To Create the World That Ought to Be

To Create the World That Ought to Be: The Life and Work of Visionary Educator Arnold Langberg

Earthville Education
We are pleased to announce the mid-2021 publication of To Create the World That Ought to Be, the memoir of trailblazing educator Arnie Langberg. The book and its accompanying website will welcome the reader to engage in a conversation about how the educational experience can be used to help bring out the greatness that exists within all learners, inspiring and empowering them to be a part of creating a better world.

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About Arnie Langberg

After graduating from MIT in 1955, Arnie began his 50-year career in public education by teaching mathematics at the high school from which he had graduated. He received an MA from Teachers College, Columbia, in 1972, and later, upon moving to Colorado, he competed all but the dissertation requirement for the PhD at CU Boulder. 

In 1957, three months before Sputnik, Arnie, together with a colleague and twenty one of their students, created the Iota Society. For ten years this program offered seminars, sponsored concerts and arranged trips to various cultural events in New York City for students and their parents. 

In 1970, after moving to a new school district, Arnie joined six students and a district administrator in the creation of the Great Neck Village School, one of the first public alternative high schools in the country. 

In 1975, Arnie, his wife, Dagnija, and their three children, Richard, Lars and Krista, moved to Colorado to help start the Mountain Open High School, which the chairman of an external evaluation team characterized as “a model for the reform of secondary education.” Arnie served as the first principal of Mountain Open High School and in 1978 served as principal to both Mountain Open High School and the Open Living School in Evergreen. This school continues to function as part of the Pre K-12 Jefferson County Open School in Lakewood, CO, having merged with the Open Living schools in 1988. 

In 1988, as Administrator of Alternative Education for the Denver Public Schools, Arnie received a two-year grant of $800,000 from the US Labor Department, to develop an alternative high school for at-risk inner-city students. For four years High School Redirection (HSR) evolved as a learning community serving a population that was 70% students of color, most of whom had been given up on by the conventional school system. 

Arnie has described the development of HSR in a chapter entitled, “Empowering Students to Shape Their Own Learning” in Public Schools That Work, edited by Gregory Smith and published by Routledge. He also contributed a chapter entitled “Caring and Engagement” to Restructuring Education, published in 1990 by the Colorado Department of Education. 

Arnie was a winner of the Colorado Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence in 1991, and in 1993 he was presented with an Award For Moral Courage by Samaritan House, the Denver Business Journal, and Denver University. In 1999 he was given the Educational Leadership Award, by Escuela, Tlatelolco. 

Arnie continues to consult with school districts and individual schools throughout the United States and abroad, including a week in Nefteyougansk, Siberia, in August,1993. In the fall of 2000. Arnie taught at the International College of Beijing, offering an introductory course in philosophy to 100 English-speaking Chinese students. 

For three years, beginning in the summer of 1994, Arnie created a program called, “Education for Moral Courage” at Harrington Elementary School, in a high-crime, high-poverty neighborhood of Denver. It engaged children as young as third grade in conversation on issues of character before they had become involved in self-destructive, anti-social behavior. 

In February, 2001, Arnie formed a partnership with the Denver Musicians Association, to apply the research gathered from a music exhibit to the education of school children in Denver. The Harmony Project paired artists with classroom teachers and together they would develop lessons that infused music and other arts into the regular curriculum. 

Arnie has been an adjunct in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Denver and at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado. He was also a Visiting Fellow at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, which brought him there over a period of five years to help a number of San Antonio public schools in their redesign efforts.


The Earthville Education Blog

Earthville EducationThe Earthville Education Blog is a venue for ongoing explorations of education as a catalyst for the development of conscientious global citizens, healthy communities, and a more harmonious and sustainable world.

See Arnie’s articles on the Earthville Education Blog


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