The exhibition and its title Unleashing are inspired by Maxine Greene’s book “Releasing the Imagination.” This title has become a hallmark of Greene’s educational philosophy, a philosophy that stands out for its powerful language. Maxine carried forward a vision of education that engages all learners and reconciles an existential understanding of learning with a vision of equality and social justice. Had she decided to redo the title of her book—said Janet Miller, who worked closely with Maxine Greene—she would have called it “Unleashing the Imagination.” Maxine championed a notion of education grounded in aesthetic experience.
Maxine received her doctorate in education from New York University in 1955. In 1965, she joined the faculty at Teachers College, establishing herself as a lone female voice among her male philosophy of education colleagues. She was the William F. Russell Professor in the Foundations of Education (emerita) at Teachers College. She founded the Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, the Arts, and Education in 2003 at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2004, the Teachers College Trustees created the Maxine Greene Chair for Distinguished Contributions to Education.