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robertogreco : dougnoon   29

Borderland » Search for Meaning
"The main work of the teacher, I believe, is to recognize those peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers, and to assist them in their efforts to attain their most noble ambitions. And this is not necessarily about career or college readiness, or data-driven lesson planning.

Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist, and Nazi concentration camp survivor, believed that an individual’s primary motivational drive is the search for meaning.

The clip below is from a lecture Frankl gave in 1972. In it, he expresses what he claims is the “most apt maxim and motto for any psychotherapeutic activity.”

“If we take man as he is, we make him worse. But if we take man as what he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”

Common Core, Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind – all are standards-based afflictions that are dragging us into the pits."
humanism  lcproject  commoncore  wisdom  peacemaking  love  storytelling  vocation  deschooling  unschooling  purpose  davidworr  viktorfrankl  meaningmaking  meaning  life  learning  teaching  2012  dougnoon 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Borderland » A Good Day
"So my focus in the classroom has lately shifted from teaching practice to thinking about more interesting things, like human consciousness (my own, mainly) as I ask myself all day long, day after day, What the fuck am I doing now? And why? This is not really such a bad thing. The upside of it is that I spend way less energy worrying about curriculum and method, and more time watching my own interactions with the kids, trying to be as helpful and even-handed as I can be. It occurs to me that if a person was looking for a working model of resistance to reform, they really ought to spend a few weeks managing a sixth-grade classroom. It’s a test. Every day."
teaching  dougnoon  2011  noticing  humanconsciousness  consciousness  perspective  howweteach  observation  introspection  whatmatters  cv  bestpractices 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Borderland › But then you read
"You think your pain, & your heartbreak, are unprecedented in the history of the world. But then you read. It was books that taught me, the things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive – who had ever been alive. I went into the 130th St. Library at least three or four times a week, & I read everything there, & every single book in that library. In some blind and instinctive way, I knew that what was happening in those books was also happening all around me, and I was trying to make a connection between the books and the life I saw, and the life I lived….I knew I was Black, of course, and I also knew I was smart. I didn’t know how I would use my mind or even if I could, but that was the only thing that I had to use. And I was going to get whatever I wanted that way, and I was going to get my revenge that way. So I watched school the way I watched the streets, because part of the answer was there."

—James Baldwin
reading  perspective  jamesbaldwin  sosmarch  dougnoon  2011  school  books  libraries 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Borderland › Areas of Smoke
[Wayback for broken link: ]

"One thing for sure, I’m done caring at all about whether anyone passes or not. I won’t even look at test scores anymore. We’re fucked no matter what, since working hard to pass the damn things means taking all the joy out of learning stuff.

Until this year, I thought that the tests themselves weren’t so bad, and that the damage came from the uses they were put to. But I see things a little differently now, after going through some practice items with my students this year. I overheard one of my students with limited language skills say to himself, “I’m so stupid!” Ouch! Test prep is more educational for me than for them. Some changes are due. I’m going to kick my evil plan up a notch or two next year. More on that later."
dougnoon  testing  reform  rttt  nclb  arneduncan  standardizedtesting  learning  education  schools  schoolreform  2011  fuckitmoments  reading  teaching 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Borderland › Hearts and Minds
"I am done caring about reformist nonsense. At staff meeting…discussing AimsWeb Data…how many students in each grade are below proficient, at risk, proficient based on how well they handled oral 1-minute timed reading…disgusting display of a brain-dead method…We were asked to say what we planned to do…When it was my turn, I said I’d be going with the happiness plan. What’s that? It’s getting the kids to enjoy reading so that they do it on their own. How does it work? Easy. Give them choices & time to read every day, & then celebrate their accomplishments. I got a round of applause. Kind of sad, really, when I think about what that might mean."<br />
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"I’ve seen enough “data”. Next year my classroom is going to be about creativity, projects, & having fun w/ ideas. The way I look at it now, every year may be my last, & I don’t want to go out playing a numbers game that was rigged against me & my students from the start. Rigidly applied standards will fail the kids; that’s not my job."
dougnoon  teaching  reading  creativity  well-being  resistance  pedagogy  2011  data  testing  standardizedtesting  poverty  theprivateeye  standards  standardization  numbersgame  statistics  schools  policy  reform  schoolreform  arneduncan  barackobama  rttt  nclb 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Borderland › On Regrets
"There are a lot of ups and downs in the job of teaching. More downs than ups, lately, it seems. But still, I’m glad I got into it and have had an occasional glimpse of the good that can come from influencing someone to set goals and reach for things that might at first seem difficult to attain. When you teach elementary school, it takes a few years before the kids come back to tell you about these things. These visits are hugely meaningful to me since on a day-to-day level, it’s hard to see growth in so many things that really matter, like empathy, confidence, persistence, and goal-setting. And I wonder about the kids that don’t return with stories to tell – the ones who might have gained nothing meaningful from our time together. What could I have done differently to make that chemistry work? This question nags me…"
dougnoon  teaching  vocation  testing  standardizedtesting  values  empathy  confidence  persistence  goals  goal-setting  idealism  money  salaries 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Borderland › Rothstein on Accountability in Schools
"Approximately 30 well-spent minutes with Richard Rothstein, who patiently spells out what is happening as a consequence of using narrow measures of accountability for schools vs. what really needs to happen."
richardrothstein  policy  accountability  measurement  teaching  learning  schools  us  2010  obesity  children  afterschoolprograms  fitness  poverty  standardizedtesting  extendeddayprograms  health  achievementgap  dougnoon  math  mathematics  reading  crisis  achievement  media  politics  fear  education  ideology  medicaid  parenting  earlychildhood  teacherquality  economics  unemployment  race  wealth  language 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Let There Be Gridlock
"I don’t know if it’s the “end of the age of Obama.” If this is a new age, I’ve never seen Obama carrying the banner for it. We need to get over the idea that “leaders” will save us from the evils of the world, and find ways to make changes closer to home on ourown. "
dougnoon  barackobama  2010  elections  local  politics  policy  leadership  grassroots  disappointment 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Raising the Black Flag
[Wayback link: ]

"I’ve not studied anarchism as a political theory or philosophy before, nor the history of anarchism, so I’ve been reading up on it. & I find that anarchists are a fairly diverse group. Good thing, because there may be new opportunities for anarcho-educationists opening up soon, w/ all the teacher bashing that’s been happening in the media lately. I’ve been torn between keeping my head down or telling the bean counters to measure THIS, and let me get back to work.

Today the Dept. of Education issued an edict condemning bullying: [quote here]

Interesting, considering their support for mass firings of teachers, “rigorous interventions”, termination of teacher tenure rights, public humiliation of teachers in LA (via Larry Ferlazzo), and recommending hurricanes over public deliberation when you want to tear down a community’s schools. They should clean up their own house before they start pointing fingers…"

[Some book recommendations in the comments]

"I recommend reading Rebel in Paradise, by Richard Drinnon, about Emma Goldman.

I also recommend Starhawk’s Webs of Power "

"I recommend The Modern School Movement — "
anarchy  namchompsky  alanmoore  anarchism  dougnoon  bullying  policy  barackobama  politics  society  hypocrisy  capitalism  privilege  privatization  paulgoodman  individualism  democratic  stephendownes  books  emmagoldman  richarddrinnon  margaretsanger  alexanderberkman  manray 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Making Fire
"Anyway, this little classroom moment may be of interest. The focus for 6th-grade Social Studies is ancient civilizations. We study Egypt, the Fertile Crescent in Mesopotamia, Greece & Rome. But, because I am slow, we never really get very far into Rome before I run into summer break. & Rome is pretty interesting. Besides that, the kids don’t really learn much about ancient civs slogging through the textbook on a chronological forced march. So, I decided that this year I’d try something new, & study the topic conceptually. I think that it might be interesting to study civilization itself, as in government, culture, economy, technology, etc. & use the relevant ancient civilizations as examples of the general concept."<br />
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And: "The problem of authority in education, & society in general, is an issue we need to pay attention to. I’ve been reading a lot about anarchism, & I think there may be some useful lessons to be drawn between that history & education reform. More to come."
dougnoon  teaching  ancientcivilization  projectbasedlearning  textbooks  conceptualunderstanding  conceptualthinking  anarchy  reading  bloging  endgame  derekjansen  blogging  reform  education  learning  deschooling  unschooling  history  society  anarchism  pbl 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › We Are In Deep Doo Doo
"So let us understand that this is a global project that began 40 years ago, was tested, refined – if you want to use that word – imposed on Africa, Asia, and Latin America by the World Bank. ... What’s the project? Here are the contours: Privatization, fragmentation of oversight and regulation and creation of individual schools, standardized testing, and assault on teachers’ unions. Those are the 4 pillars of this project. ... So I’m gonna quote for you from something called...The World Development Report 2002... The analysis is the following: The market is the best regulator of all services, and the state, the welfare state causes problems by intruding on free choice. Next, the global economy requires that workers from every country compete with others for jobs. And since most people will be competing with workers in other countries for jobs requiring little formal education, money spent on a highly educated workforce is wasted. In other words, most jobs are in Walmarts."
education  politics  teachers  teaching  neoliberalism  markets  dianeravitch  dougnoon  loiswerner  worldbank  standardization  testing  economics  money  unions  fragmentation  standardizedtesting  oversight  textbooks  charterschools 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › The Right Kind of Education
"When educational mission is reduced to test score...demoralization of all involved is end result...Test scores tell us nothing about who we really are as a community or individuals. They are “funny money” created to serve alien economy that only recognizes bottom lines...""We blamed television for making children restless & distracted, then substituted an academic solution that compounded restlessness & fatigue….We no longer wonder “Who are you?” but instead decide quickly “What can we do to fix you?”" I see this happening throughout elementary school curriculum. More time now is required for Math & Reading instruction & less for Science experiments...may be more real science going on in boys’ bathroom than in class. I realized this the other day after I walked in on 4th grader who was kneeling in the sink so he could make “fog” on mirror with his breath. I asked him if he was learning anything, & poor kid hustled out of the room, worried that I was going to complicate his day."
education  schools  schooling  dougnoon  pedagogy  science  self-knowledge  play  testing  imaginitiveplay  unschooling  deschooling  assessment  standardizedtesting  tcsnmy 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › This is Not A Test
"Scholastic and LA Unified Schools both come out looking bad in this story. Will it get any attention on TWIE? Naturally, I’m suspicious of the motives of people when billions of dollars are on the table. But the other story here is about how information is both circulated and contained by corporate media. To get a clearer view of how that works, people should see this video, based on Noam Chomsky’s book Manufacturing Consent"
scholasticinc  twie  dougnoon  macdeanmillot  alexanderrusso  censorship  money  education-industrialcomplex  education  schools  politics  noamchomsky 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Inspired
"I conduct my own counter-testing program in which I promote play, passion, and useless skills that have no value other than to support physical and mental well-being, along with the added bonus of impressing people who appreciate whatever it is you learn to do."
well-being  education  teaching  learning  schools  schooling  dougnoon  cv  slow  socioemotional  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland › A Community of Learners
"I wholeheartedly endorse a vision of teaching “oriented to the natural, the social, and to the making of a human community.” They are shared values among the people I work with now, and they are central to my work as a teacher. I consider myself lucky. Unfortunately, no such effort is being promoted on a broad scale in the US, and “reforms” such as standardized curricula and merit pay, along with high rates of teacher turnover in schools are antagonistic to the natural, the social, and the making of a human community."
progressive  education  learning  schools  johndewey  dougnoon  tcsnmy  teaching  community  inquiry  policy  testing  assessment  curriculum  standardization  meritpay 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland › Competitiveness and Excellence
"Competitiveness & excellence are not necessarily related. Competition may lead to excellence, but it may also lead to cheating & lying. Or it may lead to more benign perversions, like data mining & “public relations” initiatives that focus on quality indicators, rather than quality itself...story about how colleges may manipulate their rankings in US News & World Report’s list of top universities. But data mining and publicity campaigns aren’t always necessary for an institution to promote itself. Sometimes ideology alone is enough for a school to stand on. ... My own teaching philosophy and my reservations about using any form of coercion to get kids to learn runs straight back to my early years in school. The need for order has to be balanced with respect and a certain amount of freedom to direct our attention toward what interests us. The teacher has to figure out how to put that together, and the extent to which he or she can do that makes all the difference for kids."
education  tcsnmy  marketing  publicrelations  administration  management  philosophy  progressive  quality  freedom  traditional  alfiekohn  dougnoon  competitiveness  excellence  competition  datamining  colleges  universities  schools  teaching 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland » My Evil Plan
"Students were overwhelmingly positive about the reading/writing workshop, and website. These are some clips from the highlight reel."
dougnoon  reading  writing  teaching  education  learning  tcsnmy  students  books 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Free and Voluntary Reading
"This year, everyone in the class reads what they want to read, and they read without interruption for 30-40 minutes each day. They tell me about their books when I go around the room asking how it’s going. I write down what we talk about. They read short passages quietly to me. They write in journals about their books. They meet with partners or in small groups, and they give oral “book reports” written on sticky notes. They make book recommendations to each other. They read at home and before school without being told to, and they tell me they love to read. I even saw one of my students reading a book walking down the hall the other day. It’s going viral." + "Allington has a list of Ten Research-Based, Low-Profit Potential Practices" + Linda Darling-Hammond: “Standardized practice is malpractice when viewed from a perspective of professional accountability. Professional teachers should be allowed to focus on doing the right things rather than doing things right.”
dougnoon  reading  teaching  inquiry  learning  education  tcsnmy  workshop  freereading 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Education - Standardized Incoherence
So much to quote. Here's part of a comment from Lisa Amphlett: "as a director of a very 21st century business - we design web-based applications and services - I wouldn't be interested in using the national curriculum of ANY country as a yardstick by which to measure a potential employee's suitability. We don't think that school, in and of itself, is important, or that exam results tell us much. What we look for are very smart people who are passionate about learning, people who can and do teach themselves, and people who are happy to take on responsibility, holding themselves to account. We don't see many of them, but when we do, we snap them up. I think that as industries evolve this century, our approach will become more and more common (it already is)."
dougnoon  education  tcsnmy  learning  schools  governance  politics  standards  assessment  us  gamechanging  clayburell  lisaamphlett  cv 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland » What We Measure
[Wayback link: ]

"Well, here’s some news: We already measure many sad truths kids are learning, We count high school dropouts, teen pregnancies, drug arrests, incarceration rates, mean family incomes, child welfare statistics, and a host of other social dissonance indicators. And all of them indicate there is a problem outside the schoolhouse. And there is NO evidence that a steady diet of testable basic skills, disconnected from any reality in the known universe outside the sterile confines of an education policy think tank, will have any impact on THOSE statistics." + Great quote from Robert F. Kennedy including these lines "[GNP] measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."
dougnoon  policy  education  publicschools  schools  poverty  society  government  history  robertfkennedy  assessment  well-being  economics  happiness  wisdom  learning  shrequest1 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Hauling Water at 40 Below Zero
"Hauling water in winter at 65N latitude is tricky, but the variables are finite. Teaching school is complex. After 25 years in three different schools in all the elementary grades, I have no list of absolutes other than to keep my eyes and ears open, and think about everything I do. When things don’t work out, I have to ask why and what I should do differently, but those things are rarely the same from year to year. I have more questions than answers, and I’d like the bureaucrats and politicians to respect that. I can still hope."
dougnoon  teaching  bureaucracy  government  policy  education  schools  learning  cv  politics  complexity 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Borderland » Harder vs. Smarter
"The assumptions built into curriculum structures are at least as important as any other single factor weighing on relevance and excellence in school. Working harder and raising expectations might benefit the people who already can, and who are personally invested in working the system. But those other poor people who are already in over their heads, and who see the whole enterprise as a forced march, what about them? There’s a big difference between making someone work harder, and making someone want to work harder...I see conventional curriculum as a major obstacle to learning, whether it be the “21st century” variety, or any other. I downloaded and looked through it, and it seems doable, and maybe worthwhile."
dougnoon  teaching  pedagogy  research  philosophy  economics  poverty  culture  curriculum  tcsnmy  change  reform  standards  accountability  schools  schoolreform  unschooling  deschooling  michellerhee 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Assessments for Learning
"One of Darling-Hammond’s slides listed what she called the “changing expectations for learning”:
learning  teaching  dougnoon  testing  assessment  change  reform  schools  schooling  education  policy  standards  tests  cv  nclb  literacy  tcsnmy 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Rage and Hope
"In his interview with Goodman, Michael Moore discussed his Election Guide 2008 and some presidential decrees he suggests for Barack Obama’s first 10 days in office, to include: * Bring back the draft, but only draft children of the rich; * Make it a crime to make a profit off of somebody being sick; * Ban high-fructose corn syrup; * Americans should pay no more taxes than the French (by relieving us of expenses for things like health insurance, daycare, and college tuition - which are “hidden” taxes - and instead return something of real value in return for the taxes that people do pay); * Make it an American mission to ensure that the entire world has clean drinking water; * Require the rich to pay their fair share of social security (since they currently don’t pay anything into the fund); After all, we’re voting for a socialist…"
elections  2008  dougnoon  barackobama  us  socialism  michaelmoore  politics  change 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Tell the Raven
"Tell the Raven is a community writing project for my Grade 6 (grade 4 material is in the archives) students in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Raven totem pole stands in the middle of our playground. Our stories go out to the world."
dougnoon  blogs  tcsnmy  sixthgrade  blogging  writing  classideas  exchange  teaching  edtech  education  schools  wikis  alaska 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Shock Resistance
"Ignore infrastructure until it fails (claiming there isn’t money to maintain it). When a crisis hits, and while everyone is disoriented (in shock), funnel public funds to contractors who’ll presumably make it all better. Use force to suppress the opp
dougnoon  nclb  schools  naomiklein  privatization  politics  policy  education  money  infrastructure  reform  change  shockdoctrine  us 
july 2008 by robertogreco

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