I have been developing the Dimensions of Observable Growth for more than ten years (at my own expense, and without compensation) starting when my own two children were in school in Colorado in the early 2000's. The strong (and still intensifying) U.S. push for "data driven" decision making in classrooms prompted me to find a … Continue reading the DOG: From where? and For what?
The image is a capture from the Assessment Work Group page of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). 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 soup of diverse new perspectives, ingredients, tools, and methods of … Continue reading Ed Reform without disruption. Hm.
Lay an egg … Lay an egg … Lay an egg … I don't know if David Shrigley had schools in mind when he drew this image, but it's a perfect picture of how it must feel to be a school child in America. (For that matter, what it feels like to be a teacher … Continue reading The Productivity Problem
To my way of seeing it, "Montessori" has ceased to be a meaningful descriptor. Through the systematic formulation and implementation of a discipline she called Scientific Pedagogy, Maria Montessori developed and documented a successful, well-defined, and thoroughly integrated classroom practice for assisting the healthy and natural education of pre-school and elementary age children. Montessori's American … Continue reading Return to Scientific Pedagogy (or: why I’m a feral Montessorian)
I delivered this poem in Amsterdam, at the Annual General Meeting of the Association Montessori Internationale, on April 17, 2016. I wrote it in response to the Executive Director's request that I offer a poetic interlude to celebrate the intersection of the Mathematical and the Pedagogical threads of the conference between sessions. Less than three weeks … Continue reading Let me be Zero – teacher as aspiring space holder
I have a friend who's a teacher educator, who alternates between amusement and despair at the intellectual and bureaucratic chasm between teacher training curricula and current research on teaching & learning, on the one hand … and between research on teaching & learning and the school quality measures that drive teacher ed curricula, on the … Continue reading Public education: mass producing the indolent consumer
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein – My friend Sam is a gravitational physicist who recently made a disappointing foray into high school teaching. In his late career enthusiasm for kindling new flames of lifelong interest by sharing his research passions with high … Continue reading School Accountability, Feedback Systems, and Cupcake Contests
Far beyond what I'd expected, school report cards offered insights into the fundamental values of a learning community. I felt like I'd found the place where the rubber hits the road: the school's concrete assertions, for parents, about what had been accomplished while students were at school.