Harmonic Learning: Keynoting School Reform

By James Moffett
Curated by Jonathan M. Marine and Paul Rogers

CoverIn presenting an individualized, integrative, and project-centered form of learning in lieu of subject organized curriculums, Harmonic Learning: Keynoting School Reform advances a vision of a curriculum that is based on the inherent resonances of life and learning, or what Moffett calls “harmonics.” Taking his holistic thinking to a new level to make the case for the interconnection between education and society, Moffett inseparably links school and societal reform (in ways that include ethical, moral, and spiritual issues) in order to argue for the binding together of the intellectual, social, and spiritual aspects of life. In doing so, he argues that serious change in education is predicated on serious change in society, and that both are bound up in fundamental issues of being human usually ruled out of academic and educational discussions.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter



Part I. Not Wanting to Know

Part II. Wanting to Know

Part III. Arranging to Know

Curricular Bibliography


About James Moffett

James Porter Moffett (1929–1996) was a ground-breaking teacher, author, and theorist of language learning who had a profound impact on the fields of English Education, Language Arts, Composition, and Educational Psychology in the mid-to-late 20th century (Warnock). Moffett also had a lasting impact on the National Writing Project (NWP), was influential at the 1966 Dartmouth conference, and figured closely into the history of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); speaking at a number of NCTE conferences and events, publishing more than thirty articles across the many NCTE journals, and helping to found the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (Blau). In addition to his core pedagogical contributions, and in particular his paired 1968 publications, Teaching the Universe of Discourse and Student-Centered Language Arts, Moffett's prescience and foresight in advancing holistic assessment, progressive education, the centrality of peer-to-peer interactions, social emotional learning, and multicultural and multilingual curriculum led him to be referred to by many as “the North Star” of language arts education (Durst; Spalding et al.).

Publication Information: Moffett, James. (2022). Harmonic Learning: Keynoting School Reform. The WAC Clearinghouse. https://wac.colostate.edu/books/landmarks/moffett/harmonic/ (Originally published by Boynton/Cook in 1992)

Publication Date: November 11, 2022

Landmark Publications in Writing Studies

Series Editor: Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University

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Copyright © 2022 by the Estate of James Porter Moffett. Republished with permission. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website. For permission to use materials from this book in other publications, please contact Jonathan Marine at jmarine@gmu.edu.