Foreign Language Education: Culture is the Future


The new trend of foreign language education is closely tied to culture. Culture-specific programs in general contribute to the enrichment of students, schools, and communities. They provide rich learning experiences that supplement and enhance both classroom activities and what is taught in the home. Many federal agencies and state education departments are implementing strategies not only for purposes of increased cultural awareness, but also to support proficiency in a second or third language prior to post-secondary studies and entrance into the workforce. The Florida DOE, for example, included in its 2017 statutes the awarding of certificates to students who demonstrate Silver ......

Foreign Language Education: Culture is the Future2020-01-22T09:54:33-05:00

Fear and Flexibility: Barriers to Persistence and Pathways to Success


As the new Head of School at Obridge, I am excited to exchange insights with colleagues and students throughout this shared experience. I am passionate about the education of our youth, and about what it takes to help all students be successful. Having spent a good portion of my career in higher education, I have witnessed first-hand the unsettling decline in college enrollment. There have of course emerged several theories as to why this is happening. Factors that impede a student’s choice to pursue a college degree often include financial strain, the need to begin working, or the necessity to contribute ......

Fear and Flexibility: Barriers to Persistence and Pathways to Success2017-09-20T13:22:11-05:00



Every once in a while, my thoughts turn to such things as literacy. It is hard to imagine why, given the number of things that I could think about. Actually, I think one reason is that few areas seem so important in the course of human history than literacy. Writing, which predated reading in human history, began in Sumeria, in modern day Iraq. At least that’s the case in the Western world. Writing was not designed by poets, or teachers, but to keep records of economic transactions. There are many types of literacy: digital, visual, print, numerical, cultural, etc. Sustained Silent ......


Education Dreams


Have you ever thought what you might do if you won the lottery? Once in a while I do, but I have only played twice in the past 10 years…for about $3.00. But I can dream. I imagine what I would do with $300 million in my pocket. I seem to only think about the lottery when the jackpot is huge! In my imaginative world, I would abolish school as we know it and start over. I would analyze which pieces of education are provided for the convenience of the ‘teacher’ and which for the ‘learner.’ What role should teachers play? ......

Education Dreams2015-06-23T19:05:03-05:00

Testing: a Dirty Word?


Tests come in many forms, from the standardized tests given to millions of students each year, to a complex series of routines that a doctor puts you through when you complain of a pain. Sports tryouts are also a sort of test because your skills are compared to others and someone—a coach—makes a decision based on the outcome. Tests are part of life. They are unavoidable. All of life is a test. But are standardized tests in school necessary? In short, NO. At least as currently conceived. I hope you didn’t think that teachers in schools where students actually study design ......

Testing: a Dirty Word?2015-06-08T23:23:27-05:00

Tenacity…..and Learning


I had an interesting and inspiring conversation last week. A woman called to say that her grandson—one of our middle school students—was having difficulty with math. The teacher had, it turns out, already spent a significant amount of time trying to help the student, but was not available as often as needed by the student. It is impossible for teachers to offer individual tutoring because of the structure of the school. Skype hours and emails did not begin to address the issues the student faces. The student had missed almost all of sixth grade math. As anyone can imagine, missing an ......

Tenacity…..and Learning2015-05-20T18:55:13-05:00

Let’s hear it for boredom! (and creativity)


When I first read the claim in an article that ‘boredom breeds creativity,’ I was fascinated. I wish I had known this when I was young and bored, and my mother told me: “Find something constructive to do.” Whoever would have imagined that what my mother thought was malaise could actually be productive? Certainly not my mother and certainly not me, at least until I started thinking about it, when I was bored! ‘New Tech City,’ a radio program in New York, issued a challenge, the “Bored and Brilliant Project: Delete that App.” ‘New Tech City’ highlights trends and emerging technology ......

Let’s hear it for boredom! (and creativity)2015-05-14T13:45:17-05:00

Happiness and Education


I read an article last week about happiness and education. At first, I thought it must be just one more alarm sounded to scare people into not dropping out of high school, or college. Then, I thought, people who are going to drop out probably don’t read articles stuffed with statistics about education anyway. They just drop out. But according to the article, and many others that I found, people with more education are happier. I will explain and add some of my own thoughts. For years, we have been led to believe that money makes us happy. Of course, money ......

Happiness and Education2015-05-01T00:16:21-05:00

Flying and Fishing: Thinking about Nothing


Fishing is King of the World of Leisure. It is a great excuse to do Nothing. Unlike other sedentary activities, where you might see the sitter with book in hand, you will never see an angler reading. He might stare blankly into the water; he might daydream; he might talk to a friend to pass the time; perhaps he will mutter to himself about not catching anything. In an honest moment, he will admit that catching something really doesn’t matter. It is the act of fishing, the act of doing nothing. I remember seeing a bumper sticker that said “A bad ......

Flying and Fishing: Thinking about Nothing2015-03-29T22:36:00-05:00

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