time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

Grassi, John

Core Faculty, Emeritus
Columbia Pacific University
School of Education
School Affiliation

School of Education

Academic Focus

Human brain, cognition, accelerated learning, integrated learning, neuroscience

Community Involvement

Consultant with many Massachusetts public and private school districts, including Boston and Cambridge Public Schools and parochial schools.

Courses Taught
  • Human Brain/ Human Learning
  • Introduction to Learning Styles and Integrative Learning
  • Theory and Practice of Accelerated Learning

B.A.  Le Moyne College: pre-med major and philosophy/theology minor

M.Phil. Newton College: education and philosophy focus

M.Ed.  Columbia Pacific University: music history focus

Ph.D.  Columbia Pacific University: focus on applied research in teaching science

Post Graduate Study:  Colgate University, Antioch University: focus: Russian and statistics


“Learning begins with unlearning and with a sense of wonder.”

“Learning should be a joyful enterprise.”

“The first step towards wisdom is to acknowledge the limitations of knowledge systems and belief systems.”

“Diversity is a necessary component of the ‘group as curriculum’.”

“The inner landscape of the adult learner needs to be acknowledged, nurtured and supported.”

“Social justice demands that we be ever vigilant in protecting the constitutional and natural rights of all people.”

Professional Experience

One of the founding faculty members of Cambridge College, first to be appointed to rank of full professor, taught courses in the School of Education since 1972

Director of the Cambridge College Education Department for 10 years

Developed and directed Cambridge College programs in education: Master’s Degree Completion Program in Integrated Studies,  Applied Neuroscience Program at Cambridge College, the first CAGS Program for School Administrators, Cambridge College Alumni College, Founder of the Urban Educators Program and N.I.T.E.

Cambridge College coordinator for the Boston Public Schools Title VII Program and trained bilingual teachers

Taught in-service courses to educators across the U.S. and in Europe

Consultant and trainer to many corporations including Intel, Gulfstream, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Hill-Rom, Arrow Electronics, Sandia Corporation, National Education Corp., Huber Corporation,  Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., Pride First Corp., New York Life Corp., IBIS Associates

Trained faculty of Junior R.O.T.C. programs throughout the U.S.

Science and Humanities teacher in junior and senior high schools (upstate N.Y.)

Microbiology lab instructor for student nurses

Shift chemist at Beaunit Fibers (rayon manufacturer)

Musician in bands and orchestras and Opera performer

Awards & Recognitions
  • Dean’s Award for Dedication and Service to Cambridge College, 2010
  • Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award, 1999
  • University of the State of New York Training Certificate Award in Integrative Learning, 1990 
Research & Publications
  • Controversial Issues as Curriculum”,  Journal of Open Education, Vol II, no. 3,  Spring 1974,  pp 87-98.
  • “New Starting Points with Classroom Materials”,  Journal of Open Education, Vol II, no. 3,  Spring 1974,  pp 55-63.
  • Controversial Issues as Curriculum”,  Journal of Open Education, Vol II, no. 3,  Spring 1974,  pp 87-98.
  • “New Starting points with Classroom Materials”,  Journal of Open Education, Vol II, no. 3,  Spring 1974,  pp 55-63.
  • Matter: A Middle Schools Science Curriculum.  Boston Public Schools, 1981.
  • Changing Environments: A Middle Schools Science Curriculum.  Boston Public Schools,1982.
  • Text:  The Accelerated Learning Process in Science: A Teacher’s Handbook. ALPS Publications, Framingham, MA,  1985.
  • Text:  Introduction to Geometry:  A Curriculum Guide for Elementary Teachers.  Solving Word Problems in Mathematics.  ALPS Publications, Framingham, MA, 1984.
  • Master’s Thesis:  The Design and Implementation of a Humanities Program in an Alternative Public High School.   Newton College,  1972.
  • Master’s Thesis: The Italian-American Musical Tradition of Upstate New York, 1985.
  • Doctoral Dissertation:  The Development and Implementation of Two Methods of Teaching Science in Grades K-12.,  1985.
  • Many unpublished papers presented at seminars and conferences.
  • Curriculum units in all subject areas and at all grade levels.
  • Teaching videos
Selected Presentations
  • Planned, coordinated and presented at an international conference in accelerated learning at Harvard University attended by over 300 people
  • Keynote speaker and presenter at over 200 school districts throughout New England and in many states including: Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, S. Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico, Utah, California, Kentucky, Florida, Washington, D.C.
  • Cambridge College Commencement Speaker
  • Keynote presenter at these universities: Syracuse University, University of Lowell, Assumption College, Bay State College, Harvard University, Antioch College, Shawnee State College of Ohio, Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), State University of N.Y. at Oswego, Clemson University
  • Frequent presenter at international conferences sponsored by the Society for Accelerated Learning and Teaching
Professional Memberships & Affiliations
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Society for Accelerated Learning and Teaching
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • Dana Foundation