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Sohodojo - 'War College' of the Small Is Good Business Revolution
Sohodojo Advisory Board Member Profile
Selma Wassermann, "Creative Disturber"
Innovator in Use of the Case Method for Teaching
...and a Special Teacher Who Helped Change Sohodojo Timlynn's Life

[ Selma's Gift to Timlynn – A Mind Unbound ] [ Education ] [ Publications ]
[ Research ] [ Advisory Boards ] [ Areas of Specialization ] [ Honors ] [ Other ]

Related pages: [ About Sohodojo ] [ Sohodojo Advisory Board and Research Directors ] [ Press Release Announcing Selma's Sohodojo Advisory Board Appointment (PDF) ]

Selma's Gift to Timlynn – A Mind Unbound

Selma Wassermann - Creative DisturberDr. Selma Wassermann was an innovative change insurgent many decades before Robert Reich popularized the term in his Fast Company article, Your Job Is Change! As a groundbreaking educator, Selma was an early proponent of individualized education, a pioneer in teaching for thinking, and at the forefront in developing the use of the case method as an approach to teaching, especially in primary and secondary education. Chris Christensen called her a "creative disturber" in his forward to her classic book, 'Getting Down to Cases: Learning to Teach With Case Studies'. Chris got it right and you can easily see that below.

Regardless of her many accomplishments and great influence in the world of teaching, we have a very personal reason for recognizing Selma Wassermann as a Sohodojo Advisory Board mentor/collaborator. More years ago than we care to count, fledgling Timlynn Babitsky was an aspiring student at Newark State College (now Kean University) where she studied to become an elementary school teacher. Little did Timlynn know that a particular course she signed up for at Newark State would change her life and eventually lead to what she considers her most significant work as a co-founder of Sohodojo.

"Selma opened my eyes to the world outside my life in New Jersey," Timlynn reflected to Sohodojo Jim as we talked about inviting Selma to join our Advisory Board. "I can remember the exact moment when my whole world changed. It was in a Freshman course in my first semester at NSC. Selma was leading our class through critical thinking exercises focused on people's values and what they hold important. I don't remember exactly what I was saying, but I sure do remember what Selma said. In the middle of some point I was trying to make, Selma turned to me and said "Why do you think that your values are the only 'right way' to be?" I was totally stunned. I was shaken to the core. My whole view of the world changed from that instant on."

"Selma's lessons provided me a life long appreciation for the wonder of diversity across the human species. She opened my mind to truly respect the richness of cultural differences and the importance of empowering the individual to unfold his/her own potential," Timlynn reflected. "Selma has had incredible impact on who I have become and how I work in the world!"

Over the years, we caught up with each other from time to time. As we ramped up our work on Sohodojo, it was clear that Selma's work on teaching for thinking, and case method teaching would be helpful to us as we developed the nanocorp training materials. Selma is a deep thinker who values individual empowerment and creative disturbance of "the way things are" to what they can become. Without a doubt we are delighted to have Selma Wassermann join the Sohodojo Adisory Board.... here are just a few reasons why:


Doctorate from New York University

Teaching experience: Elementary grades in New York and California; university teaching at Hofstra University, Newark State (now Kean University), Simon Fraser University.

Currently, Professor Emerita, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.


  • More than one hundred articles and chapters in various publications, e.g., Phi Delta Kappan, Childhood Education, New York Times, College Teaching, Canadian Journal of Education, School Executive, etc.
  • Nine texts, published also in three foreign languages
  • Two non-academic books
  • Four children's book series (in co-authorship)
  • Five classroom curriculum material programs
  • Five educational CD-ROMs


  • Project Science-Thinking -- two year field research
  • Organic Teaching with Key Vocabulary -- two year field research
  • Teaching with Cases -- two semester field research

Advisory Boards

  • Sohodojo Advisory Board as Mentor/Collaborator
  • Editorial Advisory Board for Childhood Education
  • Vancouver Foundation
  • Policy Futures, Washington, DC

Areas of Specialization

  • Teaching for thinking
  • Teaching with cases
  • Teacher education
  • Program and curriculum development
  • Teacher-student interactions


  • University Teaching Excellence Award - SFU
  • National Humanities Faculty (USA)


  • Lectures, workshops and consulting throughout Canada, the US and Europe

To Selma With Thanks and Looking to the Future,
--Timlynn Babitsky--
Co-founder and Research Director
Sohodojo Founders and Research Directors

21 May 2004
Havre, MT USA

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