Randy-Michael Testa

Associate Director, PreK-16 Programs in Professional Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA

Randy Testa has been teaching since he was 23 years-old –third graders, undergraduates, masters and doctoral students –in Chicago, Denver, New Hampshire [at Dartmouth College], and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Testa works in the Professional Education division of HGSE, devising with Harvard faculty asynchronous online programs on topics such as Schooling for Critical Consciousness of Racism and Racial Injustice; the Leadership Institute for Faith and Education [LIFE], an initiative bringing together faith and public school leaders to enhance academic achievement in economically distressed areas --within parameters specified by the Constitution; Digital and Media Literacy; The Trauma-Informed Classroom, and Civics Education and most recently Moral Leadership in a Troubled Time: Lessons from the Life of John Rabe.

Testa’s abiding love in teaching and research focuses on the ways in which movies can enhance teachers’ capacities for self-reflection, and the pioneering of a methodology using novels with their film adaptations, with HGSE Professor Robert Selman --what they term “cross-media.” Prior to coming to HGSE, Testa worked for twelve years as the VP of Professional Development for a major movie studio. Highlights of that work include workshops and creation of educator resources for screen adaptations of films such as THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, RAY [from Ray Charles’ book Brother Ray] and AMAZING GRACE [the story of William Wilberforce and his 25 year-long battle to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain].

Testa worked closely with Tonya Lewis-Lee on her screen adaptation and direction of THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM from the novel by Christopher Paul Curtis [which premiered in Birmingham, AL for the 50th anniversary of the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church]. Testa worked with the Birmingham Mayor’s Office which coordinated events for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, and the Birmingham appearance of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.