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In the News: James Chandler

Chandler shares passion for learning

By Nora Yucel Chicago Maroon, Feb 22

James Chandler, director of the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University, shared his passion for learning with students and faculty on Thursday at Rockefeller Chapel’s Interreligious Center. The talk was part of the Chapel’s ongoing lecture series “What Matters to Me and Why,” which hosts speakers from the University’s faculty and student body.

Learning, Chandler explained, is an active process: “It is not about being learned, or erudite,” but about being continually challenged, he said. “The object of learning should be an area that opens horizons as you progress along it, rather than one with a definite ceiling.”

Chandler emphasized the importance of distributing opportunities for learning in society, in a discussion of his own childhood “in a Soprano-like culture in New Jersey” and his experiences as an inner-city high-school teacher in south Boston.

“I knew people with extraordinary capability, but—for whatever reason—didn’t have the chance to exercise them at full capacity. Because they were stuck below their potential they ended up twisting their own abilities, perverting them down the line,” he said.

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