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Dr. Norman Harris

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Over the years, Dr. Harris also has taught at some of this nation’s major research universities, including Purdue University, Wayne State University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Georgia, where he was the founding director of the Institute for African American Studies. As the Director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia, Dr. Harris partnered with several academic departments to diversify the faculty by hiring more African American faculty.

Dr. Harris has also taught at Union Institute and University (1995-2005)—the original university without walls.  His experience at Union led him to investigate the learner-centered nature of the constructivist and authentic learning “instructional” approaches at Union.  These experiences with adult learners and adult learning theory at Union have benefitted his K-12 work as curriculum developer and institution builder.

Dr. Harris headed the Department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati (1991 -1996). In the mid-1990s, Dr. Harris, along with his wife, Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris, founded the African American Academy, an independent school in Cincinnati, Ohio chartered by the Ohio Department of Education.  The Academy served students from pre-school through the seventh grade.  The Academy also had “Before” and “After School” programs.  Dr. Harris authored the innovative curriculum for the Academy—a project-based curriculum infused with culture and historically based values of social responsibility and social justice.  Elements of that curriculum can be found in the Georgia Department of Education approved Professional Learning Units his organization—One World Archives—currently offers online for Georgia educators.

Through his curriculum development experience at the African American Academy, workshops and classes he has offered to a variety of audiences, as well as his consultancies, Dr. Harris has developed the Khepera Method.  The Khepera Method is a unique approach to project-based learning in which education is given a transcendent meaning and purpose consistent with ways the digital age shapes our ability to learn as well as our ability to construct meaning from what we learn so that we may lead productive lives.

The Khepera Method asserts that Harmony, Wisdom and Power are core motivations in the lives of all people and therefore should play a central role in their education.  Within the Khepera Method, Harmony means finding the balance between our desire for personal accomplishment and our desire to do something for the common good; Wisdom means the ability to demonstrate what we know through combinations of historical and scientific study on the one hand, and intuitive and creative study on the other; Power means the ability to responsibly transform your self and your community in a manner that demonstrates our interconnectedness.

Project-Based Learning structured by the Khepera Method has the potential to deepen learning in a manner that helps create the “more perfect union” that then candidate Barack Obama eloquently developed in his speech on race (2008).

Please consult Dr. Harris’ vita for a listing of publications, consultancies and other professional work.