the DOG: some background

I have been developing the Dimensions of Observable Growth in collaboration with other educators for more than fifteen 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

The eggshells in our reform cake

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 The eggshells in our reform cake

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

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)

Let me be Zero – teacher as aspiring space holder

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

Public education: mass producing the indolent consumer

I have a friend, a teacher educator, who alternates between amusement and despair: at the chasms 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 education curricula, on the other. Climate change ain't … Continue reading Public education: mass producing the indolent consumer

School Accountability, Feedback Systems, and Cupcake Contests

“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