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R. Casey Davis, Author at Ecology of Education
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Education HAS – Applied Content

As learners ourselves, we have been recently deluged with a myriad of opportunities to pursue higher educational goals in the form of Ph.D. programs. By its very nature, a Ph.D. is a terminal degree in the philosophy of a particular content area. However, more and more for-profit universities and colleges are shifting their focuses in […]

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Education HAS…

Education has become the proverbial ground zero for an age old problem. Essentially the dilemma focused on what to teach. As our economy has become more diversified and the globalized world grows in specificity of jobs, many postsecondary schools, especially the for-profits entities, base their curriculum off of professional expectations proffered by employers. There is […]

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Book Release

For the readers of my column, and all others, my book _Social Studies Comes Alive_ was released on March 1st from Prufrock Press in Austin, Texas. It is filled with cross-curricular/interdisciplinary classroom instructional approaches that I have used and modified during my decade in the classroom. Ready to use handouts are included with each chapter. […]

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Insurgent Instruction: Absurdity

This is the final portion of this series on Insurgent Instruction. The examination and investigation into Insurgent Instruction has been purposely brief in order that this particular approach to instructional design and delivery does not become prescriptive in nature. There are already enough curriculum and instruction approach which minutely map out their fixes and philosophies. […]

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Insurgent Instruction: Silence

Part of successfully begin agile in the classroom environment as a teacher is timing. Timing is everything when delivering a lesson, or guiding student practice. Like actors, comedians, predators as well as prey, getting the timing right can be the difference between life and death. One of the more overlooked aspects of timing in the […]

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Insurgent Instruction: Teachable Moments and Targets of Opportunity

“The future is unwritten.” Joe Strummer Teachable moments are nothing new to the education profession. Generations of teachers have capitalized upon these. There have been journal articles written about them. Professional development workshops have filled summer days for generations. After teaching for a decade, I have enjoyed my share of them. But the more interns […]

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Sidebar: Sound bites and sagacity, and synthesis

Not that long ago, Jaden Smith encouraged everyone paying attention on the web via Twitter to drop out of school. The son of the famous actor, Will Smith tried his hand at being an educational philosopher at the end of this past September. This is actually nothing new in the realm of public education. Part […]

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Insurgent Instruction – Frontloading the Standards

Insurgent instruction is an educational approach comprised of parts. Similarly, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The primary reason for this is due to the unknown and unexpected facets, the students and the teachers. This portion of education is what makes it so much fun as well as so much challenging. […]

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Insurgent Instruction – What is it?

This next series of posts will focus on a new a different approach to classroom teaching. More than an approach, it is a perspective…a philosophy of teaching and learning. This term “philosophy of education” has been bandied about far too much in the recent decades. However, for this approach and understanding to classroom instruction and […]

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Theater of the Classroom – What is a Storyteller?

Here at the end of the journey of the Theater of the Classroom, the question remains of what exactly is a storyteller? This last portion of this examination of enlivening the classroom has been focused on the role of the storyteller. Part of the ultimate objective of classroom teaching is not only to engage the […]

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Thearter of the Classroom – The Importance of Storytelling

Humans have been storytelling since before the advent for formal language. It seems as if we are literally hardwired for incomparable act of immortality. The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell showed through his life’s work that regardless of the era or location many of the stories were the same. From time immemorial, stories have been the […]

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Theater of the Classroom – Presentation in the Round

Theater of the Classroom – Presentation in the Round This final presentation of a theater production, and a lesson, is perhaps the most modern and most engaging for our audience. In this particular presentation the teacher and the students play the role of the principle players in the production. Now do not be mistaken that […]

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Staging the Lesson – Thrust Presentation

The Thrust presentation in the theater is one which marks a more modern interpretation of dramatic presentation of productions. One of the more difficult challenges that performers, as well as teachers, face are maintaining active audience engagement throughout the entirety of the production. Along with this dealing effectively with any disruption, or hecklers, that may […]

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Staging the Lesson: Proscenium Presentation

The original and perhaps first presentation of dramatic works, barring the storytelling around the communal campfire, is the proscenium presentation. It is perhaps the best known and most widely recognized theatrical staging of any dramatic work. This staging is familiar as it resembles a box or television screen. In fact, many theorists and critics have […]

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Theater of the Classroom: Staging the Lesson

The last series of blogs focused on designing and delivering a well balanced and engaging lesson utilizing the five act dramatic arc as originally presented by Freytag (1863).  This next series will look at the actual presentation of the lesson in both the physical, virtual, and cerebral spaces shared between the students, teacher, and ideas […]

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Five Act Lesson Cycle – Act V (Reflective Summary)

The final act of exploring and investigating the lesson cycle and lesson design utilizing the continuing metaphor of the five act play framework (Freytag, 1863) has reached its last act, the denouement. Similar to its dramatic doppelganger within the realm of instructional design this closing act helps to bring all of the previous acts together […]

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Five Act Lesson Cycle – Act IV (Assessment)

In Freytag’s (1863) construct of the Dramatic Pyramid, Act IV in the theatrical work is commonly referred to as the “falling action.” Similarly, in instructional design, the assessment phase or portion of the lesson cycle can be understood as its educational parallel for this particular exploration and investigation. Interestingly enough, this may not necessarily be […]

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Five Act Lesson Cycle: Act III Climax (Individual Practice)

In the Five Act Dramatic Arc, Act III is crucial in the structure of the overall narrative. It is the crux of the story. Similarly, the Individual Practice portion of the lesson cycle and instructional design can literally make or break almost the entirety of the educational experience. This holds true for the majority of […]

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Five Act Lesson Cycle – Humor In The Classroom

Ancient physicians believed that humors ruled the health–both physical and mental–of the human body. Any imbalance was a sure cause for illness and disease. This belief gave rise to the practice of administering curatives such as bleedings, purgatives, diuretics, among others in order to restore the balance of humors within the patient’s body. Similarly, the […]

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