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

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)

Scientific Pedagogy, Part III: formulating a new discipline

The embedded illustration is an attempt to clarify and – believe it or not (see previous post) – simplify (for my own understanding), the streams of thought that appear to have influenced Dr. Maria Montessori in her work of formulating what she referred to as a Scientific Pedagogy. Importantly, the fields of Ethnography and Ethology … Continue reading Scientific Pedagogy, Part III: formulating a new discipline

Scientific Pedagogy, Part II: the intellectual ingredients

Maria Montessori synthesized the principles and practices of four sciences and put them to work in a large room full of small children to develop a framework for the discipline she came to call Scientific Pedagogy. Having herself been educated as a medical doctor, with enough coursework in anthropology to warrant her employment as a … Continue reading Scientific Pedagogy, Part II: the intellectual ingredients

Scientific Pedagogy, Part I: a summary in 100 words

It's hard to talk about Scientific Pedagogy succinctly. This week, I put before myself the challenge of encapsulating my understanding of this discipline using only 100 words (… and a quote, whose words I don't feel obligated to count). In the two or so posts that will follow this one, I'll flesh out my summary … Continue reading Scientific Pedagogy, Part I: a summary in 100 words

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