George Lucas Educational Foundation
Mark Phillips profile

Mark Phillips

Teacher and Educational Journalist

After teaching high school for ten years, I became a teacher educator, at UCSB and then at San Francisco State. Now retired from SFSU, I do volunteer work with the California Film Institute's Education program and write a monthly column on education for the Marin Independent Journal.

Posts

  • Education Trends

    8 Myths That Undermine Educational Effectiveness

    Certain widely-shared myths and lies about education are destructive for all of us as educators, and destructive for our educational institutions. This is the subject of '50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education,' a new book by David Berliner and Gene Glass, two of the country’s most highly respected educational researchers.
  • Student Engagement

    A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

    It's conventional wisdom that different types of instruction require different seating arrangements. It's also a no-brainer that classrooms should be inviting, environments that make students feel good to be there. Unfortunately, over the years I've visited classroom after classroom where conventional wisdom appeared to be disregarded. So here's a short course.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Creating an Emotionally Healthy Classroom Environment

    Making students feel safe and earning their trust are critical elements for turning your classroom into an emotionally healthy environment.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    The Challenges of Adolescence (and How Parents and Educators Can Help)

    Three recent studies show why we need to divert middle and high school students from values and behaviors that may harm them in adulthood.
  • Education Equity

    Identifying and Nourishing Gifted Students

    Let's broaden our definition of gifted students to include creativity, writing skills, musical and artistic talent, superior leadership and speaking skills, and moral character.
  • Student Wellness

    The Importance of a Healthy Teacher Ego

    Rather than trying to be the star performer in the classroom, teachers should strive to maintain faith in their ability to help students learn.
  • Education Trends

    My "Academy Awards" for Best Educational Documentaries

    Edutopia blogger Mark Phillips, acknowledging the proliferation of education-themed documentaries, starts a new tradition: the Educational Documentary Academy Awards! Join the suspense and celebration as he reveals which films were his favorites and why.
  • Classroom Management

    "The Class" - A Film to Teach and Inspire

    Mark Phillips draws compelling case studies (for both students and teachers) from a masterful French film about the tensions and possibilities in a multicultural classroom.
  • Family Engagement

    Myths That Undermine Parent Involvement

    Parents can partner effectively in their children's educational success by supporting home learning, establishing constructive dialogue with educators and policy makers, and shining as individuals within their community.
  • Education Trends

    Why Should We Care About Vocational Education?

    Blogger Mark Phillips looks at vocational education, the ingrained academic bias against it, and the importance of presenting young people with career training opportunities.
  • New Teachers

    Parents and Teachers: Turning Conflicts Into Partnerships

    Edutopia blogger Mark Phillips looks beneath the surface of parent-teacher conflicts to reveal that it's often about differing perspectives that can be easily resolved.
  • Student Engagement

    Redefining At-Risk Kids

  • Teacher Educators

    Approaching Racial and Cultural Sensitivity

    When approaching issues of racial and cultural tension, teachers must begin by recognizing their own personal discomfort -- because it does translate into their practice.
  • Diversity

    Finding the Gold Within

    Through a mentoring program that includes empathy, drumming, and myths, young African American men identify and refine the raw materials of their humanity and potential.
  • Lesson Plans

    Boyhood: A Great Film to Use With Teens

    Mark Phillips suggests using "Boyhood" to help teens discuss family and social issues, with tips for dealing with the film's unusual length and R rating.