Archive | Learning RSS feed for this section
SesameStreetCharacters-InAwe

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 […]

Continue Reading
1326617724_8c8a5c78ee_z

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 […]

Continue Reading
goldfish jumping out of the water

On Being a Bold School

Over the past three years, I have been told a number of times that the work that we do at Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School is innovative, outside the box, and exciting. Sometimes the word ‘bold’ even creeps into the equation. Certainly the experience-based learning environment is highly engaging and plays to students’ passions, but […]

Continue Reading
7991635669_ffcb81b77a_o

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 […]

Continue Reading
dixl1.450

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 […]

Continue Reading
flickr-2292440126-original

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 […]

Continue Reading
Nature is an infinite sphere

What is Education For?

This essay was originally delivered as a commencement address to the graduating class of 1990 at Arkansas College and can now be found in David Orr’s book, Hope is Imperative (Island Press, 2010).  If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. […]

Continue Reading
Love_heals

What You Believe Shapes How You Teach

My son says he likes school, but he offers one caveat. “I want to draw. Or if they won’t let me draw, I want to paint,” my son says. “And we can’t make paper airplanes. They say it makes too much trash. And I was blowing on my paper and it flies. Dad, it really flies. […]

Continue Reading
Brainsmall

Ideas on Universal Design for Learning

In this Kappa Delta Pi Record article, Susan Trostle Brand (University of Rhode Island/Kingston), Antoinette Favazza (University of Rhode Island), and Elizabeth Dalton (TechACCESS) present ways that teachers can use Universal Design for Learning to make lessons accessible to students with a wide spectrum of learning styles and abilities: Multiple means of representation – Giving […]

Continue Reading
iStock_homePage

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 […]

Continue Reading
SHARED_SPACE_wood_ring_top

Rethinking clinical practice in teacher training

A graduate student seeking a degree in secondary math education has been studying research about the ways children learn and evidence-based methods developed to support those ways.  He enters his practicum site and teaches a lesson on the Pythagorean Theorem. The lesson consists of displaying a page from the textbook on the electronic whiteboard, lecturing […]

Continue Reading
full_davidgoliath

Education’s Davids and Goliaths

Fairtest, Parents Across America, Save Our Schools, United Opt-Out National, and regional groups such as Fund Education Now, are fighting to stop the corporate takeover of public education. It’s a David-Goliath match. They’re up against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the biggest philanthropic foundations in the world, most of […]

Continue Reading
seo-myths-mythbuster

A Quiz on Neuroscience and Neuromyths

In this Education Week article, Sarah Sparks reports on the nascent field of mind, brain, and education. It appears that many K-12 educators are being exposed to bits and pieces of information, some of it true, some half-true, and some simply wrong. Paul Howard-Jones, a senior lecturer in psychology and neuroscience at the University of […]

Continue Reading
Funny-Ads

Good Graphic Design Programs Help Students to Avoid Advertising Fails

Studying to create visual messages is the crux of every graphic design program. When looking at different graphic design programs for your degree, look for high-quality teachers who are on the cutting edge in the field. Also, look for students who generate a lot of creative ideas (and who are encouraged by faculty to generate […]

Continue Reading
shakespeare-shades

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 […]

Continue Reading
picard-588x448

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 […]

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2012-04-10 at 8.23.26 AM

Four questions about education in Finland

Q: What is the purpose of public education? Public education guarantees every child good basic education and equal opportunities to further learning. Public education also equalizes the differences that income inequalities and other socioeconomic characteristics create to different learners. In brief, public education is basic human right and basic service to all children and their […]

Continue Reading
weathered-retro-leather

Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

In this thoughtful Harvard Business Review article, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson asks us to see beyond Jobs’s legendary roughness with people and appreciate the leadership qualities that made him one of the most successful innovators of our time. “The essence of Jobs, I think, is that his personality was integral to his way of […]

Continue Reading
you

You Matter: A Message, A Reminder, A Connector, A Mission

We want to know that we matter. We want to know that we were heard and that what we had to say meant something. —Oprah YOU MATTER. This is more than simple, cheerful proclamation; it is a message that is at the heart and soul of our work as educators and more importantly our lives […]

Continue Reading