George Lucas Educational Foundation

Mark Phillips

Teacher and Educational Journalist

After teaching high school for ten years, I became a teacher educator, at UCSB and then at San Francisco State. Now retired from SFSU, I do volunteer work with the California Film Institute's Education program and write a monthly column on education for the Marin Independent Journal.


  • Student Wellness

    Teen Suicide and the Film "Not Alone"

  • Student Engagement

    A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

    It's conventional wisdom that different types of instruction require different seating arrangements. It's also a no-brainer that classrooms should be inviting, environments that make students feel good to be there. Unfortunately, over the years I've visited classroom after classroom where conventional wisdom appeared to be disregarded. So here's a short course.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Creating an Emotionally Healthy Classroom Environment

    Making students feel safe and earning their trust are critical elements for turning your classroom into an emotionally healthy environment.
  • Education Trends

    8 Myths That Undermine Educational Effectiveness

    Certain widely-shared myths and lies about education are destructive for all of us as educators, and destructive for our educational institutions. This is the subject of '50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education,' a new book by David Berliner and Gene Glass, two of the country’s most highly respected educational researchers.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    The Challenges of Adolescence (and How Parents and Educators Can Help)

    Three recent studies show why we need to divert middle and high school students from values and behaviors that may harm them in adulthood.
  • Education Equity

    Identifying and Nourishing Gifted Students

    Let's broaden our definition of gifted students to include creativity, writing skills, musical and artistic talent, superior leadership and speaking skills, and moral character.
  • Family Engagement

    Myths That Undermine Parent Involvement

    Parents can partner effectively in their children's educational success by supporting home learning, establishing constructive dialogue with educators and policy makers, and shining as individuals within their community.
  • Classroom Management

    "The Class" - A Film to Teach and Inspire

    Mark Phillips draws compelling case studies (for both students and teachers) from a masterful French film about the tensions and possibilities in a multicultural classroom.
  • Education Trends

    Why Should We Care About Vocational Education?

    Blogger Mark Phillips looks at vocational education, the ingrained academic bias against it, and the importance of presenting young people with career training opportunities.
  • New Teachers

    Parents and Teachers: Turning Conflicts Into Partnerships

    Edutopia blogger Mark Phillips looks beneath the surface of parent-teacher conflicts to reveal that it's often about differing perspectives that can be easily resolved.
  • Teacher Educators

    Approaching Racial and Cultural Sensitivity

    When approaching issues of racial and cultural tension, teachers must begin by recognizing their own personal discomfort -- because it does translate into their practice.
  • Student Engagement

    Redefining At-Risk Kids

  • School Leadership

    The Problems and Promise of Educational Change

    Two films and a book about educational change illustrate the pitfalls of top-down initiatives and the magic of everyday stakeholders getting a chance to make a difference.

Follow Edutopia

  • facebook icon
  • twitter icon
  • instagram icon
  • pinterest icon
  • youtube icon
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use

George Lucas Educational Foundation