Jonathan Miller-Lane

Associate Professor of Education Studies

Phone: work802.443.3459
Office Hours: Wednesday 10:30-12 Thursday 3-4:30pm (and by appointment)
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What makes education in a democracy different from education in a totalitarian state? How do we prepare students in a democracy for a democracy?How should a liberal arts education shape our responses?These questions form the focus of my teaching and scholarship. My wife Karen and I came to Middlebury from Seattle, Washington. Karen is a Naturopathic Physician and licensed acupuncturist with her own practice, Natural Medicine of Vermont, in Middlebury. Prior to Seattle, we lived and worked in the Marshall Islands for two years and in Washington, D.C. for six.We have a fifteen year old cat, Mike, who we brought from the Marshall Islands and a two and half year old Bernese Mountain Dog named Banu. The former is still appalled by the snow while the latter has yet to find a snow bank she doesn’t like.

I earned my Ph.D. in Secondary Education from the University of Washington in Seattle under the guidance of Professor Walter Parker. My research focused on the facilitation of disagreement in discussion and whether the principles and practice of Aikido might help foster facilitation skills.I also have a M.Ed. from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a BA in Middle Eastern and African History from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

In both fall and spring semesters, I teach EDSTUD 0115 Education in America.During spring semester, I also teach EDSTUD 0318 Methods in Middle and Secondary Education.During Winter Term, the intensive seminar on special education with John Murphy (EDSTUD 0327) fills my time in addition to coordinating our New York City Urban Education Internship (EDSTU 0337) and the Boston Winter Term Internship program.With colleagues Gregg Humphrey and Claudia Cooper of the Education Studies program, I lead the Student Teaching Seminar and supervise student teachers in the local schools.

In January 2004, I founded Blue Heron Aikido, a dojo in Middlebury, VT.The dojo is located in the Middlebury municipal building adjacent to Twilight Hall.Three times a week, a marvelous mixture of college students, town residents and local students train together. Thanks to a thriving Aikido club on campus nearly two-dozen Middlebury college students have tested for various ranks since we opened.Over two hundred people have come to train in the dojo over the last five years and in the spring of 2010 we will have our first black belt test.The practice of Aikido has been central to my academic work and every spring semester, with the Aikido club and supported by the Education Studies Program, we organize a program in which we explore the conceptual and practical links between the liberal arts and the martial art of Aikido.Professor Justin Stearns of the Religion Department and Professor Linda White from the Japanese Department & Women and Gender Studies Program are also black belts in Aikido and teach at the dojo.

If you have gotten to this point in my biography, you should come and train!We practice Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:15-6:30pm.Beginners and all levels of expertise are welcome.



indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

EDST 0115 - Education In the USA      

Education in the USA
What are schools for? What makes education in a democracy unique? What counts as evidence of that uniqueness? What roles do schools play in educating citizens in a democracy for a democracy? In this course, we will engage these questions while investigating education as a social, cultural, political, and economic process. We will develop new understandings of current policy disputes regarding a broad range or educational issues by examining the familiar through different ideological and disciplinary lenses. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.


Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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EDST 0120 - Foundations of Peace Education      

Foundations of Peace Education
In this course, we will investigate the concept of a "culture of peace" as defined by the United Nations in 1998: “A set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations.” Our focus questions will be: What do we know about the root causes of conflict? What knowledge and skills are required to become skilled negotiators and mediators capable of bringing about a culture of peace? What role can schools play in fostering a culture of peace given the extensive literature that argues that the current institutional structure of schools fosters apathy and fear-conditions unlikely to foster a culture of peace?


Spring 2012

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EDST 0318 - Middle/Secondary Ed Methods      

Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools
This course emphasizes the knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching at the secondary level. Starting from a foundation in the liberal arts, students will develop lesson and unit plans based on instructional models that reflect "best practice" and that are grounded in key concepts from their respective disciplines. Concerns regarding "classroom management" will be addressed as opportunities to design challenging and engaging curriculum. Students will be required to integrate technology into meaningful, academic inquiry. This course requires 3 hrs/week of observation in local schools. 3 hrs. lect.

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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EDST 0327 - Field Exp Secondary/Special Ed      

Field Experience in Secondary Education and Special Education
In this course we will examine secondary teaching and special education at the middle school level. Working closely with practicing middle school teachers, students will spend five days a week in the schools, observing, tutoring, directing small-group learning, developing lessons, and assessing student work. In this seminar we will explore, through selected readings and a case study, the policy and pedagogy of special education for students with learning disabilities. Further topics in middle/secondary education will be addressed. Required for students seeking a minor in secondary education. (Pass/Fail)

non-standard grade WTR

Winter 2011, Winter 2013

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EDST 0415 - Sec Student Teach Practicum      

Student Teaching in the Middle School/High School
A semester-long practicum in a local middle or high school under the direct supervision of an experienced cooperating teacher. (Corequisite: EDST 0410) (Approval required)

non-standard grade

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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EDST 0416 - Sec Student Teach Practicum      

Student Teaching in the Middle School/High School
See EDST 0415. (Approval required)

non-standard grade

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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EDST 0417 - Sec Student Teach Practicum      

Student Teaching in the Middle School/High School
See EDST 0415. (Approval required)

non-standard grade

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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EDST 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015

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INDE 0800 - Ind Scholar Thesis      
INTD 0210 / EDST 0210 - Sophomore Seminar/Liberal Arts      

Sophomore Seminar in the Liberal Arts
This course is designed for sophomores who are interested in exploring the meaning and the purpose of a liberal arts education. To frame this investigation, we will use the question "What is the good life and how shall I live it?" Through an interdisciplinary and multicultural array of readings and films we will engage our course question through intellectual discussion, written reflection, and personal practice. There will be significant opportunities for public speaking and oral presentation, as well as regular writing assignments, including a formal poster presentation. Readings will include reflections on a liberal arts education in the U.S. (Emerson, Brann, Nussbaum, Oakeshott, Ladsen-Billings, bell hooks); on "the good life" (excerpts from Aristotle, sacred texts of different traditions); on social science analyses of contemporary life; texts on the neuroscience of happiness; as well as literary and cinematic representations of lives well-lived. CMP (J. Miller-Lane; P. Zupan)


Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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STLD 1006 - People's History of Middlebury      

A People's History of Middlebury College
A people’s history is a history centered on marginalized voices and on periods of struggle. In this course we will first define the meaning of the term “marginalization.” We will investigate questions such as: How have marginalized Middlebury students/faculty/staff viewed their experiences here? What has resistance looked like at Middlebury? What is the relationship between education and action on our campus? We will draw from primary and secondary historical sources including Stameshkin’s history of Middlebury College, oral histories from current and past members of the Middlebury community, and resources in the College Archives. As an interdisciplinary Education Studies course, we will use supplementary texts and multimedia resources on people’s histories, student/worker movements, the development of higher education since the early 19th century, and educational and social theory. (Approval Required; Credit/No Credit)

non-standard grade WTR

Winter 2014

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Miller-Lane, J, Selover, G (2008).“Teaching Constructive Disagreement for a Loyal Opposition, Somatically.” Social Studies Research and Practice, 3(3), 39-50.

Miller-Lane, J., Howard, T. & Halagao, P. E. (2007). “Civic Multicultural Competence: Searching for Common Ground for Democratic Education.”  Theory & Research in Social Education, 35(4), 551-573.

Miller-Lane, J. (2007). “The Loyal Opposition and the Practice of Aikido.”  Journal of Asian Martial Arts 16(1), 64-81.

Miller-Lane, J. (2006). “Constructive Disagreement, the Body, and Education for Democracy.” The Social Studies, 97(1), 16-20.

Miller-Lane, J. (2006). “Social Studies Teachers’ Views on Committed Impartiality and Discussion.”  Social Studies Research & Practice, 1(1), 30-44.

Miller-lane, J. (2003). “Infusing Assets into Social Studies.” In Taccogna, J., (Ed.) Powerful teaching: Asset building curriculum for teachers, pp. 145-156. St. Paul, Minnesota: Search Institute.


Selected Presentations

American Philosophy Association Pacific Division. Discussant for five-paper general session: The Society for the Study of Philosophy and The Martial Arts. April 2009. Vancouver, BC.

“In Pursuit of Educator Quality: Collaboration and Critical Decisions in the Development of Vermont’s Level 1 Licensure Portfolio, 1991-2007.”  Chair, organizer and presenter of symposium at the annual conference of the New England Educational Research Organization, April 2008.  Symposium involved five colleagues from the Vermont Council of Teacher Educators

“Constructive Disagreement, The Loyal Opposition and Aikido:  Towards a Theory of Embodied, Democratic Education.”  Paper presented with Will Cunningham and Greg Selover (Middlebury College class of 2010) at the 2007 annual meeting of The College and University Faculty Association of The National Council for the Social Studies, San Diego, CA. November 28, 2007.

“Embodied Discussion: The Case for Aikido.” Organized and presented opening lecture for a four-day symposium entitled Knowledge Without Boundaries: The Liberal Arts and the Martial Art of Aikido, Middlebury College, April 17, 2007.

“From Myopia to Mindfulness: Creating Time and Space for Teacher Induction.”  Roundtable with Doug Dagan, (Middlebury College class of 2004) at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), New York, February 2007.

“I disagree, but thank you. Facilitating & Embodying Constructive Disagreement.” Pre-conference, all-day workshop at the annual meeting of the National Association of Multicultural Education, Tucson, November 2006.

“Multicultural Education & Civic Competence: New Directions for Social Studies Education.”  Invited paper presented at the Social Studies Special Interest Research Group Meeting during the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, April 2006.

“Educating the Body for Democratic Life: Intersections of Theory and Practice.” Chair, organizer of and presenter in panel session at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Montreal, April 2005.