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I focus on the way respect creates symmetry, empathy, and connection in all kinds of relationships, even those, such as teacher and student, doctor and patient, commonly seen as unequal. — Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist, examines the culture of schools, the broad ecology of education, and the relationship between human development and social change. She has written nine books.

Lawrence-Lightfoot has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In 1984, she was the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded Harvard’s George Ledlie Prize given for research that makes the “most valuable contribution to science” and “the benefit of mankind.” In 1995, she became a Spencer Senior Scholar; and in 2008, she was named the Margaret Mead Fellow by the Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Lawrence-Lightfoot has been the recipient of 28 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In 1993, the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, an endowed professorship was established at Swarthmore College; and in 1998, she was the recipient of the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair at Harvard University, which upon her retirement, will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, making her the first African-American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.

—From the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Other Books by Lawrence-Lightfoot

  • The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 (2009)
  • The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other (2003)
  • Respect (1999)
  • The Art and Science of Portraiture (1997)
  • I’ve Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation (1993)
  • Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer (1989)
  • The Good High School: Portraits of Character and Culture (1983)
  • Beyond Bias (1979)
  • Worlds Apart: Relationships Between Families and Schools (1978)

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Questions? Email commonbk@uw.edu.