Posted by: COSI | November 3, 2009

Boy, Are They Smart!

I’ve been in education of one form or another for 37 years—having first stepped into a classroom on my own in 1972 as a precocious 20 year old. So I think I’ve built up a body of knowledge and experience by this time. As COSI’s president I’ve drawn upon that experience extensively and feel fairly comfortable with my knowledge base.

But I’ve been reminded at our international conference what great minds we have in this field—drawn from all over the world. I just sat next to Dennis Bartels, the Exploratorium’s director, on an ASTC panel at this annual conference. We were responding to a recent Carnegie Commission report on educational reform. With the other panelists (all colleagues and friends) we had all participated in the working sessions leading to the report.

I’ve known Dennis for years. We’re both Cleveland kids, we both have educational backgrounds and early on we were interested in each other’s doctoral research. And we both started our CEO careers close to the same time.

But when his turn came to comment and remark on the educational research and constructs that he thinks from, I was reminded what a deep and informed thinker Dennis is. I wish I could have given up my time for panel comments to give Dennis more time I benefitted so much to listening to his remarks.

And Dennis is just one of a number of my colleagues who brings a broad and diverse background, impressive intellect, and eloquence to play into our conversations. Whether it’s at a conference session or over a glass of wine (more so the latter 😉 I’m always blessed with informative and entertaining conversations at our conference. I think it is what makes the science museum field so satisfying on a personal basis beyond our own local work. It’s worth the flight delays and time away from the office to make the conference each year—now my 23rd in a row!


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