Monthly Archives: April 2011

Lifelong Learning Radio Series — Crossing the Finish Line

Another week, another inspiring learning story from WAMU 88.5 FM as part of its ongoing weekly Lifelong Learning series of radio stories about people’s most powerful learning experiences. This week’s story comes from H.Y. Griffin, a Washington resident who works as a community organizer through AmeriCorps, achieved a big dream with a little celebrity inspiration […]

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Don’t Believe the Hype (About College)

It’s not what you think.

I’m a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin (and two graduate schools). I loved college. And it’s undeniable that the United States boasts some of the best universities in the world.

I’m also someone who flunked out my freshman year with a 0.6 GPA. In fact, I’d say it wasn’t until I flunked out that I had a chance of being successful. I simply wasn’t ready for what college was designed to give me (aside from the unsupervised social time).

Although my freshman-year GPA was surprisingly low, my freshman-year experience is unsurprisingly common. Too many young people simply aren’t ready for college, for a variety of reasons – meaning they either coast through four or five years and waste a ton of money along the way, or, if they’re lucky, they crash and burn so badly that they discover, for the first time, what it is they actually want to do with their lives – as opposed to what the adults in their lives have told them they should do.

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Lifelong Radio Series — Our Children’s Heroes

Last night, WAMU 88.5FM, the public radio affiliate for the DC region, aired the latest in its ongoing weekly Lifelong Learning series of radio stories about people’s most powerful learning experiences. This week’s story comes from James Woody, a native Washingtonian and the executive director of D.C.’s Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys. Woody […]

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Calling Bill Maher

After reading Michelle Rhee’s surprisingly casual dismissal of cheating allegations in DC’s public school system, I’ve decided we need to do something drastic if we want to shake ourselves out of this surreal set of conversations about school reform.

We need Bill Maher to make a documentary about education. Perhaps we can even take a cue from his first film, Religulous, and call this one “Edu-buh-cation.” Or “Stoopid.” Or “The Bee-Eater.”

Oh, wait, that one’s taken.

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What’s Your Declaration of Education?

Those pesky EduCon folks are at it again.

Earlier this year, I wrote about a small, networked, eclectic tribe of educators who attended a conference at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, and who, with great energy and determination, pledged their shared commitment to bring about a different type of public school system by agreeing to the following core values:

1. Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members.
2. Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen.
3. Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around.
4. Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate.
5. Learning can — and must — be networked.

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What If Learning — Not Fighting — Were the Focus?

As accusations fly back and forth over the reported DC cheating scandal – the latest in a series of battles between America’s two dominant Edu-Tribes – I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we stopped spending so much time focusing on what is broken or who is to blame, and started focusing instead on how people learn, and how we can create better learning environments for everyone?

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