Hunger Games: The Parable (Redux…)

Hunger Games: The Parable (Redux…) Chicago is one heart- and mind-numbing community. During this past holiday weekend, Chicago experienced horrific human-on-human violence: 82 shot, 14 killed. Whether living in Chicago or outside it, one way that many of us understand and cope with a rate of violence that can feel so overwhelming is to draw implicit boundaries around Chicago’s more violent,Continue reading “Hunger Games: The Parable (Redux…)”

The Forest

The Forest Hiking through the forest, studying the leaves . . . “Forest” learning begins with large wonderings. “Leaf” education focuses on curricular leaves while (unintentionally) disregarding much of the forest. Below are ten examples of rich, forest-based, senior wonderings from North Lawndale College Prep High School in Chicago. As students walk through the interdisciplinaryContinue reading “The Forest”

What if

What if . . . …we have had it all wrong? To start, what if we rightly assumed that America’s vitality necessitates a thriving middle class? A sine qua non. Further, what if we have built our society’s basic structures — education, jobs, housing — to edify the vitality of that middle class? But, what if, whileContinue reading “What if”

Hunger Games: The Parable

Hunger Games: The Parable She scrunches her eyes at nothing in particular. Two more tears, one to each cheek, roll slowly. I sit down across the table. “He was in the back seat. In the middle.” As if on the movie set of her life, upon her a radiant late September sun casts through theContinue reading “Hunger Games: The Parable”

Antonio and Annie, meet Alfie

Antonio and Annie, meet Alfie Welcoming students as they enter the classroom is a great joy of teaching. So many present and past colleagues and I enjoy this ritual. The welcome is a small, sacred beginning to the daily process of learning. To my way of thinking, light humor and warmth prevail; to my students’ waysContinue reading “Antonio and Annie, meet Alfie”

Humans in Every Corner

Humans in Every Corner “Allah has punished the Jews. They deserved this…” A quiet boy, no more than fourteen. The walls peel inward as classmates eyeball the boy, in the corner, and me, in the front. Dry October leaves pile in the corners of the school’s courtyard. Our reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night is complete andContinue reading “Humans in Every Corner”

Curriculum is…

Curriculum is . . . Formal Education is Three Things: Curriculum. Instruction. Assessment. Always, those three components exist within ever-shifting political, social, and economic contexts. And — whew — those contexts have multiple layers which are often in conflict with one another: the classroom, the academic subject, the school, the community, the city/town, the state, American society… Every school day, eachContinue reading “Curriculum is…”