The Long Game: Everything changes and so will the narrative of school

This article was published on IntrepidEd News on 4 Jan 2022. I can’t keep track of how many conversations I have had where at some point my counterpart declared that something or other I’ve proposed “will never happen because…” I’m not suggesting I’m some kind of soothsayer or that I’m the holder of Truth. I [...]

Interconnected Learning: Contributing as a Bio-Collective

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change—Max Planck, Quantum Theorist and Nobel Laureate This is less a blog than it is a call for us to collaborate on developing this idea of learning as a social experience, as a personal experience that can only happen through our [...]

The Metaverse will bring school closer to the end of its product life cycle

This article was also published on 2 December 2021 in IntrepidEd News. Every once in a while you come across an idea that is so full of possibilities, your imagination runs wild, unleashed. When you share your thoughts with others, you might indulge in fantasizing together about what how future might unfold; or you might [...]

The Holon: Toward a consciousness that we are both parts and wholes

Note after weeks of reflection: I also want to let the reader know that the word "part" can, and maybe should, be substituted with "nested whole." Parts as a word is problematic because it is associated with mechanisms ad machines. Nester wholes connotes essence in itself. That said, I will leave this as an issue of [...]

A Curriculum of Kindness

This article was inspired by my conversations with Louka Parry and David Penberg. It was published in IntrepidEd News on 1 October 2021. Sometimes I fixate on a subject or idea and find myself buying a bunch of books and watching videos to feed my curiosity and further my understanding of a single topic. Recently, [...]

A Learning system that values questions not answers

What if instead of an education system based on “show what you know,” which can discourage curiosity and creativity because of the right answer syndrome, what if we built a learning system that conceived achievement as the quality of questions the learner asks, not what they are asked to know? The power of this learning system of questions is in how it would foster curiosity and creativity, because if a learner stops asking questions, they stop learning.

Embracing the Interconnectedness of Learning

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” —John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club So much space is taken up rebuking the Industrial Revolutionary model of education that still inspires most schools today. You can hear, watch, and read people questioning why it [...]

What if schools became intergenerational learning spaces?

This article was also published on 28 August 2021 in IntrepidEd News. This may sound odd, but I love calling for help when my computer decides to go rogue, not following the plan that I so carefully and naively laid out before class. I fumble a bit with the cursor and click the same icon [...]

What if we used Portfolios of Impact to evidence learning, thinking, and action?

This article was published in Intrepid Ed News on 10 August 2021. Our lives take different courses based on the decisions concerning us made by people we often don’t even know. This is because selection processes that are out of our control determine what will happen. Most people taste this process for the first time [...]

Twenty-first century skills: Are they just the same old story?

This article was published in a slightly different form in Intrepid News 18 June 2021. There is something insidious about pushing schools to change so they can prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist, for problem-solving to address threats to productivity, or for new business models with geographically and culturally distributed workforces. There [...]

What if we created a Curriculum for the Commons?

This article was originally published in Intrepid Ed News on 4 June 2021 under the title "Student Pathways into Curriculum: Chaotic or Empowering?" We justify our need for a set curriculum by invoking our responsibility to prepare students for the future, expose them to ideas that will make them respectable well-rounded citizens, and equip them [...]

How Could Ethics Guide a New Purpose for Education?

This article was originally published on 21 May 2021 in Intrepid Ed News. Every once in a while, a report comes out from a behemoth transnational organization that rings alarm bells, warning us about how the education system is not equipping young minds to meet the challenges of tomorrow. A lengthy document outlines the skills [...]

Shenpa—Avoiding hooks by asking questions

Conversation with a friend will only bear good fruit of knowledge when both think only of the matter under consideration and forget that they are friends.—Friedrich Nietzsche  This is more a reflective piece than an article on pedagogy. It does pertain to leadership, but mostly relationships with others and ourselves. I am an introvert. I [...]

Bio Scale (A Response to Jason Preater)

This is a response to Jason Preater’s thoughtful and considered article Human Scale. I am writing this in the same spirit as Jason; I don’t propose to “have the right answers and welcome your ideas.” I realize that many of these issues are addressed in superficial, generalized ways, but I am writing an article not [...]

The future of our planet depends on imagination, not academics

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.—Karl Marx, XIth Thesis on Feuerbach. I was surprised by how many people failed to seize the satire in my last blog If academics are what matter, let’s just replace teachers with androids. In that article, I proposed that “in [...]

Will androids replace teachers? Maybe, if we keep focusing purely on content knowledge.

This is a satire and a warning. I do not advocate replacing humans with androids… though maybe in some classrooms it would be a good idea. A few months ago I wrote a piece on how a teacher’s job is to teach themselves out of a job. The concept is pretty simple: a teacher should [...]

Trying to measure learning is absurd because there is no dualism between the student and the world

"When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not 'measuring' the world, we are creating it." —Niels Bohr, recipient of the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physics and contributor to our understanding of quantum theory. Last week, I led a staff workshop to launch a new [...]

It’s Time to Move Beyond Student-Centered Approaches

I would venture to offer that people who advocate for a more student-centered approach to education—grossly simplified as one based on students having choice and voice in what to learn, how to learn it, and how to demonstrate understanding—do so as a form of rejection of the traditional curriculum based on some combination of the [...]

Incubators in Schools to Unleash Potential Creative Energies

What if schools were places where learners could explore their interests and produce objects, ideas, and initiatives that made impact in the community? What if schools encouraged learners to build networks of mentors and non-age dependent peers and contribute to writing organic, personalized curricula centered around intent, not content? What if students could evidence their [...]

Flipping the Flipped Classroom

I find it puzzling how the “flipped classroom” is so often presented as a new groundbreaking and transformative idea, with the potential to unlock the power of formative assessment and personalized learning. I am not suggesting that exposing students to the material at home and then practicing what they learned in class can’t be useful [...]

This is the Chance for our Kids to Write their Own Curriculum

The silver lining around the coronavirus pandemic is that there is sense of coming together amongst people from all parts of the world and this has translated into efforts to support, help, and listen to one another. Social media is full of messages from educators sharing or asking for ideas and resources to meet the [...]

Measuring impact needs to be part of any assessment strategy

What if we turned assessment upside down and, instead of starting with looking what the student can do or what they know, we started to measure the impact of students' ideas and actions? What if, instead of having assessment center on skills and knowledge in relative isolation (a test, a product, a presentation), we looked [...]

Competencies Should Drive Curriculum (and Reports!)

Twenty-First Century Skills, Survival Skills, Soft Skills, Approaches to Learning, the 6C’s, the 4 C’s… whatever we decide to call the dispositions, approaches, and abilities that are difficult to quantify and supposed to be so critical for success in the world, they remain inexplicably absent from the core of curriculum development and reporting in many [...]

Collaboration that Unfetters Creativity

At Pixar, writers and directors sit around a table to go over the script during what they call crit sessions. It is an open conversation but there is a process called “plussing,” which means that no idea is shot down and you’re only allowed to make a comment if you are adding to the idea. [...]

History as Reverse Chronology

I am not naive enough to believe this will be easy, but maybe if we just throw the idea out there we can start something that will change the way we think and do things. Also, this may be more problematic with Early Years and lower grades. Americans will probably remember a specific Seinfeld episode [...]