Archive for November, 2011

Look who’s coming to dinner…look again

You know how the conversation goes: “If you could choose any four people to join you for dinner, who would they be?”  Let’s make educational transformation the dinner topic and agree that four is not a big enough group to really spark the re-design dialogue.  Bring in a couple of additional seats and make it a group of six.   My picks for the transformation dinner would be Stuart Shanker, Jennifer James, Michael Fullan, Linda Lambert, Sir Ken Robinson, and Charles Leadbeater.  Think about it – a paper table cloth and felt pens (practical versus classy), good food and beverages and a compelling task… Take us to the sustainable greatness that our kids deserve and our future needs.  (more…)

Twisting Flight of the Airborne Skater – Motivation Connection!

Seeing examples of the great work being done in curricular and extra-curricular programs has led me to think more about the transformational efforts needed  around student motivation.  Here is a scenario you might recognize:  a student struggles with attendance and achievement in one or more academic areas but she is fully committed, engaged and gifted in drama, music, sports or art….  She’s told that she can’t be part of a school performance (her passion) if she doesn’t show up and maintain a reasonable achievement standard in her academic classes.  (more…)

Maintain, Improve or Transform?

balls morphing into colour There is no shortage of discussion about education, whether it is the labour challenges in B.C. or the bigger question of system maintenance, improvement or transformation.  Through whichever frame we choose to look, our efforts to make schooling better – to make learning better – have to deal with significant resistance from our various constituencies. The status quo is well defended and there is a natural fear of future uncertainty. Sustaining an industrial-age school system provides some comfort in that there are lots of familiar reference points and we know what we are getting. (more…)

Celebrating the art and science of good teaching

silver balls together moving upwards

A great story from one of our schools (link below) takes me back to one of my favorite questions: “When will what we know change what we do?” which is morphing to “What will it take for what we know to change what we do?”  Versions 1.0 or 2.0 of that query have played through my mind for some time, usually when I have had a chance to observe best practices – the thoughtful, scientific and artful work of skilled educators creating successful, engaging, relevant pathways for student learners. Effective teachers find ways to connect with kids (more…)

Culture matters – especially now

Every school has culture.  We influence it either positively or negatively; neutral  isn’t an option.  The last couple of posts have touched on diversity and assessment – both essential to a successful learning environment- but neither can be appropriately addressed without equal attention to culture…

Every day, there is plenty said in our communities about schooling and its role in shaping the future.  From before the first bell rings in September (more…)

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