Monthly Archives: January 2011

Clark Kent or Superman? Why you should blog

Blogging is like becoming a super-hero. It is a costume you wear and while you are in this costume you can say almost anything and speak your thoughts in ways you would never do while at work. You can choose a pseudonym, design the appearance of your costume, and feel like you have a kind […]

School Teaches Obedience

Our current school system teaches students who to be obedient instead of independent. Almost every time our students show even the slightest deviation from the path schools set, we beat them back into line using our bludgeons made of consequences, grades, and self-esteem. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since reading John Taylor Gatto’s essay, The Six-Lesson […]

How many hours do teachers work?

I just conducted a very unscientific poll. I sent out a link on Twitter only and asked people who happened to be around how many hours they worked. It’s not rigorous. However, in the limited sample group I have of 85 (update actually 132) educators on Twitter, here are the results as a CSV file. If […]

All I have are questions

I might post on this blog like I know what I’m talking about but each of these posts is a question really, an internal discussion that I share. I’m finding I have more questions than answers now. The current model of education doesn’t work in my opinion, but I can’t see what should replace it. The […]

You need to give them the tools

Every elementary school classroom should have about $20 in change. Not fake money printed on a piece of paper, but real money. Yes, some of it will go missing over time, and you might need to lock it up depending on your community, but honestly it’s worth the risk. It’s only $20. Like it or […]

What is the International Baccalaureate?

I read an article on the Principal’s blog by Mel Riddile talking about the changes the AP is implementing and how these changes will make it more like the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. He asks a teacher who has been fortunate enough to teach both programs for a long time. Her response kind of irked […]

It’s The Skills

So a student of mine just mentioned me in this tweet. So the background to this story is that this is a student of mine, and that I taught her IB Mathematical Studies and Calculus in school a couple of years ago. The calculus class was taught using much lecture (unfortunately) but had this huge […]

Reward Innovators with Responsibility

A problem with education is that we have too many "best practices" and not enough innovation. Once you establish a procedure as a best practice there’s no room for argument about whether or not it works. We should call it a "current practice" instead. Now we have the freedom to explore this practice and confirm whether or not […]

Computers should transform mathematics education

Stephen Shankland posted an interesting article on CNET today. Here is an exerpt from his article, which you should read in full. He says: Clearly, children need some understanding on their own of math, and reliance on a computer has a lot of drawbacks. But computers can also aid those who otherwise would fall by […]

What works in education

Let’s suppose the picture below represents the possible states schools can be in, with the peaks being "good" places to be and the valleys being bad places to be. We don’t really know yet what variables we are even representing with this picture, in fact it is likely that the picture itself would be better […]