Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

Like so many buzzwords in education, it's hard to pin down what people mean by the term "Productive Struggle". Of the two meanings of Productive Struggle I've heard being used most often, the good meaning is uncontroversial, and the bad - and more popular - meaning encourages teachers to abandon principles of effective instruction. The … Continue reading Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

S1E10: Special Edition

In this episode, Zach flies to the Midwest to meet up with Brad to tape a road trip edition of Progressively Incorrect. Along the way, the duo stop at the highest point of Ohio, the first paved road in the USA, and find (some) common ground in their debate over progressive versus traditional ideas in education.

The Private School Penalty

For the past 9 years, I've worked in private independent and international schools, and before that, I trained and worked in public schools. As I've written before, the challenges that teachers experience in each of these contexts are vastly different. A pedagogy consisting largely of unstructured tasks with ill-defined goals, coupled with a laissez-faire approach … Continue reading The Private School Penalty

S1E9: On Students’ (Mis)judgments of Learning and Teaching Effectiveness by Carpenter et al.

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss "On Students’ (Mis)judgments of Learning and Teaching Effectiveness" by Shana Carpenter and colleagues. While it may be popular to collect student opinion on instructional matters, there is often a conflict between what students think is effective and what is actually effective. We discuss many of the ways that student opinion can have negative or positive effects on the quality of students' education.

S1E8: The Dynamic Tension at the Core of the Grammar of Schooling by David F. Labaree

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss "The Dynamic Tension at the Core of the Grammar of Schooling" by David F. Labaree (@DLabaree). The discussion has us both acknowledging that organizational needs - i.e., what is doable - often prevent large-scale changes to the "grammar of schooling", such as age-graded classrooms, teacher-centered instruction, and a decentralized curriculum.

Cringe!

My last blog post seems to have been this site’s 200th post. What a journey it’s been. Long time readers may have noticed that Stephanie (my wife) used to contribute about half of the posts on educationrickshaw.com. Lately she’s been too busy being one of the best literacy specialists in the country to be messing … Continue reading Cringe!

S1E7: Dewey Outlines Utopian Schools (1933) by John Dewey

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss a New York Times article by John Dewey with the headline, "Dewey Outlines Utopian Schools." Much of the discussion revolves around whether any of Dewey's utopian ideas could be realistically implemented in the world we live in, and both of us question whether informal interest-based learning without a core curriculum would do more harm than good.

S1E6: The Classroom Management Field Can’t Stop Chasing the Wrong Goal by Alfie Kohn

In this episode of Progressively Incorrect, Zach Groshell and Bradley Arnold discuss "The Classroom Management Field Can't Stop Chasing the Wrong Goal" by Alfie Kohn (@alfiekohn). Brad suggests that in an ideal world progressive ideas of classroom management would be enough, but that we live in the real world. Zach wonders what use it is to live in any other world but the real world, and shares some of the real world strategies he's used for classroom management.

S1E5: Minding the Knowledge Gap by Daisy Christodoulou

Wielding a popular inquiry cycle, Zach attempts to demonstrate that progressive thought encourages teachers to devalue knowledge, while Brad is reminded of (bad) teachers from his education who drilled isolated facts without helping students make connections between the facts.