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School Stories

This category contains 94 posts

We need more humour in education reform

Education reform, both north of the border where I am in Canada, and south of our border in the Unites States is a very serious business. Everywhere I see the discussion taking place, I see heated conversations and a lot of rhetoric being passed both ways, between those who appear to be driving a very … Continue reading

Our Near Future: Reflections on Change Agency in Medical Education

I value a recent visit to the University Of Virginia (UVa) School of Medicine. It’s the kind of interaction that gives me hope for the future.  I walked away thinking if a School of Medicine can change 100 years of tradition in one of the most traditional of environments, certainly we should not abandon hope … Continue reading

A Teacher Responds to Her Teacher Data Report

The following letter from New York City teacher, Lynda Costagliola, first appeared on the NYCoRE listserv.  The urgent tone of Lynda’s plea to be recognized as other than the sum of her students’ test scores caught my attention.  I wrote to Lynda and asked her permission to publish it here; she graciously consented and had … Continue reading

Excuse me, I would like to talk to you about my son’s chick!

I wanted to let you know that I haven’t given up on the work of the Co-op. The past few weeks have been wonderfully hectic as I try to draw some threads together before the end of June. The following entry is also posted on my personal blog space, but I was always get different … Continue reading

Rewards: motivating compliance or learning?

I sometimes pretend and say ‘Yay!’ – my 7 y/o daughter explaining how she learned to ‘comply’ in her school Incentive schemes, which are supposed to encourage desired behavior through the use of rewards, or discourage undesirable ones through punishments, are all too familiar to all of us. Probably similarly familiar are the findings that … Continue reading

Sowing Seeds

My job for the last year has been to engage schools and districts to take wellness seriously as a keystone in their success. Often overlooked or sold out, healthy bodies are essential for healthy minds. Eating well and being physically active improves tests scores, reduces absenteeism, reduces health care costs, improves self-esteem, and can lessen … Continue reading

Thinking Games…or Just Thinking

In a post I wrote about this time last year, I described a part of our day that we planned to have this year, and hoped it would be time to explore passions in school. While my dream for this time hasn’t quite come to pass, it has settled into a somewhat reasonable routine for … Continue reading

Disco Bomb, the Penokee Players, and Creativity

This is a repost from our Homeschooling Blog located at Homegrown on Siskiwit.  For a little background.  Bayfield County is located in Northern Wisconsin on the South Shore of Lake Superior.  What is really unique about this area is the amount of home schooled children as a proportion of all school aged children.  Between 15-25% … Continue reading

Tour Of Our Lives

Last week 37 educators from 10 states and 4 countries gathered at the headquarters of Project Reach and Fertile Grounds in Manhattan to begin the Institute for Democratic Education in America’s (IDEA’s) first ever Innovation School tour. After receiving our Metrocards (this was an all subway all the time tour), and a quick chance to get to know each … Continue reading

I Want To Be Heard (Blog4NWP)

Our guest blogger today is Nicolas Gutkowski, a 12 year old middle school student in Albemarle County, VA.  Nicolas is a pretty amazing young man, who discovered his voice was powerful last year when he began blogging and built a wiki. Nicolas presented in the fall of 2010 at the K12online conference, a talk called … Continue reading

False Limits

This title comes from the title of Seth Godin’s blog for today. I have his blog pushed into my email box (along with some others) because I don’t want to miss it. There are several reasons for that— It’s short and I can read it on the fly. While he writes it about “marketing, respect … Continue reading

No Independent Thought or Discussion Allowed in AP Class!

A friend’s daughter is taking Advanced Placement (AP) World History. During class she and another student got into an engaged discussion about a topic they were studying that both had passionate feelings about and which both were prepared to discuss respectfully and knowledgeably. One had made a statement with which the other had disagreed and … Continue reading

School Redesign vs. School Reform

Reform: To return to a good state. Redesign: A plan for making changes to the structure and functions of a system so as to better serve the purpose of the original design, or to serve purposes different from those set forth in the original design. I look at the reform movement in education and see … Continue reading

Images of Reform: If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words

This is the second of three reflections written after reading the recently released McKinsey report, How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better. The first of these reflections can be found on my personal blogsite, Teaching Out Loud, and the final excerpt will be posted on the Canadian Education Association website later this … Continue reading

How a Teacher Becomes a Writer

[Guest-blogger Susan R. Adams contributes this #blog4nwp post as a member of the Hoosier Writing Project.] Teachers must act in an imperfect world. We have no choice but to risk ourselves. The choice is to consider the risk private or to build a community that accepts vulnerability and shares risks. Vulnerability is endurable in a … Continue reading

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