Archive | March, 2009

What Donald Trump and Albert Einstein Can Teach Us

Albert Einstein was, among his many roles, a philosopher. His book of opinions is freighted with ideas about learning, education, and life. I have just finished my next book, whose working title was Teaching with Questions. Heinemann will bring this book out in the spring of 2010. I spent the last two years writing the […]

It’s Not Enough to Be Charlie Rose

I heard Charley Rose speak last night in Marin County. I love his shows. He is a great asker of questions. He was not a great speaker. In fact, he was terrible. He was never arrogant or precious, as some speakers we have heard in this series were; nevertheless, he seemed to think it was […]

Automatic English

In the last few days I have read enough articles about automation in areas one would assume could not be automated to make me wonder where we will draw the line. An article in the latest issue of Inc. magazine reports that companies like Zappos.com use robots which can scan bar codes placed on the […]

Teaching for the 21st Century?

In recent posts I have mentioned reports like Tough Choices of Tough Times and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, both of which I respect, though I don't always agree with everything. I think the verbs of your lesson say a lot about what is going on. I will write some other time about the […]

A Student Voice: The Troubles of War

It occurred to me the other day that I might post my students' work from time to time on this blog by way of honoring the good work they do. My freshman students are reading Bless Me, Ultima, a book that invites many different connections to their own lives. Ali, who came to the country […]

Are Students Half Full or Half Empty?

I spoke with some teachers recently whom I know to be very dedicated teachers. They teach both advanced and college prep English classes. When you listen to them speak, you notice that they tend to focus on all that the kids, especially their college prep kids, cannot do. They see them as glasses half empty; […]

The Importance of Mentors

Again and again in the last few days I find myself reading reports, articles, books that say in so many words the same thing: we need mentors throughout our life. We all recognize this when it comes to kids, especially the teens some of us work with in middle and high school. But we don't […]

The New Generation’s Mind: Creative, Innovative, Flexible

The National Center on Education and the Economy released its Tough Choices or Tough Times report several years back, but that report's message and importance only grow more evident as we watch the world change beneath our feet. I am particularly encouraged by its emphasis on creativity and innovation, using complexity to develop a flexible […]

The Way We Were: High School 1938

All evening over dinner, conversation with my wife's 90-year-old uncle Joe, who brought his high school year book: class of '38. Used horse-drawn plows to clear the land on which they built the high school my sons, the fifth generation of my wife's family to live in this house, now attend seventy years later. Looking […]

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