Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Dorn Awarded 2007 Karofsky Prize

Story posted May 11, 2007

Assistant Professor of Education Charles Dorn has been named the recipient of the 2007 Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty. The award was announced at the College's Honors Day ceremony on May 9, 2007.

Assistant Professor of Education Chuck Dorn.

Dorn is an educational historian who investigates the civic functions adopted by and ascribed to centers of early childhood education, public elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities in the U.S.

Most recently, he has studied U.S. efforts to reconstruct and reform education systems in post-WWII Europe. He is a leading expert on the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and recently published a paper on the 1946 U.S. Education Mission to Germany in American Journal of Evaluation.

His forthcoming book, American Education, Democracy, and the Second World War, (Palgrave-Macmillan, Nov. 2007) examines the ways in which U.S. schools served as civic institutions both by preserving their historic function of educating for democracy and by supporting the war effort.


"During World War II, nursery schools cared for children of women working in defense plants," says Dorn, while also implementing curricular programs designed to develop future citizens. "In high schools, students continued studying Shakespeare, while conducting military drills during P.E. And in higher education, as technical programs such as engineering expanded to serve the war effort, liberal education was reaffirmed as central to the core of college and universitiesí historic mission to educate for civic mindedness.

"Even in a wartime society characterized by rapid technological advance and the perception of an ever-increasing threat to national security, educational institutions served as citadels of democracy," notes Dorn.

Dorn's career as a scholar and Bowdoin professor was preceded by over a decade of teaching in public and private secondary schools. His firsthand knowledge of the classroom has made him an important teacher and mentor for Bowdoin students working toward their teacher certification.

"I enjoy having both elements combine in my work," noted Dorn. "Education studies is infused throughout the study options in Bowdoin's education department. And in my work with our student teachers, I am able to stay connected with local schools and cooperating teachers, who I think are very grateful for the kind of liberal-arts based preparation our students bring to their classrooms."

The Karofsky Prize is given by members of the Karofsky family, including Peter S. Karofsky, M.D. '62, Paul I. Karofsky '66, and David M. Karofsky '93, to honor distinction in teaching by untenured members of the faculty.

It is among the College's most prestigious honors and is awarded annually on the basis of student evaluation of teaching to "an outstanding Bowdoin teacher who best demonstrates the ability to impart knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, and stimulate intellectual curiosity."

It is conferred by the Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Tenure.

Former Karofsky Prize winners have included Matthew Klingle, 2006; Katherine Dauge-Roth, 2005; Arielle Saiber, 2004; Rachel Beane, 2003; Marc Hetherington, 2002; Takeyoshi Nishiuchi, 2001; and Nancy Jennings, 2000.

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