The Conundrum of Adolescence, and the Middle School Science Curriculum

Sixth Article in the Series on The Artistry of Teaching

Does neoliberal education reform consider the nature of adolescence and the advances in our understanding of how humans learn?  Is it necessary for every American human adolescent to learn the same content, in the same order, and at the same time?  Why should every student be held accountable to policies and plans that don’t consider their needs and their interests?

These are some of the questions that many educators ask themselves every day as they open their doors to their students who come from homes where there might be not enough food on the table, their father is un-employed, their mother is fearful that she might be deported, or their neighborhood school was closed during the summer and now they are in a different school.… Read more

Do Green Classrooms Lead to Artistic Teaching?

Second Article on The Artistry of Teaching

In this article we are going to apply the ecological work of Arne Naess to show that classrooms are places where we can find something wonderful and amazing happening among teachers and students.  In doing research for this blog post I came across an article on Education Week by Cord Ivanyi, a Latin teacher at the BASIS Chandler School in Chandler, Ariz.  He wrote a beautiful article on The Deeper Purpose of Learning: Satisfaction.  … Read more

Defunding the Common Core: Back to the Future

Charles Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, has begun the process of removing funding from the Federal Budget that would be used by districts to carry out the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards have raised the ire of not only Republicans and right leaning groups such as the Heartland Institute, but also left leaning bloggers and educators and researchers who question the relationship between high-stakes testing and national standards.  … Read more

From Educators to Racketeers: How Education Reform Led to a National Testing Scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public School educators were accused by a grand jury of racketeering, false statements and writings, false swearing, theft by taking and influencing witnesses.

How could this happen in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS)?  The district is in a city that is home to The King Center, The Carter Center, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and many other institutions that embody academic, research and cultural and social change.  … Read more

The Power of School Music Programs

Guest Post

By Melissa Walker, Executive Director of JazzHouseKids,  and Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia.  This article appeared on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Public schools, in general, have become incriminated in the public mind for having failed society. They must be re-envisioned, restructured, reassessed, and refinanced if they are to serve the public good, according to commentators ranging from folks waiting in line at the post office to governors and national policymakers.… Read more

How do You Defeat an Army of Determined Educators? You Don’t?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody
This post was originally published on Anthony’s blog Living in Dialog.  Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyCod.

The election of 2012 was a tough one for some who consider themselves “reformers” of education. Michael Petrilli, of the Hoover and Fordham Institutes wrote yesterday, in an op-ed that appeared in the Charlotte Observer, that “Teachers unions remain the Goliath to the school reformers’ David.”

This framing is, in itself, remarkable.… Read more

One Size Does Not Fit All

On August 4, 2011, Nikhil Goyal, a sophomore at Syosset High School in Long Island, New York wrote and asked me answer some interview questions for a book he was writing about “transforming our 19th Century industrial model of education into a 21st Century model grounded in creativity, imagination, and project-based learning.

I had no idea what the interview questions would be, or indeed who was Nikhil Goyal.  I told Nikhil I would be pleased to answer his questions.… Read more

Anthony Cody: Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

Note: This is the first of five posts on the dialog between Anthony Cody and his readers, and the Gates Foundation.  This post was originally published on Anthony’s site over on Education Week Teacher.  This dialog is a major contribution to educational reform.  Anthony Cody is one of the leading voices in America questioning the nature of present day reform.  One of the major players in nearly every aspect of the current authoritarian and standards-based reform is the Gates Foundation.… Read more

Should All Students Be Held to a Single Set of K-12 Education Standards?

Should all U.S. students meet a single set of K-12 education standards?  In a democracy should all students be held to the same standards?

This was the question that Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute  and  Jay Greene, head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas  debated in recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, says Finn; no claims Greene.

First I’ll describe the positions of Dr.… Read more

The Hip-Hop Generation: Implications for Teacher Preparation

The current wave of reform in science education, including teacher preparation, is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that make up the population of the United States. The reform is standards- and test-based, and seeks to create schooling that ignores differences in people, and instead creates an outline (read that “standards”) of what is to learned for all students regardless of where they live.

While doing research for The Art of Teaching Science, I became aware of Dr.

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