I'm reflecting on a sign I photographed in Tacoma. It's a perfect accompaniment to several recent conversations I've had and heard, about why BIPOC folk are disinclined to follow accepted rules of civility in claiming their due. White People: If you would just show up acting more like educated white people, you'd have an equal … Continue reading Justice – by whose standard?
Lay an egg … Lay an egg … Lay an egg … @davidshrigley had a whole lot more than schools in mind when he created this image, but how better to illustrate what it must feel like to be a student in this country? (For that matter, what it feels like to be a parent, … Continue reading US education: the productivity problem
Wolf Alexander Erich Albert Ferdinand Freiherr von Lersner Who would name their baby all of that!? … a given name … FOUR middle names … a rank (Freiherr – Free Lord, or Baron: a nobleman free to own land, in an age when not everybody was) … a nobiliary particle (“von,” that denotes belonging to … Continue reading Encomium for an engineer
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
… a gentle reminder (from Maria Montessori) not to administer instruction to children in prescribed and measured doses on the presumption that we adults can know precisely what they all need to learn, and by when. Invite them into the vast wonders of the universe … welcome their participation … stimulate their curiosity … and … Continue reading Give them the universe.
In community, freedom must be negotiated. Every action we feel free to take has some impact on our neighbors. If we want to govern ourselves democratically, we have to be in ongoing conversation about the spirit of our governing principles. We have to recognize when we infringe upon one another's freedoms, and we have to … Continue reading freedom is more than a timeless abstraction
“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
A look at popular self-help literature shows we have a penchant for positive imaging: we want to believe that we can manifest a different reality by visualizing it fervently. Unfortunately, research on motivation and goal achievement demonstrates that strong positive intentions alone are almost never enough to assure success in behavior change. Not surprisingly, a … Continue reading Learning new tricks: Using The DOG to support Motivated Behavior Change
I've heard the word "indefensible" used in regard to school programs that resist the call to focus on quantifiable, standardized outcomes. The Dimensions of Observable Growth is just one tool that a learning community can use to focus attention on some of the myriad non-academic attributes of development that are observed and cultivated inside the … Continue reading Who let The DOGs out? (ruminations on the value of using diverse, locally designed narrative frameworks to observe and discuss development)