Design Learning: The Rising S-Curve in the Classroom

The most successful classroom experience [e.g., consistently engaged students; enriched content; meeting student needs; increasing teacher effectiveness throughout the school year] demands that the teacher abandons a lock-step approach: by “lock-step,” I mean a class whose curricular speed is constant and advances exactly according to a pre-fixed 36 week calendar. Unfortunately, there continues to be… Continue reading Design Learning: The Rising S-Curve in the Classroom

Building Equity in the Classroom

This is not a blog post about investing in classroom shares, nor is it an article about starting a stock market club for your students. This is really about excellence in pedagogy; specifically, I want to discuss what should be among the highest of the teacher’s aim:  to elicit engagement and questions from each and… Continue reading Building Equity in the Classroom

The Organic Way to Stop Bullying in Schools

Can bullying ever be defeated in schools? I’ve attended several workshops on the topic of bullying over the years, and presenters at these workshops always say it is impossible to eliminate bullying. These counselors and psychologists who lead these workshops say that bullying can only be lessened or minimized. Often their presentations conclude with a… Continue reading The Organic Way to Stop Bullying in Schools

Should We Cool It With Homework?

I often seek out, proactively, feedback from parents on how our school is doing and how their child’s experience is going. Cafes, hallways, phone calls, focus groups, Starbucks, chit-chat along the soccer sidelines—wherever.  These occasions would be me reaching out to parents, not parents setting appointments with me regarding specific elements of their child’s experience. … Continue reading Should We Cool It With Homework?

Whole Child Pathway to Highly Capable Students

As an educator who is striving to mobilize faculty and staff to fully address the complex needs of a wide range of learners, one area that emerges as both frustrating and very promising is how we address the needs of the highly capable students. Let me speak first about these two terms: “highly capable” and… Continue reading Whole Child Pathway to Highly Capable Students

Teachers’ Positive Attitude Linked to Greater Intrinsic Motivation in Students

A long time ago, teachers saw the business of teaching as centered on the delivery of information and knowledge in a manner that was mostly strict, largely drills-based, and often coercive.  Then came along folks like John Dewey, Rudolf Steiner, and Jean Piaget, whose educational philosophies moved schools more toward a child-centered and whole child… Continue reading Teachers’ Positive Attitude Linked to Greater Intrinsic Motivation in Students

Is Your Crying Child Manipulating You?

It’s nothing new that kids will go home crying about what somebody did to them at school. The more problematic trend is the way that their parents respond. I’m experiencing a lot more episodes where parents are lambasting schools when their kids come home crying, claiming that the school has been negligent for not controlling… Continue reading Is Your Crying Child Manipulating You?