I enjoy conferences. Keynote speakers are inspiring, sessions are insightful, and conversations with passionate people share our purpose. Conferences can also get in the way of change. Going to conferences, quoting speakers, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, sharing research can all become ritualized behavior. It can even be like neurotic behaviors, repetitive and overt, alleviating … Continue reading Conferences can also get in the way of change.
It is odd to hear public education leaders speak about moving focus to learner-centered or student-centered models in our schools. You would think that would have always been the focus, but somewhere we got off track. With policies to “leave no child left behind,” we double-downed on the target of getting all students to the … Continue reading Curriculum: a path of learning
Happiness workshops and growth mindset training for teachers are on the rise. These are neurotic behaviors in effort to soothe teachers’ anxiety. We are treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause. Don’t worry about making your teachers happy. Instead, do this: Give teachers a viable salary. Eliminate stressors of paying bills, working multiple jobs, and … Continue reading Don’t Worry About Making Teachers Happy
This time of year valedictorians take center stage and often make boring speeches. More and more schools are doing away with the honor like this recent Indiana school. “Next year, Noblesville will become the latest district in Hamilton County to ditch the traditional ranking system in an attempt to refocus high-performing students on bettering themselves, not competing … Continue reading Why I don’t want my daughter to be valedictorian
Metacognition saw a boost of interest in public education with the ongoing hullabaloo around growth mindset. Some good points around “thinking about thinking” were introduced, but some of the nuances were lost and some rightly criticized what was being practiced was more akin to Harold Hill’s “Think method.” Even Carol Dweck, the researcher who set the recent growth mindset … Continue reading Thinking about thinking
Life long learning seems to be another example of use-it-or-lose-it, especially when combined with exercise. We have known for a while the benefits of exercise on the brain, but the real benefit is when combined with learning. Brain researcher Aga Burzynska studied Olga Kotelko, who began track and field in her late seventies. Olga lived to … Continue reading Learning is our fountain of youth, with a little sweat