Garn Press Interviews: Steve Nelson, Author of First Do No Harm: Progressive Education In A Time Of Existential Risk – Part One
First Do No Harm: Progressive Education In A Time Of Existential Risk by Steve Nelson will be available for purchase November 29, 2016.
One of the great things about Garn Press is that we get to work with writers of conscience who are the teachers, scientists, and scholars doing some of the most important work of our time.
And now we are really excited to add Steve Nelson to Garn’s list of celebrated authors. Steve is the Head of Calhoun School, in New York City, one of America’s most notable progressive schools. His book, First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk, is about to be published.
In First Do No Harm, Steve develops a comprehensive argument for the importance of progressive education in light of the world’s increasingly severe challenges. Matt Damon has written the introduction to First Do No Harm and he states:
Things have gone very wrong in education in recent years. Many of us know this, but few of us really understand what has happened and why. But Steve Nelson does. And in this book, he helps us understand education in a way that deepens our awareness of the profound impact education has on children’s lives and the society and world we live in.
It’s a pleasure to introduce Steve Nelson to you in the first of four videos. In them Steve talks about his life and being the Head of Calhoun School, which is well known for its commitment to diversity and social justice.
Steve Nelson, Author of First Do No Harm: Progressive Education In A Time Of Existential Risk – Part One
One of the questions Steve addresses in the interviews is how he became an advocate for progressive education in U.S. Public Schools? He shares his views on charter schools and addresses whether or not high stakes tests belong in an ethical democracy.
But what is both critical and ground breaking about First Do No Harm is that Steve makes the case for progressive education for all children in this time of existential risks, and Matt Damon addresses this aspect of Steve’s book in his introduction.
“I am concerned about our planet and the existential threats Steve identifies,” Matt Damon writes, “climate change, nuclear threat, terrorism, social and economic injustice.”
At the present time when the U.S. is changing rapidly and there are many complications in the everyday lives of students, Steve makes a powerful case for the teaching and learning that occurs in progressive educational environments that celebrate the arts as well as the sciences, to prepare students for their active participation in addressing the complex social, political and the environmental issues they will experience throughout their lives.
“Progressive educators intentionally design their programs to lead students toward becoming adults,” Matt Damon writes, “who will be engaged citizens committed to economic and social justice.”
That is exactly what Steve Nelson makes a compelling case for in First Do No Harm and talks about in this Garn Press series of interviews.
First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk
Available: December, 2016
Ebook: $9.99 and $2.99 US for the Kindle Matchbook Program
About Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson has been Head of School at the Calhoun School, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, since 1998. Calhoun is one of America’s most notable progressive schools and serves 750 students, from pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Calhoun is particularly well regarded for its commitment to diversity and social justice.
Since 1997 Steve has been a columnist for the Valley News, the daily newspaper in the mid-VT/NH area on both sides of the Connecticut River. He has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post since 2010, writing about education and politics. Before assuming his current position, he worked as an administrator at Vermont Law School and Landmark College. He is an avid violinist and also served for six years as President of a performing arts school in the Midwest.
Steve has competed in many marathons, triathlons, bicycle races and XC ski races, with steadily decreasing success. He now primarily races the grim reaper.
He is married to Wendy Nelson, has two children, Jennifer and Christopher, and three perfect grandchildren – Quinn, Maddie and Jack.