archives

Adam Burk

Adam aims to serve the greater good; alleviate unnecessary suffering; and create beautiful, sane human communities in concert with the living planet. Recently, he has helped to rebuild local food systems in Maine in large part through school food services, organized the TEDxDirigo conference, and is a digital organizer with the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA).
Adam Burk has written 39 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

Maybe We’re Having the Wrong Conversation

This article on Salon reminds us about one of the core issues related to academic achievement. It’s not teacher effectiveness, not curricular approach or pedagogy; it’s not the number of kids in the classroom or the size of the school. It’s economics, particularly the strongly distorted distribution of wealth. So perhaps instead of education reform … Continue reading

You Never Asked Us!

Typical in schools, students aren’t asked about much that’s not on a test. Forget about asking them what is working for them or not in a school that is “working.” Really forget about asking such a question to students in a school that is “failing.” My hat is off to the students at Central Falls High … Continue reading

What Kind of Reform is This?

Tell me I am missing something here. Tell me this is satire and I am just taking it too seriously. Please, please, tell me this is not a serious argument for a virtue of standardized testing. Todd Farley on the Huffington Post writes “I am a reformer! Here me roar.” after stating that he is … Continue reading

TEDxSchools?

On October 10, 2010, TEDxDirigo, Maine’s first TEDx event successfully launched. I had the honor of being at the rudder of this ship, steering it from inception to the after-party. The event was successful in its aims: inspire leaders and change-makers with the brilliance and innovation of Mainers through the TED Talk format. I learned a tremendous … Continue reading

Lessons in the Absence of Teachers

Sugata Mitra‘s “Hole in the Wall” experiment shows us that children will learn what they want to learn. His work occurs in some of the poorest places on earth. if such “miracles” can occur where there is such a lack of resources and support, imagine if this was paired with teachers who understand and valued … Continue reading

Edu-ecology/Permeducation/Permaeduculture/Edupermaculture?

If there is one constant among today’s various movements it’s the call for a new story. In The Universe Story, Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry lay this out in the most holistic way within the context of cosmic evolution and the human role. They lay out the coming age of the Ecozoic Era, where human … Continue reading

The Blind Side

This past week I watched The Blind Side. Despite my resistance to watching it and my usual dislike for Sandra Bullock movies, this was a good story and a movie worth watching. The story of Michael Ohr’s life is told from being removed from his drug-addicted mother, placed in foster homes, couch surfing, road wandering, … Continue reading

What Are We Even Looking For?

I just finished reading Ken Robinson’s The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. Robinson is a great story-teller, with his own story being quite remarkable. However, as I have said before, he isn’t deep or penetrating enough for me, but that isn’t the point of this post. In his closing thoughts on page 250, … Continue reading

Practical Praxis

Continuing our focus of identifying alternative narratives to the testing and accountability rhetoric of current reform efforts, I wish to put forth the Common Ground Charter School in New Haven, Connecticut as an example of how we can do education differently. Common Ground focuses on sustainability, Through challenging interdisciplinary block classes and core academic classes, … Continue reading

A Revolution of Values

Our task this week at the Co-op, is to provide a counter-narrative in education reform. Mine offering is that our current education system is a failure in numerous ways, perhaps most importantly a failure because of its values. We know better than ever the detriments of war, the degradation of our planet, and the plight … Continue reading

Challenging Authority

As part of the great conversation that followed Paula’s Joy in Standardized Tests? post I put forth an idea of developing a new system of education. That idea deserves a post unto itself, for now I want to isolate a singular idea. In our current system of educations students are the subject of multiple layers … Continue reading

Slow Down!

I am going to exercise my autonomy this week and post again on the topic of “what must we do in order to transform our schools into places of authentic and democratic learning.” My last suggestion was one word-autonomy, my next one is two words-slow down. Our culture is moving too fast towards one thing … Continue reading

One Word-Autonomy

This week we are asking “what must we do to transform schools into places of authentic, democratic learning?” From this we will compile are “Must Do’s List.” I brought this question to my mentor and his answer has stuck with me, “autonomy.”  I think Aaron will like this idea as he fends off his trend-crazy … Continue reading

The Unwobbling Pivot

“What is your journey around activism as an educator?  What are its milestones, its epiphanies?” is our question this week, and I will address this by through a recapitulation of my journey, not by telling particular stories. First of all, I have worked in what are often considered different fields–social services and education–but to me … Continue reading

Try Something New

Here’s my advice for how teachers can play a more active role in education reformation-try something new. This may be something new in your classroom such as Paula White details. Or it may be a new school as Chad Sansing writes about. If you follow Aaron Eyler’s advice then your action might be not following … Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,084 other followers