The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Jane Fonda have decided to scale back plans announced in 2001 to create a new center on gender and education. The HGSE will, however, continue to collaborate with Fonda on research and curricular programs relating to gender in the classroom.
Fonda originally pledged $12.5 million to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education to establish a center on gender and education. Several factors, including the prolonged slump in the stock market as well as new University rules regarding research centers led to a change of terms. Under the agreement, Fonda will continue to fund Project ASSERT at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a research project based in three Boston public schools, as well as a Boston Chapter of the Big Sister Foundation that will develop a curriculum and other resources focused on gender issues. Unspent funds and pledges from the original gift will revert to Fonda.
“Although we have had to cut back our aspirations, the core vision remains,” said Fonda. “My gift will continue to help the Harvard Graduate School of Education increase teachers’ understanding of gender, race, and class.”
“We are grateful to Ms. Fonda for her continuing generosity and interest,” said Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, dean of the HGSE. “Her gift complements our mission of conducting research and teaching that will have the greatest impact on educational policy and practice.”
Fonda’s original gift founded Project ASSERT, a curriculum development project that addresses teachers’ understandings of gender, race, and class and the impact of these factors on the educational experience of students. It also funded doctoral dissertation grants and a colloquium series on gender.