Blogs on Education Reform

Blogs on Education ReformRSS
Judy Willis MDOctober 9, 2013

This series of blogs is to support you and your students during the transition period that will come with the CCSS. As the new testing and teaching styles promote more student independence, student-constructed learning and project-based learning, students will benefit from a powerful boost to their growing neural networks of executive functions.

However, for students and educators accustomed to more structured plans and teacher- or curriculum-directed learning, the decision-making and uncertainty can increase the amygdala’s stress level and inhibit flow to the prefrontal cortex where those networks of executive function are developing. This blog series will offer suggestions to ease the stress of transition, helping students persevere to reach the intrinsic pleasure that awaits them through meaningful choice and challenges in the classroom.

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Ainissa RamirezOctober 9, 2013

Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."1 His message is even more profound if you read the rest of the passage, "For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world . . . "2 These words are even truer today than when he first said them in 1929. It wasn't so long ago that many people said, "Knowledge is power." But in this age of Big Data, that is no longer true. What we do with that knowledge is more important. Our new mantra should be, "Imagination is power."

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Dr. Richard CurwinOctober 4, 2013

I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:

Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule. It's respect for everyone.
Me: Do you allow hitting?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow swearing at the teacher?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow cell phones in class?
Answer: No.
Me: Again, how many rules do you have?
Answer: (laughing) One, I think.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronSeptember 30, 2013

She was a mentor. She was an innovator. She was a fighter for students, academic rigor, and achievement. I use the past tense not because my colleague has passed away but because her positivity has. And in so doing, administrators have lost a mediator, the staff has lost colleague, and the students have lost a guide.

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Terry HeickSeptember 24, 2013

Teacher morale isn't a popular topic, and that makes sense on the surface. Teachers are professionals, like engineers, doctors, farmers or business leaders, and no one is going out of their way to make sure that engineers are "keeping their head up" or that farmers "feel good about their craft."

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 23, 2013

It's school board election time in communities all across the country. Hopefully, most of these are contested elections. It isn't easy finding good people to run for what is usually an unpaid, time intensive and highly challenging job. And however good he or she may be, every incumbent running for reelection should have to stand the test of accountability that a contested election provides.

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Stephanie West-PuckettSeptember 13, 2013

The Maker movement is poised to transform learning in our schools. To counteract educational standards, testing and uniformity, this fresh approach emphasizes creation and creativity -- products and processes born from tinkering, playing, experimenting, expressing, iterating and collaborating -- and exploits new digital tools to make, share and learn across space and time, do-it-yourself (DIY) style. Museums, libraries, community centers and after-school programs have designed physical and virtual "makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from nail polish design and webpages to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.

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Dr. Richard CurwinSeptember 10, 2013

Welcome back to school. I hope everyone had a fulfilling summer and is ready to greet our new school year and eager students for the beginning of what will be the best year of teaching in our lives so far. I spent part of the summer writing a new short-form book for ASCD (in production, due for release in January). Working on this project raised several questions for me that I think make great topics for postings. One issue in particular kept popping in my head as I researched topics in the new book: does educational research really matter?

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Lisa Michelle DabbsAugust 28, 2013

"When you're authentic, so is your art." - Sarah Breathnach

When I was a new teacher, I came to my first teaching position with a tremendous sense of excitement. I was ready to embrace all that the work had to offer. I had many ideas about how I wanted to set up my classroom, which included a playhouse, blocks and easels. I wanted to teach concepts in new and authentic ways. Sometimes I couldn't slow down enough to get to sleep!

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Melanie KahlAugust 20, 2013

At my design consultancy, TheThirdTeacher+, we believe that, whether it is a large-scale transformation or a small-scale hack, redesigning your classroom is a fun and empowering adventure. When you involve your students, colleagues and community, you can create a powerful conversation about the role of the environment in the student learning experience.

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