Shame in School

My partner, Michelle, was recently preparing for a parent workshop she was offering around the importance of vulnerability. She used this diagram to outline the interaction among connection, compassion, courage, gratitude, and vulnerability. Michelle and I are often sharing our explorations, findings and questions with each other as we design learning plans for others. This […]

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Future Focus

I read with interest, an announcement  of  Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new graduation initiative designed to guide post-secondary success for students of all levels by requiring that they develop plans for life after graduation. Starting with current freshmen – the Class of 2020 – students would have a post-secondary plan in hand in order to […]

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Homework/ Home Learning

I have written earlier about the impact of the word “work” in describing the learning activities in which we want students to engage. My thinking was initially triggered by Alfie Kohn’s writing in Students Don’t “Work”- They Learn . Homework defines this conflict for me most clearly. Can it really be a quality learning activity if […]

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Impact of Teachers Showing Their Belief in Students

On a recent flight I was checking back on “items saved” on my computer and ran across a Mindshift post titled, How Showing and Telling Kids ‘I Believe in You’ Can Empower Them at School.  It was excerpted from a chapter titled, “Teaching Mathematics for a Growth Mindset” found in Jo Boaler’s book, Unleashing Students’ […]

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Documenting 4C skills

I had a request to facilitate a team of high school teacher leaders and administrators who were exploring the possible implementation of a graduation portfolio or capstone project that would document students’ skills in the 4Cs: collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking. In the same week I received a message from an international contact who […]

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Was Santa a Great Teacher or Did He Get Lucky?

At the Learningforward Conference this month I had the opportunity to attend a keynote by Yong Zhao .  He shared the need for schools to focus on identifying and supporting students pursuing their strengths and interests. Zhao illustrated the point by having the audience sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Had […]

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Steve Barkley

For the past 30 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Read more…