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Jason Flom, Author at Ecology of EducationEcology of Education
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The Paradox of Students’ “Deficits” as Society’s Strengths

The Economist article, “In praise of misfits,” lays out the business-related benefits of what the author  calls “creatives,” “anti-social geeks,” “oddball quants,” and “rule-breaking entrepreneurs.” While the entire article is well worth the read, we have pulled out a few quotes to help frame the idea that we should work tirelessly to help our school […]

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@NYTimes’s Journalistic “Issue” vs. Journalistic “Integrity”

The NYTimes recently published a piece on teacher evaluation. I submitted the following comment (which they did not post) to the online forum: I searched through NYTimes’ archive of medical / law / finance / congressional / military reform articles looking for pieces that fail to quote a doctor / lawyer / banker / policy-maker / […]

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Matt Damon’s Save Our Schools Speech

Below is the speech Matt Damon gave at the Save Our Schools March on July 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. I had incredible teachers. And as I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my […]

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At the Intersection of Youth and the Future

Painting a picture that was both harrowing and hopeful, Van Jones titillated the gathering of educators on the final morning of ASCD’s 2013 Annual Conference with both the peril and promise of tomorrow. In short, despite the copious challenges we find ourselves in today, we can look to the generation currently in our schools to […]

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From “Deficits” to “Neurodiversity” — the Time is Now

In a recent commentary piece at Education Week, author, speaker and educator Dr. Thomas Armstrong argues for tipping from a deficit model to a more inclusive (and enlightened) model that values students’ strengths, regardless of their learning profiles. He writes, I believe it’s time for a paradigm shift in the field of special education. Fortunately, […]

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Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies

Seeing the forest despite the trees. Our nation’s educational focus continues to zero in on “achievement” as defined by test scores in specific academic areas and the resulting gaps therein. This hyper focus exacerbates our nearly systematic blind eye related to learning for living and cultivating life long learners. As a result, policies that increase […]

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Classrooms as Cages vs. Classrooms as Everywhere

Over reported research leads to “brain-based” products, perhaps at the cost of student learning. Under reported related research might provide an answer.

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Quick Rant: Early Childhood, Poverty, and PBS

Let’s just be clear for a second: Millions of children living below the poverty line have NO access to quality early childcare to nurture their minds. They enter school already well behind their more affluent peers. That deficit is minimized (not solved, just lessened) by the quality programming on PBS, the flagship of which is […]

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What we talk about when we talk about gaps

We debate testing, tenure, and “great teachers” ad nauseum. We one up each other over who is putting students more first than anyone else. We parse choice, accountability, and common core until we can barely stand one another. We do this, not because we are gluttons for punishment, but because we know learning matters, and […]

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Childhood Poverty: Shame of the Nation

I just attended a brief webinar with the Carsey Institute on their recent brief that identifies patterns in childhood poverty using data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. The brief is sobering to say the least. In short, despite the recession being “over,” poverty rates among children continue to rise, most dramatically in urban areas, among the unemployed […]

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Reflecting on the Bammy Awards

The first annual Bammy Awards were held this past weekend in Washington DC to celebrate teachers and educators through recognition and acknowledgment. The black tie affair brought together the likes of Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, John Merrow and a host of teachers, bloggers, administrators, and assorted arm candies (as one husband referred to himself). With a red […]

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Learned Humanity

While in DC this past week for the Bammy Awards I had the chance to tour the Holocaust Museum with a few colleagues. It was powerful, moving, and saddening. I left convinced more than ever that what we do matters, and matters mightily. Wandering the beautifully and hauntingly constructed museum, the visceral taste of blind bigotry […]

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Emerging Trend: Minding the Mind (4 Examples)

People are learners. Yes, all of us. Sometimes we learn what others want us to, other times we learn what we want to, and more often than not, we learn what we construct based on our experiences. These experiences with learning shape the architecture of our brains. In this way, educators are mind benders and […]

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Effective Tech Leadership is Effective Leadership

Quality technological leadership is very much aligned with effective leadership. The keys to success depend on being mission driven, employing the empowerment of others, communicating effectively, and cultivating a shared vision and purpose. A nuanced approach to staying on course and being open to change and developments are certainly plusses. What then distinguishes technological leadership […]

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Engage (the Teachers as Transformative Collaborators)

Over the course of my 11 years in the classroom I lost a lot of sleep. Over students. Over parents. Over grading papers and lesson plans. During my last years, and even now as I leave the classroom to embark on something new, I’ve been up nights pondering the brand of educator professionalization being heralded […]

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Protected: Reflections, April 5, 2013

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Emerging Trend: Grassroots Growth

Imagine a seed planted in the ground. To merely survive as a plant its needs are fairly basic. Dirt. Moisture. Light. However, in order to truly thrive, its needs become a bit more complex. Rich, aerated soil. Consistent, clean water. Full spectrum light. Climate, weather, competition, air quality, and locality all play a role as […]

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Making Mobile Meaningful — A Starting Point

Hall Davidson, Director of Discovery Education Network, had a session at ASCD’s 2012 Annual Conference this morning on “Making Mobile Meaningful.” You can connect with his slides here. Here are a few of the resources he shared for utilizing mobile devices students in and out of the classrooms: Poll Everywhere: Students can text in answers […]

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Whole Child Arithmetic: More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Bringing about transformative change in our education system necessitates that we take a semi serious and semi ridiculous look at the numerous dynamics influencing schools, schooling, education and learning. If we do our jobs well, at the center of this effort should be the whole child. And when we do, we’ll find that the results […]

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