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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

We need better PR

How do we organize? Who are the spokespeople? To whom do they speak? How do kids and parents voice their wants and needs? Can they drive this revolution? How do we break into urban ed? Who are our allies there? Which administrators will back our work and make it “safe” for others to join? As … Continue reading

The new irrelevance, the new nationalism

Technology is neither good nor evil. We are. It doesn’t heal or hurt. We do. It doesn’t connect or sever. We do. It doesn’t teach or learn. We do. We are impatient for change. Technology changes quickly. Therefore, technology is an attractive panacea to the problems of teaching and learning. Let me note that I … Continue reading

Be hurt

This week the Coöp asks, What must we do to transform schools into places of authentic, democratic learning? I’m with Becky and Paula. I join them in urging us, essentially, to forget the tests, to stop separating kids, and to build instead a joyful classroom community around shared work, authentic learning, and compelling assessment. So … Continue reading

Some resolve & a little switch

Before I talk about how I got here, let me try to describe where here is. I stand for Student choice. Democratic education. Authentic project-based, service, and entrepreneurial learning and feedback. Schools that function as nodes for learning opportunities. Extending students unabridged rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness at school. Extending teachers … Continue reading

Forget about what you have to do

I value Paula’s gift for capturing her practice in writing tremendously. Her advice to us teachers on how to reform education from our classrooms is pragmatic and provocative at once. I reflect on my own willingness, experience, and practice with Teaching parents. Challenging crap from colleagues. Challenging crappy colleagues. Challenging bad decisions publicly. I ask … Continue reading

The Hard Path, Part 3

This quote from Kirsten’s post about causing trouble sticks with me. The most important people in the school building are students. Their needs, their concerns, their desires, their lives should be what drives the institution. It should be student biorhythms that determine school schedules, their intellectual profiles that create its learning climates and activities, their … Continue reading

The Hard Path, Part 2

Adam says, “no matter where you are you are a part of a system.” Forget hierarchy. Forget leading and following. Forget the prevalent notion of executive control over school systems, kids, and “learning.” You are not in control of your classroom; you have not lost control of your classroom. You are a part of what … Continue reading

The Hard Path, Part 1

Earlier this week, Paula asked a great series of questions about our readiness to engage in democratic learning with our students. These stuck with me: Do students get any practice in their world of school to be socially responsible? To be activists? To act on their beliefs? I ask these questions about teachers, too. Increasingly, … Continue reading

Subverting Myself

I’ve been thinking about ways to subvert the systems of public education that have more to do with managing kids and producing test scores than with authentic learning. The best way to subvert public education might be to build collaborative relationships with students in pursuit of the knowledge, skills, and understandings they want to learn … Continue reading

Teacher as Learning Platform

How do we support students developing as efficacious self-directed, social learners and involve parents as partners in that journey? I struggle with balancing expectations for student independence and inquiry with the patience and nurturing needed to help students graduate from school work to their own work. In my own life, I tend to make changes … Continue reading

Wounded By School & Cost-added Education

“But this study makes a critical dilemma for teachers more clear. Teachers who saw the act of learning as highly complex and non-routine experienced more uncertainty as they approached their teaching tasks than teachers who saw learning as relatively straightforward (168).” – Kirsten Oslson, Wounded By School In Wounded By School, Kirsten Olson makes education … Continue reading

Moral Assessment and Compromise

High stakes testing is a broken system. It is an industry, not an education. It’s a sorting mechanism, not a driver of equity. It discourages differentiation. It discourages student and teacher discretion in learning. It perpetuates low-level learning with crude pass/fail punishment and reward systems. It’s inauthentic. We didn’t start with a blank slate, design … Continue reading

Do You Want Democratic Education?

Michael Josefowicz (@ToughLoveforX) frequently helps me sharpen my thinking via Twitter, especially in regards to marketing #edreform and making it easy for the public to say yes to big change. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about “yes” questions for students, teachers, parents, and administrators – questions like Do you want students to do more than test … Continue reading

A Democracy of Learners

Our schools have adopted a capitalistic view of teachers as parts and students as products. At the policy level, very little #edreform discourse really suggests that we change that.  Of course, when we talk abut #edreform, by and large, we’re talking about doing things to schools, students, and teachers.  We’re not talking about changing the … Continue reading

March to Democracy

The primary feature of democratic education is equal student and teacher participation in learning and school governance.  Independent democratic schools – like Sudbury schools – typify the theory of democratic education in practice.  At these schools Students and teachers participate as equals in a direct democracy responsible for all school governance decisions – including hiring … Continue reading

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