Ideas is the online journal of Authentic Education, an educational
consulting organization headed by Grant Wiggins. Big Ideas
is a bimonthly publication featuring themed issues, each of which
is devoted to a key concept in education and school change.
Wiggins is the president of Authentic Education in
Hopewell, New Jersey. He earned his Ed.D. from Harvard University
and his B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis. Grant
consults with schools, districts, and state education departments
on a variety of reform matters; organizes conferences and workshops;
and develops print materials and Web resources on curricular
change. He is perhaps best known for being the co-author, with
Jay McTighe, of Understanding By Design and The Understanding
By Design Handbook, the award-winning and highly successful
materials on curriculum published by ASCD. His work has been
supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Geraldine R. Dodge
Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
Over the past twenty years, Grant has worked
on some of the most influential reform initiatives in the
country, including Vermont’s portfolio system and Ted
Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. He has established
statewide Consortia devoted to assessment reform for the states
of North Carolina and New Jersey. Grant is the author of Educative
Assessment and Assessing Student Performance, both published
by Jossey-Bass. His many articles have appeared in such journals
as Educational Leadership and Phi Delta Kappan.
His work is grounded in fourteen years of
secondary-school teaching and coaching. Grant taught English
and electives in philosophy, coached soccer, cross country,
baseball, and track & field. Grant has more recently coached
his two sons in soccer and baseball. He also plays guitar
and sings in the Hazbins, a rock band.
Wilbur: Denise Wilbur is the vice president of Authentic
Education as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Big Ideas.
She combines many years of teaching in social studies, English,
and ESL at the middle school, high school, college, and adult-education
levels with experience in curriculum development, school administration,
and academic support. As a consultant and writer, Denise specializes
in helping educators teach through Essential Questions, develop
learning through classroom dialogue, and use textbooks wisely
and effectively. She has also consulted at the state level in
the revision of learning standards, written the core of a district-wide
curriculum, and created a set of videos on teaching for understanding.
of education, Denise has worked in international economic
development, designing and managing projects to assist Third
World artisan groups in refining and marketing their crafts.
Most notably, she led the renewal of crafts cooperatives in
Hungary after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Denise lives in
New Jersey and is the mother of two nearly grown sons, Matt
(17) and Zach (19), and a brilliant but slightly neurotic
border collie, Piper.
Wiggins: Alexis Wiggins hails from the Boston area,
and she received her B.A. in English from the University of
Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently completing her M.F.A.
in Creative Writing through the University of New Orleans. Alexis
has taught English, Spanish, and ESOL at the middle and high-school
levels in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Spain. She was an editorial
intern at Francis Ford Coppola’s literary magazine Zoetrope:
All-Story, and she currently works as a freelance writer
and editor in Spain.
joins our team as managing editor of Big Ideas, Authentic
Education's online journal for educators. The eldest daughter
of Authentic Education company president, Dr. Grant Wiggins,
Alexis currently lives in Madrid, Spain.
and her husband love to travel, and they have lived and traveled
in Asia, the United States, and Europe. In her free time,
Alexis likes to cook, work on her novel, do yoga, and see
Krasemann grew up in Portland, OR, where she participated
in all kinds of athletics - soccer, tennis, skiing, cross-country,
and track. She earned a B.A. from Williams College, where she
played soccer and ran track. While at Williams, she studied
abroad for a semester in Rome. After graduating, she taught
history and coached sports at the Taft School (Watertown, CT)
for two years.
Beth later attended Brown University for an
intensive, one-year M.A.T. program that shaped her educational
philosophy. After receiving her master’s, she went on
to teach history at the Ethel Walker School (Simsbury, CT)
for several years and at Suffield Academy (Suffield, CT),
where she currently teaches high-school history. Before having
children, Beth and her husband spent summers travelling in
Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean. Now in her
fifth year at Suffield, she enjoys teaching ninth-grade World
History and chasing after her children, Daniel (4) and Emma
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