the DOG: some background

I have been developing the Dimensions of Observable Growth in collaboration with other educators for more than ten years, starting when my own two children were in school in Colorado in the early 2000's. The push for "data driven" decision making in classrooms prompted me to find a way to help teachers in developmental and … Continue reading the DOG: some background

Reform without disruption? That’s not a thing.

The image above is a screen capture from the Assessment Work Group page of the CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) website. It's the list of criteria for participation in the 2nd round of an Assessment Design Challenge that could, one imagines, yield a rich, primal stew of innovative perspectives, ingredients, tools, and … Continue reading Reform without disruption? That’s not a thing.

US education: the productivity problem

Lay an egg … Lay an egg … Lay an egg … @davidshrigley had a whole lot more than schools in mind when he created this image, but how better to illustrate what it must feel like to be a student in this country? (For that matter, what it feels like to be a parent, … Continue reading US education: the productivity problem

Power Over or Power With: Children’s personalities reflect the way adults engage with them

Children’s behavior can be a good guide to where their significant adults stand on the Influence Continuum. Sometimes the freedom we give children isn’t free. When we implicitly pressure children to make the choices we want while we are telling them the choice is theirs, the effects on their behavior are the same as if … Continue reading Power Over or Power With: Children’s personalities reflect the way adults engage with them

Ten Horsemen of the Educational Apocalypse

It's impossible to embark on a radical redesign of education without first identifying and momentarily suspending our most basic (and usually unexamined) assumptions about what's happening in schools. The illustration embedded here identifies some of our current, commonly held, largely unexamined assumptions about education. Each of them has, over time, served to carry us toward … Continue reading Ten Horsemen of the Educational Apocalypse

Return to Scientific Pedagogy (or: why I’m a feral Montessorian)

To my way of seeing it, "Montessori" has become a universalized descriptor, signifying a loose collection of progressive educational principles. In fact, Dr. Maria Montessori developed and documented a thoroughly articulated and richly integrated classroom practice for assisting the healthy and natural development of pre-school and elementary age children. She accomplished this through the systematic … Continue reading Return to Scientific Pedagogy (or: why I’m a feral Montessorian)