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You are enjoying this too much

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in General | One Comment

We just completed our first year at the Sustainability Workshop and it was amazing. So what do you do the first week after the school year is over? The highlight of this week for me was the hours I spent over the past few days working on Michael’s car – we talked about the year, shared some ideas about next year, but mostly we just wrestled bolts out of his engine while changing the oil pan.…

Real Work

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in General | No Comments

It’s hard to believe we’re coming to the end of our first year at the Workshop. What an incredible year it has been. Engaging students in solving real problems – doing real work in this world – has been both exhilarating and exhausting. To do real work first requires the desire to do so and second, the skills to make it happen.…

“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 to do just about everything.…

so many d— questions

Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in General | No Comments

So this blog has some political content but I don’t really want to talk politics.  I want to talk about what it means to be educated, what it means to learn, and what it means to know what you know and know what you don’t know.   Garry Wills, whose writing and outlook I respect immensely, has a piece on one of the Republican candidates here. …

It’s personal

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in General | No Comments

We do project based learning at the Workshop. The students come up with a problem. We sit with them and think about how to begin to solve the problem. Together we puzzle over different approaches. We think about different resources. We come up with two to four ways to demonstrate that they’ve effectively addressed the problem.…

Goin’ back to Cali

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in General | No Comments

Following in the footsteps of the mighty EVX Team, our Bright Ideas! team reached the finals of the Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation awards! The team will travel to California in late March to compete in the final round.

While this is a huge honor for those students on the team, it is also a credit to the whole Workshop community.…

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.  …

Building a school from the inside out

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in General | One Comment

Sorry for the lack of posts these last two weeks. Been traveling and writing proposals.

We decided to start the Workshop small so we could really focus on the work of teaching and learning. That has really paid off in two ways. First, focusing on the work – what everyone on the building is doing at any given time, and why they are doing it – has really gone a long way toward creating the culture.…

What do standards prepare us for?

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in General | No Comments

A basic premise of standards driven reform is that all students should know and be able to do basically the same things at the same times.

Why? That’s not what is expected of them in college, where distribution requirements vary greatly in scope, and can shift dramatically based on the choices students make.…

It’s not about the paper

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in General | No Comments

Sometimes I can be a bit dense.

A couple of days ago I was at a board meeting for YESPhilly, a great organization that runs programs for out of school youth. The first half of the meeting was an informal discussion with a few students in their various programs. They talked about what they liked about the organization, how it was different from typical GED programs, how they had heard about it, why they signed up, and their plans for the future.…