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For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Jerome Stein

Director, Learning Dreams
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., University of Minnesota

School of Social Work
Rm 79 Peters Hall

1404 Gortner Ave.
Tel: 612-625-2224

Office hours:
by appointment

Areas of Interest

Democratic learning communities, community building, history and philosophy of youth work, philosophy and politics of community-based learning, ecologies of education (non school-based learning), cultures of learning

Research Interests

1. Improving outcomes for at-risk students at school via the method of strongly supporting community-based parent and family involvement in their own learning and in the culture of learning in general. I have created or use measurement tools that seek to discover if these interventions and supports for learning in communities leads to:

  • higher levels of parent and child participation in learning;
  • increased community capacity to support learning;
  • increased social capital of the family;
  • better school outcomes for children in participating families.

2. Improving outcomes for at-risk students via the method of supporting organizations such as after school programs, libraries, community centers, schools, and other social service organizations to become more effective at supporting the general learning lives of the people they serve. I currently have two active  research communities/sites in the state of Minnesota, one in Minneapolis and one in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Engagement and Service

  • Youth Studies, Faculty Committee, 2006 – 2012
  • Youth Development Leadership Faculty Committee, Chair, 2009 – 2012
  • University North Side Partnership – participant, 2010 – 2012
  • University Community Partnership Alliance – partner, 2009 - 2012

Teaching and Learning

YOST 5960—Seminar in Youth Development Leadership

YOST 5962—Leadership Field Experience: Youth Development

CI 5974 — The Democratic Learning Community

Research Experience

Title(s): Senior Fellow, Director Learning Dreams Project, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota (2005 – 2012);  and Area Program Leader, Community Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service  (2000 – 2005)

Program:  Learning Dreams – three sites in Minnesota, one in England

Funders:  Northwest Area Foundation, Mardag Foundation, Southwest Minnesota Initiative Fund, General Mills Foundation, Musser Foundation, Phillips Family Foundation, St. Paul Foundation, Bigelow Foundation, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools, Saint Paul Public Schools, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Selected Presentations

  1.  “The Power of Local Learning”, Address to Principals and Teachers, Einstein Community Center, January 8, 2012,  Rottedamn, Netherlands

  2.  “Creating a Culture of Learning”, Keynote at Hub Westminster, January 12, 2012, London, England

  3.  “The Local Learning System: Research and Findings” Address at University of Minnesota, September 23, 2011, Minneapolis Minnesota

  4.  “John Dewey 3.0 – The Democracy of Experience”, Keynote address at Providence College Center for Democracy, Providence Rhode Island, November 19, 2010

  5.  “John Dewey in the 21st Century; The Art of Experience”, Keynote address at Cooper Union Great Hall Student Series, November 17, 2010, New York, New York

  6.  “Social Capital and Learning”, Statewide meeting of the University of Minnesota Extension Service, October 21, 2008 Duluth Minnesota

  7.  “Learning Dreams: Creating a Culture of Learning”. National Community Education Association, December 6, 2007, Minneapolis Minnesota.

  8.  “Using Learning to Organize Communities”. Queens University, November 15, 2007. Belfast, Northern Ireland.