Do the practices we adopt reflect the values we espouse?

Practice and Values Our practices should reflect our values, but they are not, themselves, our values. The way we do things can change, indeed, they often have to change. Values, on the other hand, are closer to the head and heart and are less likely (but not impossible) to change. “That’s just the way we […]

Reforming the Annual Reflection on Professional Learning

The Annual Reflection on Professional Learning (ARPL) is, I believe, a colossal waste of effort, but not for the reasons you may think... Knowledge Building Schools are filled with very creative and insightful professionals who, every year, craft statements or artifacts that reflect on, and make sense of key learning and experiences in their professional lives. […]

Article reflection, "The community of inquiry as a basis for knowledge and learning: The case of history" by Peter Seixas

Reflections on the article, "The community of inquiry as a basis for knowledge and learning: The case of history" by Peter Seixas. Seixas, P. (1993). The community of inquiry as a basis for knowledge and learning: The case of history. American Educational Research Journal Summer, 30(2), 305–324. The author describes how history is less about […]

Defining teaching, learning, creativity, and innovation

In a course titled, "Innovation in Teaching and Learning" we were challenged to come up with our own definitions of teaching, learning, creativity, and innovation. Here are mine and the rationale for each. I expect as I continue with the course and indulge in more reading the definitions will be unpacked, nuanced, and refined. In […]

Article reflection: Paul Smeyers, "What Philosophy can and cannot do for education."

This post is a reflection on Paul Smeyers' article titled, "What philosophy can and cannot do for education." "debate ... does not lead to conclusions; rather, its function is to make those involved sensitive to the way something can be appreciated"  Once the author explores Wittgenstein's propositions linking language with meaning, he eventually describes the […]

Can we learn without learning institutions?

Ivan Illich would have shouted out an unequivocal YES to that questions. In his 1970 book, "Deschooling Society" Illich proclaims that educational institutions do little to achieve their intended ends and at an extraordinary cost. He pointed to the barriers erected by systems and bureaucratization thus separating citizens from their needs. The very institution designed […]

Four design considerations for connectivist learning spaces

Why Connectivism? Each year the number of students with access to mobile devices increases (Rideout, 2013). A 2011 UK study revealed one in five third grade students have their own mobile device, a ratio that narrowed to four in five for high school (Englander, 2011). Another study reported close to 40% of preschool children under […]

Mindfulness and Meditative Practice in Education

University of Manitoba professor of Education, Thomas Falkenberg is deeply involved in education for sustainable well-being. I recently read his article, "Teaching as Contemplative Professional Practice" in which he explores the benefits of mindfulness and ongoing self-awareness in the teaching profession. Training ourselves to be aware not just of our practice and strategies or our […]

and they call it Democracy: Raising followers or leaders or free thinkers?

This post is a quick reflection on the Noam Chomsky piece called, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux: Using Privilege to Challenge the State", Chomsky as always, sees past what's on the surface straight through the underlying issues presenting a clear argument with compelling evidence. What does this have to do with teaching and learning? Well, […]

Seeking help is a critical skill

“Toxic ideas such as  “asking for help will alter others’ perception of me” or “asking for help will make me feel less competent than my colleagues” prevent them from seeking help from informal (e.g., friends) or formal (e.g., colleagues, project manager, etc) sources.  Since competence and independence are among the most cherished values in today’s organizations […]

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