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

Cultivating Faculty Voice for a Better School

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

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

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