EDMUND W. GORDON is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at Yale University, Richard March Hoe Professor, Emeritus of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and Director Emeritus of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also the Senior Scholar in Residence at the SUNY Rockland Community College. Distinguished by a career spanning more than six decades in professional practice; scholarly life as a minister; and work as a clinical and counseling psychologist, Dr. Gordon has authored more than 200 articles and eighteen books.
For more information, visit Edmund Gordon’s Website. To learn more about Edmund Gordon from his family and friends, visit his Reflections. To view photographs from Edmund Gordon’s personal collection, visit his Photo Gallery.
Visit the video below to watch a short overview of the interview with Edmund Gordon. Otherwise, see all five of the full interviews with Edmund Gordon below.
Video Interviews with Edmund Gordon:
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Born in a small, highly segregated “tobacco town” in North Carolina, Dr. Edmund Gordon enjoyed a comfortable childhood with his father, a practicing physician who had emigrated from Jamaica; mother, a former elementary school teacher; and two siblings. After earning both an undergraduate degree in biology and graduate degree in social ethics from Howard University, Gordon pursued a doctoral degree in psychology at Teachers College, Columbia. Gordon, married to his wife, Dr. Susan G. Gordon, M.D. for 62 years, cites their four children as their most important achievements. Watch this clip to hear Dr. Gordon’s secrets to a happy marriage and the lessons the Gordon children learned from their father.
Citing his mentor and friend, W.E.B. Du Bois, as influential in his own personal and professional growth, Dr. Edmund Gordon explains the role of the interactionist perspective in his critical thinking. After six decades as a psychologist and research scientist, Gordon remains, according to his friend and colleague, Dr. Wade Boykin, “on the cutting edge of issues.” After extensively studying defiers of negative prediction, Gordon has more recently emphasized less conventional means of school reform in an effort to serve the needs of more students. When watching this clip, be prepared to hear Dr. Gordon challenge the current use of assessments and to learn about his exciting new project.
Commissioned by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to help design the Head Start Program, Dr. Edmund Gordon reflects on the triumphs and disappointments of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive early childhood education experiment. Gordon also conducted research that would be used to prove to the Supreme Court that school segregation had harmful effects on children. In keeping with their commitment to serve others, Gordon and his wife, Dr. Susan G. Gordon, M.D., have established a museum, archive, and community center, the CEJJES Institute, near their home to commemorate the African American Diaspora and serve the citizens of Rockland County. Tune in to learn about Dr. Gordon’s vision for changing national policy to include equal emphasis on supplemental and compensatory education.
Inspired by human effort to overcome adversity, Dr. Edmund Gordon cites “responsibility” and “intellect” as his favorite words. Fascinated by structures such as the Golden Gate and George Washington Bridges, Gordon admits he would have become an engineer or perhaps an architect had he not chosen to study psychology and education. When challenged to identify a profession he would rather avoid, Gordon quickly points to the commercialization faced by undertakers as a reason to dismiss that hypothetical career option. View this clip to discover who Dr. Gordon would like to take to dinner and what he would like to hear upon his arrival at Heaven’s gates.
In this clip, Dr. Edmund Gordon offers words of wisdom to graduate students aspiring to positively impact the field of education, emphasizing their need to recognize and understand multiple perspectives when producing knowledge. Applying the principles of health maintenance to education, Gordon continues to argue for “open and equitable access to schools” in addition to polity, a sense of inclusion in the learning process, for students. Watch this clip to hear Dr. Gordon justify further study of bi-directional knowledge production and explain the value of hermeneutics for American students today.