Rewriting the Script of Schooling

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in General | One Comment

Today I spent an hour at my daughter’s school watching five 5th grade classes do their orignal performances at an event titled “Expressions.”  For the last several weeks the students in each class have been spending their “specials” (meaning physical education, Spanish, music and art) on creating an original performance that incorporates these classes, which […]

Who We Are

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in General | No Comments

Last week I was able to witness the students presenting their “Who Am I” Projects to their teachers and peers.   Students had been working on creating a past map and future map, and tasked with narrating the trajectory of their lives.  Standing in front of their new classmates, they told their stories, told who […]

How to Create Reform-Proof Schools

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in General | No Comments

I have a friend who teaches AP Math courses at a good public high school here in Atlanta.   He has about fifteen years in the system and is, hands down, a good teacher.   I was talking to him last week about what has changed in his school over his time there, and he […]

School > Learning

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in General | 2 Comments

After a dramatically successful first year, the million-dollar question for the Sustainability Workshop is how to scale “up.”  Scale is something I have always struggled with as an educator, probably because I believe schools can scale their way right out of real learning.  Somewhere on the way up ‘school’ surpasses learning, with the result being […]

Oil Pans and Education

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in General | No Comments

In a previous post, Simon Hauger summed up the first year of the Sustainability Workshop by telling the story of his adventures of changing an oil pan on Michael Clapper’s 2001 Jetta Wagon.  The whole project ended up being anything but straightforward, as Micael and Simon struggled to remove the bolts and then, after learning […]

“I can’t ______________”

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in General | No Comments

My 4-year old daughter can do anything.  She can fly, turn into a cat, sing, write a book, you name it she can do it.  Just ask her.  While she will admit to be working on a few things-she has put off poddy training until she is 5- she is quite forthcoming about being able […]

Training Wheels

Posted by on Feb 18, 2012 in General | No Comments

Last week my four year old daughter Maeve approached me about putting pedals on her run bike.  For those of you unfamiliar with run bikes, they are little bikes missing pedals that toddlers can push with their legs and learn to balance on.  When they get good, they can almost run on them.  Maeve had […]

If You Build It (With Them) They Will Come

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in General | One Comment

I know I can speak for all of us in saying that starting a new school is a dream come true.  The idea that we could imagine a different kind of school and then make it a reality has still not fully sunk in.  Seeing students who were in elementary school when we first started […]

I love to learn __________? (Fill in the blank)

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in General | No Comments

Just the other day I heard it again- “I love to learn.”  Variations on it pepper my recent past, as students love to profess their love of learning to those tasked with teaching them.  Love of learning has become a personal trait of sorts, one that schools try to cultivate in students because it serves […]

Making Brownies as High Stakes Testing

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 in General | No Comments

Reading the recent NY Times Editorial by Sol Garfinkel and David Mumford about how to fix math education, I was struck by the following line: