George Lucas’ announcement that a majority of the proceeds from the sale of his film company will be funneled into education philanthropy has sparked speculation among educators about where the new influx of money might be directed.
The creator of “Star Wars” has a history of involvement in education, and it may provide some clues for those who hope to gain financial support for innovative ideas and for those who believe particular topics in education, such as technology or the arts, need additional emphasis.
Chris Tebben, the executive director of the Portland, Ore.-based Grantmakers for Education, a membership organization for public and private education-related philanthropies, said traditionally philanthropists give to education in areas in which they themselves have been successful.
For Mr. Lucas, a pioneer in technology and digital animatronics in his filmmaking and a gifted storyteller, that could mean bolstering technology, interactivity, and student-centered learning in education, as well as communications and storytelling skills, Ms. Tebben said.
“Tapping into some of the drivers of what makes for powerful, interest-driven learning and learners’ motivation—you can really see how some of the things that [Mr. Lucas] really excelled at could inform a grantmaking portfolio,” she said. (Read more.)