Learning at its Best

This category contains 660 posts

Reading Between the Lines: MD’s Proposed Charter Legislation

March 1, 2015, by Helen Atkinson Preamble: In Maryland we have what some consider a weak charter law and what others consider as one of the best charter laws in the country.  How you view the law depends on how you define the problems faced by public schools in this city and in our country … Continue reading

Teaching without Knowing, and Finding Problems to Solve

(Originally posted on the Edunautics blog) I’ve already written about one of the key paradigm shifts that I think needs to happen in education: education needs to be real. See “Online Education is not the Disruption.” Now for two more. We want our students to become expert learners, right? Well, how are we going to get … Continue reading

Connected Learners. Connected Educators. Learning Together.

I have the good fortune every day of seeing the work unfold across the amazing community of connected educators in the district where I work. They seek to understand contemporary learners and to offer learning opportunities that match the interests and passions of young people. It’s always a challenge when the prescriptive standards and state … Continue reading

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

re\wire: ni

[rewire: democratic surround meets networked individualism, it’s complicated] The time might be just right to finally indulge in the unthinkable/unbelievable dance.. of ongoing/perpetual/emergent conversation/communication with/in both self and (the entire) community/world. . a vision. In Rewire, Ethan Zuckerman encourages us to be the time for rewiring our potential to connect. To connect ourselves/others.. in voice/family/house/oikos. Perhaps we are experiencing just the right … Continue reading

Leadership Should Permeate Everything You Do

Today I got my annual “Happy Holidays” email from my Superintendent.  It never ceases to amaze me how she turns everything into something to make us think. Leadership does permeate everything she does. Here’s the latest from our Coop Catalyst friend and author, Pam Moran (and I post this with her permission.):   Dear Colleagues: … Continue reading

PISA Results continue to lean

This week, the results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released. The PISA is a triennial survey that tests the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students in 65 countries. This iteration focused on math, and the comparative results of the 510,000 students who participated helps evaluate the current state of the … Continue reading

The Democratic Promise

Earlier today my American Government students watched the amazing film The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy. The documentary, which is framed around Frederick Douglass’ famous quote that “Power concedes nothing without demand,” is a powerful reminder that democracy is an ongoing process and continual struggle. While watching the film I realized that its structure … Continue reading

Three Girls

Photo of the Day: Friends pause from the fun at the Fall Festival to share their joy with the camera.

how to dance

i don’t know how to dance very well. it’s been a dream of mine. to learn to dance. but i’ve had too many inhibitions. about doing it right. some people have tried to help, some have run the other way. most don’t really care (about me dancing), they have their own issues. but what if … Continue reading

Trying To Make Adultism Okay?

In the alternative education culture apparent throughout the Cooperative Catalyst blog, I have experienced a lot of attention towards racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination. However, little is made of a very real form of discrimination that is undermining a lot of well-meaning educators’ work with students today: adultism. In my new book, Ending Discrimination … Continue reading

missing it

_____________________ So many good people are trying to fix/change/improve the world. Education reform alone is spending quadrillions of dollars/hours/joules. We are busy people. But what if we’re not being careful/watchful/mindful – and we are missing it. What if, by not questioning the very essence of this 100 ish year old tradition/mandate, we currently call school, we are missing us. … Continue reading

Privatized “Public” Schools: A Vessel Fit for Destruction

Learning in a state of denial…denying what is readily apparent to those who sit in silence. The old way is not designed for the 21st century…but the new way is just as destructive as the old way. Its one thing to have changed…change is good. However, change that inspires a pattern of regressive and antagonist … Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,089 other followers