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
What matters most for the learner’s experience–and what I care about most–is the development and promotion of voice and exploration. I feel just as strongly that the one item missing in that statement is the cultivation of faculty voice and exploration. If a school wants to be moving from good to great; if a school… Continue reading Cultivating Faculty Voice for a Better School
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
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
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
For quite some time in the educational world, teachers and school leaders have witnessed a gradual diminution of the work ethic among students. This is not surprising to any parents who take a moment to step back and survey what is happening—with their own children and their children’s peers. There is so much operating at… Continue reading Seven Steps To Strengthen Work Ethic in Students
Over the last sixteen years, as I have headed private schools in four cities, I have encountered an increasing penchant among parents and board members in our school communities for using corporate lingo in their conversations about our schools and where they should be going: Measurables, data, outcomes, entrepreneurial, innovation, cutting-edge, competitive advantage, business model,… Continue reading Schools—Should They Be Run More Like Corporations?