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

Human culture as murmuration

I've begun to consider the starling murmuration as a metaphor for human culture. It's a spontaneously self-organizing group comprised of individuals that appear to be completely autonomous but nevertheless both respond to one another and contribute to the shape and flow and direction of the whole. The individual's behavior doesn't make sense outside the context … Continue reading Human culture as murmuration

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

Their unique place

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?