Mark Phillips

Blog Posts

Tags Student Engagement
March 20, 2014

It's a small town in southern Indiana's beautiful farm country. Once a thriving metropolis, it's now one of many across America that economic forces have reduced to struggling for survival. The local high school population, reduced to a handful of kids, refuses to surrender its identity by...

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Tags Education Trends
February 25, 2014

I love movies and have always envied Academy Award voters. So here's my chance! I am giving out my own Edutopia version of the 2014 Academy Awards for Educational Documentaries.

And since this is the first time I'm doing this, I'm taking the liberty of extending eligibility to 2012...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
January 13, 2014

I think that one of the greatest challenges for teachers, including many of the best, is being frequently frustrated and self-critical because of personal expectations that they can never fully meet.

In his book ...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
December 9, 2013

That's the title of a lecture I attended as a graduate student, given by Ken Blanchard, the noted author of The One Minute Manager. I wish I'd taken it a little more to heart -- or brain -- at the time. Two years later, in my new position as a first-year faculty member at UC Santa...

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Tags Education Trends
November 7, 2013

Editor's Note: This is a translation of a report submitted by Alkar, Educational Anthropologist, for review by the Planet-Wide Council of Educators on Rakosa V after his return from Sol III (locally known as Earth). His mission: "Analysis of the Process of Educational...

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Tags Education Trends
October 21, 2013

I posted a blog a few weeks ago in which I mentioned two films that renewed my faith in public education. That post focused on the film The New Public. The second of those films is The Graduates...

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Tags Administrators
September 30, 2013

I love movies, especially good movies about kids and about education. I'm also often disappointed in these films. I've become tired of documentaries extoling or attacking charter schools. I've also seen too many films focusing on at-risk kids in struggling schools that somehow manage to be...

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Tags Administrators
September 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...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
August 9, 2013

I'm sure that most of you are familiar with J.D. Salinger's classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye, and its memorable protagonist, Holden Caulfield. I was drawn back to the book recently, thinking about the catchers in the rye that I've observed in schools.

Take a moment to...

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Tags Social and Emotional Learning
July 2, 2013

Recent major news stories have been pretty depressing. To mention just a few: the National Security Agency leaks scandal, concerns about the use of drones, self-serving congressional obstructionists, a mayor in Philadelphia supporting the building of a prison and then closing over twenty public...

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Reaching students emotionally and intellectually, changing the form of education in a world in which the traditional classroom in now an anachronism, and attempting to change the frame through which educational policy makers view the educational process.
Marin Independent Journal, California Film Institute,