Philosophical Meanderings

This category contains 338 posts

Teaching in the Dark Times of Corp Edu-Reform (Guest Post by G. A. Steele)

(First written September of 2011 updated and revised June 2012)   Long, long ago, before the dark times of the federal education takeover, first with NCLB law during the reign of Bush II, which was soon followed by the bait-and-switch corporate edu-reform days of RTTT during the reign of Obama, teachers had the freedom to … Continue reading

The Evaluation

He stayed behind in the classroom for a few minutes, straightening desks, pushing in chairs, securing the wall safe, and digitally initialing the affidavits he had to sign in the presence of the school’s compliance officer that morning promising not to share any information about what or whom he taught that day. Not a post, … Continue reading

Democratizing composition: bringing together thoughts, people & resources

I’m increasingly concerned with democratizing composition, a pedagogy built on these beliefs: Writing is one form of composition or making, tantamount to the rest. All modes of composition are valid and valuable methods of expression. All modes of composition benefit from design thinking, rapid prototyping (a.k.a. repeated failure), iteration, and user feedback. The monopoly of … Continue reading

The Mars problem

We operate schools that used biased means to “identify” and separate out the scientists and astronauts we need to colonize and terraform Mars. We need schools that knit together the communities that will lift up and let go of the all the people going there. We operate schools that enable total war. We need schools … Continue reading

The Educators’ Story: “The Teacher Faces the Depression” (1933)

In 2001, I taught an History of “American” Education grad course and chose to use primary source documents mostly found on the Internet in lieu of an official “text.” This version of a blended learning environment offered us an antiquated chance to explore many narratives of education from the colonies forward, rather than those selected … Continue reading

The Importance of Student Voice : a response to Diane Ravitch

“Student voice is now being invited to evaluate teachers, but I think that’s very bad idea. One more way to intimidate educators. ‪#soschat” @DianeRavitch (5:57 PM – 19 Jun 12) In public education voice is something that is tolerated with a sense of intolerance…meaning it is something that is lauded only for preaching the common … Continue reading

A Public School Teacher and Student Discuss Democratic Education

This is a dialogue between Leigh Pourciau, an educator at a public middle school and blogger at, and Anna Baker, a rising senior in a public high school. Both live in the Jackson, Mississippi, metro area. Anna’s sister, Stacy, is a teacher; Anna has considered becoming one, too, but is deterred by the current system.  It … Continue reading

857 wicked design problems

Amidst the traffic resulting from President Obama’s visit to Orlando, I thought of Arne Duncan in Washington, DC, and his 857 desks. I thought also of University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas and her 3 meetings. And I thought about walking around Epcot last night while talking politics and education with my mom, a happily … Continue reading

The boundless valley

[Author’s note: much of this post is inspired by Bethany Nowviskie’s “Reality Bytes.”] Public schools and universities in the United States are increasingly governed by corporate interests that supersede, transverse, and transgress local and state code and control. There is a tremendous amount of tension between academic tradition and capitalist pursuits, and sometimes that tension … Continue reading

Counting, measurement, and the Fraser Report

This year’s Fraser Institute report is in. For those of you unaware of what this means, the Fraser Institute is a private Canadian “think-tank” that concerns itself with education and statistics, attempting to create “a free and prosperous world through choice, markets, and responsibility” by ranking Canadian schools. Every year, the Fraser Institute releases “report … Continue reading

Education: The Past, The Present and The Future #2

You know you’ve read a good post when it makes you have several different thoughts about something important.  While this post begins like another, it has a totally different ending… Recently I read an article from District Administrator magazine entitled, “The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning”               … Continue reading

Education: The Past, the Present and the Future

Recently I read an article from District Administrator magazine entitled, “The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning”                                                                           … Continue reading

Mandatory Education Is Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Cross posted from my blog, Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension An interesting debate has been sparked in the comments section of my post “Not Grading is Awful” here on the Cooperative Catalyst, with some people stating that forced school is inhumane.  I have been pondering this for a bit and I must say I disagree; having an educational … Continue reading

Creating a National Collective Voice of Young People

“School is constantly causing us to forget who we are in the first place. I’m not dropping out, I’m choosing to leave. I’m choosing to not follow their plan. Yes, it works for a lot of people, but most of them are only in school because they’ve all become too oblivious to themselves and too … Continue reading

a quiet revolution …unfolds

all five videos

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