Jay Lemke
Jay Lemke

Formerly a professor at both New York University and the University of Michigan, Jay Lemke is presently a Senior Research Scientist and adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of California – San Diego in the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition. I first met him when taking one of his courses, Historical & Philosophical Roots in Science Education, when he was still teaching at the University of Michigan. His books Talking Science (1990) and Textual Politics (1995) made significant impacts on my early graduate school education, and his critique(s) of “conceptual learning theory” figured prominently in my dissertation.

Our educational institutions are massively failing to promote deep understanding, critical and creative thinking, or intellectual enthusiasm. To maintain the illusion of reform and improvement, they judge themselves by only the most superficial criteria. They are increasingly under-resourced relative to their primary functions and a growing and ever more diverse population, and there have been no new ideas for radical alternatives in the past 50 years. It seems increasingly evident that society’s powerbrokers do not want, and probably fear, effective education of democratic voters.

JAY LEMKE – Institutional Failure in the West (2014)

Lemke’s research interests are wide ranging and they traverse vast swaths of intellectual terrain including social theory, social semiotics, discourse analysis, video analysis, multimedia studies, games research, and more. Unfortunately, as it did for many years, his old website no longer provides access to many of his publications and other useful scholarly resources. His personal blog, however–although not nearly as active as many of us wish it was(!)–is still worth visiting. It’s too bad that he doesn’t blog more regularly: the world could use more Jay Lemke, especially in these deeply troubling times.

Place of Work | University of California – San Diego
Title | Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC)