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Showing posts from August, 2014

"I Wanna Get Better" - #LeadershipDay14

Who wants to get better? Are any of you running over to the line designated for those who want to get worse? Probably not, there's nobody standing there. Scott McLeod's #LeadershipDay14 is an admirable, and inspirational collection of blog posts from educational leaders from around the world. (Click on the Leadership Day 2014 badge for more information) I was racking my brains trying to come up with a topic and theme that wasn't already part of this outstanding project. Then, while doing pull-ups at the gym, this Bleachers song comes over the loudspeakers, " I Wanna Get Better ". Jack Antonoff's lyrics are referring to our personal psyches as we face adversity or tragedy. However, the chorus "I wanna get better" grabbed my attention as I framed it in an educational sense. Everyone wants to get better. Learning, regardless of age or status, makes us better. What if each of us gets a little better every day?   What if each of u

Learning Without Boundaries

As the U.S. government works towards resolving issues near our borders, I was recently reminded that learning, and the hope that it offers, knows no boundaries. A few years ago, our family traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to enjoy the lavish lifestyle of an all-inclusive resort. Little did I realize that one of our most memorable vacation experiences would take place during an excursion that included a visit to a small, one-room schoolhouse in rural Higuey. Our guide extraordinaire, Angel Espinal, thoroughly explained the struggles the D.R. government was having in trying to make the Dominican schools more responsive and accommodating to an evolving economy. Angel taught himself four languages, including English, to become more viable in the burgeoning Dominican tourism industry. An outstanding instructor, Angel's experience, knowledge, and sense of humor served him well as a tour guide. We learned so much during our day with the humorous storyteller. One o

School Improvement, Is Teacher Cognition A Speed Bump Or A Roadblock?

There is little doubt that technology and the Internet are dramatically changing life in our homes and workplaces. But what about our schools? There seems to be plenty of evidence suggesting that the factory model typifying the 20th century classroom is alive and well in our 21st century schools. Why are schools not keeping pace with the technology changes impacting other facets of our lives? Are teachers impeding real and dramatic change in schools? Are teachers, by virtue of having successfully played the game of education, perpetuating practices that are obsolete in a socially networked world? A few weeks ago, Tom Whitby called this phenomenon " time-capsule teaching ". Jesse Martin, and others, have referenced " teacher cognition " as a reason for change resistance. Most teachers from my generation have navigated and thrived in the factory classroom model. There is little interest in changing what doesn't feel broken. If it worked for us, should it not