How to Design the Ideal Early Childhood Center

What would you do if you could design the ideal early childhood center?

At WONDER, we just got that opportunity — but we need your help.

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Categories: Design & Space4 Comments

The Age of the Individual is Upon Us

One year, early in my teaching career, I got reprimanded for giving too many “A’s.”

“You can’t give everyone the same grade,” I was instructed. “Give a few A’s and F’s, and a lot of B’s and C’s. Otherwise, everyone will know that your class is either too easy or too hard.”

This was unremarkable advice; indeed, it was as close to the educational Gospel as you could find. It was human nature in action.

And, apparently, it was completely wrong.

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Categories: Assessment, Equity, Learning, Organizational Change, Teacher Quality

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Before he says anything else about the Pledge of Allegiance, @RealDonaldTrump should read this . . .

Of course, we know he won’t — but that doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t brush up on the actual history of the Pledge, and the actual meaning of the flag. When we do, there can be no room for alternative facts — only a history that, based on how we define patriotism, either puts us on the side of some courageous young schoolchildren of a generation ago, or on the side of totalitarianism. . .

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Categories: Democracy, First Amendment, Leadership, Learning

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To Measure Success in America’s Schools, Count the Flamingos

As an educator, I can’t think of a more important, elusive, and agonizing question than this doozy: How do you measure success?

So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered a new source of inspiration for how we should answer it, by way of a 27,000-acre fish farm at the tip of the Guadalquivir river in Southern Spain.

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Categories: Assessment, Learning, Organizational Change

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This is how libraries can be reimagined

Imagine what would happen if this sort of spirit spread throughout the rest of our public schools?

Categories: Learning, Organizational Change

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This is also who we are

I needed this story. Maybe you need it, too.

This is also who we are. This is how we find one another. This is how we resist.

Categories: Learning

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This is who we are

To think of all that is happening, now, as it has always been happening, in one form or another — the murder of Philando Castile (and too many others to name), the cruelty of Trump, the privilege only some of us can claim, the self-assured blindness of so many of us, the urgent need for all of us to do more work — for others, on ourselves, in service of being healthy.

This is who we are.

And then to see things like this, and to be reminded of the other side of it all:

This is who we are, too.
Categories: Learning

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This is what the future of learning will look like

Or at least this is what I think it might look like, and why — and along the way you’ll get references to Horseshoe crabs, the 1960s, and killer robots . . .  so, you know, how could you go wrong?

Categories: Democracy, Learning

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How We Must Respond to Trump

Via Goethe:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate, it is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate, humor, hurt or heal. In every situation it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated and whether a person is humanized or dehumanized. If we treat people as they are we make them worse. If we treat them as they ought to be we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Categories: Leadership

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Donald Trump, Westworld, & the Future of American Democracy

Is the 2016 presidential election the beginning, or the end, of American civic life?

I say it’s both.

Pessimistically, one can say we are witnessing the end of civility, honesty, and empathy, and the beginning of the end of our two-centuries-long experiment in a quasi-functional representative democracy. Yet I believe what this election must provide, no matter who wins on Tuesday, is a wakeup call from our collective somnambulism, and a call to confront the Brave New World we have already begun to enter – a world in which we can disappear into virtual realities of our own imagining, and therefore one in which our ability to be more conscious (of ourselves, our surroundings, and the invisible systems that hold us prisoner) must become the lingua franca of a renewed civic order.

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Categories: Democracy, Leadership, News of the Weird, Organizational Change

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