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ERIC Number: EJ893750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-4934
William Brickman, Master Teacher
Swing, Elizabeth Sherman
European Education, v42 n2 p74-77 Sum 2010
In this article, the author shares her encounter and relationship with William Brickman as her master teacher. William Brickman was her professor, her dissertation advisor, her mentor, and her friend. Her pursuit of a Ph.D. in late middle age may have seemed strange to friends, family, and some of her professors, but not to Brickman. She enrolled in her first Brickman comparative education course one humid summer when she, a high-school teacher of English with a master's degree in literature from Harvard, decided she needed to stretch her mind. Entering a heretofore unknown field like comparative education was not on her radar that summer, but she was impressed by the range of references scattered throughout Brickman's conversation and by his devotion to learning. In her first class with Brickman, she proposed to examine "democratization," school reforms she had heard about while living in Belgium. Brickman, however, viewed "democratization" as too fuzzy a topic and suggested instead that she examine the Belgian language conflict, the centuries-old rivalry between French-speaking and Dutch-speaking Belgians and the impact of this conflict on schools. This turned out to be the best suggestion any professor has ever given her. One other aspect of her relationship with this master teacher deserves mention. For Brickman, being a teacher was a lifelong commitment. Even after she received her Ph.D., he sent handwritten letters congratulating her on achievements and defining her next goal. She always had the sense that he was in the background of her professional life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium; Pennsylvania