Thursday, November 22, 2018

Charles Winans (1919-2005)

Charles Winans attended Brooklyn College for one semester, and later gained his degree at St. John's University, where he studied at night. His Master's Degree came from Columbia University where he was taught by Allen Nevins, Margaret Mead, Henry Steele Commager, and both Charles and Mark Van Doren, among others. 
He began his teaching career at Manhattan Prep, a French Christian Brothers School, where he taught from 1942 to 1952. During this period he also taught at Hoboken College, at night. In 1952, he began teaching at Brooklyn Prep, a Jesuit preparatory school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His subjects were English, art, music, and history, which encompassed both Civics and American history. He was noted for both the scope and refinement of the audio-visual techniques he employed and the extracurricular field trips and seminars he arranged for his students. 
He worked closely with Dorothy Day and her charitable activities on the lower east side of Manhattan, from 1936 until her death, and also, in the 1980s and 1990s, with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity on Washington Street, in Greenwich Village. 
In retirement, Mr. Winans lived in Murray-Weigel Hall on the campus of Fordham University and tutored students at nearby Fordham Prep in poetry. The beloved educator passed away shortly after appearing in this ad—on April 19, 2005—at the age of 85.  Teachers extends condolences to his sister, nieces, and nephews.

"He studied philosophy along with Thomas Merton, the conscience of the peace movement of the 1960's."

"Among his fellow teachers was a young priest named Daniel Berrigan. He was a supporter and acquaintance of Martin Luther King, Jr and had marched at Selma in 1965."

"His course worked its way from cave paintings and percussion music, through the centuries, right up to the present, teaching simultaneously history, music, art and literature. This was before the term interdisciplinary was in popular use. He considered school hours and class syllabi as inadequate to encompass the buzzing complexity of the world. He ran a kind of ongoing "seminar of everything" from his living room."

"I have never met “Charlie”, but his influence, through my teacher led to my college education.
Charlie’s tagline to all his students was to:

“Play another octave of the piano. Reach out to the notes you haven’t yet touched.”"

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