Legendary primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall used her keynote address to a full ballroom of educators at the third-annual Teaching and Learning Celebration on March 7 to let them know that she considered their occupations the highest calling, and to encourage them to look to Roots and Shoots, a program administered by the Jane Goodall Institute, for help in encouraging their students live up to their highest potential.

“You as teachers must know more than anyone else that every child should have an opportunity, but you know that children have different capabilities,” she said to prolonged applause. “Roots and Shoots does one thing for young people, for those young people particularly who will never succeed in the success terms of western culture. They’re not going to be successful business people; they’re not going to be pop stars. But what about being decent human beings?”

Goodall’s speech, in the grand ballroom of the Hilton New York, occurred on the first day of the two-day conference, which was sponsored by public television stations Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21. The event, which featured 90 hands-on workshops and more than 100 vendors, was  also sponsored by Fordham’s Graduate School of Education (GSE).

The University was represented by an information booth directly next to that of the Bronx Zoo, with which it recently entered into a joint master’s of science degree program, as well as a classroom where Fordham professors gave lectures such as “Pressures on Suburban Adolescents” and “Teaching for Creative Problem Solving.”

James J. Hennessy, Ph.D., dean of GSE, also participated in the first panel of the day, “Effective Classroom: What Matters Most.” Sitting to his left, Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, cited Fordham’s recent partnership with New York City schools as an example of reforms he is overseeing to make classrooms more effective.


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.