You Decide

In my opinion one of the most influential science educators during my time in science education was Russell Yeany. He had a strong interest in science teacher education and occupied many leadership roles, in science education, teacher education, and education – especially at the University of Georgia, where he became Dean of Education. I remember him best as a good listener who was always willing to be open-minded about others’ proposals. He emphasized individual’s agency and when asked for an opinion would often remark: “I could go either way on that.” For the most part what this involved was to lay out the pros and cons of possible pathways and then choose. As a critical friend Russell would listen, push back as necessary, and leave the decision to the person who came with the problem. In many ways his practices were the forerunner of radical listening, which was to be proposed by Joe Kincheloe many years later.