Jun 26 2016

Highly Recommended: Alternative Education Conference in Portland, Oregon

After five years, the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) is finally bringing their annual conference back to the US West Cost at Portland, Oregon, August 3-7, 2016. Sign up right away if interested. There is not much time left. As one who attended the conference the last time it came to Portland, I can attest that it was a wonderfully moving experience. The keynote speakers will be: Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of… Read more

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Apr 15 2015

Recommended Books are Back

Category: General Spark a Playful Mind (SAPM)Admin @ 3:06 pm

I put up a “Recommended Books” page again, this time with my own brief descriptions for many of the books. Check it… Read more

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Apr 05 2015

Saved from Standardized Testing? How?

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 10:30 pm

While testing has its place, the standardized testing imposed upon public schools has many problems. The tests were designed to give an overall picture of how groups of students compared to other groups in other times and places. They were not designed to assess an individual’s mastery of taught subject matter (especially since there is no national curriculum, which, by the way, I am not advocating). They are meant to produce a bell curve score distribution. If too many students do too well, they make the test harder. Does this make some of… Read more

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Mar 04 2015

Schooling and Interest

When students study what interests them, their work develops a natural, invigorating flow. They engage creatively with their topic, ask their own questions and pursue answers to their own satisfaction. They remember what matters. When someone else chooses their work, students may not find much of personal relevance. The learning becomes a chore, the students’ feelings become an obstacle to the learning, and energy is drained. I am reminded of the title of a book: The Student Resistance Handbook. While I am not advocating any action… Read more

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Mar 01 2015

Conference on Alternative and Child-Centered Education

Category: Alternative EducationAdmin @ 6:28 pm

The Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) is the best resource I know for learning about alternatives in education. Their conference in Portland, Oregon, which I attended a few years ago, was fantastic. I heartily recommend this year’s conference, which will be near New York City from May 20 to 24, 2015. Presentations will include a variety of learner-centered approaches, including democratic education, progressive education, homeschooling, Montessori, Waldorf, charter schools, magnet schools, and more. Keynote speakers… Read more

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Sep 07 2014

Is Your Child in Love with Learning?

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 8:50 am

1. Does your child say he or she hates school? If so, something is probably wrong with the school. Children are natural learners, and when they’re young, you can hardly stop them from learning. If your child says they hate school, listen to them. That is the first of "The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child," an article by Jerry Mintz, founder of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO). He’s not just talking about finding a better teacher or even a better school within the… Read more

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Jun 17 2012

On Teaching and Motivation

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 5:11 pm

Long ago, I trained employees in data and word processing systems and efficient workflow practices. To better prepare me, management sent me off to a conference at the American Society for Training and Development. I was enthralled to discover a focus completely unlike anything I had encountered as a student in public schools and four years of private college. Instead of centering on using or constructing a specific curriculum or how to teach it, the emphasis was on how to assess employee training needs and the training programs we were… Read more

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