Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Worth Reading

Vacation edition of worth reading post.  If you run out of materials on the beach or have a few quiet minutes at home take a look through some of these articles and videos.

1. Truly Questioning Everything (Truss)- forces the reader to examine and evaluate traditional school structures.

The learning curve has been huge. I’ve had to question a lot of my own assumptions and have even found barriers in my own beliefs about what school ‘should’ or ‘needs to’ look like. It has been humbling, challenging, fascinating and engaging. The interesting thing is that much of what I’ve been learning can happen in most every school, and I find that very exciting.

2. In Search of Agency (@budtheteacher)- how do we help students and teachers realize and embrace their ability to bring about change.

The essential question at the bottom is, I think, the big piece – “How do I approach a system to determine where my agency lies?”  If you’re able to play, you can see the constraints.  To see them, you’ve got to know how and where to look.  Hacking, making and playing seem to be useful ways to answer that question.

If they have provided students with an array of rich resources and have set up opportunities for students to think deeply and question what they have learned at home before coming to class, these teachers are going to see that there are a wide array of new questions that arise that might never have come up during a standard class period. In these cases, teachers are really going to need to know their stuff, and they are going to need to be able to individualize on the fly—quite possibly five, 10, or even 20 times in a class period.

4. Classroom on the Water: The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School- Classroom on the Water: The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, chronicles the achievements of the Harbor School and its journey to its new home on Governors Island.

5. Emily Philloton: Teaching design for change- Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She's teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers' minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state.