Book Club, Innovation Series, News and Trends

Create or Die

This incredibly bold statement is the title of Andrés Oppenheimer's new book about the hope of Latin America and the 5 keys of innovation. It's actually Crear o Morir because it's written in Spanish. Oppenheimer asks why the United States produced Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and countless other grand innovators, instead of any… Continue reading Create or Die

Book Club

5 Resolutions for the New Year

I recently found some “Happy New Year’s” cards I bought last winter during a bout of optimism about my ability to send them out during the busy holiday season.  After kicking myself for not using them, I realized that New Year’s really doesn’t have that much significance in my world.  Sure you put on awesome… Continue reading 5 Resolutions for the New Year

Book Club, Stage 1: Adult Learning and Leadership

How should we train teachers?

Finland. A cold Scandinavian country that shocked the world (and itself) when the first PISA test results came out. They were #1. Since that fateful day in 2001, everyone wants to know how they became so successful. What does the book The Smartest Kids in the World attribute to Finland's success? Teacher training. Full stop.… Continue reading How should we train teachers?

Book Club, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Are you good at mathematics?

The Smartest Kids in the World has me thinking a lot about the different disciplines, especially math. Sure, kids have "favorite" subjects ranging from Art to Science, depending on the kid and usually on the quality of the teacher. But for some reason there is an assumption that some people are just "good at math"… Continue reading Are you good at mathematics?

Book Club

The Smartest Kids in the World: Part 2

I'm about halfway through The Smartest Kids in the World. Ripley is a good writer and sets the stage for her conclusions by telling the story of the three kids she followed as they completed an exchange program in Korea, Finland and Poland. Here are some nuggets worth sharing. About PISA: "Smart tests usually had… Continue reading The Smartest Kids in the World: Part 2

Book Club, News and Trends

Book Club: The Smartest Kids in the World

  I didn't want to like Amanda Ripley's book. Perhaps it's the title which assumes an objective view of "smart" and a competition approach to learning...perhaps it's because she's a young journalist writing about what works in education. If the reverse where true, I don't think many people would flock to my class on journalism...but… Continue reading Book Club: The Smartest Kids in the World

Book Club

An Ethic of Excellence – Part 2

Today we’re taking a look at Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence.  Berger is the Chief Program Officer for Expeditionary Learning, a national network of over 160 public project-based schools in 30 states.  He writes An Ethic of Excellence, however, from a different seat - from his perspective as a public school teacher and carpenter… Continue reading An Ethic of Excellence – Part 2

Book Club

Summer Book Club: Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence

Today's summer book club selection is an amazing book written by an inspirational educator - Ron Berger's An Ethic of Excellence.I know at least two groups of educators who are reading this book as a shared faculty experience this summer and everyone is raving about it! Tomorrow we'll share some more details from the text,… Continue reading Summer Book Club: Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence

Book Club

Whistling Vivaldi, Part 2: So what do we do?

The first half (or maybe more) of social psychologist Claude Steele's book Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do proves the detrimental impacts of "identity threat" on academic performance for stereotyped groups. This morning, I skipped ahead a few chapters in search of some solutions. What can we do to reduce identity… Continue reading Whistling Vivaldi, Part 2: So what do we do?

Book Club

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

For educators, August is a peculiar month. We're trying to squeeze out all the fun and relaxation of these last few days of summer while also gearing up for the start of a new school year. Today is the epitome of the "August" mentality for me -- I'm on vacation in New Hampshire, spending most of… Continue reading Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do