NOVEMBER 1ST - John Puckett and Ira Harkavy

Join us on Wednesday, November 1st, at 6 pm for a reading and discussion with authors Ira Harkavy and John Puckett!

Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century

co-authored by Lee Benson, Ira Harkavy, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks

"Grounded in historical analyses about the theories and practices of civic participation in democratic societies, Knowledge for Social Change provides wonderful examples of and provocative perspectives on the critical role that higher education institutions—especially research universities—play in advancing social change in contemporary society. This book should be required reading for students in every college and university across the land.Albert M. Camarillo, Professor of History, Haas Centennial Professor of Public Service, and Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

Employing history, social theory, and a detailed contemporary case study, Knowledge for Social Change argues for fundamentally reshaping research universities to function as democratic, civic, and community-engaged institutions dedicated to advancing learning and knowledge for social change. The authors focus on significant contributions to learning made by Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin, Seth Low, Jane Addams, William Rainey Harper, and John Dewey—as well as their own work at Penn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships to help create and sustain democratically engaged colleges and universities for the public good. 

Knowledge for Social Change highlights university-assisted community schools to effect a thoroughgoing change of research universities that will contribute to more democratic schools, communities, and societies. The authors also call on democratic-minded academics to create and sustain a global movement dedicated to advancing learning for the "relief of man's estate"—an iconic phrase by Francis Bacon that emphasized the continuous betterment of the human condition—and to realize Dewey's vision of an organic "Great Community" composed of participatory, democratic, collaborative, and interdependent societies.


IRA HARKAVY is Associate Vice President and founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania. As Director of the Netter Center since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop academically based community service courses as well as participatory action research projects that involve creating university-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia. An historian with extensive experience building university-community-school partnerships, Harkavy teaches in history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education. Harkavy is a member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE Vice Chair); Harvard College National Advisory Board for Public Service; International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy (US Chair); the Anchor Institutions Task Force (Chair); and Widener University Board of Trustees. Executive Editor of Universities and Community Schools, Dr. Harkavy has written and lectured widely on the history and current practice of urban university-community-school partnerships and strategies for integrating the university missions of research, teaching, learning, and service. His recent books include Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (2007, co-authored with Lee Benson and John Puckett), Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Civic Responsibility (2007, co-edited with Josef Huber), The Obesity Culture: Strategies for Change, Public Health and University-Community Partnerships (2009, co-authored with Francis Johnston), Reimagining Democratic Societies: A New Era of Personal and Social Responsibility (2013, co-edited with Sjur Bergan and Hilligje van’t Land), and Knowledge for Social Change (2017, co-authored with Lee Benson, Ira Harkavy, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks).

JOHN PUCKETT background includes six years of teaching and administrative work in public and private secondary schools in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to Penn in 1987, Dr. Puckett was director of research and development for REAL Enterprises, a non-profit organization that helped catalyze school-based economic development projects in the rural South. He served as associate dean of the Graduate School of Education from 1998 to 2004, and again in 2006-07; he chaired the School’s Educational Leadership Division in 1999-2000, and the Education Policy Division from 2007-11; and he served on the school’s Executive Committee for eleven years.  His GSE courses and seminars include American education reform: history, policy, and practice; education and the American City; and John Dewey. Since coming to Penn, Dr. Puckett has been actively involved in building University partnerships with West Philadelphia schools; from 1988 to 1992, he worked with Ira Harkavy to develop the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Community Partnerships, now called the Netter Center. In conjunction with the Netter Center and the School of Arts and Sciences’s Urban Studies Program, he teaches undergraduate academically-based community service seminars that focus on school- and neighborhood-improvement projects in West Philadephia. He has co-authored a number of journal articles and book chapters with Arts and Sciences faculty affiliated with the Netter Center, advancing the development of university-assisted community schools and academically based community service. Dr. Puckett is the author of Foxfire Reconsidered: A Twenty-Year Experiment in Progressive Education (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989); co-author of Leonard Covello and the Making of Benjamin Franklin High School: Education As If Citizenship Mattered (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007); co-author of Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007); and co-author of Becoming Penn: The Pragmatic Urban University, 1950-2000 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). Dr. Puckett serves on various university, community, public school, and citywide advisory boards and task forces; one of his recent projects was a successful five-year community-organizing effort to build a new West Philadelphia High School. In 1991–92, Dr. Puckett was designated a Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education postdoctoral fellow; his study centered on the history of the community school idea from 1886 to the present. In 1996–97, he was designated a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, where he lectured in American Studies at the Otto-von-Guericke-Universität in Magdeburg. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow of the Netter Center and a frequent Bodek Lecturer for the University.   

Event date: 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304
Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781439915196
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Temple University Press - July 1st, 2017