Around the Web: Complexity in (and out) of the Classroom

This week, a few thoughts about classroom complexity and positive ways to handle it. For one thing, it’s important that the students themselves play a major role in addressing complexity. A select group of Montgomery Public School 5th graders are participating in a wildly successful peer mediation program. In L.A., middleschoolers addressed the issue of cyberbullying…

Going Meta

When we encounter new information, we process it first through concrete examples. Organizing those concrete examples into abstract concepts is a second step in our learning. This is why it is so important to choose your examples carefully, and to present multiple examples, which, ideally, differ in all but the key concept you are trying…

Complexity in the Classroom: Case 1, Part 2

In this series, we offer case studies in classroom complexity. Race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, politics, socioeconomic class, canonical variety — you name it, it’s in the classroom. How can we diagnose and understand what is really happening in the classroom, and what strategies can we develop for responding? How do you allow space for diverse viewpoints? Address the personal experiences…

Around the Web: Unexpected Educations

The New York Times Magazine published a special education issue last Sunday, with articles focusing on the unlikely sources that can give rise to one’s most formative educational experiences. Dominic Randloph, headmaster of New York’s Riverdale School, launches the idea of a character report card, to promote the kind of “grit” and “self-control” that help student…

Great Teaching, Great Power

What is great teaching? As learners, we know it when we see it. Sometimes it confronts us immediately and sometimes it takes years to become apparent, but eventually the gift of great teaching makes itself known. I know it in the flashes of ‘ah hah!’ or the echoes of insistent questions still prompting me years…

Complexity in the Classroom

In this series, we offer case studies in classroom complexity. Race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, politics, socioeconomic class, canonical variety — you name it, it’s in the classroom. How can we diagnose and understand what is really happening in the classroom, and what strategies can we develop for responding? How do you allow space for diverse viewpoints? Address the personal experiences…