Filler Up

Some of the brightest, most interesting people I’ve every taught or studied have been girls in their teens. Several have been prodigies whose talents have inspired me with awe and wonder. In many cases the talents and abilities of these youngsters has gone unrecognized.

Their ideas and suggestions are frequently dismissed as the chatter of mere “teenagers.” In those moments when I ask myself, “Who has ever asked a really insightful question?” or, “Who has made me pause and reconsider whether I really believe what I just said?” the answer is not likely to be a college student, a doctoral candidate or a colleague. Those who have really made me think have most frequently been youngsters in their teens who don’t understand they shouldn’t be asking the questions or making the suggestions they do. Their forthright challenges are more frequently seen as impolite rather than insightful. As a result, I made the hero of this book a young girl without even realizing that this was a decision that should be carefully considered. It just “happened” as a natural outcome of my telling a story that I hope challenges the reader’s imagination.

My life has been spent writing about research, ideas and practices in the real world. That kind of writing requires adhering to very restrictive ways of organizing what one has to say and using footnotes to support any ideas. Filler-up was the opportunity to write in my own way without having to cite others. I was quickly addicted. Filler-up hooked me. I never sat down at the computer to write something I had planned. While it may seem unbelievable–even preposterous–the truth is that whenever I sat down to write it was for the purpose of finding out what had happened while I was away. I never felt myself the author of anything. My computer told me this story. I enjoyed it so much I would like to share it with you.

Martin Haberman


  1. Will Fitzhugh

    I have published hundreds of exemplary history research papers by diligent and intelligent teen girls. On request, I am happy to provide samples of some of these papers published in the last 24 years in The Concord Review.

Leave a comment


April 4th, 2011

Martin Haberman Contributor

Career Index

Plan your career as an educator using our free online datacase of useful information.

View All

On Twitter

Pennsylvania governor's race focusing on Corbett's #education spending, budgets #edchat #edreform

7 hours ago

Univ. of Iowa floats 3-year bachelor's degree plan #highered #edchat #education

7 hours ago

The future of Scotland's #highered system hinges on tomorrow's independence vote #education #edchat #ukedchat

7 hours ago

On Facebook


Enter your email to subscribe to daily Education News!

Hot Topics