Ron Jones (teacher)
Ron Jones (born 1941) is an American writer and formerly a teacher in Palo Alto, California. He is internationally known for the adaptation of his The Third Wave classroom exercise, which inspired the made-for-TV movie The Wave and other works, including a theatrical film in 2008. The original TV movie won the Emmy and Peabody Awards. His books The Acorn People and B-Ball have also been made into TV dramas. Jones lives in San Francisco, California where he regularly performs as a storyteller.
Life and work
In April 1967, while working as a teacher at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, Ron Jones created a project with his 15-year-old World History students in which they experienced the growth of a "fascist" movement, called The Wave. Jones intended for this to be only a week-long exercise. He had a designed lesson plan which included a salute, a slogan and a secret "police" force. The experiment was ended by Jones after complaints from teachers and parents. Jones then revealed that it was an exercise intended to give students a direct experience of how easily they could be misled into behaving like fascists and drew drawing parallels to the rise of the National Socialist movement in Germany.
Jones says that he was refused tenure at Cubberley High School as a result of his anti-war activities two years after the experiment. There were large student protests against this decision.
1967 - The Third Wave," a classroom experiment. Ron Jones created a week-long project for his sophomore History class at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto that was studying Nazi Germany. The experiment was designed to explore the question of how was it that the people of Germany could allow the rise of Fascism under National Socialism and claim ignorance of the atrocities that were committed by them to neighbors and friends. Jones called the classroom experiment "The Wave" which simulated how a movement aimed at eliminating democracy can be created, even in a free society.
1976 - "Take as Directed", an account by Ron Jones of the experiment was published in Whole Earth Review. In the 1981 book No Substitute for Madness, it was retitled "The Third Wave".
1981 - The Wave, The Classroom Experiment That Went Too Far, a novelization of the TV movie by Todd Strasser (originally published under the pseudonym Morton Rhue).
2010 - The Wave, A musical by Ron Jones, directed by Cliff Mayotte, dramaturgy by David Ford. Performed at The Marsh in San Francisco by the Marsh Youth Theater's (MYT's) Teen Troupe.
2011 - Lesson Plan a documentary film by Philip Neel and featuring Jones. It was distributed by Mercury Media International. Neel had been an original Third Wave class member. The film has won a number of awards.
2011 - The Third Wave: A Full Length Play, script by Ron Jones and Joseph Robinette.
- Christian Book of the Year for The Acorn People
- Pulitzer nomination for Kids Called Crazy
- 1985 American Book Award for Say Ray,
- When God Winked and Fellini Grinned a self-published book was recently recommended by Oprah Winfrey on her show about autism.
- B-Ball: The Team That Never Lost a Game. Random House Children's Books. 1991. ISBN 978-0-553-29404-0.
- The Acorn People. Bantam Books. 1990. ISBN 978-0-553-27385-4.
- Say Ray. Bantam. 1984. ISBN 978-0-553-24349-9.
- Kids Called Crazy. Bantam Books. 1982. ISBN 978-0-553-20689-0.
- No substitute for madness: a teacher, his kids, & the lessons of real life. Island Press. 1981. ISBN 978-0-933280-06-9.
Other based on Ron Jones writings
- The Acorn People starring Cloris Leachman, LeVar Burton, Ted Bessell
- One Special Victory starring John Larroquette
- "Ron Jones Interview - Western Neighborhoods Project - San Francisco History". www.outsidelands.org. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- Lipsett, Anthea (2008-09-16). "'Like history in the first person'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- The Marsh http://www.pr.com/press-release/198131
- http://www.lessonplanmovie.com/ "Lesson Plan, the story of The Third Wave"