the DOG: From where? and For what?

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?

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 embedded here is an attempt to assess our current, commonly held, largely unexamined core assumptions about education. I intend to write follow-up posts about the Ten Horsemen … 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)

Scientific Pedagogy, Part III: formulating a new discipline

This illustration is simply 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 a Scientific Pedagogy. The components described here are not drawn from any explicit references, in … 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. Not long after the opening of her first classroom, a rising tide of enthusiasm for replicating the miracles that … 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 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