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Sara Freedman

Sara Freedman

February 11th, 1946 September 24th, 2020

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Obituary

Obituary for Sara Freedman

Sara Freedman, educator and social activist. Sara was born Feb. 11, 1946 in Philadelphia, to Solomon and Gladys Freedman. She attended elementary schools in Bladensburg, Md. and high school in Chevy Chase. She lived in Israel for six years, earning a M.A. degree in TOEFL from Hebrew University. During those years she also lived and worked on a kibbutz, an experience highlighted by a year spent raising turkeys. She then earned a B.A. in English and History form Brandeis University, an M.A. in Educational Policy from Lesley College, and a Ph.D. in Educational Social Policy from UMass. Amherst. Portions of her doctoral dissertation were later published in the Columbia Review of Education..

Sara taught at every possible level—from TOEFL classes in Israel to elementary school in Boxford Mass., to a term as Director of the Donovan Teaching Scholars Ph.D. program in Urban Education at Boston College. She taught as an adjunct in several Boston-area colleges and universities, and was director of student advising as UMass.-Boston. Over the past two decades, she served as a consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Education, was a School Reform Change Coach for the Center for Collaborative Education, and was a National Instructional Coaching Specialist for Jobs for the Future, travelling to schools throughout the country.

Throughout her life, Sara was an activist in causes around race, gender, and class., serving for may years on the Board for Radical Teacher. She maintained an equally active agenda in her personal life, participating in trips and outdoor adventures with the Appalachain Mountain Club, Road Scholar, and the Sierra Club. And in retirement she became an active member of the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, teaching or enrolling in several courses over the past few years. She is survived by her loving son Samuel, her partner, Ron Dufour, her former husband Peter Langer, her brothers David and Jerry, and many nieces and nephews.

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MR

Mary Robinson

I took two courses from Sara at HILR. She was a master teacher, and an inspiring friend. She did so much to repair the world, courageously and compassionately. I will miss her deeply.
Comment | Posted at 09:48am via Condolence
JW

Jim Whitters

Sara was a truly wonderful colleague at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. Her courses were among the best and she was a wonderful and loyal friend.
Comment | Posted at 07:05pm via Condolence
NS

Natalie Schorr

Sara liked learning and teaching - doing both at the same time. She was collaborative and innovative, and she was brave in many ways: in telling the truth, facing her illness, building bridges. I will miss her most of all because she was a wonderful friend.
Comment | Posted at 09:50am via Condolence
DW

Dan Watt

Like Bob Frank I worked with Sara at the Center for Collaborative Education, and a colleague at Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. We collaborated on supporting mathematics teachers of English language learners. She was a constructivist, an expert on using cooperative protocols to ensure that every learner participated in small group problem solving. I was the "math person" on the project, and learned so much from her about effective teaching/learning strategies. She brought a similar approach to teaching at HILR -- she did not lecture, every class included small group or pair interactions around challenging topics, ensuring that we all took responsibility for our own and each other's learning.
While suffering and undergoing treatment for recurring cancer, Sara continued to attend and teach classes at Harvard, to attend yoga classes at the Mount Auburn Club, and ride her bike.

I will miss her - my condolences to Samuel and Ron.
Comment | Posted at 10:46am via Condolence
CD

Charles Dotse

Even though she’s departed from us, her beautiful memories will alway remain dear in our hearts. Auntie Sara was full of love, compassion, smiles, kindness and a real fighter for that matter. I’m privileged to have known and shared some beautiful memories before her demise. Thank you for sharing your harmless life with us all. How can I forget the few times we spent praying and thanking God for your life. She will always show gratitude for every support offered. Thank you for the many years of friendship you offered my Auntie Marilynne and our family .You’ll forever be missed, Auntie Sara but we take solace in the believe that you’re with your maker and free from every pain.Your positive impacts will keep us going. On behalf of our family we say sleep well till we meet again, Auntie Sara someday.

We support and pray for her wonderful family during this difficult moments. May God’s peace rest upon your homes

From Ghana
Comment | Posted at 06:45pm via Condolence
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