Lee Eisenberg spoke at the Annenberg School yesterday to students, faculty and community members about his accomplishments in journalism and education since graduating from the College in 1968 and Annenberg in 1970. Eisenberg, who began working at Esquire immediately after his graduation from Annenberg, was formerly the magazine's editor-in-chief. He began his hour long speech with a discussion about magazine journalism. Throughout his career at Esquire, he said, he always felt, "a certain desire to be energetic." During the 1980s, however, the magazine business became "demoralized," Eisenberg continued. "Life in the magazine business has become a place where the indignities outweigh the glamour that is there," he said. In particular, he explained, the market, not the editors, has taken control over the content of each issue. These changes led Eisenberg to "opt for a change of scenery" by leaving the magazine business. After spending time in London, Eisenberg became a founding member of the Edison Project, which is in the midst of designing and instituting a nationwide innovative public education program. Eisenberg joined the Knoxville, Tenn. project in 1992 when he became one of seven core team members on it. This team began to discuss and organize an "entirely revolutionary and new" system of nationwide education for elementary and secondary schools. "We tried to envision school?as more than just school," Eisenberg said. The basic facets of the plan include team teaching, cooperative learning and a "house" structure. Longer days and a longer school year would also go into effect. All of these elements would combine to form a more cohesive, cooperative and complete educational system, Eisenberg explained. He added that computers and technology will play a large role in this future educational system. Eisenberg also reflected upon his "life since Penn." "One's life and career do not unfold in a lateral way," he said. "Technology changes our lives constantly in so many ways?it's better to shoot for big ideas than to shoot for little ones." "I think [the speech] was particularly relevant to our communications school," Annenberg Assistant Dean Phyllis Kaniss said. "He talked about two totally different areas of communication – in journalism and in the schools." "I thought he had a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience," College and Wharton senior Stacey Wolfe said. "I think the change he made in career was amazing." Eisenberg was the first speaker in the Annenberg School's annual Robert Lewis Chayon Colloquium series.Comments powered by Disqus
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