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Jonathan Miller-Lane

Associate Professor of Education Studies

 work(802) 443-3459
 Mondays: 1:45pm-3:15pm, Wednesdays: 1:45-3:15pm, and by appointment via Zoom if the above time conflicts with courses.
 Twilight Hall 107

Full CVFull CV

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.




Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

EDST 0115 / BLST 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. AMR NOR SOC

Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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EDST 0227 - JusTalks At Middlebury      

JusTalks at Middlebury
In this course students will develop the ability to facilitate the JusTalks First-Year Forums that will take place during winter term and spring semester. The First Year Forums are intended to (i) foster the habits of listening empathically and responding constructively when engaging in complex discussions that address topics such as privilege and difference, and (ii) develop greater awareness of how to contribute actively to building an inclusive community. The knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students will develop in this course are consciously intended to be transferable to other settings and transformative for the Middlebury community. SOC WTR

Winter 2018, Winter 2019

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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. In this seminar we will explore, through selected readings and case studies, 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 major in secondary education. (Pass/Fail) (Open to EDST Secondary Licensure candidates only) non-standard grade WTR

Winter 2018

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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

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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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

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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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

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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EDST 0430 - Senior Seminar in Education      

Senior Seminar in Education Studies
In this capstone seminar for General Education minors, students will engage, analyze, and offer solutions to real world problems in the current landscape of education. We will read extensively in the field, consider multiple research methods and approaches, and enlist community experts. Working across disciplines and collaboratively, students will create final projects that integrate and apply what they have learned in their coursework, developing and enhancing skills for creative problem solving and leadership in the field. Final projects will vary; all students will make oral presentations. (three of five required courses for the general EDST minor.) 3 hrs. Sem. SOC

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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EDST 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Winter 2022

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EDST 0505 - Ind. Study-Sec Methods      

Independent Study - Secondary Methods
This course is for students who are pursuing a VT teaching license in a Secondary content area. Students are required to commit to a school placement under the guidance and supervision of a certified, secondary VT teacher. The content of the course will be developed collaboratively by the EDST professor overseeing the independent student, the VT secondary teacher who is overseeing the school placement, and the student. Regular meetings involving all three will take place throughout the semester. The exact meeting schedule will be determined on a case by case basis. Students will complete assignments that address the requirements of the VT Educator Portfolio. (EDST0115, EDST0215 and relevant courses in Psychology). By Approval only. Interested students must meet with the Director of Education Studies.

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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EDST 1009 - Soc Justic & Evol Spirituality      

Social Justice and Evolutionary Spirituality
In this “course” we will explore whether we can create intellectually dynamic spaces of regeneration and renewal while enrolled at an historically White supremacist institution. There are two central texts for our inquiry: (1) Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation (2016), by The Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D.; and (2) American Awakening: Evolutionary Spirituality, Non-Duality & Free Thinking in the Tradition of American Philosophy (2020) by the spiritual philosopher, Jeff Carreira. Class meetings will involve contemplative practices, writing workshops and students will share in the leading of our seminar-based discussions. CW PHL WTR

Winter 2021, Winter 2022

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EDST 4001 - Individuals and Societies      

Fall 2019, Prof Development Collaborative

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FYSE 1567 - Educ in the Anthropocene      

Education in the Anthropocene
Traditionally, a liberal arts education has placed humans at the center of study. But, what if we decentered humans in order to explore how to live not as overseer, but as an embodied expression of a much larger, shared Earthscape? What is the balance of liberty and social justice in such a paradigm? What if this new, required spacing between us is not a barrier to our engagement, but the opening possibility of a larger, shared consciousness? Using a conceptual framework of land-body-spirit-mind, we will engage learning at the crossroads of these questions. Is six feet really the distance between when your breath ends and mine begins? 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2020

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INDE 0800 - Ind Schol Sr Work/Proj/Thesis      

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Winter 2019

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INTD 0210 / EDST 0210 - Sophomore Seminar/Liberal Arts      

Sophomore Seminar in the Liberal Arts
The current pandemic, and all the questions it brings to the fore about what we value in a college experience, make this an ideal moment to consider the meaning and purpose of your liberal arts education. At the heart of this exploration will be a question posed by physicist Arthur Zajonc: “How do we find our own authentic way to an undivided life where meaning and purpose are tightly interwoven with intellect and action, where compassion and care are infused with insight and knowledge?” We will examine how, at this pivotal moment of decision making, you can understand your college career as an act of “cultivating humanity” and how you can meaningfully challenge yourself to take ownership of your intellectual and personal development. Through interdisciplinary and multicultural exploration, drawing from education studies and philosophical, religious, and literary texts, we will engage our course questions by way of student-led discussion, written reflection, and personal, experiential learning practices. In this way we will examine how a liberal arts education might foster the cultivation of an ‘undivided’ life, “the good life”, a life well-lived. (The course is open to sophomores and second semester first-year students. Juniors by permission only.) CMP

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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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.

Program in Education Studies

Twilight Hall
50 Franklin Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

fax 802.443.6010