Friday photos #21: Mike Gerber
Is Mike a guy with whom you could converse?
My admired collegue and long-time pal, Michael Gerber, will be familiar to many readers. He’s a prolific author and commentator.
Mike’s been professing about special education since at least the early 1980s, and making sense of [stuff] from way before then.
He started out in the US Peace Corps and teaching in urban schools where students had horrible resource deficits. Those are pretty good indicators of his concern about people and, especially, those people (kids) who need help.
I got to know Mike when he was a doctoral student at UVA in the late 1970s. Right away, it was obvious that he was thoughtful, capable, informed, and willing to study. Mike found some bologna ideas, and we butted heads about them. But, those disagrements did not perisit.
I want to emphasize that last item in the earlier catalog (willing to study), because Mike came to his doctoral program with some biases. I think he changed those biases on the basis of his examination of evidence. He was someone who examined the literature…and learned from that literature.
During his academic career, Mike also guided many graduate students in efforts to improve education for kids with disabilities and language differences. I’d say that Mike’s not one who toots his own horn, so readers might not find lots of references to him on the internet, but, this is a good starting place.
Mike has an intellectual streak. That’s a good thing, because it allows him to guestion others intellectually. He can ask qustions—sometimes rather detailed questions—about other’s idea. For example, here’s Mike talking with the late Barbara Bateman in 2005.
It’s pretty cool when a couple of great speducators hang around together. I’m happy to have this memory.
If you get a chance to talk with Mike, seize it. You’ll learn something from the exchange.