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