Maxine Greene was a professor of philosophy and education and the William F. Russell Professor in the Foundations of Education (emerita) at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she taught courses in educational philosophy, social theory, and aesthetics. She earned her B.A. degree (1938) at Barnard College. After a decade of work and child rearing, she took her M.A. degree at New York University. She had honorary degrees in the humanities from Lehigh University, Hofstra University, the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Indiana, Goddard College, Bank Street College, Nazareth College, McGill University, College Misericordia, and Binghamton University. Teachers College awarded her its medal of honor in 1989.
Before joining Teachers College, Greene taught at Brooklyn College, Montclair State University, and New York University. She also taught during the summer at the University of Hawaii, the University of Illinois, and Lehigh University. In 1990, Greene presented some of her work in New Zealand on a three-week Fulbright lecturing fellowship. Greene’s primary concerns were with the arts, aesthetic education, literature, and social thought. She wrote more than one hundred articles in these fields and over forty book chapters for collections and anthologies.
Greene was a president of the Philosophy of Education Society, the American Educational Studies Association, and the American Educational Research Association. She also served on various state and municipal commissions for curriculum and assessment. Her work and life are the subject of a documentary by Markie Hancock entitled Exclusions & Awakenings: The Life of Maxine Greene. Greene's dedication to aesthetic education stemmed in large measure from her association with Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education as its Philosopher-in-Residence. She died in 2014.