Sep 12 2016

Why did the Principal of Chicago’s Top School Resign?

Category: LearningAdmin @ 11:43 am

Principal Troy LaRaviere dramatically improved the quality of a Chicago elementary school, using empirical evidence about effective school practices. In other words, he used what had worked elsewhere and it quite naturally worked in Chicago, too. Nevertheless, the school board wanted to fire him. His successful ideas conflicted with the politics of the Chicago Mayor and his appointed school board. In under five years, he took his elementary school from a ranking of No. 6 to No. 1 among neighborhood schools and from No. 16 to No. 3 for… 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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Feb 17 2013

The Rope over the Abyss

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 1:43 pm

Most news about education these days seems to focus on subject-area content or else on violence in the schools, with little said about how people learn and develop optimally. It is as if all that really matters can be determined apart from who we are as human beings and boiled down to a combination of the right knowledge, the right skills, and the right behavior, all of which can be taught by having teachers deliver the right lessons. I would like to share an excerpt from Yacov Hecht, one of my favorite authors, whom I had the pleasure of… Read more

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Apr 27 2012

Learning without Perks or Punishments

Category: UncategorizedAdmin @ 11:53 pm

As humans, we are intrinsically motivated to learn. (Animals are, too, but their interests and priorities tend to be vastly different.) I am not saying that people necessarily want to learn what other people want to teach them but rather what they themselves find interesting or valuable. If you have ever been interested in dance or other movement activities, and even if you have not, you have probably experimented with your own walk. Was it fun? Did you learn anything? Now imagine being told that you will be graded on how well you walk… Read more

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Apr 09 2012

Family Life Expo & Camp Fair

Category: UncategorizedAdmin @ 8:19 am

This is the first in what will be a series of articles about science and math education for children, activities, learning philosophy and psychology, and a few summaries and comments about interesting education-related stories from other sources. My assistant Stan Jackson and I enjoyed the March 2012 Family Life Expo & Camp Fair, our first time ever. Enticing opportunities for hands-on exploration drew in a stream of curious children for hours without breaks. The children were so eager that I did not even have time to set up the rest of… Read more

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