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Adam Burk

This tag is associated with 24 posts

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

Inappropriate Use of Technology

In my home state, a school district just announced that they will be giving every kindergartener an iPad 2 this coming fall. I think this is a terrible idea. I’m not a Luddite, let’s just get that out of the way. This initiative is not developmentally appropriate. 5 and 6 year olds learning how to … Continue reading

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

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

Archive Post: Adam Burk’s Education for Sane Planetary Citizenship

I have been thinking lately about how to revisit some of the older posts and discussions at the Cooperative Catalyst now that we have a wider readership and larger group of authors. My idea is that we would all take turns picking a post or two to revisit. The first post I choose came from … 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

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