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Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.
Chad Sansing has written 106 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

Don’t Bring Dangeres things.

Before we opened our school, we decided that we wouldn’t have any hat or hoodie policy at all. We knew that in our first year we were enrolling many students with overwhelmingly negative experiences with authority in school. We worked to avoid as many power struggles as possible. We also acknowledged hats and hoodies as … Continue reading

Do teachers play?

Our #letkidsplay campaign reminds me of this conversation from back in the day on the Coöp. Play is really dangerous to school. It’s very subversive. It’s antithetical to the status quo; it’s the generative, imaginative, organic solution to the problem of schooling, which is moribund, petrified, and mechanical. It’s adaptive; it sheds and assumes rules … Continue reading

On hope and action

I have concentrated less on the blogosphere lately and more on conversations in and around smaller, more immediate issues and opportunities than wholesale educational transformation – for which I feel a certain amount of ennui at present, but not so much in the “boredom” sense of the word. I am kind of stuck in the … Continue reading

#DLDay: democratize composition

I’m not exactly sure how to characterize my role here at the Coöp (Moderator for Life? El moderate?), but in real life I am quite the nerd. I am neither hip nor handy, but I follow my passions resolutely and synthesize what I learn from them into my work as a public school teacher, which I … Continue reading

UStream Broadcasts from EduCon 2.4

This weekend several Coöp folks and National Writing Project (NWP) friends will meet-up and facilitate conversations at EduCon 2.4 which is a conference that aims to host conversations about technology in service of learning, learning spaces, and learners (I think). Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh, Kirsten Olson and I will start a conversation called “Permission to … Continue reading

Apocalyptic teaching in 2012: skate or die

[Cross-posted from Classroots.org.] I believe in negotiating curriculum, instruction, and assessment with students. I believe in inquiry and erring on the side of students’ pursuits over that of the state. I believe in asking students what they want to do and asking myself how I can help them accomplish their goals. I don’t think we … Continue reading

Wake me up, America: zip codes, destiny, & the rebirth of self-determination

In education we talk a lot about zip codes: “Zip codes and demographics must no longer be educational destiny for our students.” – Robert Carreon, Executive Director of Teach for America – Rio Grande Valley “[It was the ] biggest social injustice that skin color and zip code determined a child’s education and future opportunity.” … Continue reading

But I am Pagliacci

A politician walks into a bar and says, “These kids just aren’t learning.” So the bartender says, “What are you gonna do?” And the politician says, “Send them somewhere else.” And the bartender says, “Like Finland?” But the politician says, “Nah – that would never work.”

Permission to speak: content classes, democracy, and the end of school

This year I agreed to teach social studies instead of language arts. In return, I asked to teach civics and economics in multiage classrooms rather than to split preps – or plan lessons – for multiple social studies courses. As a result, I’m re-learning familiar lessons in an unfamiliar place – the “content” classroom. In … Continue reading

What lessons are we?

I feel utter disappointment in government this morning. The violence; the doublespeak; the hypocrisy: when did we make it okay for government to use such tools so blatantly with so little disregard for how transparently corrupted it seems? In my privilege and complacency, I never expected to wake up to a Fahrenheit 451 re-write starring … Continue reading

Real education is transformative

I couldn’t really capture this moment in words, but it transformed how I approach my work. My student had already learned that he didn’t need to follow any commands. I hadn’t realized before that I didn’t need to give any – or that I couldn’t command anything anyway. I don’t think the game really mattered. … Continue reading

Two ways we separate children & why we should care

My wife asked a great question this morning about what I mean when I say that schools sort kids. After all, she posited, isn’t differentiation a kind of sorting – and isn’t differentiation good? Differentiation is good when we negotiate ways for students to learn with students themselves. When we collaborate on ways to learn … Continue reading

#occupyedu: challenge schools to change

A simple truth lurks behind our schools: we built them to keep our kids apart. But we can do better. Join #occupyedu to share the countless, unique ways you challenge the status quo in public education. Children, parents, educators, community members – all are invited. We cannot re-imagine or recapture schools without the stakeholders they … Continue reading

Occupy your classroom

Michelle McNeil, reporting on ESEA Flexibility, September 28th, 2011: To be freed from [NCLB's 100% proficiency] 2014 deadline, and to have more flexibility in using Title I money, states will have to agree to do three main things. They will have to adopt college- and career-ready standards and tie state tests to them…. Arne Duncan … Continue reading

An amendment is worth 50 waivers

The 28th Amendment Section 1. The right of children in the United States to a safe and chosen education shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State or by any locality on account of geographic location, teacher credentialing, or test scores. Section 2. The right of children in the … Continue reading

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