Tuesday, November 22, 2016

pictures at an exhibition (not Mussorgsky)

These are a couple pictures from my Sunday event. Shown from left, are Peggy Kjelgaard, director of ESSA, me, my wife, Jean, and an old friend Jan who volunteered to cut the cake.

Over the weekend, I had interesting conversations with guests from out of town. One was a retired school superintendent with her PhD in curriculum and development. We talked about the challenges in education,  and the necessity of eliminating the contrived aspects of it.

Most educators recognize the value to integrating lessons to transcend the boundaries between various disciplines. One approach would be to make up artificial situations in which connections are made by the teacher, demonstrating "this is related to that." But there is no real substitute for engagement in real life. Woodshop is one of many great ways that connections between fields and that children can discover those connections for themselves. Artificiality and contrivance needs not apply.

We shared the idea that teachers are under extreme stress and face unreasonable expectations, even though learning is normally an irrepressible inclination, innate to our human species. Schools too often take all the fun out of it.

Make, fix, create, and extend the likelihood that others learn likewise.


  1. what a great party for you! And you're right about teachers. They are quitting in droves because of the stress and because they are the new scapegoats for all that might be wrong with education.


  2. The problems in American education are widespread and widely known, and if you ask nearly any teacher you will hear the same story and the same frustration, but most of it all has been taken out of the hands of teachers, parents and communities and placed in the hands of educational policy makers and politicians who demand other things, than that the interests of children to learn be met.