As some of you already know, Nel Noddings – one of the most influential philosophers of education in recent years as well as Montclair State University alum and former CEHS advisory board member – passed away on August 25th. You can find her obituary here.
Her obituary highlights some of her many important contributions, noting that “Nel will be remembered as a philosopher, a feminist, a matriarch, and an engaged citizen of the world.” Her focus on the “ethics of care” has perhaps never been as important as at this particular moment.
A devoted alum of Montclair, she requested that donations in her memory be made to a scholarship fund for Montclair students in her and her husband’s name. I was honored but not surprised to see that one of the first donations to it was from noted scholar Linda Darling-Hammond.
Last year, Nel donated her personal library to Montclair, with the hope that we might use it to both share these books with others and raise additional funding for the scholarship. We anticipate seeing those books available in the coming months, many with Nel’s personal markings and notes.
Finally, on a personal note, I had the very good fortune to have Nel as my professor during my doctoral studies. That course, on Liberalism vs Communitarianism, still informs my thinking and my work.