- - - - - - - - - Boosting Student Engagement, Knowledge, Skills & Character

Who Am I?
Starting or Continuing Your Journey
Who Am I? / What's New & How to UseThis Website?
Hong Kong & China: Reflections and Plans - Hong Kong, Foshan, Guangzhou, Liannan, and Zhongshan
Schools & Projects
Prompts, Modules & Courses
Standards & Assessment
Research & Resources
Lesson Banks: Finding or Creating - INSTRUCTIONAL UNITS
Other Working Papers & 'Projects'
Findings, Quotes & Reflections
Search BenjaminSystems Website

Who Am I? - My bio is below.    But the big question 'Who am I?' for each of us, is more generally of concern in this website, as you will see. 
How to use this website?  Browse to items of interest, click on underlined items for related links.  For example, you can click on each of the two items below.
Also, for access to more detailed, more interactive, prompts and course assignments, simply send me your email address and I will enroll you and provide access. ( ) Some of this password protected material is pretty neat, and, for those who wish, wonderfully interactive, with more learning for both of us!

What's New On This Website? For those who have already perused my website, I thought it would be useful to make it easy to find material that has been recently added.....Enjoy!

Who Am I? What Am I Doing? Why Am I Doing It?

Who Am I?  What Am I doing?  What Do I Want?

Wonderful questions for each of us to reflect on periodically, as Carl Sandburg recommends in his book Rememberance Rock.
Winston Churchill is reported to have asked two men, seemingly doing the same work, what are you doing? 
One answered "laying bricks" and the other answered "Building a Cathedral."

"You can learn to lead, but don't confuse leadership with position and place.  Don't confuse leadership with skills and systems or with tools and techniques.  They are not what earns you the respect and committment of your constituents.  What earns you their respect in the end is whether you are you....and whether what you are embodies what they want to become.  So just who are you anyway?"  James Kouzes, quoted in Becoming an Invitational Leader by William Purkey and Betty Siegel.

Who Am I....Becoming? vs What am I Learning?


WHAT AM I DOING?    Learning & Serving
In semi-retirement I am fortunate to be able to deepen relationships, indulge my passion for learning, and to serve in similar but more flexible ways.
Learning how to strengthen relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues is most rewarding, and necessarily continues.  And, my work with character education has both nourished me and prepared me to assist others in this regard.
Professionally I am exploring ways to continue to facilitate educational improvement / transformation - primarily by assisting selected schools, leaders, teachers, and students in identifying and implementing effective practices.  In our times, to me, this means learning and teaching the arts, and then using the arts to learn almost everything else, and it means attention to emerging 21st Century Goals & Standards, including the development of good character, both for its own sake and for the creation of a more positive learning culture.

How & Why - We are rapidly learning more about how the brain works, especially in terms of memory, emotions, learning, and motivation, and about how emotions might be key to the formation of vital neural connections

Exploring these findings and possibilities for improved engagement, learning, remembering and applying what is learned is exciting to me and possibibly important to students and teachers.

WHO AM I?    My name is Richard Benjamin. I am a learner, a husband, a father, a brother, and a friend.

I have recently turned 70 and I am both sadder and happier than ever.  Life still gives me incredible opportunities for learning, for service, for family, and for friendship, and I continue to both embrace and squander these opportunities.  Yea!  Damn!

My longer resume is attached.  The shorter one appears directly below. 

Richard Benjamin is a retired educator, having served in many positions, most recently as
school superintendent in Ann Arbor Michigan (14,000 students), Nashville Tennessee (70,000), and Cobb County Georgia (100,000),  He has been a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with Ernest Boyer, a presenter at numerous American Association for, and has taught at the University of Michigan (Introductory Psychology, Psychology and the Law & Educational Leadership), Michigan State University (visiting Associate Professor of English), Vanderbilt University, Kennesaw State University and North Georgia College and State University. (Educational Leadership)


He was recently Project Director of a four-year School Transformation / Character Through The Arts Project, and previously directed or/authored Character Through The Arts, and Character Through Service Learning projects, and was co-principal investigator of the Education for a Sustainable Future Project.   All project evaluations  demonstrated significant gains in student and teacher learning, and each project produced a bank of worthy instructional units, generally using an Arts Integration approach, and also generally including a character development dimension.


In semi-retirement he also works with selected teachers, principals and school systems across the country, and in Hong Kong and China.  He served as a Senior Consultant to The Leonard Bernstein Center for Education Through The Arts and is currently a Senior Consultant to both ArtsNOW in Atlanta GA and The Character Education Partnership in Washington D.C.


Born in Rochester, NY, 1942,  married (1963) to Jane.  Two children, Jennifer and Daniel, with two grandchildren, Hannah and Oscar.

Currently divides time between Marietta, GA, Sarasota, FL, and travelling as much as possible, while able.

Character Education Website Bio.....

Bio  - From The Character Education Website

Richard Benjamin, Ph.D., CEP’s senior consultant, is a lifelong educator who has focused on School Transformation through Character Development and Arts Integration.  Richard has been working for CEP for the past five years as a facilitator for climate and culture development in schools and school systems as well as being a frequent presenter at the CEP Annual Forum. He is a retired school superintendent, having served in Ann Arbor MI, Nashville TN, and Cobb County GA. He is an expert, in part, in leading High Yield Arts-Based and Hands-On Strategies for student engagement, deeper understanding, and self-expression.  In Hong Kong and Guangzhou China, Richard is doing foundational work to engage educators in CEP’s training with the Eleven Principles Sourcebook for integration of academic content and character development in a School Transformation process. 

Am I progressing in the direction of the Person I want to be?

Carl Rogers - On Becoming A Person The Questions: p.164

Ian Ayers

Jaime Escalante - On Being a Teacher

Enter supporting content here