Learning at its Best

This category contains 662 posts

Being Artists

The other day, during a rare window of open time, I found myself transfixed by the interview that Krista Tippet did with Seth Godin. When Tippet introduced Godin’s thinking by saying, “We are invited and stretched in whatever we do to be artists — to create in ways that matter to other people,” I was hooked. Later in … Continue reading

Taking Time to Practice Democracy #yearatMH

originally posted at the IDEA Blog. Are we ‘school-year’ wise, but lifetime foolish? Immediately after finishing the first video chapter of “A Year at Mission Hill,” I went over to the school’s website and read their mission statement. I was first struck by just how beautiful it is; their care and dedication to “helping parents … Continue reading

Those kids should be in school!

They should be in school, but are instead out taking a walk. Seven of them started and now, ages ranging from 11 to 21,  there are 26 of them.  Truants! They should be in school — that is, a “normal” students-in-a-box a school where they can be kept safe from undue influences. Instead, they are … Continue reading

Ramblings About Michelle Rhee

Just finished watching Jon Stewart’s interview with Michelle Rhee. She mostly focused on specific policies she highlights in her new book — teacher evaluation, “accountability,” school closings, etc. — that many of us progressive educators can agree are anti-student as well as anti-teacher. But beyond all of that, there are two things I haven’t heard … Continue reading

Filling Up a Sketchbook

My wife bought my seven-year-old son an Angry Birds sketchbook. I wanted to buy the cheap one on sale, but she insisted that if it felt special to him it would be a subtle message that we think his learning is worth investing in.  So, we give him the notebook and instantly he starts filing it up, … Continue reading

Youth Voices in Afterschool Programs (Guest Post by Greg Williamson)

For many years, I have worked to engage young people in the many decisions that affect them in school and outside of it. I hear  many people in education talk about supporting “youth voice” or student centered education. Yet is education student centered if student are not given a voice in creating it?  I believe … Continue reading

National Day of Action-Seattle Testing Boycott

Sorry for the late notice on this, Co-op friends.  But in case you haven’t heard…  Teachers at the Garfield School in Seattle have been boycotting the mandated administration of the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test here in Seattle.  This is a WA State mandated standardized test.  Garfield teachers say they have been forced to … Continue reading

Online Education is Not the Disruption

Originally posted on the Edunautics blog I recently returned from the first ever Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools (OESES) conference in Southern California. Overall a pretty good conference, and on a topic that all schools need to be looking at seriously as they plan for the future. While I am interested in the topic … Continue reading

Build or be bought

In this “old” SXSW clip, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff exhorts us to “program or be programmed.” As part of his talk, Rushkoff describes what I think of as “stations of the code” – the roles a person assumes in moving from consuming programs to creating them. As a “passive adherer,” Rushkoff explains, you participate in … Continue reading

Teachers as Activists Part One: Little “p” politics

Recently, I attend a meeting of the Austin Social Justice Teachers Inquiry Group, during which we talked about… politics. A scary word in a school. Big “P” Politics referred to ways teachers can be involved politically beyond the walls of their classroom; little “p” politics meant bringing current events and social justice into lessons and … Continue reading

Good Morning: A less than bland way to talk about Arts Education

Originally posted at I have two dreams that I have been able to articulate in my life. One is for me and the other is seemingly more benevolent. As I get older I see they can be intertwined. The first is to work as a performer. I want to be a musician, a dancer, … Continue reading

More Like a Hobby

I just finished re-writing the first half of Keeper of the Creatures, a book that I’ve been writing for my kids. I’m enjoying the process as much as the final product. True, I have deadlines that I set up for myself. However, these deadlines are flexible. Yes, I’m held “accountable” to someone, but it’s an audience of three … Continue reading

Alfie Kohn and Pasi Sahlberg Blogathon

I am putting out a call for people to participate in an Alfie Kohn and Pasi Sahlberg Blogathon. This blogathon is in response to the “Creating a great school for all – an evening with Alfie Kohn and Pasi Sahlberg,” Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at Red Deer College in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Click here for … Continue reading

Using the Power of Litigation to End the Addiction to Testing and to Further Student Voice

Now that educators and parents are on a full revolt against the addiction to testing in the United States when it comes to public education, we have to arrive at a point where we have to consider the possibility of suing the U.S Department of Education and a few SEA’s. The suits would occur on … Continue reading

I Am (not) Adam Swartz

Being primarily raised in the US of A by Americans, I learned about property ownership at an early age. The lessons taught me about ownership were frequently buried within the concept of “sharing”, which seems contrary to the purpose of owning anything since claiming ownership is to assert dominion and control over a thing, and … Continue reading

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