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 […]

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, […]

"Digital Schools : How Technology Can Transform Education" by Darrell M. West: Speed Read

"Digital Schools : How Technology Can Transform Education" by Darrell M. West I called these posts "speed reads" because I really zipped through the book, skimming and scanning and synthesizing my own understandings into the statements below. I trust that readers will use the comment block below to correct me if I have erred in […]

If the teacher dances faster will students learn more?

“I’m an entertainer. I have to do a song and dance to capture their attention,” These are excerpts from a New York Times article Titled, "Technology is Changing How Students Learn" suggesting student attention spans are decreasing and teachers struggle to engage students in classwork. I added my own somewhat flip reactions. Teachers who were not […]

School Time Tables: Does The Bell Toll for Thee?

48 slots in a six-day cycle: 6 each for Science, Social Studies, French, and Exploratory/Band; 8 for Math, 13 for English Language Arts, and 4 for Phys Ed. Thanks to Bianca Hewes (@BiancaH80) for sharing this hilarious critique on traditional education. At least that's how it used to be. My school doesn't have a bell that […]

Conspiracy Theory of Education Reform

When I indulge my cynical self and develop conspiracy theories of education I imagine elite corporate bosses paying off government officials to implement an educational system that guarantees a vast supply of super-box-store drones capable of mentally tallying a customer's purchase but no developed ability to think critically, question, or be creative. Control curriculum, quash […]

iBooks Highlight Need to Reform Education Funding

Government moves faster than a typesetter can arrange metal cast letters into pages, place them in a frame to make a forme, placed onto a bed, ink the letters, place a paper between the frisket and tympan, and roll the bed under the platen, with the windlass mechanism. (Wikipedia) Well, not quite. A printing press is much faster. Apple's iBook 2 announcement is […]

How Grades Change Conversations About Assessment & Achievement

I began teaching in 1991 believing myself to be a very progressive grades-based teacher with exquisitely designed marking keys designed to quantitatively assess realms such as punctuation, spelling, organization, use of voice, and (drum roll, please) creativity. It was rather easy to bestow, scientifically, precise to tenths of a percent (any more, though feasible, would […]

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