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Jordan Shapiro, PhD is a globally celebrated American thought leader. He's currently senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. His Forbes' column (2012-17) on global education, learning through digital play, kids and culture was read by over 5 million people around the world. He is an international speaker and consultant whose fresh perspective combines psychology, philosophy, and economics in unexpected ways. His most recent book, The New Childhood: Raising Kids To Thrive in a Connected World, was published by Little, Brown Spark on December 31, 2018.
Shapiro has worked an adviser and strategist to the United States Air Force, helping Air University’s eSchool develop pedagogical practices that promote sophisticated 21st century “habits of mind.” He created Thomas Edison State University’s flagship online course, “Critical Thinking with Video Games,” an interdisciplinary learning experience designed for adult learners, that draws connections between the classic texts of the Western academic tradition and the narrative and mechanic components of today’s most popular video games.
During the week, you can find him in the classroom at Temple University, where he teaches in the Intellectual Heritage Program and developed the online version of the university's core curriculum. Asked to list his favorite texts to teach, he doesn’t hesitate, “Plato’s Republic and Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents. It’s amazing to see young adults discover how old ideas can remain so relevant even in such a new world.”
Shapiro is a member of Teach For All's Global Advisory Council, an expert adviser to the World Economic Forum, and a participant in China's Taihe Civilization Forum. He’s also a member of the academy that judges the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize. And he serves on the advisory board of the exclusive global think tank, Symi Symposium, led by former Greek prime minister George Papandreou. He regularly travels around the world, delivering keynote addresses at international conferences hosted by organizations like UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
A Philadelphia native, Jordan is a graduate of Friends Select School, a small Quaker college preparatory school. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Bard College, where he studied closely with Lithuanian filmmaker/artist Adolfas Mekas and Judaism/religion scholar Jacob Neusner. He earned his doctorate in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, where he studied phenomenology with legendary American philosopher Edward S. Casey (former president of the American Philosophical Association).
Before graduate school, Jordan dreamed of becoming a chef. His first job, as a teenager, was as a prep-cook at Jack’s Firehouse, a long-time Philadelphia institution. He quickly worked his way up to the position of head line cook. Next, he took a gap year between high-school and college, to work with celebrity chef Bobby Flay at New York City’s Mesa Grill and Mesa City restaurants. After college, Jordan became owner/operator of the Reading Terminal Market's Down Home Diner. In 2008, he sold his stake in that business to shift his focus to education and public service.
At parties, Jordan has been known to humble-brag about winning the $10,000 grand prize on Television’s America’s Funniest People when he was thirteen years old. Along with his best friend, he sang an original song called “What Part of the Pig Does the Hot Dog Come From?”
His forthcoming book, Father-Figure: A Requiem for the Patriarchy (Little, Brown Spark 2021), will take a future-forward look at manhood, gender, and the challenges of fathering boys in the 21st century.
Jordan lives in Philadelphia with his two sons. He’s in a long-term romantic relationship with DailyWorth founder and author Amanda Steinberg.