Tag Archives: Teaching

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 I was reminded of this the other day when reading an unpublished manuscript by an Oklahoma City based teacher named John Thompson, who pointed out that civil […]

Continue Reading

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

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 […]

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2012-03-25 at 11.57.46 AM

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 […]

Continue Reading
whole child math

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 […]

Continue Reading

Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model

Ever get the feeling that the professional development (pd) you get in your in-service days just doesn’t inspire you? Or drive your practice? You’re not along. A few envisioned something a bit different. Edcamp founders and organizers Kristen Swanson, Ann Leaness, and Christine Miles began their ASCD12 session with two things: 1. A backchannel discussion […]

Continue Reading

A New Model: Schools As Ecosystems

The following post is by  Mark Anderson and William Johnson, and was originally posted on Gotham Schools.  What makes a great teacher? To a lot of people, the answer seems simple enough: a great teacher is one whose students achieve. For the most part these days, student success is measured with test scores. Logically then, a great teacher is […]

Continue Reading

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic. The Challenge of Motivation.

One of the most difficult tasks a teacher faces is motivating students to learn. While some students have a natural love of learning, others arrive at a class under protest and act as if they’re being tortured rather than taught. Teachers must find a way to motivate these challenging students. A teacher can tap into […]

Continue Reading

Promoting Discussion and Participation in the Classroom

Participation and discussion in the classroom helps students become engaged with the lessons and provides them the opportunity to develop their own ideas on discussed topics. Many educators, masters degree holders, and experts believe that a student who is engaged and developing his own opinions and thoughts on the subject matter is more likely to […]

Continue Reading

How Bill Gates can be an education hero

A couple of days ago I watched and read the transcript of Fareed Zakaria’s CNN primetime special, “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education.” Zakaria talks to Bill Gates, whose five-billion-plus investment in schools has bought him a seat at the head table of education reformers. If I’d gotten any response from my previous attempts to correspond with […]

Continue Reading

On a road to nowhere

The popularity of international student assessments, especially the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), allows us to compare national education systems in ways that were not possible before. These comparisons are made by looking at the national averages of 15-year-old students’ standardised test scores in reading, mathematics and science. Many countries are increasingly obsessed by […]

Continue Reading
Border region between Finland and Norway

Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon

Have you noticed there’s a lot of hullabaloo about Finland’s education system lately? I’ve been paying attention to what the Finns have been doing for a couple years now, but it is only after reading an essay by Sam Abrams and hearing him subsequently elaborate in a talk in Banff that I’ve thought to pay attention […]

Continue Reading

Occupy Wall Street: The Education Edition (Part 1)

I am very happy to say that I spent my weekend occupying Wall Street.  During this time, I had the amazing opportunity to speak with people who  are not only angry, but hopeful. They are individuals who protest our  country’s economic policies not out of hatred, but out of love for our  country. They see […]

Continue Reading
1389.4 Holocaust A

Emerging Trend: Educating for Humanity

In a faculty meeting this week, a colleague shared the following Holocaust survivor letter with us. Dear Teacher, I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness: Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and […]

Continue Reading

Improvising is Good Teaching

In Larry Cuban’s recent blog post Jazz, Basketball, and Teacher Decision-Making, he serves up two excellent analogies to help readers understand the complex nature of teaching.  In the midst of a jazz improvisation or a sporting event, an individual makes one decision after another, each one a reaction to the moment.  On one level, that might […]

Continue Reading

Teaching with a No-Technology Day

Technology is a dominating force in education, but twenty-five years ago, most classrooms didn’t even have a single computer, let alone a roomful. With today’s students the most plugged-in generation to ever walk the earth, the value of technology is often taken for granted. More than that, overexposure to technology can actually change how the […]

Continue Reading
Child and adult hands holding new plant with soil

Enduring Trend: Blissful (Environmental) Ignorance

We can talk about merit pay, accountability and tenure. We can debate (endlessly it seems) students first, testing, failing schools, poverty and unions. We can go toe to toe over the value of choice, charters and vouchers. PISA, Finland, Arne and Rhee. Ravitch, Race to the Top and common core. All worthwhile conversations. And necessary. […]

Continue Reading

Wisdom: A Missing Focus

You’ve likely heard the chatter. Educational reform seems to be to be the obsession of the moment in Educaburgh. Testing’s good! Testing’s bad! Take this acronym and call us in the morning! Here comes our superhero! No, it’s just a guy with an eraser that can change standardized test answers in a single swipe. Join […]

Continue Reading

10 Reasons Merit Pay Sucks

I am not a lazy teacher.  I do not have low expectations.  My students aren’t failing the standardized tests.  However, I don’t want my value as a teacher to be determined by a merit pay system. Here’s why: Ambiguity: It’s too hard to measure “quality teaching” in a quantifiable measuring system.  Sure, we can create […]

Continue Reading