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

Moving From Curriculum to Enrichment in the Math Classroom

Where and why exactly are we failing in math education these days? Why has the USA been failing in the world math competitions for so many years?  What’s really go on that is wrong? Refreshingly, we have answers to those questions above—and a correction, I might add, to the perception that the USA continues to… Continue reading Moving From Curriculum to Enrichment in the Math Classroom

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

Creativity in Teaching—Taking Wisdom from a Dance Choreographer

What can a dance choreographer tell us about instilling creativity in our teaching? An enormous amount, actually. Let me recommend a book I picked up a while back on the subject of creativity—it’s called The Creative Habit, by one of the world’s leading dance choreographer’s Twyla Tharp. Having seen several of Twyla Tharp’s dances over… Continue reading Creativity in Teaching—Taking Wisdom from a Dance Choreographer

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

Getting More Challenge Into Our Schools

Parents demand a lot, ask a lot, and expect a lot from schools. Whether the demands fall under the educational, communication, or security aspects of schools, the noise is usually loud and constant. Rarely am I surprised by what they want, and nearly all the time I agree with them and want to move my… Continue reading Getting More Challenge Into Our Schools