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Learning at its Best

Cooperative Catalyst Week in Review: August 15th-21st 2011

This week we continued our recent growth at the Cooperative Catalyst adding a number of new authors with many more on the way. We are continuing to diversify as a community, but we still looking for more student voices and voices from different places in the world and in life.

We had 13 new posts this week meaning 13 new and continued conversations about our success and struggles trying to transform education and help create a just and sustainable world. We shared these conversations with our ever growing readership which saw over 400 readers visiting our site everyday this week and many more sharing our posts via twitter, facebook, tumblr and google+.

  I want to remind our readers and members that all posts and conversations are living and still active, so comment away! This includes  archive posts! I recommend all new readers check out the amazing conversations that started the Cooperative Catalyst in March 2010!

Have a great week and please take a moment to review all the posts from the last week!

Read, Discuss and Share!

PS Congrats to Kirsten Olson for leaving our 5000th comment on the Cooperative! Come forward to get your prize!

-David Loitz

Cooperative Catalyst member since 2010

@coopcatalyst,  Tumblr page  facebook page  and google+


What is Conscious Community in the Field of Education (and Parenting)?

Posted by ⋅ August 20, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

Community is created by individuals who share common values. Conscious community means that the well-being of the consciousness of all constituents is the highest priority. Implied is that nourishing consciousness leads to the best possible outcomes of all community members. What do most educators know about a child’s consciousness? Given my 30 years of engagement … Continue reading »

Do I have a right?

Posted by ⋅ August 19, 2011 ⋅ 3 Comments

Author’s note – much of what you’re about to read is inspired by the juxtaposition of articles featured on BoingBoing. I spent this morning sharing iCivics and its marquee title, “Do I Have a Right?”, with local colleagues. “Do I Have a Right?” is an resource management game in which the player assumes control of … Continue reading »

Free Schools Revisited: Revolution vs. Transformation

Posted by ⋅ August 18, 2011 ⋅ 5 Comments

“The public school exists to turn out manageable workers, obedient consumers, manipulable voters, and if need be willing killers” -Jonathan Kozol author of Free Schools The most notable and recent movement for alternative education occurred in 1960’s to the early 1970’s, and was known as the “free school” movement. The free school movement was an … Continue reading »

Teachers Save Lives Too

Posted by ⋅ August 18, 2011 ⋅ 8 Comments

Image taken from here As the recession rolls on and the politicians gear up for another fight on this new super committee, I drive back and forth to school getting ready for a new school year.  One politician was discussing what could be cut save our country from the brink of bankruptcy and discussed Medicaid, a … Continue reading »

Why One-Size-Fits-All Could Save Public Education

Posted by ⋅ August 17, 2011 ⋅ 14 Comments

One-size-fits-all is vanilla ice cream.  It’s plain white athletic socks.  It’s “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with a recorder.  One-size-fits-all is an assembly line and a Model-T Ford and a straight line of school children marching to their class.   It’s industrial.  It’s lock-step.  It’s mechanistic. And it just might save public education. Sometimes I … Continue reading »

Constant Immersion and Emergence

Posted by ⋅ August 17, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

Constant Immersion and Emergence     I hate the word reform.  Well, let me put in another way, I hate how language, like the words reform, rigorous, and higher standards, has been hijacked by a standard imagery of the never-ending critique of traditional education, without actual changes to the core, instead, choosing to emphasize changes … Continue reading »

Letting students be dead wrong

Posted by ⋅ August 17, 2011 ⋅ 5 Comments

via Lost In Recursion My wife works at Penguin Group, where naturally they have an incredible “take pile” of books they publish. That’s where I found Number: The Language of Science, a fascinating and completely accessible history of the human traditions that give us today’s number systems. Apart from the amazing stuff about numbers, my favorite … Continue reading »

What the Teachers Are Themselves

Posted by ⋅ August 17, 2011 ⋅ 1 Comment

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent post I wrote for, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from What the Teachers Are Themselves: “There’s a couplet by Rudyard Kipling that shines a sometimes too bright light on one of the biggest truths we educators … Continue reading »

Reflections on AERO: 2011

Posted by ⋅ August 16, 2011 ⋅ 8 Comments

Wow, I came out of four days in Portland with such a different feeling from my experience at the AERO Conference last year in Albany.  Things had really changed for me in just one year.  Both experiences provided me with a window into a world I didn’t know much about, helped me understand the alternatives … Continue reading »

Buffet learning: the future of education

Posted by ⋅ August 16, 2011 ⋅ 4 Comments

In my last post (read it here), I talked about how I had transformed my English 12 class last year from an “English class” to a true community of writers. In this post, I’m going to talk about how I’m planning on expanding this experiment to my English 9 through 12 classes with the main … Continue reading

Detroit’s Future

Posted by ⋅ August 15, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

20 teachers and artists from all around Detroit came together this past week to redefine the purpose and practice of education. At a week long retreat organized by Allied Media Projects (AMP) in Detroit and funded by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, adults heard from young people, listened to one another, read up on innovative … Continue reading »

Learners ≠ consumers

Posted by ⋅ August 15, 2011 ⋅ 2 Comments

Since returning from #ISTE11, I’ve struggled with writing about education. Given the tanked economy, our retrograde, juvenile government, and the epidemic breakout of strong-man/yes–man/straw-man educational dictatorships, I’ve felt a bit like Margot from “All Summer in a Day.” We are living and working in a playground battlefield. It’s insane. In response, we need to make … Continue reading »


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