Larry Alper


Larry Alper is co-director of Designs for Thinking, an educational consulting group focused on research, cognitive development, and whole-school improvement through the use of Thinking Maps, a visual language for leading and learning. Larry is a former teacher and school administrator with more than 30 years of experience in leading schools, coaching and supervising faculty, and developing comprehensive and dynamic learning communities. For eighteen years, he was an elementary school principal in Brattleboro, Vermont. Larry and his wife, Kathy Ernst, cofounded an elementary school on Long Island based on democratic principles and student-centered learning

As an affiliate of the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program, Larry served as a director of the Institute on China and Its Cultures (Yunnan Province), an overseas program for teachers and administrators. He has traveled to China to lead groups of teachers and administrators throughout various regions and presented papers to Chinese educators on American educational practices at seminars in Beijing, Inner Mongolia, and the Yunnan Province. Larry has been an adjunct faculty member at Antioch College, new England.

Larry is the lead author of Developing Connective Leadership: Successes with Thinking Maps (Solution Tree, 2011) and co-editor of Student Successes with Thinking Maps, Second Edition (Corwin Press, 2011). He is the lead author of Thinking Maps: A Language for Leadership (Thinking Maps, Inc.) and has co-designed the professional development associated with that resource.

Larry received an undergraduate degree in elementary education from SUNY-Stony Brook and a master’s degree in supervision and administration from Bank Street College of Education. Larry and his wife, Kathy Ernst live in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Contact Larry at

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