Personalized Learning (PL)


I have always wondered why, after all these years, schools have not been able to break free of the shackles of the factory model. The Factory School was developed in the 19th century and has survived wars, computer revolutions and other societal transformations. The Factory School has characterized public education, and even most private education, since public education began in the United States. The factory school is regulated by bells, students sitting in rows ‘learning’ the same things at the same time and teachers often seeing more than 100 students per day. School buildings were designed to accommodate the model and ......

Personalized Learning (PL)2015-02-27T15:38:18-05:00

Ills and Frills: how to save money while reassessing the frills and ‘ills’ of education


Ills and Frills: how to save money while reassessing the frills and ‘ills’ of education       It is hard to imagine how much time students spend—waste—each day in school. Many schools, unable to fill up student schedules with meaningful classes or activities, place them in ‘study halls,’ which are really holding pens with an academic sounding name. This foolishness is not the fault of the schools or students necessarily, but of tight budgets and a cadre of unimaginative administrators, forced to act more like assembly line managers than thoughtful educators. Tight budgets, often the result of unsupported mandates made by well-meaning ......

Ills and Frills: how to save money while reassessing the frills and ‘ills’ of education2015-02-16T18:24:10-05:00

Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) and Fitness


Online physical education, while at first glance an oxymoron (don’t you just that word?) is actually ready for primetime. It can be personalized, performed anywhere, measured and reported. Are we—you—ready for it? No matter the type of school, it is challenging to find ways to engage diverse groups of students in fitness. When I went to school, physical education was focused on organized team games and activities. The activities involved square dancing, which was not always a big hit. There was very little focus on fitness per se, or on developing individual fitness. I enjoyed (and profited from) physical activity, but ......

Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) and Fitness2015-02-16T16:30:20-05:00

21st Century Skills


21st Century Skills Recently—actually, for a long time—I have been thinking about the necessary skills for economic survival and well being in the 21st century. I have also thought, on more than one occasion, whether business interests should dictate the curriculum in schools. (More on that later.) Defining the skills depends on who is doing the defining, of course, whether it is a business, a school board in Alaska, or a parent group tired of standardized tests. In general, the skills have been separated from the curriculum; they receive attention after the fact, that is, after the curriculum has been established. ......

21st Century Skills2015-02-02T17:35:43-05:00