I began to explore the phenomenon of attention in an earlier post. Here, I want to begin to unpack the significance of attention in learning, and fold in a few related ideas. (A nod to Dr. Maria Montessori, the patron saint of children's attention, is in order, as most of the terms preceding the improvised graphics have … Continue reading Attention, Engagement, and Will: , the actor, and the director
Attention is where the rubber of your self-on-its-journey meets the road of community, culture, and environment.
Opponents of Self Directed Learning sometimes liken SDL to abandonment, but it is nothing of the kind.
Even if there is some content knowledge that a culture deems truly necessary for every, single, solitary citizen, are we to believe that transmitting that body of skill and knowledge should take all of the first 18 years of life, that it must necessarily be delivered to all children (sorted by birthdate) in lockstep, and that individualizing education goals on the basis of strength, interest, and local resources should not begin until maturity?
… is like high-end siding on a house without a frame. There's a lot of buzz in the education world about how skills and character traits that characterize successful entrepreneurs might be imparted to our youth in order to foster successful participation in the new economy. I'm a skeptic. Research into how the essential traits of successful entrepreneurship … Continue reading Potemkin programming: Adolescent Entrepreneurship without prior Apprenticeship
The single most crucial element for the iterative design of developmentally meaningful adolescent programming is what I call a Pull Curriculum. The idea of the Pull Curriculum is informed by my experience as a Montessori teacher and elaborated for the secondary level. Teachers curate a co-working environment, offer collective learning experiences, introduce new materials and ideas, … Continue reading Using developmental need to drive adolescent program development
A number of things became clear as I embarked on construction of the observation rubric I envisioned almost 15 years ago. Several (more professional sounding) names for the tool have been tried, but one moniker kept showing up on our doorstep. We finally relented and brought it in from the cold. The not-kidding-even-a-little-bit observation rubric online … Continue reading Essential characteristics of The DOG
Speaking as the former Pedagogical Principal of a Montessori charter school, I'd like to invite discussion of a conundrum that I believe exposes the disingenuous premises (or the not fully examined beliefs) underlying the public dialogue about charter schools. (Full Disclosure: I enthusiastically support the NAACP's 2016 Charter School Moratorium Resolution withholding support for the establishment of new charter schools until their impacts … Continue reading America’s school choice machine: only the privileged have tokens
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.