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This category contains 23 posts

Letters to Michelle Obama (Guest Post by Christopher Chase)

If you’re a teacher, student or parent with children in American public schools then you probably have some first hand knowledge of the problems that have been caused by well-meaning but inflexible “No child left behind” policies and the new emphasis on “one-size-fits-all” common core standards. It’s not that all aspects of these initiatives are … Continue reading

Taking Time to Practice Democracy #yearatMH

originally posted at the IDEA Blog. Are we ‘school-year’ wise, but lifetime foolish? Immediately after finishing the first video chapter of “A Year at Mission Hill,” I went over to the school’s website and read their mission statement. I was first struck by just how beautiful it is; their care and dedication to “helping parents … Continue reading

Why Not Teach For America

Well, it’s about that time of year — when seniors start frantically applying for fellowships and internships and jobs, the socially conscious among them aching for a career that will allow them to change the world, others looking for something they can put on their application for law school. Then comes along the recruiting powerhouse … Continue reading

Occupy Education: Student Protests Of 2012 (Guest Post by Stephanie Rivera)

“When students awaken, the national conversation will change.”- Diane Ravitch, “When Students Awaken“ After a week of googling, and searching around Facebook, I think I’ve finally got most them. I have found that over 150 student protests have been held in the United States thus far in 2012. For some reason, I thought this would take … Continue reading

A Celebration of Edith Abbott (Guest Post by Kim Wilkens)

Originally Posted at Kim’s Blog I had an assignment this past semester to research 5 educational leaders and besides the very well-known like Montessori, there wasn’t a lot of source material for women.  As a women in tech, I’m used to the being in the minority and my gender underrepresented in the media, but I … Continue reading

School Starters Who Write: Another Crowdsourced Celebration

Many educators dream of starting or leading a school or educational alternative.  How often do we teachers fantasize about the utopian school we would create if given the opportunity?  All the things that don’t work in the contemporary industrialized model of schooling, and the myriad ways in which mainstream education places itself somewhere on the … Continue reading

Women Educators and Philosophers: A Crowdsourced Celebration

The majority of teachers in this country are women, their impact on the history of education is vast, but only a few are covered in textbooks on education or talked about among the major thinkers in the history of education. Their wisdom, experience and action research in and out of the classroom has helped shape … Continue reading

Let Our Voices be Heard (Guest Post by SWDFS student Raychel Gafford)

Reposted with permission from Southwest Detroit Freedom School. Originally posted at Let Our Voices Be Heard! Originally recited by Raychel Gafford during a walk out and protest at Western International School in Detroit Wednesday April 25, 2012. See video of the speech below! Her speech starts at 3:46! Hi my name is  Raychel Gafford. I’m … Continue reading

MAY DAY of Action for Education! #OccupyEDU

Today all over the country students, educators, parents and community members are taking part in the May Day of Action. There are many ways to support this day of action. One way is to make your voice heard online. Today we will be collecting blog posts and twitter/facebook status message and pictures and posters in … Continue reading

Tending Our Gardens

Ah, Spring. Now is the time where my family and I roll up our sleeves and dig into the dirt, preparing the soil for herbs, vegetables and flowers– up-rooting weeds, churning through the sun hardened soil and squishing our feet through the newly watered beds. We all have different approaches to accomplishing the same tasks. … Continue reading

Necessity Play is the Mother of Invention

I stumbled across our Monsters, Inc DVD last night and one of the key themes replayed in my mind…the realization at the end of the movie that joy/laughter creates significantly more power than fear. I think we need to revisit this theme with respect to learning and school. So many of our policy decisions right … Continue reading

Work and Play, Play and Work

“Play is the child’s work” is a line made famous by the early childhood educator, Maria Montessori. I interpret that to mean many things. But perhaps most importantly I believe it to mean that through play, children – and I would say youth and adults, too – make meaning of their world. This idea is … Continue reading

Recess…for teachers

I distributed report cards to my students on Friday.  And although I didn’t keep track of how long it took me to write report cards, it wasn’t a quick and dirty activity.  In fact, writing report cards begins weeks before they are actually due.  And, I’m referring to the act of writing comments and/or determining … Continue reading

Creating a Powerful Education for Our Children (Guest post by Beth Kimberly @Playworks)

originally posted on bkimberly’s Playworks blog Although we probably didn’t think of it this way at the time, our childhoods were full of informal education outside of school. This is where we were taught social norms, empathy, teamwork, problem solving and leadership by playing and learning from other, older kids. Unfortunately, it seems that many … Continue reading

Bring Back Recess #letkidsplay #bringbackrecess

My son is a perpetual powder keg of passion. You wouldn’t know that at school. He’s quiet, but not shy. He walks in straight lines and listens closely.  He doesn’t look like the type of kid who needs recess. After all, he behaves. He doesn’t fidget too much. However, the minute he gets home, he … Continue reading

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