During this time of remote learning for our students, I hope school leaders take to heart these insights and are moved to change our schools for the better. There are gross inequalities in the opportunities for our students and we need to aggressively narrow the gap. Access to the internet is one that needs to … Continue reading What I Hope School Leaders Learn from Remote Learning
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
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.
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
We elect officials that set policy and we elect school board members thinking of public education as democratic but it really does not provide enough autonomy for students and teachers. A more democratic education system might be the remedy for the pathology in public education rather than our current treating of the symptoms. Dr. Christopher Emdin addresses … Continue reading A more democratic public education
I am neither pro or anti voucher even though there is strong visceral feelings and image signaling from educators around this topic. I wonder if it is only treating a symptom of our education disease and that external factors like the internet and population growth have created a dynamic that will far more transform public education. Mostly, I am … Continue reading Who is vouching for school vouchers?
There has been much to say about education policy makers not really being experts. We also are in a time where easy access to information has inflated many to think they are experts. Reminded me of one the most influential articles I have read the past three years–“The Death of Expertise.” At the end of … Continue reading Education policy wonks versus experts
You do not need to have a post-modern disposition to question the effectiveness of homework. You likely did as an eight grader and as the parent of an eighth grader late on a Wednesday night. Alfie Kohn has taken the no-homework charge for some time and the message even began to go mainstream.It looks like the … Continue reading Question the effectiveness of homework and flossing.
Several years ago after discussing research practices with a colleague in nursing, I was intrigued with associating the processes of medical research into that of education and viewing technology as an intervention and measuring the impact. Yang Zhoa brilliantly takes associating medical research methodology even further, in a recent article in the Journal of Education Change, by considering that … Continue reading It is the side effects that will kill you.