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!
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.
One of my favorite episodes of the Progressively Incorrect podcast is the one in which we discuss an opinion piece by Alfie Kohn on classroom management. Consistent with his past writing, Kohn takes issue with the idea that schools should concern themselves with externally regulating students’ behaviors, saying that classroom management is based on a … Continue reading Is Classroom Management Based on a “Dim View” of Human Nature?
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.
A problem teachers face when delivering lectures is the issue of "transience." Information is transient when elements of information that must be processed by a learner disappear to be replaced by new elements
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.
If much of what we learned in teacher training was not very useful once we got to the classroom, and if some theories we were taught, like learning styles, were just plain false, it's tempting to conclude that theory has little to offer the busy teacher. Having used cognitive load theory to streamline my teaching, I can't agree.
Somewhere along the way I developed the habit of using an unproductive questioning pattern called "guess what's in my head." This is when I ask questions that the students couldn't possibly respond to because they haven't yet learned the material required to answer the questions.
When I first started teaching 4th grade, I inherited a social studies unit on Ancient Egypt, a topic that is universally adored by students at this age level. Over the years of teaching this unit, the 4th grade teachers had developed a document - what we'd now call a knowledge organizer - of all of … Continue reading The Sad, Sad Story of the Hollow Curriculum
Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am the Director of Educational Technology at a 6-12 independent school. My role is to design and implement the strategy around online learning and train teachers how to integrate various online tools into their lessons. This post is a reflection on whether my beliefs about teaching … Continue reading Beliefs, Evidence, and Educational Technology