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
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
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
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
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?
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
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