"How do we awaken ourselves? How do we awaken others? Leaning on Cedars helps awaken something in us by evoking our many stories of initiation. I think Shurtleff's writing helps us see. To have written this story in his early twenties, you have to have your eyes wide open. Something about the idea of cedars moves me. We all need cedar trees. We all need to take time to stop and reflect. I wish I had written the book myself." — Maxine Greene, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Columbia University
"This reader is drawn to this work by its natural talent that flows from a thoughtfully anchored mind. It is not often that we get to be privy to the mental and emotional struggles of an intelligent young male as he seeks to make sense of life. I found myself reading one line again and again: To seek thyself and know thyself is to live and experience what the gift of wisdom brings to the soul.” — Edmund W. Gordon, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Yale University
"There are very few books in our days that strive to capture the deep moments of experiencing of a young mind. This book certainly does. Of course the times have changed since Goethe brought to his readers the overwhelming suffering of young Werther, but the basic quest for immediate human understanding remains a historical and transnational universal drama in which we all are players. Reading this book makes one want to be oneself — yet in a world which attempts to turn us all into obedient consumers of superficial news-bites, politicians' rhetoric claims which we know to be untrue, and so much more." — Jaan Valsiner, Ph.D., Author of The Guided Mind
"Andrew Shurtleff has written a story filled with archetypes and brimming with wisdom beyond his years. He pours his rich inner life onto the pages, providing a glimpse into a soul dedicated to truth-seeking and truth-telling." — David Sloan, Author of Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers Through Literature
"What is university education for? Many answers have been proposed. Somewhere between preparation for citizenship, for adulthood, for employment, for you-name-it, fall the proposals. Dr. Andrew C. Shurtleff accepts that preparation for navigating the Digital Age will require technological maps, while becoming more than a technician requires humanistic guidance using maps influenced/ennobled/enhanced by familiarity with the classics of Western civilization and other advanced cultures.
The use of New Media Technologies to bring education in the humanities to students must be combined with person-to-person elements to be compelling and humane and not alienating. Just as the "maps" in our brains help us to make sense of our world, education in the post-Sputnik era in America has increasingly emphasized science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) maps rather than the literary-artistic-humanistic maps once given students by education in the classics.
Dr. Shurtleff argues for an amalgamation of the two approaches, "STEAM," where "Arts" are incorporated into enriching the STEM technological coursework now dominating our Digital Age. His proposals are made explicit in his vision for modifying Columbia University’s Core Curriculum. His insightful critique and proposals deserve consideration by all those concerned with improving the quality of university education.” — Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., Formerly, Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health
"Andrew Shurtleff worked closely with my late colleague, Frank Moretti, and a small group of technology developers on a visionary project for supporting Columbia's core curriculum with new media. The work of this group was primarily conceptual and Shurtleff's ideas for the project were central to his dissertation on Human Maps for the Digital Age. In this work, he displays a significant capacity to ground humanistic curricular ideas in the general context of new media in education, especially at the undergraduate level.
Andrew will excel, given teaching and research opportunities to move his project towards practical implementation, in linking high-quality general education and the pedagogical possibilities of new media. His project concerns a key component of high-quality undergraduate education and if developed well, it would have a powerful influence in advancing the uses of new media in leading universities." — Robert O. McClintock, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, Columbia University
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