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Week in Review

Cooperative Catalyst: Week in Review 1/16th-1/22nd

We had 13 amazing posts this week including 4 great new ones on Sunday. I did not want any of them to get lost in the shuffle. I want to also highlight the work by some student voices, Jabreel, RadFAG and guest poster Adora Svitak. Please comment and join the conversation.

Thank you for a great week!

-David Loitz


Hey Mr.Knowitall, 2 Weeks Detention…For Talking Seriously About Education

Posted by ⋅ January 17, 2012 ⋅ 9 Comments

Inclusion within discussion…it’s the one dynamic every serious discussion needs in order to come to a serious conclusion. When discussions lack that dynamic they are often poor in concluding theory and therefore often miss the point of what’s trying to be achieved. It’s not because the people who leading the discussions are incapable of reaching … Continue reading »

Change from Within vs Change from Without

Posted by ⋅ January 17, 2012 ⋅ 11 Comments

This is cross-posted from my Philly Teacher blog. I can’t wait to hear my fellow co-opers thoughts! Until recently I counted myself among those change-minded folks who believed that true change could be enacted (and must be at some level) enacted from within ‘the system.’ Amid the discussions of many homeschoolers and unschoolers, who believe that it is … Continue reading »

I’m Not a Moderate (Even When It Looks Like It)

Posted by ⋅ January 17, 2012 ⋅ 7 Comments

I’m a firm believer in respectful dialogue. I think tone matters. I believe metaphors need to be accurate. I cringe at all things militant (because military metaphors lead to wars and wars have huge casualties), even when we are advocating for revolutionary change. I believe in the power of humility and the necessity for paradox … Continue reading »

What Would Happen if the U.S. Censored Our Internet?

Posted by ⋅ January 19, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

It would be like China or Iran or . . . the average American school. Maybe it’s time we advocate for open Information in every context.

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

Posted by ⋅ January 20, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

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 »

Kid Politics

Posted by ⋅ January 20, 2012 ⋅ 9 Comments

Did anyone else listen to last weekend’s broadcast of This American Life on NPR?  The episode was called “Kid Politics” and aired on 1/14.  If you missed it you can listen here: This American Life In a nutshell the hour-long episode told the stories of four separate settings in which kids were given what are usually … Continue reading »

Calling B.S When Confronted with B.S: The Nations Drop out Rate is Proof that American Public Education is failing

Posted by ⋅ January 20, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

In order to uplift a people they need to be educated, emboldened, empowered, and entrusted with a sense of worthiness and purpose. Without one of those six things you have a population of people who can’t rationalize, who can’t revolutionize, who can’t problem-solve, and who can’t embrace innovation. Without one of the six above things … Continue reading »

The learning trough: the five-month update and metaphors related to animals

Posted by ⋅ January 21, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

It’s the end of a semester, and the end of an experiment in my classroom that I’ve detailed in past posts. A short recap: I gave students the freedom to choose what they wanted to study (from a broad list of about 35 different topics, more choice than I had during any given semester while … Continue reading »


Posted by ⋅ January 21, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

A little refocus here thanks to Simon Sinek. He’s influenced us greatly, referenced esp in chapter one of our little book draft. Start With Why.

Evaluating our Values

Posted by ⋅ January 21, 2012 ⋅ 1 Comment

NOTE: This was originally posted in the EdWeek Teacher in a Strange Land blog. I put the article here in its entirety at first and then learned that I was not supposed to repost content from that blog elsewhere. Guess I’ll just leave the link here

My Educational Pathway Over The Past Six Years

Posted by ⋅ January 22, 2012 ⋅ 2 Comments

Hi Cooperative Catalyst:  Over the Past Six Years, I’ve been transforming as an educator.  Here is my visual Educational Journey/Pathway over the past six years and how I have changed during that time.  The oldest “label” is the top one, and has been molded and sculpted as you move down the list.  I just wanted … Continue reading »

We Are the Present: Why Youth Voices are Necessary

Posted by ⋅ January 22, 2012 ⋅ Leave a Comment

In many of the educational and teacher training programs I have been a part of, I’ve been frustrated by the intense focus given to preparing students for their academic futures (meaning standardized testing and ultimately college) while virtually none has been placed on creativity, question asking and critical thought. Indeed, if I were to take … Continue reading »

Mirroring Back Student Words–in Realtime

Posted by ⋅ January 23, 2012

We’ve adopted another Detroit school into the Detroit Future Schools (DFS) family and we could not be happier with our new bundle—and neither could the students. “Can we think like this everyday?” one student asked after a DFS lesson was co-taught with the classroom teacher and myself. “I like this kind of learning.  There’s usually … Continue reading »

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