Who We Are

Aaron Eyler

Aaron Eyler is a high school history teacher in central New Jersey with a passion for education as well as developing innovative strategies. An avid reader, he spends much of his time muddling through articles, books, and the like on a quest to improve his ability to think critically about education and the school’s role in society. He has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration & Leadership. He is also the writer of the blog “Synthesizing Education”.

Aaron can be reached at eyler.aaron@gmail.com or on Twitter via @aaron_eyler.

Adam Burk

Adam can only be defined as one thing for sure, a human being. Bound by this condition he does the best he can to learn, grow, have fun, do good, and be of service. He believes we are largely looking the wrong way in our discussions in education reform. Ultimately, we must be talking about cultural reform, developing profoundly sane personalities for planetary citizenship. This looks like individuals contributing to the aims of The Earth Charter and is the enactment of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.

While his activities are many–philosopher, wilderness guide, teacher, social worker, gardener, husband, dog whisperer, naturalist, cook, jewelry maker, lover, healer, writer, community activist, change agent, and more–he is guided by the simple principle to do good in the service of others. He regularly contemplates his life in reflection of wise sayings such as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “be the change you wish to see in the world,” “understanding the nature of change, changes the nature of understanding,” and “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty, of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

He lives on the beautiful coast of Maine with his astonishing wife and two dogs. He can be found on twitter as @adamburk.

Casey Caronna

My name is Casey K Caronna.  I am a 25 year old graduate student who is currently attending Goddard College.  I am interested in progressive education, social studies, spiritual, intellectual and physical meanings in my life.  I am currently married to my best friend and the woman of my dreams.  I live in Olympia, WA and hope to make valuable changes in the education world, by pushing peace, cooperation, love, persistence, socially responsible justice, environmentally friendly uses of land, water, and waste, and through the continual discussion and theorizing of new, innovative and creative educational solutions.

Chad Sansing

Chad Sansing works on school development and teaches humanities at the Community Public Charter School (CPCS) in Charlottesville, VA, where he served as the founding head teacher during the 2008-09 school year. CPCS is part of the Albemarle County Public Schools . CPCS is in its third year of existence. It’s Virginia’s third charter school – out of four – and the state’s first true start-up charter school. Chad is a NBCT and NETS*T certified teacher. He blogs about reforming classroom practice at Classroots.org and Cooperative Catalyst, and less frequently contributes to Droupout Nation, edReformer, and the Edurati Review. He also contributes to Digital Is

Chad wants to make middle school awesome AND useful for all students.

You can find Chad on Twitter at @chadsansing, on the ECN and PLN Nings, and/or via email.

David Loitz

David Loitz is a passionate lover of education, film, basketball, food and life. He is currently working towards his Masters in Holistic Elementary Education at Goddard College. He lives in Eugene, Oregon with his beautiful fiance, Marta. His goal is to open a human scale school in the near future and help others do the same.

He is working with IDEA (Institute of Democratic Education of America) as a Regional organizer for most of the West Coast. His goal is to help connect and promote the efforts of democratic learning communities. If you are in his region or want to share stories of learning that supports or promotes democratic communities, please share them with him via email, every story or voice is welcome.

Along with his experience in Education, he has a wide range of accomplishments in creative endeavors including 10 years as a film maker with a BFA (Film/Video) from California Institute of the Arts. He is an avid blogger and can be found on tumblr(adventuresinlearning.tumblr) (humanscaleschools.tumblr.com) twitter (@dloitz) and facebook along with other education blogs and sites. He loves Education literature and commentary; from books, films, to blogs- if you ever want to a suggestion, feel free to ask and he will give you 10.

David Wees

David Wees is a Canadian teacher with some international experience. He started his career in inner city NYC in a failing school.  He met his wife in the spring of 2005 and together they moved to London, England where David taught in a small private school which was David’s first exposure to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. London was too expensive, even compared to NYC, so after 2 more years they moved on to Bangkok, Thailand where David taught for 2 years. During these two years David both co-authored a textbook for IB Mathematics, and started his Masters degree in Educational Technology through UBC’s online program.  He is now back in Vancouver, Canada, working at Stratford Hall as a learning specialist in technology.  He blogs regularly at http://davidwees.com.

Deven Black

I am a middle school social studies and special education teacher in the Bronx, NY. I grew up in Manhattan and love working in the same school system that I attended. After a stellar career as a middle school student I dropped out of two different high schools and a college, all before I was 17. That started what is a lengthy and continually evolving interest in everything connected to education and schooling.

After dropping out of college I worked as a newspaper reporter, award-winning radio newsman and talk-show host, voice-over artist, political campaign operative, bartender, restaurant manager, advertising copywriter, and public relations person. When I was still in radio I had the opportunity to teach in an alternative high school within the Barnstable (MA) high school. I got my GED alongside three of my sophomore students. Fifteen years later I found a college that met my standards and in 1996 I received a BS in Education Studies with a minor in psychology. I started teaching at age 50 after getting a MS in Teaching and Special Education at Fordham University.

My primary interests are in the unspoken curriculum that they way we educate delivers, educational and social equity, and informal teaching.

Jason Flom

Jason Flom teaches 5th grade at Cornerstone Learning Community. He is founding editor of Ecology of Education and can be found on-line on TwitterCooperative CatalystEdutopia, and as an ASCD Emerging Leader class of 2010. In real life he can be found laughing, hiking, playing, and goofing off with his daughters and wife.

Joe Bower

I am Joe Bower and I teach in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I wish to challenge ‘traditional’ schooling while exploring more progressive forms of education. I intend on using this blog to uproot some of the most deeply rooted myths that continue to distract people from a love for learning. And I am going to have fun doing it!

Jim Folkstead

James Folkestad is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University (CSU). Dr. Folkestad is currently teaching a course on educational technology (EDUC331) within the School of Teacher Education & Principal Preparation (STEPP) and is conducting research on creativity, innovation, and digital media and learning.  He is currently working with Monika Hardy (Thompson School District – Loveland Colorado) to collect evidence of student learning related to the InnovationLab.

John Spencer

I teach 8th grade self-contained in an urban, low-income school.  Our class website is socialvoice.blogspot.com.  We create documentaries, compose multimedia plays, paint murals and find other ways to blend service learning, technology and creativity while still having rigorous academics.

I have taught professional development classes on meaningful tech integration, classroom leadership (non-coercive leading rather than rewards-based management) and understanding the local cultural context. However, I never feel as “at home” with professional development as I do in the classroom.

I have a fictional blog about tech integration called Tom Johnson’s Adventures in Pencil Integration and a more personal blog called Spencer’s Scratch Pad, where I meander around ideas of being a dad, a husband, a teacher and an intellectual wander and troubadour of paradox. This year, I have begun a daily blog where I describe why I love teaching middle school.

Kenneth Bernstein

Kenneth J. Bernstein, aka “teacherken,” is a National Board Certified Social Studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt HS in Greenbelt MD, where he was a 2010 Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher.  Now in his mid-60s, he came to teaching after a long career with computers in  1995.  He has degrees in Music, Religion and teaching from Haverford, St. Charles Seminary, and Johns Hopkins respectively, as well as having reached ABD in Educational Supervision and Policy Studies at Catholic University. He blogs on education and other topics at Dailykos, and has been paid to write for the websites of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Teacher Magazine.  He is a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. He is often sought out to write about about books on education.

Kevin Crouse

I am a thinker and gentle antagonist: a lover of life and perspective. During the day, I develop computer programs for a premier DNA sequencing center; during the evenings, I renovate historic buildings; in the time I have left, I look for ways to build community and improve collaborative understanding.  I’ve taught in several programs in the US and in India, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Regarding education, I am looking for a feasible educational model that will ensure equity while maximizing  intellectual and social development.  I believe we should educate for many things : political participation, economic participation, social participation, individual development, and intercultural understanding.  While I have
listed a set of broad, separate-sounding educational goals, I believe that they are all built in concert through a student-centered, cooperative learning environment.

Kirsten Olson

Kirsten Olson is a writer, educational activist and consultant. She is the author of Wounded By School (Teachers College Press 2009), a book that looked at the learning stories of hundreds of “ordinary” students to understand their experiences of being in school. She found that many of us have very negative or self-defeating learning stories based on our experiences in school, and asked why. What purposes do those stories have? Whom do these stories serve? Why is the educational institution so resistant to change?

Kirsten is also principal of Old Sow Consulting, an educational consulting group based in Boston, Massachusetts. Old Sow Consulting works with schools and teachers and students all over the country who are trying rethink what places of learning ought to look and feel like, and how schools might be reconfigured to better support engaged learning, and whether schools ought to “be” like schools at all. She believes in the importance of everyday activism, and in the power of hearty, deep-thinking conversations to transform and revolutionize our worlds.

Mary Beth Hertz

Mary Beth Hertz is a Technology Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist at Alliance for Progress Charter School in Philadelphia. Her lessons are tied directly to ISTE’s NETS for Students and incorporate content across the academic curriculum. Her students create multimedia projects, connect with students across the globe and share their work through blogs and other web authoring tools. She was just recognized by ISTE as an Emerging Leader, is a co-moderator of the Twitter conversation #edchat and a co-organizer of the edcamp Philly unconference. She writes the Elementary Technology Integration blog for Edutopia, has done a variety of guest blogging and has her own blog at Philly Teacher.

Monika Hardy

I get to play at a highschool in Loveland Colorado – daily. Fall 2010 we get to launch a Thompson School District Innovation Lab, where students are creating their own courses and becoming tech interns. We are enthralled in making school real life.

Find us on talk-ed, or me on twitter @monk51295.

Paula White

Paula White is a thinker, a tinkerer, a reader, a mathematical wonderer, a questioner and a camper.  Paula enjoys the outdoors and being around kids more than almost anything. While she is an award-winning educator, her greatest honor is being a grandma. Paula has spent her career challenging the status quo and trying to live her ideals in her classroom. She believes in bending schools to fit kids rather than pounding kids into fitting schools.  She tries to make her classroom a safe haven for students and colleagues to impact oneself and see how personal actions can impact others in positive ways.  Talking and thinking with other people is crucial to her growth and thinking. It’s all about collaboration, cooperation, and consideration, while being reflective  and thoughtful about our world and how to make it a better place for us all.

Visit her at Reflections of the TZST Teacher or follow her on twitter as @paulawhite

Simon Kidd

Simon has an MA in philosophy from University College Dublin, where he completed a postgraduate dissertation on ‘Language and Ideology’. He has worked in bookselling and publishing, and from 1996 to 1999 was Assistant Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project, a ‘public understanding of science’ program based in Cambridge (UK), and directed by writer John Cornwell.

In 2003 he moved to Perth, Western Australia, where for several years he was the primary carer for his two children. In 2008-9 he was a senior research officer at the University of Western Australia, reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education.

Since 2009 he has been engaged in a Master of Primary Teaching degree at UWA. He has a particular interest in teaching philosophy in the primary classroom, and in the education of the so-called ‘gifted and talented’ (although he is not comfortable with this label or the limited definition of the category). He is a committee member of the Western Australian Association for Philosophy in Schools.

Shelly Terrell

In 1994, Shelly Sanchez Terrell began working with inner-city children and was inspired by the way passionate teaching transformed their lives. This led her to actively participate in non-profit community programs that traveled to low-income schools, alternative schools, halfway houses, and juvenile detention centers in Texas to integrate the arts and creative writing to improving literacy. In 2000, her nonprofit organization, ETHOS, won the SAMMinistries Volunteer Group of the Year award for their creation of a homeless children’s art and music program, which involved slam poets, artists, and musicians. She believes through collaboration and passion we can reform education. She currently teaches children and adults in Germany and through online technology has been able to provide free professional development resources to education systems who cannot afford them around the world. She is also the author of The 30 Goals Challenge: Join the Movement, a free e-book for educators wanting to be the change. You can collaborate with her through Twitter, @ShellTerrell or on Facebook.

Steve Miranda

Steve Miranda is the director of Puget Sound Community School, an independent school for students in grades 6-12 located in Seattle’s International District. Steve is working the school’s Board of Trustees to position PSCS as a model for a new kind of school, with a focus on creativity, passion, responsibility, and integrity.

Before joining PSCS, Steve spent 10 years teaching Language Arts and Social Studies in Seattle Public Schools.

He can be reached at steve@pscs.org.

Tracy Stevens

A former teacher herself, Tracy is interested in increasing the quality of education through the arts, immersion in nature, play, nutrition, and community, without textbooks, standardized testing or learning difference labels like ADD/ADHD. Her blog is to education what the Slow Food movement is to your dinner!

Zoe Weil

Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (www.HumaneEducation.org) where she created the first M.Ed. and certificate programs in humane education in the U.S. that cover the interconnected issues of human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection. She is the author of Nautilus Silver Medal winner in sustainability, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful LifeThe Power and Promise of Humane EducationAbove All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times, and Moonbeam Gold Medal winner for juvenile fiction, Claude and Medea, which follows the adventures of 7th graders who become clandestine activists righting wrongs in New York City. Zoe speaks regularly in communities and at universities and conferences across the U.S. and Canada.



5 thoughts on “Who We Are

  1. Oprah’s Superman ticked me off….and twitter helped me discover this blog. My Sunday is now looking up in spite of the media’s war to see who can win at turning educators against educators. Stumbling on this site may be the best thing Oprah has ever done for me.

    Posted by Theresa Reagan | September 26, 2010, 10:33 am
  2. I love meeting people who are passionate about what they do, especially teaching. This is one of the most important and influential roles in our society. I, like Theresa, stumbled across this site as I have just finished setting up my own blog based on Passion Learning. Feel free to have a look: http://passionlearning.wordpress.com/. Thanks for your inspiration.
    Keep the passion,

    Posted by Merrick Brewer | December 23, 2010, 5:03 am
  3. Great blog, love the message and scope!

    Posted by Craig | January 19, 2011, 2:44 am


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