Profiles in Education: A View from the Academy with Sean O’Connor


Sean O’Connor, Washington College’s professor emeritus of education, is the first to admit that his role over the last thirty years in the field of learning has been in the lofty  perch of the academic world, or the “Academy” has he affectionately refers to it.  For the former Irishman,  his career has been one of scholarship,  philosophy, and policy rather than being on the “front lines” of public education.

And yet, during Sean’s three decades in the Unite States, hundreds of his students have graduated and gone on to play important roles in the country’s public school system.  And this is particularly so in Kent County, where 43 graduates are teachers or administrators. He has also sent his own children to local public schools.

In a interview with the Chestertown Spy, the professor offers a unique perspective of Kent County Public Schools and their future in society. While he retains his belief and confidence in America’s public education system, he is also eager to note the profound challenges that a small county like Kent must face in the decades ahead.

The interview is approximately seven minutes long. 

Letters to Editor

  1. Bob Garson says

    Sean, this interview is wonderful and I wish it could be broadcast nationwide. You echo many of the hopes and frustrations I felt
    in my career as a teacher. Our current emphasis on common goals and testing…while it has its place…has stolen much of the
    creativity (the art, if you will) from the teacher’s arsenal. I agree, too, that community outreach is imperative if we are to give our children
    an opportunity to not only earn a living, but fashion a satisfying and productive life.

  2. Christine Betley says

    Thank you, Mr. O’Connor. I do hope our school board will appreciate your discernment as a guiding principle. It would do us well here to see our teachers as uniquely talented professionals rather than simply caretakers, students as opportunities rather than obligations and families as neighbors and friends instead of obstacles that need to be overcome. A good education doesn’t come from a bureaucratic microcosm. It takes a village to raise successful future generation.

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