Mark S. Bonham Centre for
Sexual Diversity Studies

Jonathan Silin

Jonathan Silin is a writer, researcher and educational consultant. He has spent his life working in and out of classrooms to promote innovative, equitable, and socially relevant curriculum. His groundbreaking book Sex, Death, and the Education of Children: Our Passion for Ignorance in the Age of AIDS changed the way that people think and write about early childhood education. After earning a doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia, where he established one of the early critiques of stage theories of development and their codification in Developmentally Appropriate Practice, he spent a decade immersed in AIDS education and advocacy. From 1995 to 2009 he was a member of the Bank Street College Graduate Faculty and a leader in the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood movement.

In his work he is committed to foregrounding the knowledge and skills of classroom teachers. His 2002 book, Putting the Children First: The Changing Face of Newark’s Public Schools, provided a vehicle for educators in that troubled city to tell their own stories about school reform. More recently in — My Father?s Keeper: The Story of a Gay Son and His Aging Parents — he tells the story of caring for his parents during a brief period of precipitous decline. Across all of his teaching and writing projects he invites students and readers to consider the challenges and opportunities afforded by the most difficult often confusing moments in our lives and the lives of those for whom we care.