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Book and Film Reviews

This category contains 22 posts

Why Homeschooling Should be Part of Rethinking Education

Seth Godin has weighed in on the school reform debate with his manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams. I enjoyed his argument and hope he reaches many people who are on the fence about changing school. However, I also think he pulls his punches when he argues, “Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status … Continue reading

Leverage Learning Not Teaching–A Reflection on Sugata Mitra’s Emergent Pedagogy

“Learning and teaching are not symmetrical. They are not flip sides of the same coin…The working assumption is this: Solve teaching and you will get learning.” -Sugata Mitra, Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning What if the majority of our systems and methods in education are not needed? What … Continue reading

Is “The Experiment” Working?

It was a classy affair with an attendance of perhaps fifty guests, and I was lucky enough to be granted an invitation to an exclusive screening of The Experiment at The New Orleans Museum of Art. I walked into the place – a tad bit under-dressed – and filled my hands with an Abita Amber … Continue reading

Have you ever stopped playing?

Cross-posting from my personal blog as I believe this is relevant to this group and the readers of this blog too. I am looking forward to your feedback! It felt like a very long day today — a failure on one of the servers at work almost led to loosing all our customer data! The … Continue reading

A Powerful, Crucial Vision for the Future of Schooling: Teaching 2030

Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools… Now and in the Future is perhaps the most cogent, reasonable, clear, and yet visionary book about educational reform in the 21st Century. Written through a collaboration of twelve teachers/teacher-leaders and changemakers, Teaching 2030 steers clear of rhetoric, either/ors, political side-taking, and … Continue reading

Dexter Chapin’s Master Teachers

I recently read Dexter Chapin’s excellent book, Master Teachers: Making a Difference on the Edge of Chaos and underlined more passages than I had in any book in years. For my blog today, I wanted to share some of them. “Nothing the federal government, the state government, or the school district does will improve education … Continue reading

Educating About Eating Animals

Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have chosen Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals as the summer reading book for their incoming freshman for 2011. Rarely would summer reading for a college’s new students be newsworthy, but this one is. For a book that so carefully and comprehensively uncovers animal agriculture … Continue reading

imagine and play

John Seely Brown and Doug Thomas recently released a new book, A New Culture of Learning. I heard about it from John Hagel (who co-authored The Power of Pull with Brown). Hagel’s review is a super read. Yeah, you should maybe read it. It encouraged me to start working on this: Then my friend Adam, … Continue reading

Focus – a book written by Mike Schmoker

A few of us on Twitter started talking about the newest ASCD member book Focus and decided to start a Twitter book group.  You can read more about this and find out how to participate at http://www.ryanbretag.com/blog/?p=2045.

Humane Education Bookshelf: Kids and Animals

Since my TEDx talk was released, I have been receiving lots of emails from people wanting to learn how to implement the ideas I shared. I’ve also been hearing from humane educators and groups doing fantastic work across the globe. For my next several blog posts, I wanted to share some of their great work. … Continue reading

Reflections on Waiting for Superman: Pouring Knowledge Into Children’s Brains ≠ Good Education

The movie, Waiting for Superman, finally came to rural Maine, and I so I finally got to see it. There is so much in it that is so important and so true. For example: It is a travesty that so many of our children are not learning the basics and are not verbally, mathematically or … Continue reading

The future of big box schooling

I recently posted my thoughts on Schooling the World, an important film that takes a look at the value of bringing Western-style education to sustainable indigenous cultures and beyond. I personally — and as I mentioned in my post, it seems Sir Ken Robinson too — believe the film raises many important questions which are … Continue reading

While US waits for Superman, kids in the world are drafted as failures

I posted this 3 months ago on my personal blog — My bin of thoughts. In a discussion with this group it came up that while quite a few posts have been written on the Cooperative Catalyst for Waiting for Superman, no one have yet posted anything about Schooling the World. I believe that this … Continue reading

be. bold.

I read Roger Martin‘s Design of Business about 2 years ago. What his words spoke to me then, in large part, has been the backbone of the boldness that has gotten us to where we are today in the Lab. On taking note of what plenty of my conversations are about these days, I feel … Continue reading

‘Metaphoria’ and Digital Literacy

The Internet has changed the way we read.  There is no doubt about it. Nicholas Carr, in his book What is the Internet Doing to Our Brains? The Shallows says, “Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” Some … Continue reading

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