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Teaching | Ecology of Education
Tag Archives: Teaching
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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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A REAL Paradigm Shift in Education

I envy Thomas Paine’s way with language. I’ve been searching for years for words that would have the impact of those he penned in his 1776 pamphlet, “The Crisis.” Admittedly, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and the words that followed, weren’t a howling success. Only about a third of the colonists agreed with Paine’s call for […]

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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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Pulling the 10 of Hearts

There was Mr. White in middle school. He taught a Social Studies class that had an extra spoonful of African and African American experiences and influences on the world. A lot of his talking points and teachings were in line with many of the events and ideologies that my own father talked about with us […]

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Language Rights of Deaf Children: Working within a Budget

It is hard to imagine that a person’s rights are only granted when there is money to pay for them.  Seriously, how would it go if people were given the freedom of religion only if there happened to be enough money to build the churches and pay for the preachers?  When times are tough, there […]

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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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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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A Message to My Teacher Friends at the Start of a New School Year

The start of a new school year is normally an exciting time. Teachers are busy decorating their classrooms, preparing their lessons, reconnecting with colleagues, imagining what they are going to say that first day when they meet their students. But this year, teachers will have many other things on their minds. We live in a […]

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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. […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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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Has 1:1 Education Passed Its Tipping Point?

In his best-selling book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell described how social change can occur dramatically and rapidly as it spreads contagiously from person to person – or, as we might say more than a decade after the book’s initial publication, as it “goes viral.”  As Gladwell […]

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Disparate Impact Gone Awry: Civil Rights Law & the Demonizaton of the Teachers

One of the unexamined dimensions of the history of the School Reform Movement is the role that Civil Rights law played in shaping its guiding assumptions and strategies. I was reminded of this the other day when reading an unpublished manuscript by an Oklahoma City based teacher named John Thompson, who pointed out that civil […]

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