What is the Jeffersonian Paradigm?

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As they went about attempting to lay out the new social landscape of American democracy and society, the founding fathers debated how society might best be structured. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were among the most prolific of thinkers to participate in such debate, and have left a rich treasure of their thoughts for us to examine. One particular such debate became deeply influential in how we have come to think about education and meritocracy today. In my new book I refer to a particular bundle of philosophical positions about education, which emerged directly from this debate, as the “Jeffersonian paradigm.”  Although it has radically changed over time and does not belong to Jefferson alone, this paradigm has endured across the breadth of American history.

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Committing Words to Paper

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This last Friday I had the pleasure of submitting my complete and now copyedited manuscript for my first book.  What a wondrous privilege it is to put words to paper and have others think them worthy of being read by a broader community; I am humbled by the opportunity.  I am also, frankly, terrified by it.  For although I have published articles before, the immutability of ‘paper’ has taken on a new significance in my mind.

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