Guest Posts

This is a collection of Cooperative Catalyst guest posts. From most recent to oldest.

We are always open to new guest posts, please email coopcatalyst@gmail.com for more info.

-Cooperative Catalyst

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2012

Belief Only Carries Us So Far (Guest Post by Emily Crum)

Posted by ⋅ January 30, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

Originally posted at Oregon Save Our Schools’ blog My heart is breaking over comments made by well-intended folks that if teachers just believed in their students, they can bring them out of poverty and into the arms of an ivy-league school. If I could, I would save every kindergartner that walks through my door of … Continue reading »

Can A Community Support Education? (Guest Post by Donna Mikkelsen)

Posted by ⋅ January 29, 2012 ⋅ 7 Comments

Can a group of like minded parents and community members, support an education model for our children? An education that is designed for our evolution and not for our economy? Can we change the paradigm and create a new kind of education that is more organic and true to the needs of our imminent future? … Continue reading »

Learning Revolution, Are You Ready? (Guest Post by Line Dalile)

Posted by ⋅ January 27, 2012 ⋅ 4 Comments

Originally posted at Line Dalile’s Website: http://www.writingisfun-linedalile.weebly.com Broken pencils and bitten rubbers scattered on my wooden desk while books sat quietly in my bag. The sound of flipping pages, falling rulers and sharpening pencils never seemed to abandon my ear. It’s another school day where the first row students actually paid attention and wrote down … Continue reading »

Not Ready to Listen? (Guest Post by Adora Svitak)

Posted by ⋅ January 20, 2012 ⋅ 3 Comments

Originally posted at Adora’s Blog  ”The customer knows best.” It’s an adage seemingly old as time (for us young’uns, anyway). While it’s not always the case (as anyone who has worked an intense over-the-phone customer service job before may know), it’s certainly always valuable for businesses to listen to what clients are saying–whether surveys, market … Continue reading »

Getting Real About Engagement (Guest Post By Adam Fletcher)

Posted by ⋅ January 13, 2012 ⋅ 22 Comments

So many people are raising the flag around “engagement” now, calling for student engagement and political engagement and social engagement. They aren’t talking about marriage though, and maybe that’s what is missing in the conversation. In the heart of a marriage proposal, or engagement, a seed is planted. It’s the investment of two people into … Continue reading »

2011

Occupy Education Today! (Guest Post by Hannah Faye)

Posted by ⋅ December 22, 2011 ⋅ 6 Comments

The Occupy Movement which began on Wall Street has now spread to many parts of the country with individual occupy movements popping up all over the place. When I saw the diversity of the movement and how it was growing back in September 2011, I knew it wouldn’t be long before educators started occupying as … Continue reading »

These Kids Nowadays! School Change and the New Generation Gap (Guest Post by Lisa Cooley)

Posted by ⋅ December 15, 2011 ⋅ 8 Comments

We adults make as honest an effort as we can to imagine how school and learning can work better for our kids. But we are their worst enemies; or rather, it is our warm/fuzzy ideas of what our own childhoods were like that stand right in the way of our children. The time had come … Continue reading »

Intrapersonal Awareness in Education (Guest Post by Landon Gupta)

Posted by ⋅ November 28, 2011 ⋅ 4 Comments

Early in my college-level studies I went into counseling and psychotherapy. In the course of a few semesters my intrapsychic being began to undergo such a radical transformation that the counseling model continues to greatly influence my outlook on education. I also feel very strongly about the potential inherent by developing each aspect of multiple … Continue reading »

Is College Worth it? Guest Post by Mike Newman

Posted by ⋅ October 25, 2011

This question about the value of college in today’s faltering economy seems to be a popular question that has been floating around the blogosphere lately. For me it has been a question floating in my mind since graduating from college in 2004, primarily because my college experience was very lackluster to say the least. I … Continue reading »

It Takes People to Make a Change, Not a Government (Guest post by student Diego Negrón Reichard)

Posted by ⋅ September 26, 2011 ⋅ 4 Comments

( in Spanish and English) Vivo en Puerto Rico. Un país de decir, pero no hacer, de ver, pero no creer, de querer algo, pero no lo suficiente como para tomarlo en nuestras manos, de esperar, pero sin saber lo que estamos esperando. Mi nombre es Diego Negrón y la verdad es que esto se aplica … Continue reading »

Uniting to Ensure Best Options for Students, Parents and Teachers (Guest Post by Lisa Nielsen)

Posted by ⋅ August 29, 2011 ⋅ 24 Comments

by Lisa Nielsen, Author The Innovative Educator blog Social media has become a mobilizing force in bringing together students, educators, and parents who are frustrated with the data-driven, standardized, one-size-fits all learning taking place in publicly funded schools today. Many of these groups have popped up with members joining and uniting against a system designed … Continue reading »

Lessons from History for Educators (Guest Post by April Jaure of the Bartleby Project)

Posted by ⋅ August 3, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

I like learning about history. I think it’s just fascinating. I also like to imagine. And these days my imagination keeps taking me to two different eras in history: one, quite some time ago, and the other, to the era of my grandparents. The first period in history that my mind keeps pondering begins in … Continue reading »

A Student Voice: Emma

Posted by ⋅ July 29, 2011 ⋅ 16 Comments

The following is a guest post by Emma Gore, a rising 9th grader. She’d like to add her voice to the chorus of folks wanting to save our schools from the mediocrity of centering on standardized testing rather than a real education. Please respond. Feels like a Disney Movie When I was four, I was … Continue reading »

Pragmatic suggestions for schoolers from unschoolers (Guest Post by Patrick Farenga)

Posted by ⋅ July 7, 2011 ⋅ 13 Comments

Patrick Farenga worked closely with the author and teacher John Holt until Holt’s death in 1985. He is the President of Holt Associates Inc. and was the Publisher of Growing Without Schooling magazine (GWS) from 1985 until it stopped publishing in Nov. 2001. GWS was the nation’s first periodical about homeschooling, started by Holt in … Continue reading »

Why President Obama Must Remove Arne Duncan As Secretary of Education if He Hopes to Win Re-Election

Posted by ⋅ June 9, 2011 ⋅ 7 Comments

The following is a guest post by Professor Mark Naison. Mark Naison is a Professor of African-American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. He is the author of three books and over 100 articles on African-American History, urban history, and the history of sports. His most recent book … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – An open invitation

Posted by ⋅ April 14, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Peter Shaheen. The Department of Education argues that school reform ought to be driven by research. I suppose the experts there are concerned about replicable results that can improve instruction. In fact, research based reform is admirable. However, research driven reform alone is not enough. My purpose here is … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – The fire inside

Posted by ⋅ April 14, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

Tracey Flores contributes this #blog4nwp guest post. Six years ago, during my first year of teaching, I was introduced to the National Writing Project. It happened while I was at the National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE) Conference in Phoenix. During the conference, I attended a workshop put on by a writing project from the … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – Even silence speaks volumes

Posted by ⋅ April 11, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Peter Shaheen. Sometimes the messenger is more important than the message. We tend to identify with people who represent our point of view. We root for sports figures and against them based on personal and sometimes ambiguous feelings. Yesterday during the Masters, I openly rooted for Tiger as he … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – The Capacity to Transform Education

Posted by ⋅ April 6, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Kristy Singletary. As a former Blackwater Writing Project (Valdosta, Georgia’s chapter of the National Writing Project) fellow and a first-year composition instructor at Valdosta State University, I am active in the education of teachers and students alike. BWP provided me with a tremendously valuable support system of like-minded educators … Continue reading »

Save the National Writing Project

Posted by ⋅ April 6, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Jeff Grinvalds. I am a current member of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Writing Project. I have been thinking about this issue for quite some time now, but the Libyan action spurned me to take action. On one hand I thought, yes, some cuts must be made … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – Digesting the Field Trip

Posted by ⋅ April 4, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post is from Laura Beachy. Sixth Grade legs dangled from the campus desks. Shocks of seventh grade hair stood at oh-shoot-I’ m- late-for-school attention. Eighth Grade retainers lurked in mouths, hoping to remain undiscovered. All eyes focused hopefully and curiously on the two strange teachers welcoming the first group of thirty middle … Continue reading »

Pedagogy of Fear – Guest Post by Morna M. Mcdermott

Posted by ⋅ April 2, 2011 ⋅ 5 Comments

At The Learning Network listserv http://bit.ly/fZdb6v members have been engaging in thoughtful conversations about the current educational policy climate.  But, we haven’t stopped there.  We have also committed ourselves to do whatever it takes to reverse the damage that has been inflicted on teachers, students, and families.  Some examples are: posting on various social media outlets, … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – A win-win learning experience

Posted by ⋅ April 1, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Patsy Pipkin. I am a retired teacher and a University of Mississippi Writing Project TC. And I will forever sing its praises. Writing project teachers help their students and people in their community when they come to them for help with content, coherence, and unity in writing. Although I … Continue reading »

The NWP is a great hope for human growth

Posted by ⋅ March 31, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

The Coöp thanks Tim Buchanan for this #blog4nwp guest post. I just spent a week in Mexico. I read curriculum whenever reading time popped up. Thanks to the National Writing Project (NWP) and a study group of Teacher Consultants (TC) I was into a fascinating book, Hidden Gems, which steers us towards a new focus … Continue reading »

NWP keeps my love of teaching alive and well

Posted by ⋅ March 30, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

Julie Jee contributes this #blog4nwp guest post. It is highly alarming to see that funding for the National Writing Project (NWP) has been cut at a time when teacher excellence is being sought throughout the country. The NWP has given me the opportunity to find my professional voice among incredible educators who are passionate about … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – Endless benefits

Posted by ⋅ March 28, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

This #blog4nwp guest post comes from Amy Van Zanten. I am writing to implore you to restore funding to the National Writing Project, a program that has been funded since 1991. I have been part of the Hudson Valley Writing Project since 2009. It is an incredible program that consists of dedicated individuals. It is … Continue reading »

#blog4nwp – What more could you want?

Posted by ⋅ March 27, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

Yvonne Holland contributes this #blog4nwp guest post. The National Writing Project does exactly what we what from professional development for teachers. It engages, supports, challenges and facilitates deep inquiry into our own best practices. Afterward, teachers leave with tools to increase our effectiveness with students in the classroom. I have been public school teacher for … Continue reading »

The National Writing Project is a revolution

Posted by ⋅ March 27, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

Guest blogger Art Peterson contributes this #blog4nwp post to the Coöp. Recently, Paul E. Peterson, writing on the Hoover Institution’s EdNext blog, referred collectively to the educational programs axed from the 2011 federal budget as “busy little nothings.” One of these “nothings”—along with such established and useful programs as Teach for America and Reading Is … Continue reading »

I attribute my success to the National Writing Project

Posted by ⋅ March 25, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

Karen Greco contributes this #blog4nwp guest post to the Coöp. The NWP equipped me to teach English: reading and writing.  After attending a summer institute at a university near me, the University of Houston at Clear Lake, I received the teacher of the year award for my district two years in a row.  I learned … Continue reading »

That’s What Writers Do!

Posted by ⋅ March 20, 2011 ⋅ 3 Comments

We are honored to have Michele Simonetty from Dover Middle School in Dover Plains, NY guest post with us today!   My school, Dover Middle School (Dover Union Free School District), has had a partnership with the Hudson Valley Writing Project (HVWP) for a few years now.  I had received some Professional Development, but I had been a part-time participant … Continue reading »

Then I Met the Writing Project

Posted by ⋅ March 19, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

This guest post is from #blog4nwp supporter Marilyn J. Hollman. I wrote little in my very small high school, but I also never thought that I couldn’t. My first day at community college, we met, about 350 freshmen, in a fieldhouse and were asked to write to a prompt which had “stairs” in it, can’t … Continue reading »

The #blog4nwp archive

Posted by ⋅ March 15, 2011 ⋅ 115 Comments

434 posts so far! Our #blog4nwp campaign began as a mid-March weekend push to restore federal funding to the National Writing Project (NWP). At the beginning of March – as part of a continuing resolution to fund the government during its budget impasse – Congress and President Obama cut funding to the NWP and several … Continue reading »

How a Teacher Becomes a Writer

Posted by ⋅ March 15, 2011 ⋅ 6 Comments

[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 »

Looking for Voices of Reason

Posted by ⋅ March 10, 2011 ⋅ 5 Comments

I’m honored to offer this guest post from Angelina Reed, a pre-service teacher about to earn her bachelor’s degree. She offers perspective and questions that push us all to pause, reflect, and offer practical pathways for proactive change. I look forward to this conversation as I believe there’s never been a more relevant post on … Continue reading »

Think Outside the Book

Posted by ⋅ February 11, 2011 ⋅ 19 Comments

“I have never let school interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain This is a guest post written by Dale J. Stephens, an unschooler and founder of UnCollege – a self-directed learning higher education alternative.I had an opportunity to meet Dale through Twitter and since then had got to know him better through our email and Skype … Continue reading »

Not all charter schools are silos

Posted by ⋅ February 2, 2011 ⋅ 8 Comments

[Note: This is a guest post from Jamie Steckart, director of Minnesota's Northwest Passage High School, an experiential learning dropout prevention and recovery program.] Northwest Passage High School is a small progressive public charter school located in Coon Rapids, MN. For the past 12 years, NWPHS has been educating students who have not thrived in … Continue reading »

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2010

Guest post: Waiting for Superman — A Canadian Perspective

Posted by ⋅ December 20, 2010 ⋅ Leave a Comment

This is a guest post from Gordon MacIntyre, who is the Junior School Director at my school which is located in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was posted originally in our monthly magazine to parents, the Imprint. I make it a habit to avoid watching Oprah, but on this particular day in September I was intrigued; … Continue reading »

Assessment in Medical School

Posted by ⋅ November 18, 2010 ⋅ 3 Comments

Here is a guest blog post that first appeared on my blog that was written by good friend Dr. Brad Bahler. The problems revolving around our current assessment techniques are not unique to K-12. Post secondary medical schools are also searching to broaden their definition of excellence.   By Dr. Brad Bahler I was recently … Continue reading »

Fostering Passion and Curiosity (Guest Post by Jennifer Sertl)

Posted by ⋅ October 29, 2010 ⋅ 7 Comments

Hello. My name is Jennifer Sertl, President of Agility3R. It is an honor to be asked to contribute to the Cooperative Catalyst – where education is being changed at the speed of speech. Being given a chance to share my voice, I felt the greatest contribution I could make was to evoke in all of … Continue reading »

Unschooling: A Gentle Approach (Guest post by Carlo Ricci)

Posted by ⋅ October 8, 2010 ⋅ 11 Comments

(Carlo Ricci is on the faculty of education’s Schulich’s School of Education at Nipissing University, in Ontario, Canada. He teaches in the graduate studies program. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning , and has an Unschooling YouTube channel. He has taught from kindergarten, to high school English … Continue reading »

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