Category Archives: Learning

In memory of Ted Sizer

Several years ago, as the director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, I was lucky enough to meet Ted Sizer. A lion in the field, Ted was warm, welcoming, and eager in both theory and practice to create space for a new person like me to join him in his life’s work.

Ted died five years ago today — too young, at 77. In 2011, I edited Faces of Learning: 50 Powerful Stories of Defining Moments in Education, to try and honor his work and the impact it had on my thinking. It was a book that stitched together 50 people’s stories of their most powerful learning experiences, and the final one to share was Ted’s.

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This is how intelligence works

Courtesy of Annie Murphy Paul. Good stuff for anyone interested in learning more about the brain and the social construction of intelligence (although does it still make sense to use IQ as a yardstick?).

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Is it time for schools to rethink, well, time?

On a recent weekday morning in Washington D.C., several hundred teenagers hurriedly made their way through their high school’s hallways in a frantic effort to get to class on time.

I know – nothing new there. Except that in this particular school, the hallways had ubiquitous electronic clocks that measured time in bright red numerals down to the second, and these particular students had just three minutes to move from one class to another. “They had five minutes last year,” principal Caroline Hill told me, in between passionate exhortations for her students to keep moving. “And it was a complete waste of time.”

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The Singularity is Coming. What Should Schools Be Doing About It?

Whenever I want to get a feel for the national mood, I look to Hollywood – and the films it thinks we’ll pay to see. In the post-911 malaise, there was the dystopian world of The Dark Knight. In the era of extended male adolescence, there’s just about anything from Judd Apatow. And now, in the shadow of the Technological Singularity, there are a slew of movies about humankind’s desire to transcend the biological limits of body and brain.

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This is your brain on music

Courtesy of an illuminating new story from NPR. Arts education, anyone?

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Is this what the future of teaching and learning will look like?

And if so, are you inspired or disturbed by it? And why?

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This is what it looks like when you design schools with the needs of young people in mind . . .

Imagine if more reforms did the same?

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This is what the future of learning looks like

Imagine if everyone had a chance to discover their unique talent and passion to the same degree that Kelvin Doe did?

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The social origins of intelligence

There’s a fascinating new study out in which researchers studied the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds. Among their findings? That “the ability to establish social relationships and navigate the social world is not secondary to a more general cognitive capacity for intellectual function, but that it may be the other way around. Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities.”

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Summer, once the time for reflection, now the time for radical redesign

Tanesha Dixon vividly remembers the first summer she spent as a teacher – as part of a service program in Uganda, just before her senior year at Notre Dame.

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