Stephen Hurley

After working for over 30 years in Ontario's public education system, I continue to work passionately throughout Canada, still very committed to the idea of effective, powerful learning experiences for all participants. A musician, technology-watcher, father, husband, I find life in the world of education, even when the conversations get a little contentious. If I were to be doing anything else right now, it would be hosting my own syndicated radio program on--you guessed it--education. I blog in a few spots. My personal blog can be found at I can also be found hanging around and, most recently, I can be found on twitter as @stephen_hurley
Stephen Hurley has written 27 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

Dear Chandra: “I Recognize You”

I just posted this at as part of a month-long initiative to encourage folks to write a letter to a beginning teacher. I could have written any number of letters, but this is the one that emerged on the night before the first day of school! It would be great to have others participate, … Continue reading

Welcoming our Newest Colleagues: Letter to A Beginning Teacher

The following was posted yesterday on  I would love to get contributions from south of the 49th parallel, so if this is something that captures your imagination, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at or on Twitter at stephen_hurley Feel free to share the invitation with your colleagues … Continue reading

Getting to the Change We Want: Developing an Easement Mindset

The following is also posted at I would love to hear whether this concept resonates with colleagues south of the border! The degree to which education systems in Canada (and elsewhere, I suspect) are going to be capable of the substantial change to which an increasing number educators, parents, students and politicians aspire will … Continue reading

Not Reformation…Not Transformation, but Restoration

I just posted this over at the Canadian Education Association blogspace! I have a bucket list, but it’s not the one derived from the movie of the same name. No, my bucket list is a compilation of all the household chores that I’m unable to complete in a cursory manner. The things on my bucket … Continue reading

The Job of Teaching vs. The Role of Teacher: Daddy, I Need to Hear the Rhythm

Context: This past week, I was invited to be part of a panel discussion on a TVOntario public affairs program—The Agenda with Steven Paikin. The plan for the show was to discuss the job of teacher against the backdrop of recent tension with many of Ontario’s teachers around a legislated/imposed set of contracts. The response … Continue reading

One One Condition: Time Is Limited

This post also appears as a recent addition to the Canadian Education Association website. You’re walking along the beach—possibly on your spring break—and you happen upon a rather odd-looking object that was left behind by the receding tide. As you pull the object from the moist sand, releasing it from its net of seaweed and … Continue reading

Before There Was TED, There Was…PBS

My respected colleague, Paul W. Bennett, recently posted a rather sharp, pointed entry about the value of the TED movement. In particular, Paul focused a much-needed critical lens on the love affair that many of us seem to be nurturing with the TED franchise. In a very real way, the TED brand has become a … Continue reading

ChoppEd: The Artistry of Teaching

For most of my friends, it’s the high-energy music that gets them through their regular gym workouts. For me, its the podcasts and, specifically, the podcasts about education. Lately, I’ve been filling my iPod with the recordings that having been coming out Stanford University over the past couple of years. I find them to be … Continue reading

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…Or Perhaps We Should!

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted here, but I thought that I would wade back into the provocative (and supportive) waters of the Cooperative Catalyst with this piece that I wrote over at Teaching Out Loud this morning. Happy Holidays and here’s to renewed cross-border connections in 2013! I saved up all of … Continue reading

Early Learning: Changing The Rules of Engagement

This is a cross-post of a piece that I submitted to the newly-established website Inspired by the work that the Cooperative Catalyst has been doing, and dismayed by the polarization that sometimes characterizes online conversations about education, we had the idea that the time might be right for a  collaborative working space dedicated to schooling … Continue reading

In the year 2012, I will strive to become a student of…

I’ve had it with New Year’s resolutions. I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment, am I? Oh, I still welcome the New Year as an opportunity to look back, look ahead, and to think about how my life might be just a little better. But after 53 years of life on this planet, I … Continue reading

Please leave a light on—I’m comin’ home!

It’s the day after Christmas–Boxing Day here in Canada. The kids are down for an afternoon nap, and the house is relatively quiet. I’ve put some Rosemary Shortbread in the oven in anticipation of a second family gathering this afternoon, and I’ve poured myself a glass of red wine to help hold open this wonderful … Continue reading

Sunday afternoons, Slow Cooking and Modern Schooling

If you ever want to catch me at my most relaxed and “tuned in”, drop over on a Sunday afternoon. At about 1:30, you’ll find me in the kitchen, working at preparing an inviting, comfortable family dinner. If you catch me in the early stages of the process, the counters will be clean, the sink … Continue reading

Teaching as Improvisation

After years of faking it, I recently decided that it was time to give myself over to the study of jazz piano. In particular, I want to develop a greater sense of confidence in the area of improvisation.  I can read music quite effectively, and I was taught at a very young age that it … Continue reading

Excuse me, I would like to talk to you about my son’s chick!

I wanted to let you know that I haven’t given up on the work of the Co-op. The past few weeks have been wonderfully hectic as I try to draw some threads together before the end of June. The following entry is also posted on my personal blog space, but I was always get different … Continue reading

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