Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Adult-Free School?

No doubt you’ve seen the intriguing story making its way around the Internet today about the Ethiopian kids who hacked the free laptops they were given in less than six months – and without any adult instruction.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s a great story, and it’s illustrative of the extent to which we underestimate the abilities of young people. But we’re missing the point if we think the moral is that adults just need to disappear in order for young people to optimally learn and grow.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment

The New Ninth Ward

If you’re one of the folks that stopped watching Treme after its first season (“Too boring! Too slow!”), or if you just never bothered to check it out, you might want to check back in. Now in its third season, Treme is proving itself adept at mirroring what creator David Simon’s more celebrated predecessor, The Wire, did better than any show before or since: depict characters struggling and surviving amidst the dysfunctional, intractable, and dialectical systems holding them – and us – prisoner.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: LearningLeave a comment

How to Balance the Art & Science of Teaching

Recently, I gave a TED talk outlining why I think we’re in the midst of the most exciting and difficult time to be a teacher in American history. These sorts of talks are always imperfect (and timed) efforts to inject new ideas into the stratosphere, but I received lots of nice comments and feedback, including some observations that only a mom – my mom, actually – would share (“Your posture was very relaxed, and you never even said ‘um’!”).

It was another thing my mother said that struck me, though. “Do you feel sure that your audience knows what to do with all you’ve said?” she wrote.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning, Teacher Quality

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Comments

The World is . . . a Sisyphean Hill of Policy Smackdowns?

As a former teacher with a MBA, I read a lot of “business books.” And of the titles I’ve read over the past few years, none have characterized the future of public education more presciently than Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I read an Op-Ed in this weekend’s New York Times in which Friedman abandons the nascent non-hierarchical plains of the twenty-first century for the familiar twentieth-century terrain of command-and-control. Yet there it is – and there he is – writing about the future of school reform, and praising the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning, Organizational Change

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

The Art (& Science) of Great Teaching

Here’s my new TEDx talk, or, as I like to call it, the video that makes you wonder when Sam will take his hand out of his pants.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning, Teacher Quality

Tags: , , , ,

4 Comments

What if the city became the school?

I think it’s time to start thinking differently. Watch this and you’ll see what I mean.  

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning, Organizational Change

Tags: ,

Leave a comment

Is It Time to Stop Making the Grade?

I got two very different emails this morning that underscore just how far our thinking has to move if we’re ever going to truly reimagine American public education in ways that are more aligned with the individual needs of each child.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: LearningLeave a comment

This is Why Education Matters So Much

And young people like Malala are what’s at stake — in Pakistan and everywhere else.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment

This is What Great Teaching Looks Like

There’s a lot of talk nationally about the importance of teachers, and the need to identify what great teaching actually looks like — and requires.

Our search should start and end with people like Kathy Clunis D’Andrea.

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning, Teacher Quality

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Comments

This is How Youth (& YOU) Learn

Imagine if we acted on these insights?

Continue reading…

Pin It
Categories: Learning

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
  • Read Sam’s Books