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

Children’s behavior is 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 we … 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 conceive of different ways to think about education without first identifying and momentarily suspending our most basic (and usually unexamined) assumptions. The illustration below is an attempt to assess our current, common, core beliefs about education. I intend to write follow-up posts about the Ten Horsemen … and the language, policies, and … 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 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)

Let me be Zero – a poem about what counts in education

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 a request that I celebrate the intersection of the mathematical and the pedagogical threads of the conference with a poetic interlude. Less than three weeks later, back at home … Continue reading Let me be Zero – a poem about what counts in education

Public education: mass producing the indolent consumer

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

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