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  • Howard Gardner and Wendy Fischman | The Real World of College
    Howard Gardner and Wendy Fischman | The Real World of College
  • Facing the College Mental Health Crisis
    Facing the College Mental Health Crisis
  • Presidents Council  2019 - Howard Gardner and Wendy Fischman
    Presidents Council 2019 - Howard Gardner and Wendy Fischman

Learn More About Wendy Fischman

Wendy Fischman joined Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1995 as a researcher with Project Co-Arts, a study of educationally effective community art centers. Since 1996, she has managed various aspects of the GoodWork® Project, specifically focused on the meaning of work in the lives of young children, adolescents, and novice professionals.

Fischman is the co-author with Howard Gardner of the forthcoming book, “The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be” (MIT Press, March 2022), which will be informed by a long-running study she and her colleagues conducted. Attempting to make sense of the pros and cons of today’s higher education system, the book will reveal the results of individual one-hour interviews with over 2,000 individuals at ten different institutions. As social scientists, using both quantitative and qualitative analyses, Fischman and Gardner present the empirical evidence — ”the real world” — which goes beyond the headlines and in some cases challenges them. Then, they transition to the role of advisers, offering recommendations to individual colleges, the various constituencies, and the sector as a whole.

Fischman has written about education and human development in several scholarly and popular articles addressing topics such as life long commitment to service work, inspirational mentoring, and teaching in precollegiate education. She is the lead author of “Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work,” published by Harvard University Press in 2004. Fischman has co-developed a curriculum for students and teachers to introduce the concept of “good work” in classrooms and schools. She has taught humanities to middle school students and has evaluated school reform programs facilitated by a government-sponsored Regional Laboratory. Fischman received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

Wendy Fischman is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Wendy Fischman was last modified: July 28th, 2022 by Meg Virag

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“This provocative book explores the views of thousands of students and other campus personnel. Finding many students alienated and narrowly focused on grades and resumes, the authors call for a renewed emphasis on the larger intellectual and social purposes of college.”

Michael McPherson, President Emeritus of the Spencer Foundation and of Macalester College; Co-author of Crossing the Finish Line and The Student Aid Game

“In this bold and visionary book, Fischman and Gardner offer transformational solutions to the grave problems facing higher education today. The book’s compelling recommendations are supported by their definitive study of contemporary college life.”

William Damon, Professor of Education, Stanford University, and Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, author of The Path to Purpose

“Based on extensive field work and thoughtful analysis, ‘The Real World of College’ offers an exceptionally valuable account of liberal arts education in the US today. There are some surprises in these findings, and much to ponder in the recommendations.”

Nannerl O. Keohane, President Emerita, Wellesley College and Duke University