonderful thinker, in education and in life.
The recent author of the book Critical Thinking, a topic about which he cared deeply, Haber had contributed in significant ways to a variety of important education projects.
He co-founded the company SkillCheck—an assessment solutions provider and a prescient creation given today’s skills gap—which he later sold. Among his other education related pursuits, Jonathan consulted to HarvardX; was a founding employee at the Woodrow Wilson Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, which is reinventing educator preparation; and helped crosswalk the tens of thousands of math and English Language Arts standards across different states for the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s CASE Network.
More recently, I had connected Jonathan to a friend and coauthor of mine on the paper “Disrupting Law School,” Villanova Law Professor Michele Pistone, to help her with the instructional design for the online program she has now launched around immigration training for advocates.
I knew Jonathan would deliver—and a fabulous partnership would result. And it was logistically easy because Jonathan was a friend and neighbor of mine here in Lexington, Mass.
The book is focused on the shift from a debilitating event to “an opportunity framing,” providing advice on navigating school board politics, funding, and fueling success. The novel also focuses on competency learning processes. If we don’t make this shift to mastery-based learning we will remain stuck in what is currently a zero-sum education system, where for every winner there is a loser. And that is actually one of the obstacles in my mind, to change.