Too exhausted for creativity?

I don’t know anyone who became a teacher so that they could lecture from a script or PowerPoint, grade multiple-choice tests or subject themselves and their students to a series of rote lessons. And yet, we too often default to these boredom-inducing strategies under the pressure of our daily workload. (Worse yet, that is exactly…

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One change – What would you do?

If you could make just one change to K-12 education that would have the biggest (and most cost-effective) impact on student learning, what would it be? Would you expand charter schools? Privatize everything? Change teacher education? Make college free? Make pre-school free? Reduce class sizes? Implement merit-based pay? End standardized testing? There are so many…

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Could you learn in the ‘classroom of the future’?

(image from Atlantic magazine) Which metaphor best describes the way you learn? Your mind is an empty vessel. A teacher pours in new knowledge to fill you up. Your mind is fertile soil. A teacher plants a seed, and the interaction of the seed, nutrients and water — with careful tending — creates new knowledge.…

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Why teachers don’t behave like entrepreneurs

Should classroom teachers behave more like entrepreneurs? What would that even look like? In a recent article on EdSurge, Senior Editor Mary Jo Madda, a former middle school teacher, argued that we should run our classrooms like “lean startups,” borrowing Eric Ries’s term. She suggests this process: Think of what you want your students to…

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The technology that could replace us

Most of the claims that new technology will make teachers obsolete are patently false. TED Talks, MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), educational videos, vast online databases and typical educational apps and games simply cannot replace an effective teacher in a classroom. But that doesn’t mean that nothing can. The technology tools with the greatest potential…

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Would you give out all As?

What would happen this year if I tossed out all of my rubrics, test scores and grading scales and just granted As to all of my students? Would my classroom become a utopia, where students — free from the rat-race of chasing grades — would engage in learning for the pure love of it? Or…

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Stop waiting for a revolution

Traditional schools will disappear. Knowledge itself will be obsolete. In the revolutionary education system of the future, textbooks and standardized tests will be eliminated, and reasoning skills will triumph as groups of children abandon boring classrooms to connect with peers across the globe and pursue answers together in virtual spaces. Really? Well, that’s what I…

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