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Learning at its Best

Cooperative Catalyst Week in Review: Sept 17th-25th 2011

  I want to remind our readers and members that all posts and conversations are open and still active, so comment away! This includes  archive posts! I have included 5 archive post below, I chose them to introduce you to some of the early conversations. Enjoy and feel free to share older posts on facebook, twitter and tumblr. Please comment!

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

Read, Discuss and Share!

David Loitz

Cooperative Catalyst member since 2010


Wastes of Time in Education: Do I Need an Accreditation Attitude Adjustment?

Posted by ⋅ September 22, 2011 ⋅

What does the phrase “waste of time” mean to you?  To me, it is when I spend time doing something that seems to serve no majorly useful purpose.  The “seems to” is a subjective qualifier here – what one person views as a waste of time may not beseen as such by others.  For example, … Continue reading »

21st century social justice

Posted by ⋅ September 22, 2011 ⋅

This is a repost from my personal blog. I’ve heard the terms, and so have you: “21st century teaching” “21st century learning” “21st century workforce” “21st century skills” What hasn’t been labeled “21st century” these days? As so many have already pointed out, we’re more than one decade in. So the adjective, as a representation … Continue reading »

Deep Education

Posted by ⋅ September 21, 2011 ⋅

Back in April I posted here about skimming surfaces in eduction and the imperative to go deeper.  I’m still thinking about the need for a shift towards depth in education: I go down. Rung after rung I go down… I came to explore… The thing I came for: The wreck and not the story of … Continue reading »

The decline of thinking outside the box

Posted by ⋅ September 19, 2011 ⋅

While IQ scores are indisputably on the rise, American creativity levels are bottoming out. Analysis of the results of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking suggests that the creative abilities of American children have been spiraling downward for almost 20 years. The Torrance tests analyze young children’s ability to come up with original ideas and … Continue reading »

Ten Reasons to Abolish Homework (And Five Alternatives)

Posted by ⋅ September 19, 2011 ⋅

I don’t assign homework and I haven’t for the last four years.  It’s been a slow journey, because it runs against a very powerful ideology within the United States.  Here are ten reasons to abolish homework: 1. Young Children Are Busy: If a child cannot learn what needs to be learned in a six hour … Continue reading »

Students or writers?

Posted by ⋅ September 18, 2011 ⋅ 12 Comments

It occurred to me last night that I conducted a grading experiment of sorts last year without intending to do so. I had two sections of senior English students. With one group, I gave them traditional assignments with traditional due dates and graded them using a traditional rubric. I also gave them the opportunity to … Continue reading »

Students should be at the center of Authentic Assessment

Posted by ⋅ September 17, 2011 ⋅

What is Authentic Assessment? What is the purpose of assessment, grades, tests? It is not enough to just assess what students know or don’t know and mark it in a book or relay it to the parents, twice a year at conferences. I think assessment should be used solely for the the betterment and growth … Continue reading »

Education as Colonization and Commodification Processes

Posted by ⋅ September 17, 2011 ⋅

You and I may use the same language and media for communicating and yet still not understand one another. This concept was driven home last year when I reconnected with a gentleman I graduated from law school with twenty years earlier. Why I contacted him is not as important as my letting you know that … Continue reading »


Archive Posts

Schools Must Become Democratic Institutions

Posted by ⋅ March 1, 2010 ⋅

In a democracy, public education should promote models and policies for schools that provide students direct, personal experience with democratic ideals of choice, equality, freedom, and shared power. As much as we want to “teach content” and “cover curriculum,” we can’t drop out of the sky into students’ pre-exisitng communities and the midst of their … Continue reading »

Covering Curriculum

Posted by ⋅ September 25, 2010 ⋅

“The greatest enemy of understanding is coverage.” -Howard Gardner Here’s a story I share to describe my take on the folly of covering curriculum: Pretend you are a bus driver and have been asked to make a dozen stops where children will be waiting to be  picked up so you can take them to school. … Continue reading »

Challenging Authority

Posted by ⋅ May 28, 2010 ⋅

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 »

What The Revolution Looks Like, Elsewhere

Posted by ⋅ July 19, 2010

Today I was talking with my great friend and school redesigner Antonia Rudenstine about the slow pace of the educational revolution in America.  How even among large school districts and folks who have a lot of policy muscle, the vision is still pretty small, pretty conventional, pretty much about teacher-centered instruction, using test scores to show … Continue reading »

Authentic Literacy

Posted by ⋅ February 20, 2011 ⋅

Time to Read and Write–and Discuss My fourth grade literacy group right now contains many kids I have not worked with a lot in the past, because our teachers differentiate well students’ levels in literacy. I work with a core group of kids 4 days a week and others who only come in for the … Continue reading »

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