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robertogreco : beenthere   8

Why Cooper Union can’t be trusted | Felix Salmon
"I can’t help but think this building exists for the same reason as the war in Iraq or Netflix streaming. Somebody with clout got enamoured with the idea, and pointing out its flaws became career-limiting. Like most boondoggles, the idea was grand, inspiring, and financially unrealistic.

It’s just a guess, but that’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over."

[From a comment pointed out by Casey ( ) who adds… ]

"Reminds me of Dan Hill: "Even a Pritzker prize-winning architect such as Richard Rogers cannot, for example, challenge the basic premises of the Barangaroo urban development in Sydney. The combination of masterplan, financial model, political context, local history and local cultures created a tight frame within which the architectural design work must occur. Many of the architects and other designers within the project team knew that the way the question was being framed was fundamentally flawed, but from their relatively lowly position…"
danhill  blingpursuits  onetrackminds  organizations  institutions  trust  buildings  tcsnmy  beenthere  transparency  caseygollan  cooperunion  cooper  2012  felixsalmon 
november 2012 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe • Suppose you are in a unit with 10 other people....
"Suppose you are in a unit with 10 other people. Your boss thinks every one of you is spectacular. Well it doesn’t matter because at Microsoft, you have to designate two of them as spectacular, four of them as mediocre, and then the rest as terrible. What you’ve done is create a system where every employee is not only trying to do their best, but every employee is trying to make sure that their colleagues don’t. Creating that environment is the exact opposite of what you want to do in terms of encouraging innovation."

—The downfall of innovation at Microsoft | [ ]

"I first learned about Microsoft’s practice of “stack racking” within teams about five years ago. Ever since then, the company’s fortunes have made a lot more sense to me.

And, not in a good way."
beenthere  hownottodoit  whattoavoid  ranking  adverserialworkplace  competition  howwework  workenvironment  2012  innovation  culture  workplace  kairyssdal  administration  leadership  tcsnmy  control  fear  hierarchy  management  microsoft  merlinmann 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Science teacher: Doyle's School of Educharlantry
"If you want to be professional, act like one. Silence is unacceptable.

I don't need your support after the meeting. Telling me I said what everyone else is thinking after I get my ass handed to me on a platter does no good.

Join the fray, that's how democracy works. And shame the charlatans back to the ooze they came from.

Snake oil poster from Oregon state--I need to find the website..."
beenthere  education  democracy  sheeple  selfpromotion  outsiders  professionaldevelopment  experts  charlatans  speakingout  cv  teaching  comments  professionalism  michaeldoyle  outsider 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Once Upon a Time, Not Too Long Ago, Teaching Was Considered a Profession, But Then Came Standardization, Tests, and Value-Added Merit Pay Schemes That Ate All Humanity for Breakfast...
"Even in the some of the most selective independent schools that once prided the immense Creative and intellectual power of their teaching force, teachers are being asked by administrators to devote their planning efforts to standardizing the curriculum. These are schools where a majority of the teachers (like the ones I wrote about at the start) have doctorate degrees or previous careers related to subject areas of special interest that they so freely and passionately incorporated into individualized teaching approaches. These are schools where students used to benefit from the creative and intellectual contributions that highly professional individual teachers made in a myriad of ways. Scarce resources (both time and money) are also squandered on stifling new technology such as so-called curricular mapping software in efforts to further regiment a formerly creative and free-flowing process.

In other words, in the name of standardization and equity (of homework assigned, books read, topics covered, and so on), the teachers are being asked to make themselves interchangeable. As a result, the once passionate, personalized, and professional process of curriculum development and teaching is now characterized by assembly-line malaise in a growing number of schools. And students may lose the opportunity to explore the kind of idiosyncratic topics that demonstrate the richness of inquiry itself.

How did this happen?
There is an old parable about a man searching on his hands and knees under a streetlight. A passerby sees him and asks, “What are you looking for?” Hunched over, eyes not leaving the ground, the man replies, “I’ve lost my car keys.” The kind passerby immediately joins him in his search. After a few minutes searching without success, she asks the man whether he is sure he lost the keys there on the street corner. “No,” he replies, pointing down the block, “I lost them over there.” Indignant, the woman asks, “Then why are you looking for them here?” The man replies, “Because there’s light here.”

Behind the onslaught of testing and so-called “accountability” measures of the last decade lurks the same perverse logic of the man looking for his keys. We know what matters to most teachers, parents, school administrators, board members, and policy-makers. But we are far less sure how to find out whether teachers and schools are successful in teaching what matters. Since we have relatively primitive ways of assessing students’ abilities to think, create, question, analyze, form healthy relationships, and work in concert with others to improve their communities and the world, we turn instead to where the light is: standardized measures of students’ abilities to decode sentences and solve mathematical problems. In other words, since we can’t measure what we care about, we start to care about what we can measure."

[Ironically via: ]
nais  cv  beenthere  teaching  standardization  curriculum  curriculummapping  time  learning  tcsnmy  independentschools  education  schools  policy  testing  standardizedtesting  meritpay  standards  2011  joelwestheimer 
august 2011 by robertogreco
What is Your Kryptonite? - Tech4Teachers
"Every superhero has a weakness. For Superman, it’s Kryptonite…As a teacher & tech leader, what is your Kryptonite? Perhaps it’s one of these…

1. Internet Filters…

2. Consistency & Fairness – Ever been told that your class can’t do something unless all the other classes decide to do it too? How often do we sacrifice creativity & innovation for the sake of consistency?

Superheros are sometimes required to go solo, moving forward where others fear to tread. Lead by example…

3. The “Almighty” Inflexible Schedule – Does your education dictate your schedule, or does your schedule dictate the education?…

4. Lack of Administrative Support – Do you live in constant fear of trying something new or innovative with your students because you know that if it doesn’t work or if someone complains that you’ll be left “hanging out to dry” by your principal or administrator?

Superheros must sometimes work outside the law to do what is right.

5. Fear of Failure…"
education  inmyexperience  teaching  tcsnmy  schools  learning  technology  failure  fear  administration  management  schedules  scheduling  inflexibility  filters  consistency  fairness  beenthere  via:rushtheiceberg 
july 2011 by robertogreco
An open letter to administrators… | Connected Principals
"1. When making decisions that are going to affect our classes or our students, we would really appreciate it if you would ask for our opinions & feedback first…

2. Will you please come to our classrooms more often…

3. It would really mean a lot to us if you would participate in our professional development days…

4. Can you please refrain from blanketing the entire staff w/ a punishment/lecture when the problem lies with a small group of Educators, and not the entire staff…

5. Your time is extremely limited and you are always busy, but we would really love it if you were more visible…

6. It would be much appreciated if you would include teachers, students and community members when developing the building’s vision and goals…

7. We love any new idea or initiative that can improve the education we offer at our school, but if we are going to add new programs would you please consider eliminating other programs that aren’t quite as effective."
education  administration  teaching  learning  schools  values  goals  leadership  management  tcsnmy  beenthere  cv  feedback  conversation  democracy  decisionmaking  2011  wellsaid 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » Reality Check
"When the administrator got the phone call from the parent who wanted to set up the meeting, she asked for some sense of what the problem was. The reply? “Our students don’t need to be a part of a classroom experiment with all this technology stuff. They need to have a real teacher with real textbooks and real tests.”"
technology  education  cv  learning  schools  parentdemands  policy  tradition  textbooks  edtech  beenthere  tcsnmy  willrichardson 
march 2010 by robertogreco

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