Problem finding and problem solving

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Stephen Downes on “Connectivism” in Learning

I was a latecomer to the formal theories of education and learning; in my formative years I never read Dewey, Piaget, or Bloom. I am still convinced that I coined the term “problem-finding” one afternoon in 1985 as I ran our two dogs on a sage-covered hillside; certainly I had never heard it used before [...]

Find Gems: Busting Silos in Your School

Do you want some outstanding, practical, “its already working for us at our school today” ideas for how to bust silos at your school?  Read on! If we had gathered a roomful of educators three years ago and started talking about “silos”, the vast majority would have thought the topic was grain storage.  In the [...]

What 9th Graders Can Teach Us About Learning and School

Last fall I visited All Saint's Episcopal School in Ft. Worth, hosted by director of the Tad Bird Honors College, Dave Ostroff (see full report from that remarkable day).He just shared with me this short snippet of the day. I asked this group of 9th graders to spend 15 minutes walking around their school observing [...]

What Is The Goal of Education? Guest Post by My Really Smart Brother

My older brother, Brad, has just retired after a life-long career in secondary education. He was a legendary AP US History teacher, vice principal and principal of large public high schools in southern California, and retired as Asst. Superintendent of San Marcos School District. He and I have been discussing what we all now call [...]

Zero-Based Strategy Part 4 of 7: The Power of Strengths, Wishes, and Dreams

Is your school special? Do you have a shared community passion that drives your teachers and students?  Are there things you do better than other schools down the road or across town…or anywhere else in the country?  Do have dreams, wishes, or aspirations for the future that can be realized with strong collective effort and [...]

The Fractal Morphology of Inquiry via Craig Dwyer

If, like me, you are less than a mathematical prodigy, any study of Chaos Theory other than the popular model for civilians is beyond our reach.  But even at that non-rigorous level, we find that there are few concurrences more elegant, observable, repeatable, and downright beautiful than the fractal patterns of our world.  We find [...]

Follow Thought Leaders’ Discourse on “Grit”, Poverty, More

For those of you who are not active on Twitter or do not follow me (what??), my post a few days ago that responded to Ira Socol's thoughts about "grit" and "slack" has touched off what I think many of us feel is a truly important discussion for educators. Some of our best educational thought [...]

Does “Grit” Need Deeper Discussion?

“Grit” has become a staple of school leadership discussion, due in large part to Angela Duckworth’s best selling book. I just helped a school compose a remarkable vision statement, and grit is mentioned as an essential outcome for their students.  Have we swallowed this argument whole a bit too quickly?  Does it resonate with us, [...]

Can Your School Re-Direct 2 Weeks of Class? Pomfret Students Say “Yes!”

Can your school afford to take two weeks off from normal classes and still meet your learning objectives?  Most schools have trouble finding a spare 15 minutes a week in their busy schedule. Two weeks?  Not possible. Yet it is, and Pomfret School is proving it right now.  The entire school is taking the time [...]

Highlights From a Busy Fall!

Last fall my EdJourney took me to 64 schools via 10,000 miles in my Prius.  This fall it was six cross country round trip flights in seven weeks, with many stops along the way, to work and learn with something like 1,500 teachers, students, administrators, and parents who care deeply about the future of our [...]