One of the perks of working in K-12 professional publishing is the chance to meet an education expert who is making waves—a real star on the rise. Someone who can speak to the hearts of everyday classroom teachers, talk national policy with education officials from the highest levels of government, and muster the research to back up all of his points. Someone who does that with style, charm, and humor.
Someone like Yong Zhao.
Zhao’s official title is Presidential Chair and Associate Dean of Global and Online Education at the University of Oregon’s College of Education, but at Corwin he is the author of one our hottest titles of the year: World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.
It’s not easy to catch a shooting star, so it was a real coup that Corwin was able to bring Yong Zhao to Los Angeles for our sponsored lecture series “Full STEAM Ahead! Part 3: Building Our Economy Through Education Technology,” hosted by Town Hall Los Angeles. On a warm Saturday in August, educators from the Los Angeles area had the chance to hear Zhao deliver a keynote address on how creativity and innovation drive a nation’s economic performance forward, and about education’s role in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit.
“In the U.S., economists are worried about the hollowing out of the economy. The top 10% make a lot of money—the entrepreneurs, the creative people. The bottom 10%, the low-skilled service sector, is also increasing—because Mark Zuckerberg still needs to go buy coffee. That’s why over the past several decades, the middle class has been disappearing. What we need to create is the new middle class. The new middle class is the creative class. The new middle class is the entrepreneurial class,” said Zhao.
The event also included a panel discussion with moderator Mark Slavkin, Vice President, Education, Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, Board Chair, California Alliance for Arts Education; panelists, Eric R. Hamilton, Professor and Associate Dean of Education, Pepperdine University; Phil Lafontaine, Director, English Learner and Curriculum Support Division, California Department of Education; Mateo Neri, Entrepreneur, Designer Director, DOT Launch Entrepreneurial Initiative, Art Center College of Design; and Marco Petruzzi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Public Schools.
Through Corwin’s support, public school teachers from the greater Los Angeles area were able to attend the event for free. This was the third lecture in the Full STEAM Ahead! series on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education in California that Corwin has sponsored.
We believe strongly in the mantra “think globally, act locally” and see involvement in our local education community as a natural part of our mission to “Help Educators Do Their Work Better.” With someone like Yong Zhao, Corwin has the privilege to make a difference on both a global and a local scale: publish and sell his thought-provoking book worldwide through SAGE’s global sales team and network of international distributors, and bring in a world-class speaker to our local education community.