For Dr. Peter Appelbaum, professor in the School of Education, reading the Harry Potter books is more than indulging in the magical escapism that made it the bestselling book series of all time—it's scholarly research.
In addition to teaching curriculum studies and education, Dr. Appelbaum studies the cultural impact and relevance of the world of Harry Potter. On Feb. 2, he was interviewed on Sparknotes.com's SparkLife blog to discuss how he chose Potter as his literary specialty, who the series is really about, and its statements on the purpose of formal education.
It really smacks to me of the whole basis for a lot of so-called progressive education, where you want children to design their own experiences or experiments. Teachers are there just provide support and create an environment that's rich for learning. School, then, becomes a front to make adventures happen.