I'm reflecting on a sign I photographed in Tacoma. How is it that we grant thieves of land and thieves of human resources the entitlement to direct the process of deciding what constitutes justice in exchanges among free people?
Lay an egg … Lay an egg … Lay an egg … I don't know if David Shrigley had schools in mind when he drew this image, but it's a perfect picture of how it must feel to be a school child in America. (For that matter, what it feels like to be a teacher … Continue reading 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
We can't improve our schools until we face down the powerful yet mostly unexamined assumptions we hold about teaching and learning. Now approaching the second decade of the 21st century, we still base our evaluations of teachers and schools on a century old model of teaching that's completely inconsistent with widely accepted findings of research … Continue reading This is NOT how children learn
… a gentle reminder (from Maria Montessori) not to administer instruction to children in prescribed and measured doses on the presumption that we can know what they need to learn and when. Invite them into whatever inspires … welcome their participation … stimulate their curiosity … but let their genuine interests and appetites guide progress.
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
My day job requires me to visit people’s homes. I check a piece of medical equipment and then I go on. I visit about 20 people a day. The homes are various; mansions tucked into a mountain on the Colorado front range, a single room in a dormitory on the campus of a convent, the … Continue reading 100 doors / week
“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