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Writing at the Cooperative Catalyst:Week in Review 10/18-10/24

It is that time of the week again. Time to look back at the week that was. This week we welcomed a new author and teacher from Colorado, Sabrina of the blog Failing Schools. Here is a short bio from her blog!

I’m Sabrina. Nice to meet you!

I went into teaching because I (mistakenly) believed the hype about bad teachers in our worst-performing schools, and I wanted to Be the change I wished to see in the world. When I was rushed to the hospital after fainting from exhaustion in my classroom, I started to suspect that the situation might be more complicated than the conventional wisdom on education reform would have us believe.

I started this blog to help shed light on the complex issues that face our most troubled schools. I believe that in order to have real education reform in this country, we need to get beyond the stereotyping (i.e. “Teachers are unqualified”), oversimplification (“All we need to do is…”), and political posturing that dominates so much of the current process. To me, that means we need to listen less to politicians and “the powers that be,” and more to real teachers and communities (also known as… the people who actually know what’s going on in the schools!).

Click here to learn more about my thoughts on certain “school reform” issues.

In my “free” time, I also read, cook, knit, sew, sing, dance, hike, and play the guitar.

I want to thank Sabrina for joining our Cooperative and encourage to read her first post and enjoy the work of her students via the video Don’t Hate, Collaborate! Great message to send out to the world as we continue our discussion of how to transform education in the world.

Hope everyone has a great week and has a chance to join the daily discussions or revisit a older post that you missed.

To a great week of Learning and Living!

David Loitz

The Week in Review:

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

October 24, 2010

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… [Read more…]

Out of the mouths of babes…

October 22, 2010

I was privileged today to have the most stimulating conversation about education that I’ve had in a while. It wasn’t with my principal or one of my colleagues. It wasn’t with one of the inspirational educators I interact with online. It was on the playground, with two former students from last year. Isabella and her… [Read more…]

Don’t Hate, Collaborate! (Or, having fun while doing “serious” learning)

October 22, 2010

Hey, all! I’m Sabrina, a teacher-turned-activist in the Denver Metro Area. I teach upper elementary school children in struggling schools, and am taking this year off from the classroom to help counter some of the destructive strands in the current school reform movement. At the end of last year, after the tests were over and… [Read more…]

Learn or be taught

October 20, 2010

[Author’s note: I don’t cross-post often; I certainly don’t cross-post lightly. However, I thought this post from would be of interest to the communities of both sites. Cheers, C] “…we are attempting to operate our society on obsolete code…. They are completely inappropriate to what it is we want to get done.” – Douglas… [Read more…]

Consequences for whom?

October 20, 2010

When I share with people that I don’t believe in rewarding or punishing students, I tend to get some very odd looks. The idea that a parent or teacher would not reward children for good behavior or punish them for being bad seems to many to be more than just a foreign idea. Here is… [Read more…]

To What Extent, How Much, and of Which Kinds?

October 19, 2010

Hi all, I’m looking to take a step back and get your opinions on the very aim of schooling. Most of this is taken from an article I prepared and showed to other Coop’ers; they suggested it would make for a reasonable post, and so here I am. I’ll first bring up a couple of… [Read more…]

When Algorithms Fail

October 18, 2010

I’m listening to Pandora right now.  Not really Pandora, but “Resurrection Fern,” a naturalist musing on death by Iron and Wine brought to me by Pandora and their sleuth of advertisers.  It took Pandora two hours to figure out that I would like the song.  Not bad, really, for a customized music station.  Apparently there… [Read more…]



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