GARY STAGER, PH.D
Senior Education Consultant/STEM Specialist
Teacher educator, journalist, speaker, teacher, activist and consultant, Dr. Gary Stager, is driven by a belief that “things need not be as they seem.” He has worked since 1982 to help teachers on six continents make sense of their roles in the digital age. In 1990 Stager led development efforts at the world’s first two “laptop schools” in Australia. Since then, Gary has worked with countless laptop schools from Maine to Melbourne to Mumbai. Most recently, he helped a new Korean international School launch 1:1 computing and project-based learning from grade one.
Some people think ‘outside of the box.’ Gary is unaware of the box’s existence!
– Dr. David Thornburg, author, speaker & futurist
Stager taught at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology from 1993 to 2010, most recently as a Visiting Professor. In 1998, Gary helped design Pepperdine’s groundbreaking Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program and has taught online for fifteen years. In 1982, Gary created one of the nation’s first computer camp programs and was the Director of Professional Development for NJ’s Network for Action in Microcomputer Educator from 1983-93. He has taught at every level from preschool through supervising doctoral theses. One of his passions is working to change the trajectory of at-risk learners and worked in troubled schools in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Dr. Stager worked with Seymour Papert to create the Constructionist Learning Laboratory at the Maine Youth Center. Gary’s work with incarcerated youth in Maine was the subject of his PhD. dissertation documented Dr. Papert’s last institutional research project. As a leading “constructionist,” Stager worked with Dr. Papert for twenty years to bring his ideas to life in schools around the world.
Dr. Stager was a collaborator in the MIT Media Lab’s Future of Learning Group and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation’s Learning Team. He is the Executive Director of The Constructivist Consortium, founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute and an associate of the Thornburg Center for Professional Development.
He sees through the No Child Left Behind fog with laser vision with eye-opening suggestions on how to truly engage and challenge learners. Having seen Gary work with children around the world, I can attest that Gary is a true champion of children.
– Peter H. Reynolds – Award-winning author, illustrator, animator &∓ software developer
Gary was Senior Editor for District Administration Magazine, Founding Editor of The Pulse: Education’s Place for Debate and Editor of ISTE’s Logo Exchange. He is a frequent consultant, conference presenter, workshop leader and keynote speaker at conferences across the USA, Canada, China, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar, Brazil, Mexico, India, Switzerland, France, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Peru, South Korea, South Africa, The Slovak Republic and Venezuela. Dr. Stager studied early childhood education innovations in Reggio Emilia, Italy and has been sharing “The Best Educational Ideas in the World” through conference presentations and a forthcoming book.
Gary has a B.A. degree in elementary education from William Paterson College and once studied to be a jazz musician at Berklee College of Music, Rutgers University and with Frank Foster and Barry Harris at New York’s Jazz Cultural Theatre. His Ph.D. is in science and mathematics education from The University of Melbourne (Australia).
Mr. Stager continuously demonstrated high levels of initiative and creativity. His work with teachers is outstanding and effective, particularly in providing new approaches and procedures for educators to overcome daily, weekly and monthly challenges. His presentations have always served to challenge long held paradigms in education. Few are left in his workshops that do not feel inspired and motivated.
– Ron Canuel – CEO of the Canadian Education Association
Dr. Stager has worked with public schools, private schools, gifted students, at-risk learners, governments and homeschooling communities, Dr. Stager’s corporate clients have included: Disney, Microsoft, LEGO, Apple Computer, Compaq, Tom Snyder Productions, Universal Studios, Toshiba, Logo Computer Systems, Inc., Generation YES and Claris. He co-founded We Learn @ Home, a company providing services to homeschooling families and The Constructivist Consortium, an alliance of six competing education publishers committed to children, creativity, computing and constructivism.
Gary is an outstanding educator who makes a powerful impact on teachers, parents and students. Gary worked with our school for five days. During that time, I was able to observe him leading faculty meetings, facilitating parent question and answer sessions and working with students in whole class settings. In each case, Gary provided quality instruction, insight and modeling of effective practices. He was able to quickly identify our specific needs and tailored his workshops and interactions accordingly. Gary is an enthusiastic, committed practitioner who challenges the status quo in a manner that promotes inquiry, reflection and substantive change. Gary keeps student learning as his central focus and left our teachers, students and parents energized and motivated to expand their view of how the learning environment can be restructured to improve engagement, motivation and achievement. Overall, it was an outstanding week and we appreciated all that Gary had to offer.
– Lisa Mireles, Assistant Superintendent – American School of Bombay, India
Gary Stager was a finalist for best columnist in the 2006 Association of Education Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards. In 1999, Converge Magazine named Gary a “shaper of our future and inventor of our destiny.” The National School Boards Association recognized Dr. Stager with the distinction of “20 Leaders to Watch” in 2007. The June 2010 issue of Tech & Learning Magazine named Gary Stager as “one of today’s leaders who is changing the landscape of edtech through innovation and leadership.”
He sees instantly to the heart of complicated situations, whether it be a classroom dynamic or a problem of professional politics and infighting. He cuts right through the irrelevant details and gets to the aspect of the situation at which an intervention might be possible.
– Brian Harvey, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley Department of Computer Science
Dr. Stager was a keynote speaker at the 2009 National Educational Computing Conference before an audience of more than 4,000 educators. He has been a Visiting Scholar at The University of Melbourne’s Trinity College and Scholar-in-Residence at Lesley University.
A man of many passions and talents, Gary was the new media producer for The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmeri Project – Simpatíco, 2007 Grammy Award Winner for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. The album also won a similar award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Dr. Stager is a contributor to The Huffington Post and a fearless voice on behalf of children and progressive educators. Gary’s “Hope for School” was captured in the documentary,Imagine-It2!