# Blogs on Drama

Mark PhillipsMarch 29, 2012

The least productive current narrative about public education goes something like this. Our schools, especially high schools, are failing. There is a predominance of ineffective teachers. Short of closing bad schools, firing bad teachers and sending kids to charter schools, there is little we can do to change this. Most good teachers, buried alive in the testing mania, are impotent to deal with the system. For the general public this narrative, partially reinforced by films like Waiting for Superman, provides a misguided message of total failure. For teachers struggling in underfunded schools, it encourages anger and self-pity rather than productive action.

Mark PhillipsMarch 20, 2012

Some of you may remember the scene in The Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams' Mr. Keating mocks the approach to poetry of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. In a nutshell, Pritchard has a method for mathematically calculating the measure of a poem's greatness. "If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness." Keating has students rip the pages out of their books, sardonically exclaiming, " . . . we're not laying pipe, we're talking about poetry . . . I like Byron, I give him a 42 . . . "

Some of you may remember the scene in The Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams' Mr. Keating mocks the approach to poetry of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. In a nutshell, Pritchard has a method for mathematically calculating the measure of a poem's greatness. "If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness." Keating has students rip the pages out of their books, sardonically exclaiming, " . . . we're not laying pipe, we're talking about poetry . . . I like Byron, I give him a 42 . . . " Read More

Randy TaranJanuary 30, 2012

This is part three of the seven-part series, from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. By reclaiming the happiness you were born with, you influence those around you to tap into the best within themselves, too.

This is part three of the seven-part series, from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. By reclaiming the happiness you were born with, you influence those around you to tap into the best within themselves, too. Read More

Randy TaranJanuary 10, 2012

This is part two of seven-part series from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. Each door can be done alone, or the Seven Doors journey can be done in sequence.

Andrew MillerSeptember 26, 2011

Game-based learning (GBL) is getting a lot press. It is an innovative practice that is working to engage kids in learning important 21st century skills and content. Dr. Judy Willis in a previous post wrote about the neurological benefits and rationale around using games for learning. She also gives tips about using the game model in the classroom. James Paul Gee has long been a champion for game-based learning in speeches, blogs, and books. Quest to Learn, located in New York City, infuses technology with game-based learning, where entire units utilize missions, boss levels, and the like for learning important standards. Here is the next step: taking these great rationales and examples and making it work for the everyday teacher.

Bill SmootJuly 20, 2011

Bill Smoot teaches English at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. He is the author of Conversations with Great Teachers.

Two roads have diverged in our national debate about education. Should we educate students for the 21st-century job market (with an emphasis on STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math), or does a broad liberal arts education, preparing students for all of life -- work included -- still make sense?

Michelle HlubinkaMay 17, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Michelle Hlubinka, the Education Director for Maker Faire and Make magazine.

Maker Faire is a combination DIY festival and project showcase, sponsored by Make magazine, where "makers" of all ages convene to show off a spectacular array of projects that combine science, art, performance, creative reuse, and technology in varying degrees. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of educators are getting involved in these events which are currently held in the Bay Area, Detroit and New York. There are also many independently organized Mini-Maker Faires around the country. Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, May 21 - 22nd.

Holden ClemensApril 1, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blog is by Holden Clemens. Mr. Clemens is an educator. This makes him slightly more qualified than most politicians to comment on education.

Hello!

I would like to take this moment to in honor of today -- Scott Walker Day -- to share my thoughts on the current state of the educational system in our beloved country.

Ben JohnsonMarch 31, 2011

I looked up the reference of one of my students who quoted some things from Robyn Jackson's seven principles for a master teacher, explained explicitly in her book, Never Work Harder than Your Students. While reading it, I was surprised by the list provided as the seven characteristics of master teachers: