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Philosophical Meanderings

This category contains 336 posts

Teacher remixed: 5 ways to change our profession

[Author's note: originally posted on Classroots.org.] I am keenly missing the #dml2013 fellowship this week. While I’m not quite writing Ignite talks that will never be heard (or drawing sad-face slides), sniffle, I am thinking a lot about how public school teachers, in particular, can make it safe for kids to participate meaningfully in their … Continue reading

People, problems, and wonder

This past month, I’ve enjoyed a number of remarkable and wondrous things. I saw Jeff Mangum play live. To quote William Miller: “Incendiary.” No division between his voice, his arm, his guitar, his audience. Heart-warming. Life-changing for someone who discovered Neutral Milk Hotel in 2003 and never imagined seeing Jeff Mangum at all. Hopeful and … 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

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

#dlday 2013: a year into democratizing composition

For me, digital learning day (#dlday) offers the opportunity to assess myself against my students’ unique and idiosyncratic potentials. Given the scope of learning available to us – digitally, materially, in between, and back and forth – am I really helping all of my kids find themselves in their learning? Am I scaffolding authentic work? … 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

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

Originally posted at educatedtodeath.com 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

The classroom should be the place where the train stopped in the woods

I love traveling by train. I love not having to drive. I love being able to sit and look or sleep or work uninterrupted for hours at a time. A couple times a year is just right. I took the train from Charlottesville to Philly yesterday for EduCon 2.5. As much as I wanted to … Continue reading

The Language and Lies Two-Step of Education: The Lie Module

“We the educated” are liars. lie: (verb) (1) to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive (2) to create a false or misleading impression. “It’s not our fault” – we were led to believe from our earliest years that one must attend school to receive an education. We were led to believe “education” leads … Continue reading

#openschools: the Swartz dilemma

You run a tech-infused classroom. Kids do all sorts of work on the computer from reading fluency practice to released test items to word processing to new- and multi-media projects in response to class texts. You’ve scrounged up a bunch of unsupported computers from past replacement cycles in your building, and your tech person has … Continue reading

The Evaluation: schooling at the end of teaching, unions, & care

Nearly sixth months ago, I posted “The Evaluation,” a near-future science fiction short story imagining public school teaching as day-labor inside a techno-bureaucratic panopticon. Since then, I’ve tried to hold myself accountable for posting about the work that my kids and I do together, which I love and in which I believe. I want to … Continue reading

On “building readiness” to see learning

My travel in November derailed some of our work to make a skateboard wheel RPM counter; while that project is idling, some of its participants have gotten deeper into using our MaKey MaKey boards for other projects. I’ve posted about one of those projects on Democratizing Composition (#demcomp), a kind of companion blog to the … Continue reading

A broken Hallelujah, of sorts, but a warm one

Originally posted at educatedtodeath.com It’s Christmas Eve, or the start of it at least, and I can’t seem to stay asleep. I haven’t been able to really write for the past few months—not consistently. Things have been topsy turvy at best personally and professionally. As a teacher, I’ve been in a haze, as a human … Continue reading

The room of two boxes

In my heart, there is a room of two boxes. Both are old and ancient. They were built before me; they will last after I die. The room is as big as the world. I can look out across it and be calmed by the sea. I can stare up from it and be struck … Continue reading

Keeping My Students Safe Isn’t Easy

I want to keep my students safe, I really do, but it really is impossible. When it comes to student and staff safety, there are so many things wrong with the way my school is built and run that I don’t know where to begin. Our principal reminded the staff again this week that only the front … Continue reading

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