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
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
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?