Michael Raymond Farmer teaches in the Middle School programs at Lesley.
I am a 15-year experienced adolescent learning professional with a strong interest in the fields of personalized learning and alternative schooling systems. My doctoral dissertation centered on personalized learning experiences and the role of technology in supporting more-personalized learning. My ongoing practice continues to focus in this area. I work towards educational reforms that are necessary to end the classroom as we know it, and to build environments that are truly oriented towards the learning individual.
As an adjunct professor at Lesley, my goal is to have all Lesley students internalize the reality of the uniqueness of each individual as a learner. In so doing I am contributing to the development of a new form of educator, a Learning Engineer (Hess & Saxberg, 2014) - someone who strives to create learning experiences that are increasingly personalized to meet each student’s unique needs.
I am a constructivist by orientation and subscribe to the thinking surrounding learning that is suggested by Vygotsky, Dale, Kolb, Rose (D), Marzano and Bloom (B). Specific areas of expertise include: curriculum design, instructional practices, assessment, technology integration and adolescent development/psychology. My technology-oriented, inquiry-based methods are documented in Jablon’s (2014) Synergy of Inquiry.
Like Dewey (2016), I believe that democracy must be reborn in the hearts and minds of students and education is its midwife. I worked for several years with students of ages 8 -15 in the Middle East on democracy and human rights initiatives. Developing programs such as “KiDmocracy” and “Win Your Rights”, along with designing a board game (“DemoRules”), enabled me to help students learn new concepts in ways that were engaging, steeped in social experience and authentic to them.
B. Bus. & Grad. Dip [Fin.], University of Technology, Sydney. Australia.
M.Ed. & PhD, Lesley University