It may seem crazy to seed an idea that is intended to put you out of business – yet that’s exactly what Dayton Department Stores did back in 1960 with Target. And, the more I think about it, that’s exactly what every school in America should be doing right now.
Tag Archives: Learning
What makes a mind come alive? And how will you know when it’s happened?
Two new films – one about the death of the factory school, the other about the dawn of artificial intelligence – attempt to answer this question from radically different vantage points. Taken together, they provide both a cautionary tale and a reason to be hopeful about the not-too-distant future. And fittingly, what both films suggest is that when it comes to measuring the spark of sentience, the tests we use matter greatly.
I’m a big fan of the New York Times’ Room for Debate series, in which a central question is asked of five different folks.
Today, the question was about how to ensure and improve teacher quality. And although they didn’t ask me, here’s how I would have answered the question:
Are smaller class sizes the key to breathing new life into today’s public schools, or a misguided effort to solve the problems of a dying era?
I am surprised to say I have come to believe it’s the latter.
And the good news is it already exists . . . Imagine if it existed everywhere?
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.
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?).
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.”
And if so, are you inspired or disturbed by it? And why?