Three Small Steps for School Success: The Broken Windows Theory

"Staff, come to the library for a quick stand up meeting." Oh no. In my experience, "quick stand up meetings" meant bad news. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay We sauntered toward the center of the school. Some clutched their belongings, a few murmured together, but most entered the library in silence. The staff of …

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A Quote and a Note: Two Lessons I Learned from Teaching

Wherever I go, I keep with me two pieces of paper. A quote clipped from the calendar of my first year of teaching, and a note from a student's mother. The quote, by Wendell Berry, says, "A teacher's major contribution may pop out anonymously in the life of some ex-student's grandchild."The note expresses a mother's …

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From Systems to Structures Part 2: Four Models for Learning

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com In From Systems to Structures Part 1, I discussed the importance for a new guiding metaphor in the world of education. We call education a system that requires reform. Instead, we can transform education when we build a structure. To build a solid Education Structure we need a blueprint, a model from which to start. …

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From Systems to Structures Part 1: A New Metaphor for Education

The Education System. Many people today discuss our education system, how it is failing, and what to do to fix it. But the simple fact that we use the word "system" implies a metaphor that may be contributing to education's failure and the ineffectiveness of reform strategies. Metaphors unconsciously guide our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Metaphorical …

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The Curse of Standardization: Equal is not Alike

Standardization (verb) The process of making something conform to a standard. To bring into conformity with a standard. Standard (Noun) Something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example. A structure built for or serving as a base or support.  Standard (Adjective) Constituting or conforming to a standard especially as established by law or …

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Inner Peace in Schools: Good Science or Mumbo Jumbo?

Kids these days. What's happening to American youth? When I was your age. . . These phrases are as old as the hills. Throughout history, each generation has bemoaned the morals and character of the next generation. Everyone wants to believe that "kids today" behave worse than when "we" were kids. This belief has probably …

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Direct Instruction AND Discovery Learning: What Po Learned

An argument has been raging in education about direct instruction versus discovery learning methods of teaching and learning. What is best for kids? Which method facilitates learning? Which approach raises test scores, places students on a path for college, or generally prepares them for life in the 21st century? Direct instruction (DI) refers to more …

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