John Wooden, Barack Obama & Why Smart People Are Stoopid

Leadership, Learning, Voice

This week’s Frank Rich column may not be about education policy, but it might as well be. Writing about the president’s handling of the BP oil spill, Rich believes Obama’s “most conspicuous flaw is his unshakeable confidence in the collective management brilliance of the best and the brightest he selected for his White House team — “his abiding faith in … Read More

Sir Ken Robinson & Creativity

Learning, Voice

I’m off this morning to spend two days with Sir Ken Robinson and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, which is planning to host a World Creativity Forum this November in Oklahoma City. If you’re unaware of Sir Ken, here’s a video preview, courtesy of a recent TED talk — and his take on why we need to move away from standardized instruction, … Read More

The Book of Learning Stories — Title Search

Democracy, Learning, Voice

I need your help in coming up with the title for the book of learning stories. Whoever submits the winning entry will get a $50 gift card to the bookstore of their choice. Here are the three I have so far: The Learning Book: 50 Powerful Stories of Learning & Teaching — In School & In Life Learning Matters: 50 … Read More

Draft Intro for Book of Learning Stories

Democracy, Learning, Voice

For anyone interested in learning a bit more about what the book will look like . . . ——– This is a book of different people’s stories. Some are about teachers who changed their students’ lives. Some describe the moment when a person first discovered how to ask the right questions, or found what they were most passionate about.  Others … Read More

Final 50 Selected for Book of Learning Stories

Learning, Voice

Nine months ago, the Rethink Learning Now campaign launched a national storytelling initiative by asking people to reflect on their most powerful learning experiences, and/or their most effective teachers. Since then, the campaign has received hundreds of insightful and illustrative submissions from people across the country –from students to social workers to the Secretary of Education himself. And this past … Read More

Education and… National Security

Democracy, First Amendment, Learning, Voice

I see that President Obama listed education as a core aspect of his overall National Security Strategy. It reminds me of a great piece my former boss and mentor Charles Haynes wrote less than three weeks after the September 11 attacks. As Charles wrote: “Over the course of this long struggle, the most effective answer to training camps of hatred … Read More

Our Children Deserve Democratic Schools

Democracy, Learning, Voice

A few years ago, a reporter in Columbia, South Carolina asked local elementary school children why America celebrates the Fourth of July. Most of the answers were predictably personal. To eat hot dogs, said one boy. To watch fireworks, a girl answered. Another child thought we all celebrated the Fourth of July because it was his brother’s birthday. One student, … Read More