III. Land and Sea

III. Land and Sea How impactful to land is this one fault line below the sea of educational politics? The tsunami of educational empiricism, which has reduced the meaning and value of learning to numbers, covers nearly all the land. Only those on the high score ground are relatively unaffected. The tsunami’s saltwater has infiltrated the underground fresh waterContinue reading “III. Land and Sea”

The Tin Man

The Tin Man “Mine is not a story to pass on,” the student offers, resigned, yet knowing full well that I will. How can I, an American educator, not? “Who will listen, anyway?” the perennial American student continues. Plenty. What is this story you don’t want passed on? “Well . . . “ I’m listening.Continue reading “The Tin Man”

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”

Tidal Arguments

Tidal Arguments “Write the book, will ya!” For a while now, many colleagues and friends have urged me to write a book. You know this type of book. Narratives about my experience as a teacher of so many young people in such vastly different urban contexts: secondary public (charter, magnet, and test-based selective enrollment), Catholic, andContinue reading “Tidal Arguments”

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”

Deno’s Senior Project

Deno’s Senior Project Sometimes, human stories that are spoken and recorded, then edited and aired, can illuminate more than written stories, where black letters sit on the white of a page or screen. A colleague of mine, Heidi Curran Bojorges, has produced just such a spoken story, Deno’s Senior Project, for Vocalo, “the cool sisterContinue reading “Deno’s Senior Project”

The business of education

The business of education To be perfectly clear, public school teachers need the unifying protection and collective bargaining of unions, history has proven. And, to be perfectly clear, history is showing that America’s urban public school district administrators occupy some of the most conflictive public sector positions, balancing the ever-increasing social/emotional/cognitive/physical needs of students andContinue reading “The business of education”

The Graduate: “What Forest?”

The Graduate: “What Forest?” This post represents a departure from this blog’s usual style. With due reason. This post illuminates a spot-on piece by Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune columnist, who writes about the leaves and the forest. His contention: today’s college students are not learning critical thinking skills. In “Has College Become Too Easy?” he separatesContinue reading “The Graduate: “What Forest?””

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”