On November 14, 2022, Louise Berman, Ph.D., professor emerita in the Department of Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, passed away at the age of 94.
Berman was part of the College of Education community for 36 years, joining the University of Maryland in 1967 as a professor and director of the Center for Young Children. She later became a professor of curriculum in the Department of Education, Policy and Administration.
As an author, teacher and mentor, Berman inspired educators to view their job as a "quest for the significant and important," and her many publications, including her influential 1968 book, "New Priorities in the Curriculum," emphasized the role of values, ethical decision-making, creativity and life-long learning in education programs. She believed that enjoying music, probing the spiritual dimensions of living, and engaging with people from other cultures encouraged continuous questioning and vitality. Her interest in cross-national curriculum led her to co-found and serve as president for the World Council of Curriculum and Instruction. In 1968, the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi named Berman a Laureate for her outstanding contributions to the development of professional education.
Berman is also known for the tremendous impact she made in the College of Education. Francine Hultgren, professor in TLPL, was mentored by Berman when she joined the college as a new assistant professor. She recalls meeting with Berman and a small group of colleagues and students every month for 20 years. The group wrote a book together, "Toward Curriculum for Being: Voices of Educators," as a reflection of their teaching and learning together.
Hultgren shared: “The 'Table as a Gathering Place' became a metaphor for how we experienced our work together and this quote by Louise reflects her meaning of that metaphor and describes who she was as a mentor and teacher: 'The table becomes a community of wayfarers where persons and their ideas are held as sacred, where students have the opportunity to enhance their authenticity within a compassionate setting, and where all may be enriched by the feast in which they participate.' I was truly enriched by my ‘being-with’ Dr. Berman at the table, and those who encountered her mentoring know fully what it means to search for one's own being in the presence of a master mentor and teacher like her.”
A memorial service for Berman will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 1:30 p.m. at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where she was an elder and active member for more than 50 years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Louise M. Berman Fellows Fund, which honors her legacy by granting scholarships to education students. To make a contribution, visit http://give.kdp.org/berman or call 800-284-3167 for more information.