Who killed shop class?

A friend of mine posted the picture to the right on facebook. Very interesting I thought. Another friend of mine commented on the pic, “ took woodshop all 3 years of middle school bc I loved the class!” (click this link to read the convo) And upon reading that I wondered: I bet you learned a lot in that class and you learned a lot from it because you loved the class. It’s no mistake that the classes we remember in which we learned a lot are also the classes we loved. We don’t learn from what we don’t enjoy (except maybe not to have that last drink, or not to take that turn at such speed on your bike, but we don’t want to set that kind of experience up for children). Because we enjoyed sh

Learning, Discovery, Ownership and SOLEs

A child’s ability to discover is important if they are to own what they learn. Believe it or not, we all know this. We just don’t realize it. We discover things all the time. Granted these are more Christopher Columbus type discoveries in that they’d been there the whole time and we don’t have any legal ownership over what we discovered, but, somehow they are still ours. Perhaps you took a trip to the city and while riding the bus, you spied a small awning of a restaurant that looked interesting. You texted family members, friends, “we’ve got to try this place one day” You do. It’s wonderful. Is it wonderful because it’s wonderful or is it wonderful because you found it? Who cares? I

I'm right. You're wrong.

As teachers we like to talk about helping kids achieve “DOK” (It means Depth of knowledge, but we love our jargon). School doesn't allow it to happen. How often have you become frustrated with someone because they just couldn’t see your point of view? How often has someone felt the same about you? If you’ve somehow avoided this type of confrontation during this election cycle, I applaud you. In an era where “not the other candidate” is the driving force behind our presidential campaigns, it’s inevitable that campaigns will use fear of the other person to gain your support. Because, the thing is, we don’t often think too far beyond our own thoughts, needs, and especially our emotions. In

Everybody's Talkin' At Me

One thing has become clear in following conversations on social media and on television about violence in America: We are a lot of people talking at each other. Maybe we are like this because we learned it. We didn’t learn a lot in school but one thing we learned is that the way you teach people is to talk at them and tell them things, and what’s funny is, the reason we learned that lesson so well is because it wasn’t taught that way.