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Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist and professor of education at Harvard University, has written eight books, which include: Worlds Apart: Relationships Between Families and Schools (1978); Beyond Bias: Perspectives on Classrooms (1979); and The Good High School: Portraits of Character and Culture (1983), which received the 1984 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association.

Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer (1988), which won the 1988 Christopher Award, was followed by I’ve Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation (1994), The Art and Science of Portraiture (1997), and Respect: An Exploration (1999). Her most recent publication, The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other (2003), captures the crucial exchange that occurs between parents and teachers across our country an estimated 100 million times a year—a dialogue that is both mirror and metaphor for the historical forces that shape the socialization of our children.

In addition to her teaching, research, and writing, Lawrence-Lightfoot sits on numerous professional committees and boards of directors, including the National Academy of Education, The Boston Globe, WGHB, and Bright Horizons Family Solutions. She is also Chair of the Board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Lawrence-Lightfoot has been the recipient of twenty-three honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

She did her undergraduate work in psychology at Swarthmore College, studied child development and teaching at Bank Street College, and received her doctorate in sociology of education at Harvard University. Since joining the Harvard faculty in 1972, she has studied the culture of schools; the patterns and structures of classroom life; the relationships between adult developmental themes and teachers’ work; and socialization within families, communities, and schools.

Courtesy of Bank Street

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