Peter’s Blog: Not Your Father’s School


If every independent school is to deliver the best possible educational experience to every student based on the 879c8e91-f84d-4800-a58f-22b0ea24155dfullest expression of its mission, there are some fundamental questions we must confront and some Big Ideas we need to explore. In a world of rapid change and shifting ground, I like to use this space to dig into the issues and look for essential and enduring truths we can believe in and act on as we help education move ahead.

What’s certain is that the schools we’re striving to create today are not your father’s (or your mother’s) school.


Blog Posts

  • CODING IS JUST THE NEW SURVEYING
    November 23, 2014 by
    A tip from a wise friend, Thomas Steele-Maley, brought me back to some old school reading the other day: Theodore Sizer’s The Age of the Academies, from 1964. A look at the roots and fruits of the pre-Civil War “academy movement” in the United States, the little […]...
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  • THE DATA PARADOX: MORE DATA, MORE QUESTIONS
    November 8, 2014 by
    I’m on the train home from a very interesting conference, “Using Data to Make Thoughtful Decisions About Schools” at the ridiculously gorgeous (especially on a sunny late fall day) St. Andrew’s School in Delaware. (In a synchronicitous link to a previous post here, St. Andrew’s was a […]...
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  • INNOVATION: AND WHO’S THE CULPRIT, NOW?
    November 6, 2014 by
    In today’s NAIS Bulletin blog post, National Association of Independent Schools president John Chubb asks, “Are Colleges the Culprit?” For generations, he notes, schools—independent schools chief among them, often enough—have laid the blame for congenital curricular conservatism at the door of colleges. The fact is, “what colleges […]...
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  • SLOW-GRADING TEACHERS: CANARIES IN OUR COAL MINES
    October 30, 2014 by
    This is what students call “Early Decision week,” and college counseling offices are quietly freaking out as they collate the last bits of paperwork to send off to colleges in support of students’ applications. When I directed such an office, the bane of my existence at this […]...
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  • Disruptive Innovation: The Mirror and the Crystal Ball
    September 16, 2014 by
    The other night on the #PubPriBridge Twitter chat we took on the topic of change in schools, and the conversation surfaced some pretty strong feelings on the point and purposes of change. Consensus, I feel comfortable saying, lay on the side of change, Heck, yes! but change […]...
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  • Will Your Smart Watch Save the World?
    September 10, 2014 by
    At some point in 1968 my high school Spanish teacher—a rather gloomy fellow, he was—recommended that we read Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb. First published that year, The Population Bomb was a kind of pop science (if you can say this about the work of a Stanford […]...
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  • A Hard Truth About the Way We Treat Children
    September 5, 2014 by
    The teaching profession and most of the non-profit and social service sector operate on an assumption that has seemed unassailable to me all of my life: that human beings innately and inherently love and value children above the lives of adults, above all things. “Women and children […]...
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  • Ferguson: Tethering Ourselves to What Matters
    September 2, 2014 by
    A while back I realized that once upon a time I was actually in Ferguson, Missouri. It was around Christmas of 1970, and I was visiting a friend—in fact a girlfriend—in Florissant, the other town with which Ferguson shared its high school. Ferguson and Florissant were then, at […]...
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  • The Blame Game: Elite Colleges and Students’ Double Lives
    August 25, 2014 by
    It’s been a tough summer for “elite” colleges—those eight or ten or twelve schools whose names everyone knows and about which everyone has an opinion. I suppose these schools should be pleased that their brands, or at least the collective “Ivy League” brand shared by eight of […]...
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  • The Original Disruptor: A Cautionary Reflection on DEAD POETS SOCIETY
    August 12, 2014 by
    The tragic death of Robin Williams has moved us all, no matter what our special memories of his oeuvre might be: Mork, Adrian Cronauer, Peter Pan, or even John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt in one of my favorite films, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. For […]...
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  • Twitter as the New Sampler, and Reflections on Tweets of Wisdom
    August 6, 2014 by
    In some ways my summer Twitter feed is an extension of the visits to historic sites that my antiquarian family (first with my parents, later with my children) has been making all of my life. On some wall of every Colonial or 19th-century or early 20th-century house […]...
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  • Strategic Thinking and—School Therapy?
    July 31, 2014 by
    Over the past few years I have found myself moving in circles that involve school advancement as much as the teaching-and-learning side of the house. Here I have been made privy to both the anxieties of independent school leaders on matters like enrollment and fiscal sustainability and […]...
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  • A Letter to New Teachers
    July 21, 2014 by
    Note: This post originally appeared here in July of 2011. It has proved to be both popular and durable, and as the 2014-15 school year approaches, it seems appropriate to re-post it—PG In a very few weeks school will be starting, and you will be starting a […]...
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  • Paying It Forward: Further Thoughts on Why We (or at least some of us may) Teach
    July 20, 2014 by
    In my last post I suggested that a powerful motivation for some teachers seems to have been a desire to “correct” the teaching that they themselves experienced. I probably implied, without meaning to, that this is a sole impetus for those “restitutional” teachers, as if they were […]...
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  • Restitutional Teaching: Another Thought On Why We (or at least some of us may) Teach
    July 16, 2014 by
    I have had some wonderful teachers in my life—a solid bunch in my public elementary school and another group in my independent junior high–high school. They shaped and influenced my life in ways I wish I could still tell them about; I’ve managed to get to the […]...
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  • Failure Studies
    July 10, 2014 by
    We’ve been reading quite a lot about failure lately, and clichés and nostrums aimed at getting teachers to embrace failure and to encourage students to do the same trip up and down my Twitter stream at the same rate similar exhortations to embrace “excellence” might have done […]...
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  • My Father’s School—for Me
    June 15, 2014 by
    For a long time after my father died two and a half years ago, I would occasionally have dreams in which he was present in the world of the dream but not present in my direct experience in the dream. He was there, but not right there. […]...
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  • Being Who You Are
    June 11, 2014 by
    A recurring moment in my life as an overnight camp administrator for many summers was when older campers and staff—many time “lifers” who had been campers and moved on—declared in some comfortable setting that “camp is the only place I can really be myself.” I never actually […]...
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  • Celebrating Transitions and Interested Children
    June 6, 2014 by
    Year’s-end is upon us, and there are so many things to think about. I’m reblogging this from The Interested Child, which I write mainly for parents but whose content generally falls within the realm of education. (You might also check out this Interested Child post on “summer […]...
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  • It’s Been a Week for Questions
    June 1, 2014 by
    As I try to sift out the experience of a week, sometimes I reach a point of desperation that comes out in the form of questions. Some recent ones: The post-Santa Barbara conversation over misogyny in the “nerd” community has gone in some interesting directions. But I […]...
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  • Retreat for Academic Leaders, October 2014
    May 21, 2014 by
    Readers may be interested in this upcoming event; I hope to meet some of you there: The Independent Curriculum Group, a consortium of schools sharing a commitment to school-based, mission-driven, teacher-created curriculum and assessment, is excited to invite members of your school community to our inaugural INTERNATIONAL […]...
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  • Thoughts on Independent Schools’ Responsibilities
    May 13, 2014 by
    From time to time I post thoughts on issues of national policy to my blog at Education Week, which is called Independent Schools, Common Perspectives. In the interest of bringing this content to the attention of Not Your Father’s School readers, I just wanted to let you […]...
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  • Data Are People, Too
    May 8, 2014 by
    We keep hearing about data, and how data analysis is going to help education chart its own course toward salvation. I’ve been swimming in a sea of data lately, trying to make out some landmarks. When the accrediting process for independent schools added a kind of data […]...
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  • Girls and Maker Culture: Nothing New
    April 24, 2014 by
    Earlier this week I had the pleasure of experiencing Poughkeepsie Day School’s admirable “From STEM to STEAM and Beyond” conference, including an outstanding “un”-keynote by Pam Moran and Alison Dwier-Selden and some terrific sessions on STEAM education and “Maker” culture in schools. As I bade farewell to […]...
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  • The Narrative We Need for Strategic Change
    April 8, 2014 by
    Yesterday I found myself in a discussion with a head of school who was decrying the ways in which—in his opinion—the tradition of teacher autonomy has limited the development of new and improved practice in independent schools. Taking the long view, I have to say that I […]...
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  • “Grand Unifying Theory” reblogged at ASCD Whole Child Blog
    March 27, 2014 by
    I am delighted to let readers know that the previous post here, “A Whole-Child Education for Every Child: The Grand Unifying Theory of Education,” has been reblogged by ASCD at its Whole Child Blog. For those who support the idea of whole-child education and who believe that […]...
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  • A Whole-Child Education for Every Child: The Grand Unifying Theory of Education
    March 17, 2014 by
    I am not a huge fan of posts that start with a number and proceed to a command: “83 Things You Must Do To Be The Teacher You Want to Be”; “Thirteen C’s Your School Can’t Survive Without.” In general I find these overwhelming, dispiriting, and ultimately […]...
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  • Is the New SAT Worth Cheering About?
    March 14, 2014 by
    I want to believe that there are reasons to cheer on the new SAT as much as the next person, but I keep coming up with more questions than reasons to stand on my school roof and dance. I know that David Coleman, in all sincerity, sees […]...
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  • Whatever Our Passions, There Is a Time to Be Still and Listen
    March 12, 2014 by
    Every now and then I am overcome by guilt over my own role in this echo chamber of the blogosphere. I’m as guilty as the next guy of (un?-)helpfully providing lists of “11 Things Your School Has to Be Thinking About”; it’s a bit about arrogance (I’ll […]...
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  • Umbridging: Outsourcing and the Threat to the Heart of Schools
    March 10, 2014 by
    The other day I wrote here about outsourcing, the tendency in schools these days to hand over responsibility for a myriad of institutional tasks to third-party vendors whose efficiencies and expertise ostensibly make it easier, and maybe cheaper, for schools to let someone else do it. In […]...
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  • On Outsourcing: Lunch, the New SAT, and Why We Need Independent Curriculum
    March 6, 2014 by
    When I was a child at my father’s school, the barber, the dry-cleaner, and the linen truck were the primary outside service providers. I remember the happy day Pop inked the contract with a food service company, in one gesture removing his most vexatious operational burden. Pretty […]...
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  • Partnership, Community-Style: Schools in Their Proper Place
    March 1, 2014 by
    Sometimes at conferences I find my mind wandering, heading off into little neural riffs and speculations triggered by something I’m listening to. Since there’s probably not going to be a quiz on the presentation, I guess this is allowed. Quite possibly this should be the point of […]...
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  • Why Twitter Beats February
    February 21, 2014 by
    It’s February, in case you hadn’t noticed. The weather, mercifully not snowing in Boston, at least, remains bleak and gray, the skies matching the snowbanks along the streets and sidewalks. Some vast percentage of the Lower 48 has experienced extremes of weather in the past month or […]...
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  • Complementarity, Not Competition: A Birthday Wish
    February 19, 2014 by
    The school vaguely alluded to in the name of this blog was indeed my father’s school, and before that it was his father’s school. Today my father would have been 90, an age that I suspect he is happy never to have attained, as his final mid-80s […]...
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  • Getting Something Out of Snow Days (and not the way you think)
    February 13, 2014 by
    The phone rang at 5:22 this morning, and she would have slept through it. But I answered and handed it to my spouse so that she could receive the news that she could go back to sleep. School was closed. This has been a common scenario this […]...
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  • In Which I Confess to Lacking Grit, Apparently, and Blame It on Family
    February 2, 2014 by
    The most exciting place I knew growing up was the “everyday” living room of my grandparents’ house. It was just across the street, so I could go there whenever I wanted.   The room also served as the main reading room of the “library” that was their house, […]...
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  • Looking Inward, Looking Outward: Good for Us All
    January 29, 2014 by
    A large part of my life these days is a kind of distillation of what it has been for a while: advancing the work of independent schools. I’ve got threads going relating to curriculum and assessment, data development, professional development, even marketing. It’s all pretty fun, and […]...
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  • Ambassadors All: A Proposal
    January 9, 2014 by
    I posted this message yesterday (January 8) in several of the National Association of Independent Schools online communities. Since these are for members only, I was encouraged to find a more public forum. So here is the message, as posted: Over the past year or so I […]...
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  • EdCamps and the Dialogue We Need
    January 4, 2014 by
    This afternoon I spent several very happy hours exploring yet another confluence of really interesting and powerful notions, the UnConference and the Google Hangout. The place: EdCamp HOME 2.0.  I just want to put it out there that one of the more educational aspects of EdCamp Home […]...
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  • Teamwork and Grace
    December 30, 2013 by
    I found myself in an interesting conversation yesterday with a coeval—in fact, a high school classmate. We were watching a hockey game involving our distant alma mater, the unlikeliest of fans and the unlikeliest of alumni lettermen in this sport—I the one-time manager and he the statistician. […]...
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  • Holiday Greetings: Family Style!
    December 22, 2013 by
    Lamarck may have had it wrong—critters don’t evolve on demand—but I’m always amazed at the speed with which certain things can become so ingrained in our consciousness as to constitute a kind of species memory. Vast tracts of my brain are devoted to old advertising slogans, songs […]...
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  • Profit and Profiteering in Education
    December 17, 2013 by
    Lately I was gently (and privately) chided for expressing skepticism about the role of business enterprises—the people who sell us our computers, our textbooks, our desks, our apps, our standardized tests, our paper towels, and our trays of ravioli—in schools. Can’t live without ’em. Gotta have ’em. […]...
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  • Reflections on Standards, Grades, and Excuses
    December 14, 2013 by
    These are strange times for educational standards. First, there’s political polarization around the Common Core has everyone a swivet: Are they evil imposed from above, a federalist plot to undermine local control of schools? Or are they a Trojan horse for more testing and yet further reductions […]...
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  • A New Conference Experience: The Association of Boarding Schools
    December 8, 2013 by
    I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from my first experience at The Association of Boarding Schools annual conference, but, as good events do, #TABS13 (as the hashtag goes) left me with plenty to think about and a sense that some of the things I’ve been yammering […]...
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  • School Thanksgivings, Past and Present
    November 26, 2013 by
    Back when my father’s school was still really my father’s, and even my grandfather’s school, Thanksgiving meant something a little different for me than for most kids. Like many boarding schools, the school remained in session during what is now the ubiquitous “Thanksgiving break.” Instead of scampering […]...
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  • Mission and Admission–Some Reflections
    November 14, 2013 by
    Last week I and my friend Tiffany Hendryx of Crane MetaMarketing presented a webinar for the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals called “Selling Mission: Aspirational Statements as Selling Points.” Our mission, if you will, was to remind admission officers that their schools’ mission statements, mottos, taglines, […]...
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  • Thinking Retention: Beliefs and Dreams
    November 12, 2013 by
    It’s the time of year when schools are thinking extra hard about next year’s enrollment numbers, which means it can also be the time of year when some families are thinking about making a move. Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with a faculty about retention […]...
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  • AISAP Webinars Coming Up, ASAP!
    November 5, 2013 by
    Readers may think that I’m something of a nut on mission statements and other aspirational declarations made by schools. I think these matter a great deal, and that schools that understand their own missions and use them to power policy and program development. Aligning what a school […]...
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  • Tradition! Remember, remember…
    November 5, 2013 by
    At some point when I was off at college, my father had an idea: Since his school was at that point pretty close to half Canadian, perhaps adding some sort of Canada-friendly event to the year would be good. Since many students already (mostly) went home for […]...
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  • Where Do Teachers Do Their Best Work?
    October 27, 2013 by
    Here’s a challenge: Ask your faculty, “Where, in all your efforts here, do you do your best, most important work?” If your school is truly mission-driven and values-based, and if you provide your students with anything more than a daily sequence of instructional modules, you’re likely to […]...
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  • When “Ship, Then Test” Fails
    October 23, 2013 by
    “It isn’t rocket science” seems to be a timeless trope, suitable for every occasion and at certain moments hilariously funny when the task actually IS rocket science. So far I haven’t heard it rolled out for the Healthcare.gov fiasco* or for the rolling catastrophe nearest and dearest […]...
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  • Back at the Old Stand!
    October 22, 2013 by
    We took a month or so at a new address, embedded in my personal business website, but I’m happy to say that Not Your Father’s School has been liberated to return to its old URL (actually two old URLs, as www.notyourfathersschool.org and http://notyourfathersschool.blogspot.com/ both bring you here) […]...
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  • Back Here Soon—Please Stay Tuned!
    August 1, 2013 by
    Just another quick update. If you’re a follower you see that the hosting for Not Your Father’s School has changed to my personal business website. I don’t plan to use the blog to push my business, other than in the ways that speculation can lead to ideas […]...
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  • Personal Update, Flag Day, and Rushmore
    June 15, 2013 by
    The months of my blogging at Education Week go on; yesterday I posted my 52nd entry, which has me two-thirds of the way through the current plan. But I miss spending time here. One thing about blogging at someone else’s place is that there is a certain […]...
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  • FY, Pump Up the Volume! A Movie Reflection
    March 21, 2013 by
    I’m pretty consumed by my Education Week blogging these days, but I wanted to come back here to reflect on a film my kids, home from college on spring break, had us watch last Friday, our traditional pizza and movie night. It was good to be all together again, with […]...
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  • EXCITING CHANGES IN MY BLOGGING WORLD
    February 14, 2013 by
    It’s apparent that the pace of my blogging here has slowed down considerably in 2013. But there’s a reason for this, a reason that has me pretty excited. Starting tomorrow (February 15), I will be blogging at Education Week thrice weekly under the title, Independent Schools, Common Perspectives. […]...
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  • BANTER AND SCHOOL CULTURE
    February 3, 2013 by
    A friend, knowing I’m an old maritime fiction (Patrick O’Brian, Richard Woodman, and Alexander Fullerton are among my favorite authors) as well as an admirer for the leadership of Captain Picard in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, recently pointed me to a really interesting post in […]...
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  • CHOPPING WOOD AND INTELLECTUAL CHARACTER
    January 11, 2013 by
    Lucky me! In a week I start a half-year sabbatical, my first since 1996 and a real privilege for which I will be eternally grateful to my school. On the other side, I’ll be coming back to a new position—as yet to be fully defined—that will allow […]...
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  • CHOPPING WOOD AND INTELLECTUAL CHARACTER
    January 11, 2013 by
    Lucky me! In a week I start a half-year sabbatical, my first since 1996 and a real privilege for which I will be eternally grateful to my school. On the other side, I’ll be coming back to a new position—as yet to be fully defined—that will allow […]...
    Read more
  • HOLIDAY WISHES
    December 24, 2012 by
    It’s been a long slog through autumn, but the solstice is past and the days are indeed growing longer again. Light is vanquishing darkness in our hemisphere. There’s still a lot of darkness around, but I feel quite certain that regular readers of this blog are determined […]...
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  • HOLIDAY WISHES
    December 24, 2012 by
    It’s been a long slog through autumn, but the solstice is past and the days are indeed growing longer again. Light is vanquishing darkness in our hemisphere. There’s still a lot of darkness around, but I feel quite certain that regular readers of this blog are determined […]...
    Read more
  • ARMED GUARDIANS
    December 24, 2012 by
    While I may not have much to add to the chorus of scorn rightfully being heaped on the National Rifle Association’s shockingly inappropriate “armed security at every school” idea, I do have a couple of observations, one based on experience, the other common sense. I was raised […]...
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  • ARMED GUARDIANS
    December 24, 2012 by
    While I may not have much to add to the chorus of scorn rightfully being heaped on the National Rifle Association’s shockingly inappropriate “armed security at every school” idea, I do have a couple of observations, one based on experience, the other common sense. I was raised […]...
    Read more
  • MY COUSINS’ SCHOOL
    December 15, 2012 by
    My cousins’ school is in the news. The younger generation has grown and moved on, but their mother—a teacher and counselor, author of a book on grief—lives in town, a few blocks from the school. I haven’t heard from any of them, but their feelings are their […]...
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  • MY COUSINS’ SCHOOL
    December 15, 2012 by
    My cousins’ school in western Connecticut is in the news. The younger generation has grown and moved on, but their mother—a teacher and counselor, author of a book on grief—lives in town, a few blocks from the school. I haven’t heard from any of them, but their […]...
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  • “WE TEACH”—THE ELUSIVE LANGUAGE OF CHARACTER EDUCATION
    December 13, 2012 by
    While I was in the middle of thinking about my Six C’s for Learning, a hot conversation was taking place in one of the online college counseling communities about the ways in which schools report—or choose not to report—disciplinary infractions to colleges. At least one school stated that […]...
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  • “WE TEACH”—THE ELUSIVE LANGUAGE OF CHARACTER EDUCATION
    December 13, 2012 by
    While I was in the middle of thinking about my Six C’s for Learning, a hot conversation was taking place in one of the online college counseling communities about the ways in which schools report—or choose not to report—disciplinary infractions to colleges. At least one school stated that […]...
    Read more
  • MY SIX C’s FOR 21st-CENTURY LEARNING (OR FOR ALL TIME?)
    December 7, 2012 by
    At some point in the past couple of years we turned a corner into strange territory where secondary schools, apparently even “college prep” secondary schools, need to devote themselves to producing skilled workers for the 21st-century labor force. Luckily, we have been given multiple lists of these […]...
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  • MY SIX C’s FOR 21st-CENTURY LEARNING (OR FOR ALL TIME?)
    December 7, 2012 by
    At some point in the past couple of years we turned a corner into strange territory where secondary schools, apparently even “college prep” secondary schools, need to devote themselves to producing skilled workers for the 21st-century labor force. Luckily, we have been given multiple lists of these […]...
    Read more
  • BEST CLASS EVER; EVER AGAIN?
    December 5, 2012 by
    I recently ran across Australian educator and blogger Andrew Douch’s account of the “best school [he’s] ever seen.” North Beaches Christian School in Terrey Hills, near Sydney, sounds idyllic, right down to the acoustically clever ceilings that keep noise levels down. I’d like to see this place. […]...
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  • BEST CLASS EVER; EVER AGAIN?
    December 5, 2012 by
    I recently ran across Australian educator and blogger Andrew Douch’s account of the “best school [he’s] ever seen.” North Beaches Christian School in Terrey Hills, near Sydney, sounds idyllic, right down to the acoustically clever ceilings that keep noise levels down. I’d like to see this place. […]...
    Read more
  • ‘TIS THE SEASON–for Schedule Committees!
    December 1, 2012 by
    Ah, the season has rolled around again. The fall of 2012, with its too-early Thanksgiving and string of less-than-five-day weeks owing to some holidays and, in our neck of the woods, the weather, is drawing to a close, and people are thinking how miserable their schools’ schedules […]...
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  • ‘TIS THE SEASON–for Schedule Committees!
    December 1, 2012 by
    Ah, the season has rolled around again. The fall of 2012, with its too-early Thanksgiving and string of less-than-five-day weeks owing to some holidays and, in our neck of the woods, the weather, is drawing to a close, and people are thinking how miserable their schools’ schedules […]...
    Read more
  • INTERLUDE—Further Reflections on Sport and Education
    November 18, 2012 by
    I’ve written here on a couple of other occasions about the culture of sports and athletics that has arisen, nourished (or malnourished) by the sports culture that permeates so much of North American society: stressed or at least occasionally oppressed kids, some bizarro moral warpiture around institutional […]...
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  • INTERLUDE—Further Reflections on Sport and Education
    November 18, 2012 by
    I’ve written here on a couple of other occasions about the culture of sports and athletics that has arisen, nourished (or malnourished) by the sports culture that permeates so much of North American society: stressed or at least occasionally oppressed kids, some bizarro moral warpiture around institutional […]...
    Read more
  • PLAYING IT FORWARD—INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (Part 3 of 3)
    October 7, 2012 by
    The challenge for the school embarking on innovative practice is to communicate clearly and concisely what it is they are doing that sets them—and that will set their students—apart from the crowd. In the first part of this series, back in early September when summer’s glow was […]...
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  • PLAYING IT FORWARD—INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (Part 3 of 3)
    October 7, 2012 by
    The challenge for the school embarking on innovative practice is to communicate clearly and concisely what it is they are doing that sets them—and that will set their students—apart from the crowd. In the first part of this series, back in early September when summer’s glow was […]...
    Read more
  • 373 CRITICAL INNOVATIONS THAT NO COMPETENT TEACHER CAN AFFORD TO IGNORE—INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (Part 2 of 3)
    October 1, 2012 by
    Does the first part of this headline sound familiar? How many similar headlines have you read, or had tweeted to you? I see about a dozen a day, sometimes bouncing around my PLNosphere like an asteroid field. I admit that sometimes I bite—usually when the number is […]...
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  • 373 CRITICAL INNOVATIONS THAT NO COMPETENT TEACHER CAN AFFORD TO IGNORE—INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (Part 2 of 3)
    October 1, 2012 by
    Does the first part of this headline sound familiar? How many similar headlines have you read, or had tweeted to you? I see about a dozen a day, sometimes bouncing around my PLNosphere like an asteroid field. I admit that sometimes I bite—usually when the number is […]...
    Read more
  • WHAT’S WRONG WITH A LITTLE BOREDOM?
    September 27, 2012 by
    A while back I heard an interview with British rocker and cheesemaker(!) Alex James, late of the band The Blur (with which I am utterly unfamiliar, being a high culture man*). At one point in a discussion about cars, the host asked what kind of car Alex […]...
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  • LOOKS LIKE SCHOOL: INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (PART 1 of 3)
    September 1, 2012 by
    I had a personal revelation—I’ll get to it in a bit—the other day as I was trying to explain to someone my day job as a college counselor. Few positions in a school seem to be quite as clear in the purpose as college guidance, and to […]...
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  • LOOKS LIKE SCHOOL: INNOVATION AND ITS AUDIENCES (PART 1 of 3)
    September 1, 2012 by
    I had a personal revelation—I’ll get to it in a bit—the other day as I was trying to explain to someone my day job as a college counselor. Few positions in a school seem to be quite as clear in the purpose as college guidance, and to […]...
    Read more
  • LET THE DIALOGUE BEGIN: ANOTHER TAKE ON OUR PUBLIC PURPOSE
    August 29, 2012 by
    Briefly: For a while it has been on my mind that independent schools here and there are up to some pretty exciting things and that for various reasons this information tends to remain within our sector of the education world. Earlier this summer I put pen to […]...
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  • LET THE DIALOGUE BEGIN: ANOTHER TAKE ON OUR PUBLIC PURPOSE
    August 29, 2012 by
    Briefly: For a while it has been on my mind that independent schools here and there are up to some pretty exciting things and that for various reasons this information tends to remain within our sector of the education world. Earlier this summer I put pen to […]...
    Read more
  • TAKING NOTES IN A DIGITAL AGE–SOMETHING FOR THE INTENTIONAL TEACHER TO THINK ABOUT
    August 26, 2012 by
    The other day I heard a teacher wonder whether it was okay to ask students in a digital classroom—that is, a classroom in which every kid is packing a laptop—to keep notes in a paper notebook. That’s a heck of a good question, getting at the heart […]...
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  • TAKING NOTES IN A DIGITAL AGE–SOMETHING FOR THE INTENTIONAL TEACHER TO THINK ABOUT
    August 26, 2012 by
    The other day I heard a teacher wonder whether it was okay to ask students in a digital classroom—that is, a classroom in which every kid is packing a laptop—to keep notes in a paper notebook. That’s a heck of a good question, getting at the heart […]...
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  • NEW FACULTY ORIENTATION: ALWAYS TOO MUCH, NEVER ENOUGH
    August 22, 2012 by
    We’re halfway through our week-long new teacher program at my school, and it’s going well. They have their laptops and have had a whole lot of training on the way we utilize the Google suite of applications, they’ve had a thorough, stop-and-meet-the-office-folks tour of the school, and […]...
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  • NEW FACULTY ORIENTATION: ALWAYS TOO MUCH, NEVER ENOUGH
    August 22, 2012 by
    We’re halfway through our week-long new teacher program at my school, and it’s going well. They have their laptops and have had a whole lot of training on the way we utilize the Google suite of applications, they’ve had a thorough, stop-and-meet-the-office-folks tour of the school, and […]...
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  • UNCLE WIGGLY IN CONNECTIVISM: THE MOOC MOOC ENDS
    August 18, 2012 by
    The scene from The Wizard of Oz my subconscious most often references is when Dorothy & Co. awake as snow falls to counteract the effects of the Wicked Witch’s poisonous poppies. Like the travelers, I hear little voices singing, “You’re out of the woods, you’re out of […]...
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  • PREPARING K-12 STUDENTS FOR CONNECTIVIST LEARNING: SOME INITIALQUESTIONS
    August 15, 2012 by
    As part of today’s “homework” I’m opening this up to fellow participants in Hybrid Pedagogy‘s stimulating MOOC MOOC, hoping to capture some thoughts on the today’s MOOC MOOC “Questions at Hand,” from Jesse Stommel: How does the rise of hybrid pedagogy, open education, and massive open online […]...
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  • Me, MOOCs, and MOOC MOOC: Aswim in Massive Open Online Courses
    August 13, 2012 by
    This week I’m in the middle of two MOOCs—massive open online courses. Considering the imminence of school and the manifold unexpected distractions of being alive (right now for me they’re family, college bills, and the new roof being banged on above my head), this might not be […]...
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  • AN EDUCATION IN MESSINESS
    August 8, 2012 by
    When I was a kid at Southside Elementary School, my parents used to receive an extremely detailed report card—I’m guessing 20-plus categories in which I could be Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, and a couple of other letters (I for Improving? Dunno). Southside was innovative(!) in a number of ways, […]...
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  • AN EDUCATION IN MESSINESS
    August 8, 2012 by
    When I was a kid at Southside Elementary School, my parents used to receive an extremely detailed report card—I’m guessing 20-plus categories in which I could be Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, and a couple of other letters (I for Improving? Dunno). Southside was innovative(!) in a number of ways, […]...
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  • SOME CONSIDERATIONS IN DESIGN THINKING—REFLECTIONS ON MY WEEK AT NuVu
    August 3, 2012 by
    (As noted below, this post has been edited to incorporate further reflections based on my final day at NuVu and including some insights gained from Media Lab professor and NuVu guru Edith Ackermann. I try not to have a single post be, like the work of the […]...
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  • SOME CONSIDERATIONS IN DESIGN THINKING—REFLECTIONS ON MY WEEK AT NuVu
    August 3, 2012 by
    (As noted below, this post has been edited to incorporate further reflections based on my final day at NuVu and including some insights gained from Media Lab professor and NuVu guru Edith Ackermann. I try not to have a single post be, like the work of the […]...
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  • TEACHERS AND THE MORAL CONTRACT–THOUGHTS FOR TEACHERS NEW AND VETERAN
    July 26, 2012 by
    Last year I posted here “A Letter to New Teachers,” which I was pleased to learn seems to have been passed around and possibly to have done a bit of good in spots. It’s rather unlikely that a new teacher, or at least a teacher new to […]...
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  • TEACHERS AND THE MORAL CONTRACT–THOUGHTS FOR TEACHERS NEW AND VETERAN
    July 26, 2012 by
    Last year I posted here “A Letter to New Teachers,” which I was pleased to learn seems to have been passed around and possibly to have done a bit of good in spots. It’s rather unlikely that a new teacher, or at least a teacher new to […]...
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  • A NEW AGE OF THE AUTODIDACT—AND WHY WE’RE LUCKY TO LIVE IN IT
    July 24, 2012 by
    One of the more entertaining bits of cognitive dissonance I have experienced this summer includes the disparate “ideas of the university”—and of learning platforms in general—that emerge, implicitly and explicitly, from my simultaneous indulgence in Christensen and Eyring’s The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education […]...
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  • A NEW AGE OF THE AUTODIDACT—AND WHY WE’RE LUCKY TO LIVE IN IT
    July 24, 2012 by
    One of the more entertaining bits of cognitive dissonance I have experienced this summer includes the disparate “ideas of the university”—and of learning platforms in general—that emerge, implicitly and explicitly, from my simultaneous indulgence in Christensen and Eyring’s The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education […]...
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  • A LETTER TO EXPERIENCED TEACHERS, 2012
    July 18, 2012 by
    Last year about this time I posted “A Letter to New Teachers.” I’m planning to update that soon, but I didn’t want to neglect those of us who have been at it for a while. So here goes: Dear Experienced Teacher: We know it’s important to pay […]...
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  • A LETTER TO EXPERIENCED TEACHERS, 2012
    July 18, 2012 by
    Last year about this time I posted “A Letter to New Teachers.” I’m planning to update that soon, but I didn’t want to neglect those of us who have been at it for a while. So here goes: Dear Experienced Teacher: We know it’s important to pay […]...
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  • COLLEGE ACCREDITATION MAKES THE NEWS–and why this matters to schools
    July 16, 2012 by
    In the last week or so there has been some startling and potentially tragic news on the accreditation front at the university level. No fewer than three institutions, with nearly 100,000 students, have been notified that they are at immediate risk of losing their accreditation. The public […]...
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  • COLLEGE ACCREDITATION MAKES THE NEWS–and why this matters to schools
    July 16, 2012 by
    In the last week or so there has been some startling and potentially tragic news on the accreditation front at the university level. No fewer than three institutions, with nearly 100,000 students, have been notified that they are at immediate risk of losing their accreditation. The public […]...
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  • “SHOVING”: THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part III of Three
    July 12, 2012 by
    (Informed consent: This is not a post about school bullying.) One of the later chapters in Ted and Nancy Sizer’s compelling 1999 The Students Are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract is called, and is about,  “Shoving.” While, yes, the authors do discuss the term in the […]...
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  • “SHOVING”: THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part III of Three
    July 12, 2012 by
    (Informed consent: This is not a post about school bullying.) One of the later chapters in Ted and Nancy Sizer’s compelling 1999 The Students Are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract is called, and is about,  “Shoving.” While, yes, the authors do discuss the term in the […]...
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  • “GRAPPLING”: THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part II of Three
    July 10, 2012 by
    Since the economy started sputtering four years ago I have noted a particularly interesting trend. With businesses shedding jobs, prospects for college graduates looking generally dimmer than a decade ago, and a housing bubble largely inflated by the banking system pretty clearly at the bottom of our […]...
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  • “GRAPPLING”: THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part II of Three
    July 10, 2012 by
    Since the economy started sputtering four years ago I have noted a particularly interesting trend. With businesses shedding jobs, prospects for college graduates looking generally dimmer than a decade ago, and a housing bubble largely inflated by the banking system pretty clearly at the bottom of our […]...
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  • THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part I of Three
    July 8, 2012 by
    If there is a consistent subtext to much of my thinking here, it is that amid all the fervor of change and development taking place in independent schools, we as educators must never lose sight to the human, personal scale on which our every action is taken […]...
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  • THE STUDENTS ARE STILL WATCHING—Part I of Three
    July 8, 2012 by
    If there is a consistent subtext to much of my thinking here, it is that amid all the fervor of change and development taking place in independent schools, we as educators must never lose sight to the human, personal scale on which our every action is taken […]...
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  • INDEPENDENCE DAY, INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS, AND ME
    July 5, 2012 by
    Having just passed one of the more enjoyable Fourth of Julys in recent memory, with 360-degree fireworks—and I am a sucker for fireworks—and some fine reunions with summer neighbors, I got to thinking what it is that makes this holiday so special for me. Sure, there are […]...
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  • INDEPENDENCE DAY, INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS, AND ME
    July 5, 2012 by
    Having just passed one of the more enjoyable Fourth of Julys in recent memory, with 360-degree fireworks—and I am a sucker for fireworks—and some fine reunions with summer neighbors, I got to thinking what it is that makes this holiday so special for me. Sure, there are […]...
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  • THE NEW NORMS? (or, Look Outward, Angel)
    June 28, 2012 by
    I have lately spent quite a lot of time delving into the world of specialized programming, what we might once have called “centers of excellence,” in independent schools. I’ve simultaneously been working my way through Kevin Kelly’s amazing What Technology Wants?, which contains among its opening chapters […]...
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  • THE NEW NORMS? (or, Look Outward, Angel)
    June 28, 2012 by
    I have lately spent quite a lot of time delving into the world of specialized programming, what we might once have called “centers of excellence,” in independent schools. I’ve simultaneously been working my way through Kevin Kelly’s amazing What Technology Wants?, which contains among its opening chapters […]...
    Read more
  • It’s New, It’s Exciting—but Keep Expectations Proportional to Expertise
    June 24, 2012 by
    I spent some really hot days in the middle of the past week in Baltimore, Charm City, home to a number of independent schools and (apparently) a whole lot of cooks specializing in crab in various forms—and in making diners very, very happy. It was also the […]...
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  • It’s New, It’s Exciting—but Keep Expectations Proportional to Expertise
    June 24, 2012 by
    I spent some really hot days in the middle of the past week in Baltimore, Charm City, home to a number of independent schools and (apparently) a whole lot of cooks specializing in crab in various forms—and in making diners very, very happy. It was also the […]...
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  • From Idea to Initiative: It’s About Looking Hard, Not Just Looking Good
    June 21, 2012 by
    It’s been way too long since I last posted. A year has ended, my last kid has graduated from our school, and I have finished up an exciting project that NAIS should be rolling out at some point soon. Better still from my point of view, I […]...
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  • From Idea to Initiative: It’s About Looking Hard, Not Just Looking Good
    June 21, 2012 by
    It’s been way too long since I last posted. A year has ended, my last kid has graduated from our school, and I have finished up an exciting project that NAIS should be rolling out at some point soon. Better still from my point of view, I […]...
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  • MAKING THE PART INTO THE WHOLE—Schools and Synecdoches
    April 10, 2012 by
    In the competitive marketplace of schools—where independent schools, religious schools, and a panoply of charter schools compete with traditional public schools for the attention of savvy parents—any point of differentiation can be a critical element of brand. Maintaining a strong, positive brand presence is especially important for […]...
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  • MAKING THE PART INTO THE WHOLE—Schools and Synecdoches
    April 10, 2012 by
    In the competitive marketplace of schools—where independent schools, religious schools, and a panoply of charter schools compete with traditional public schools for the attention of savvy parents—any point of differentiation can be a critical element of brand. Maintaining a strong, positive brand presence is especially important for […]...
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  • A Thank-You and a Cheer for My Readers
    April 8, 2012 by
    At some point in the last week Not Your Father’s School passed two milestones: the total number of page views passed the 30,000 mark and the number of visits as recorded by the little “Who’s Reading?” widget moved beyond 10,000 since I added it last summer. I […]...
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  • A Thank-You and a Cheer for My Readers
    April 8, 2012 by
    At some point in the last week Not Your Father’s School passed two milestones: the total number of page views passed the 30,000 mark and the number of visits as recorded by the little “Who’s Reading?” widget moved beyond 10,000 since I added it last summer. I […]...
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  • Entering the College Lists
    March 31, 2012 by
    Well, Thursday at 5:00pm EDT has come and gone. “Ivy Day,” as it was termed for me by a student at Yale—where the current students eagerly await the news, partly because they love to woo accepted students and perhaps in part because they too watch as admission […]...
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  • Entering the College Lists
    March 31, 2012 by
    Well, Thursday at 5:00pm EDT has come and gone. “Ivy Day,” as it was termed for me by a student at Yale—where the current students eagerly await the news, partly because they love to woo accepted students and perhaps in part because they too watch as admission […]...
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  • College Admissions–Agony, Ecstasy, Reality
    March 27, 2012 by
    In real life I’m a college counselor at an independent school, and if your school has a secondary division—that is, if there are seniors in your school—you know that this week is emotionally pretty intense. As I write this a bit more than half the news is […]...
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  • College Admissions–Agony, Ecstasy, Reality
    March 27, 2012 by
    In real life I’m a college counselor at an independent school, and if your school has a secondary division—that is, if there are seniors in your school—you know that this week is emotionally pretty intense. As I write this a bit more than half the news is […]...
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  • Real-World Issues and Our Lives as Educators
    March 19, 2012 by
    Educators and the gurus who egg us on make a lot of noise these days about making curriculum and pedagogy relevant to “real world issues.” Most effective teachers have figured out that real-world connections are a pretty powerful glue for making learning stick, and of course the […]...
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  • Real-World Issues and Our Lives as Educators
    March 19, 2012 by
    Educators and the gurus who egg us on make a lot of noise these days about making curriculum and pedagogy relevant to “real world issues.” Most effective teachers have figured out that real-world connections are a pretty powerful glue for making learning stick, and of course the […]...
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  • Sometimes I Have to Blog to Keep from Crying
    March 19, 2012 by
    Sometimes, to me at least, it feels as though the thinking I do about schools and education proceeds in a parallel universe relative to the real world issues relating to kids and schools—and not just the independent school universe—that catch my attention and often enough distract and […]...
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  • Sometimes I Have to Blog to Keep from Crying
    March 19, 2012 by
    Sometimes, to me at least, it feels as though the thinking I do about schools and education proceeds in a parallel universe relative to the real world issues relating to kids and schools—and not just the independent school universe—that catch my attention and often enough distract and […]...
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  • Rating Our Teachers
    March 17, 2012 by
    “Teacher quality” is approaching the status of one of my least favorite phrases. I’m all for effective teaching, teaching that reaches every student in a classroom—teaching that inspires as well as educates in some defined skill or content area. Great teaching, we know, teaches students lessons about […]...
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  • Rating Our Teachers
    March 17, 2012 by
    “Teacher quality” is approaching the status of one of my least favorite phrases. I’m all for effective teaching, teaching that reaches every student in a classroom—teaching that inspires as well as educates in some defined skill or content area. Great teaching, we know, teaches students lessons about […]...
    Read more
  • Now, About Those Men in Their Gray Flannel Suits…
    March 3, 2012 by
    Well, my 2012 NAIS Annual Conference is over, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. I’ve had Bill Gates tell me that technology is changing schools, and that in 10 years schools and education will change in ways we can’t imagine. I’ve heard some memorable one-liners, tweeted […]...
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  • Now, About Those Men in Their Gray Flannel Suits…
    March 3, 2012 by
    Well, my 2012 NAIS Annual Conference is over, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. I’ve had Bill Gates tell me that technology is changing schools, and that in 10 years schools and education will change in ways we can’t imagine. I’ve heard some memorable one-liners, tweeted […]...
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  • Assessing assessment
    March 1, 2012 by
    This afternoon I attended the annual meeting of the Independent Curriculum Group, and for a pretty mellow group of educators we got ourselves kind of stirred up, in a good way. As an organization we aim to get schools talking about curriculum, and about why it’s a […]...
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  • Assessing assessment
    March 1, 2012 by
    This afternoon I attended the annual meeting of the Independent Curriculum Group, and for a pretty mellow group of educators we got ourselves kind of stirred up, in a good way. As an organization we aim to get schools talking about curriculum, and about why it’s a […]...
    Read more
  • Looking At Student Work–A Fine Idea for Our Time
    February 18, 2012 by
    In the past couple of weeks I’ve had occasion to participate in a couple of Looking At Student Work exercises, and it’s been a treat. Based on protocols developed at Project Zero and elsewhere in the 1990s, these exercises today—amid all the cries (including those heard here) […]...
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  • Looking At Student Work–A Fine Idea for Our Time
    February 18, 2012 by
    In the past couple of weeks I’ve had occasion to participate in a couple of Looking At Student Work exercises, and it’s been a treat. Based on protocols developed at Project Zero and elsewhere in the 1990s, these exercises today—amid all the cries (including those heard here) […]...
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  • Schools, Sports, and Character
    February 4, 2012 by
    Mens sana in corpore sano – muscular Christianity – “There is no ‘I’ in team” These and other verbal pieties have a long history in independent schools, words and phrases that justify and exalt the ideal of sport as a crucible of character. That’s as may be, […]...
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  • Schools, Sports, and Character
    February 4, 2012 by
    Mens sana in corpore sano – muscular Christianity – “There is no ‘I’ in team” These and other verbal pieties have a long history in independent schools, words and phrases that justify and exalt the ideal of sport as a crucible of character. That’s as may be, […]...
    Read more
  • Reality Check: Schools Can’t Always Do Everything We Tell Them To
    January 19, 2012 by
    A few years back, in the summer after the 2008 Crash, I wrote a Financially Sustainable Schools advisory for the National Association of Independent Schools titled “Alive and Well: What It Takes to Thrive in Hard Times,” reviewing some survival strategies practiced by schools that had been […]...
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  • Reality Check: Schools Can’t Always Do Everything We Tell Them To
    January 19, 2012 by
    A few years back, in the summer after the 2008 Crash, I wrote a Financially Sustainable Schools advisory for the National Association of Independent Schools titled “Alive and Well: What It Takes to Thrive in Hard Times,” reviewing some survival strategies practiced by schools that had been […]...
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  • Buzzwords, Beehives, and School Leadership
    December 28, 2011 by
    Global – Interdisciplinary – Green – Technology-mediated – Multicultural – Design-thinking What do these have in common? They’re all buzzwords that have been hovering and swooping around independent schools like a persistent swarm of bees for the past couple of decades. Some are older, comfortably familiar, while […]...
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  • Buzzwords, Beehives, and School Leadership
    December 28, 2011 by
    Global – Interdisciplinary – Green – Technology-mediated – Multicultural – Design-thinkingWhat do these have in common? They’re all buzzwords that have been hovering and swooping around independent schools like a persistent swarm of bees for the past couple of decades. Some are older, comfortably familiar, while others […]...
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  • The Last Post for My Father
    December 25, 2011 by
    We’ve become accustomed to the moving spectacle of funerals of firefighters and police officers, where comrades from many jurisdictions show the colors, ride in formation, and remind us by their solidarity of the perilous and valuable work they do. Since September 11 of 2001 those events are […]...
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  • The Last Post for My Father
    December 25, 2011 by
    We’ve become accustomed to the moving spectacle of funerals of firefighters and police officers, where comrades from many jurisdictions show the colors, ride in formation, and remind us by their solidarity of the perilous and valuable work they do. Since September 11 of 2001 those events are […]...
    Read more
  • In Memoriam–David W. Gow
    December 19, 2011 by
    My father’s school is a bit subdued today, as the former head, my father, died this morning. It’s a lovely, green campus, with some imposing brick edifices and a couple of the original converted farm buildings that still do good service. Despite its location in prime Snow […]...
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  • In Memoriam–David W. Gow
    December 19, 2011 by
    My father’s school is a bit subdued today, as the former head, my father, died this morning. It’s a lovely, green campus, with some imposing brick edifices and a couple of the original converted farm buildings that still do good service. Despite its location in prime Snow […]...
    Read more
  • What Our Schools Must Be: Behind the Manifesto
    December 10, 2011 by
    Other than being a kind of sideways tribute to my heritage, then, what is Not Your Father’s School supposed to accomplish? And where does this self-styled “Manifesto” come from, and where do I think it should take us? Since I was a kid reading the Rover Boys […]...
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  • What Our Schools Must Be: Behind the Manifesto
    December 10, 2011 by
    Other than being a kind of sideways tribute to my heritage, then, what is Not Your Father’s School supposed to accomplish? And where does this self-styled “Manifesto” come from, and where do I think it should take us? Since I was a kid reading the Rover Boys […]...
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  • A Not Your Father’s School Manifesto
    December 5, 2011 by
    Previously I have told the story of how I came to be here, and perhaps at a later date I will write more on this, but since I have stated that Not Your Father’s School is “a kind of idealized place,” I think I am obligated to […]...
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  • A Not Your Father’s School Manifesto
    December 5, 2011 by
    Previously I have told the story of how I came to be here, and perhaps at a later date I will write more on this, but since I have stated that Not Your Father’s School is “a kind of idealized place,” I think I am obligated to […]...
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  • School–It’s a Family Thing for Me
    December 2, 2011 by
    I’m feeling a bit staggered by the last month, having taken on far too many tasks, and family events have me thinking it’s time to tell a story that might also involve coming clean about the title of this blog. You see, there was, and in fact […]...
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  • School–It’s a Family Thing for Me
    December 2, 2011 by
    I’m feeling a bit staggered by the last month, having taken on far too many tasks, and family events have me thinking it’s time to tell a story that might also involve coming clean about the title of this blog. You see, there was, and in fact […]...
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  • Don’t Let "Innovative" Become the New "Excellent"–please!
    November 10, 2011 by
    It seems I can hardly get through a day lately without doing being innovative. Just this morning I tried putting the handle of the pan on the left instead of the right when I was boiling water for tea, and in a related discovery a few days […]...
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  • Don’t Let “Innovative” Become the New “Excellent”–please!
    November 10, 2011 by
    It seems I can hardly get through a day lately without doing being innovative. Just this morning I tried putting the handle of the pan on the left instead of the right when I was boiling water for tea, and in a related discovery a few days […]...
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  • The Age of Digital Liberation! (But, oh, there’s this thing…)
    November 8, 2011 by
    “Read the directions to yourself as I read them aloud.” “Open your test booklets to Section Three, read the directions, and begin work.” In my day job I am a college counselor, but what I am increasingly finding is that what I do for a living is […]...
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  • The Age of Digital Liberation! (But, oh, there’s this thing…)
    November 8, 2011 by
    “Read the directions to yourself as I read them aloud.” “Open your test booklets to Section Three, read the directions, and begin work.” In my day job I am a college counselor, but what I am increasingly finding is that what I do for a living is […]...
    Read more
  • Things You MUST Think About: Being Green
    October 13, 2011 by
    This is the final gloss on the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #11. Being Green Most schools have gotten this message and are beginning to live it. But […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Being Green
    October 13, 2011 by
    This is the final gloss on the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #11. Being Green Most schools have gotten this message and are beginning to live it. But […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Shortening Your Horizon on Strategic Thinking
    October 13, 2011 by
    This is the tenth (and penultimate) in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #10. Shortening your horizon on strategic thinking In the […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Shortening Your Horizon on StrategicThinking
    October 13, 2011 by
    This is the tenth (and penultimate) in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #10. Shortening your horizon on strategic thinking In the […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Strategic Professional Learning
    October 12, 2011 by
    This is the ninth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #9. Strategic professional development learning If you are planning to move […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Strategic Professional Learning
    October 12, 2011 by
    This is the ninth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #9. Strategic professional development learning If you are planning to move […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Online Learning
    October 11, 2011 by
    This is the eighth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #8. Online learning You don’t have to be creating your own […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Online Learning
    October 11, 2011 by
    This is the eighth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #8. Online learning You don’t have to be creating your own […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: New Directions for Your Library
    October 10, 2011 by
    This is the seventh in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #7. New directions for your library I don’t think physical books […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: New Directions for Your Library
    October 10, 2011 by
    This is the seventh in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #7. New directions for your library I don’t think physical books […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Social Media—in the Classroom
    October 8, 2011 by
    This is the sixth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #6. Social media—in the classroom If you are still blocking such […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Social Media—in the Classroom
    October 8, 2011 by
    This is the sixth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #6. Social media—in the classroom If you are still blocking such […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Social Media—for Advancement
    October 8, 2011 by
    This is the fifth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #5. Social media—for advancement You may disapprove of Twitter, or as […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Social Media—for Advancement
    October 8, 2011 by
    This is the fifth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #5. Social media—for advancement You may disapprove of Twitter, or as […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Smart Assessment of Student Learning
    October 6, 2011 by
    This is the fourth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #4. Smart assessment of student learning Each student is different, and […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Smart Assessment of Student Learning
    October 6, 2011 by
    This is the fourth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #4. Smart assessment of student learning Each student is different, and […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Collaborative Learning and (related issue) Project Design
    October 5, 2011 by
    This is the third in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #3. Collaborative learning and (related issue) project design Kids work in […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Collaborative Learning and (related issue) Project Design
    October 5, 2011 by
    This is the third in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #3. Collaborative learning and (related issue) project design Kids work in […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Data-Informed Decision-Making
    October 5, 2011 by
    This is the second in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #2. Data-informed decision-making It’s something schools will all have to do, […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Data-Informed Decision-Making
    October 5, 2011 by
    This is the second in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #2. Data-informed decision-making It’s something schools will all have to do, […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Design-Thinking
    October 4, 2011 by
    This is the first in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #1. Design Thinking. What-ing? Creativity. People keep talking about this, but […]...
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  • Things You MUST Think About: Design-Thinking
    October 4, 2011 by
    This is the first in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in my previous post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.) #1. Design Thinking. What-ing? Creativity. People keep talking about this, but […]...
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  • 11 Things Independent Schools MUST Be Thinking About
    October 3, 2011 by
    I keep yammering away in favor of innovation, mission-driven strategic development, and a bunch of other things, all in the interest of urging schools to pull up their socks and get ready for the new times that are upon us. It’s time, then, to be specific. Here, […]...
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  • 11 Things Independent Schools MUST Be Thinking About
    October 3, 2011 by
    I keep yammering away in favor of innovation, mission-driven strategic development, and a bunch of other things, all in the interest of urging schools to pull up their socks and get ready for the new times that are upon us. It’s time, then, to be specific. Here, […]...
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  • Be True to Your School
    October 2, 2011 by
    I guess it should be easy to create the perfect school. All you need is a great team of set designers and builders, and a call to central casting. Better toss in a hefty line of credit at Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean. Because lots of people […]...
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  • Be True to Your School
    October 2, 2011 by
    I guess it should be easy to create the perfect school. All you need is a great team of set designers and builders, and a call to central casting. Better toss in a hefty line of credit at Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean. Because lots of people […]...
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  • Kids, Curiosity, and Credentials—Part II (Alternatives)
    September 28, 2011 by
    I ended my previous post by asking how we can truly engage all students. This isn’t a new question, nor is the obvious answer—find their interests, and nourish them—anything new. Ninety years ago Eugene Randolph Smith, founder of my school and a leading figure in the Progressive […]...
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  • Kids, Curiosity, and Credentials—Part II (Alternatives)
    September 28, 2011 by
    I ended my previous post by asking how we can truly engage all students. This isn’t a new question, nor is the obvious answer—find their interests, and nourish them—anything new. Ninety years ago Eugene Randolph Smith, founder of my school and a leading figure in the Progressive […]...
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  • Kids, Curiosity, and Credentials (the fifth C?)–Part I: The Challenge
    September 25, 2011 by
    One of the challenges of 21st-century education is that educators have failed to put together a set of standardized assessments that assess all of the kinds of things that we believe are essential to success as a learner in our time. The “Four C’s”—creativity, critical thinking, communication, […]...
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  • Kids, Curiosity, and Credentials (the fifth C?)–Part I: The Challenge
    September 25, 2011 by
    One of the challenges of 21st-century education is that educators have failed to put together a set of standardized assessments that assess all of the kinds of things that we believe are essential to success as a learner in our time. The “Four C’s”—creativity, critical thinking, communication, […]...
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  • Sir Ken Robinson, TEDxLondon, and the Independent School Response
    September 17, 2011 by
    Back in 2008 Sir Ken Robinson was a featured speaker at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference (when the hashtag #NAISAC08 wasn’t even a glimmer in some tweeter’s eye). He got a huge round of applause, and he generated buzz that lasted for hours, at […]...
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  • Sir Ken Robinson, TEDxLondon, and the Independent School Response
    September 17, 2011 by
    Back in 2008 Sir Ken Robinson was a featured speaker at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference (when the hashtag #NAISAC08 wasn’t even a glimmer in some tweeter’s eye). He got a huge round of applause, and he generated buzz that lasted for hours, at […]...
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  • Your Father’s (and Grandparents’) Teachers—A Measured Appreciation
    September 13, 2011 by
    I’ve preached hard on the need for schools to embrace change and innovation as they adapt their work to the requirements of a new age and new markets. The schools of tomorrow can’t be like the schools of yesterday or even today, not in the way they […]...
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  • Your Father’s (and Grandparents’) Teachers—A Measured Appreciation
    September 13, 2011 by
    I’ve preached hard on the need for schools to embrace change and innovation as they adapt their work to the requirements of a new age and new markets. The schools of tomorrow can’t be like the schools of yesterday or even today, not in the way they […]...
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  • News! "WHAT IS A SCHOOL?" released as an e-book
    September 9, 2011 by
    Last winter I began this blog with a series of posts under the heading “What Is A School?” I am excited to announce that the series is now available—updated and with an introduction—as a e-book. Subtitled, “A Philosophical and Practical Guide for Independent School Leaders, Trustees, and […]...
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  • News! “WHAT IS A SCHOOL?” released as an e-book
    September 9, 2011 by
    Last winter I began this blog with a series of posts under the heading “What Is A School?” I am excited to announce that the series is now available—updated and with an introduction—as a e-book. Subtitled, “A Philosophical and Practical Guide for Independent School Leaders, Trustees, and […]...
    Read more
  • Standards for Effective Teaching—Got Some?
    September 8, 2011 by
    511 followers. 82 views. 1 response. This was the outcome of a Twtpoll I posted (on Twitter, naturally) a couple of weeks back. I had been chatting with a colleague at another school on the topic of standards for effective teaching, and it occurred to me to […]...
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  • Standards for Effective Teaching—Got Some?
    September 8, 2011 by
    511 followers. 82 views. 1 response. This was the outcome of a Twtpoll I posted (on Twitter, naturally) a couple of weeks back. I had been chatting with a colleague at another school on the topic of standards for effective teaching, and it occurred to me to […]...
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  • The Independent School Value Proposition
    September 4, 2011 by
    As the economy stalls and some schools look at empty desks, there is quite a lot of talk about the “value proposition” of independent schools. This is simply the bottom line in the calculation based on the question: Is sending my kid to this independent school worth […]...
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  • The Independent School Value Proposition
    September 4, 2011 by
    As the economy stalls and some schools look at empty desks, there is quite a lot of talk about the “value proposition” of independent schools. This is simply the bottom line in the calculation based on the question: Is sending my kid to this independent school worth […]...
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  • Change: Why Independent Schools Must Be FOR It!
    August 27, 2011 by
    The 1932 Marx Brothers farce Horse Feathers opens with a presidential installation involving the gown-clad faculty and the more casually attired student body of Huxley College (whose rival, incidentally, is Darwin). The new president is inexplicably Groucho, holding nothing back just because his character wears a doctoral […]...
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  • When Are We?
    August 18, 2011 by
    For some of us it’s an itch, for others a royal pain, and for others a non-issue: Should we be talking about “21st-century skills” when we’re already a tenth of the way into the century? As we talk about the future of education, doesn’t using the term […]...
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  • When Are We?
    August 18, 2011 by
    For some of us it’s an itch, for others a royal pain, and for others a non-issue: Should we be talking about “21st-century skills” when we’re already a tenth of the way into the century? As we talk about the future of education, doesn’t using the term […]...
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  • Independent School Value: A 50-Year Perspective
    August 15, 2011 by
    Opening day chapel, and the distinguished-looking man at the pulpit wasn’t the Headmaster, and he wasn’t anyone else known to ninth-grade me. Tanned, with silver hair and a dark suit, he had to be important. “Your parents are spending nine dollars a day on your education here. […]...
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  • Independent School Value: A 50-Year Perspective
    August 15, 2011 by
    Opening day chapel, and the distinguished-looking man at the pulpit wasn’t the Headmaster, and he wasn’t anyone else known to ninth-grade me. Tanned, with silver hair and a dark suit, he had to be important. “Your parents are spending nine dollars a day on your education here. […]...
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  • The Year of the School As Think Tank?
    August 7, 2011 by
    Educators are feeling about like everyone else after the economic paroxysms of the past week. Five weeks after the annual fund has been put to bed (and the ones I know about seem to have come through okay) and just a couple of weeks before the curtain […]...
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  • The Year of the School As Think Tank?
    August 7, 2011 by
    Educators are feeling about like everyone else after the economic paroxysms of the past week. Five weeks after the annual fund has been put to bed (and the ones I know about seem to have come through okay) and just a couple of weeks before the curtain […]...
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  • …AND SOME REMINDERS TO SCHOOLS ABOUT THEIR “NEW” TEACHERS
    July 28, 2011 by
    I’ve offered up a pep talk to new teachers, but the experience of each new hire is as much a responsibility of the school as it is of the teacher. Assuming that the school handled its recruiting and hiring process well, the odds are already well in […]...
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  • …AND SOME REMINDERS TO SCHOOLS ABOUT THEIR “NEW” TEACHERS
    July 28, 2011 by
    I’ve offered up a pep talk to new teachers, but the experience of each new hire is as much a responsibility of the school as it is of the teacher. Assuming that the school handled its recruiting and hiring process well, the odds are already well in […]...
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  • A Letter to New Teachers
    July 24, 2011 by
    In a very few weeks school will be starting, and you will be starting a wonderful new career. You are probably excited, and probably scared. A dozen large questions loom in your consciousness, trading places with one another in the Anxiety Gavotte that troubles the dreams (and […]...
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  • A Letter to New Teachers
    July 24, 2011 by
    In a very few weeks school will be starting, and you will be starting a wonderful new career. You are probably excited, and probably scared. A dozen large questions loom in your consciousness, trading places with one another in the Anxiety Gavotte that troubles the dreams (and […]...
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  • An Excellent Idea, from Fred Bartels
    May 15, 2011 by
    For those of you who are not members of the ISED-L listserv for independent school folks (mostly), this morning the estimable Fred Bartels set forth a pretty convincing case as to why independent schools and their faculties could and even should become the go-to source for digital […]...
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  • An Excellent Idea, from Fred Bartels
    May 15, 2011 by
    For those of you who are not members of the ISED-L listserv for independent school folks (mostly), this morning the estimable Fred Bartels set forth a pretty convincing case as to why independent schools and their faculties could and even should become the go-to source for digital […]...
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  • A Larger Public Purpose?
    April 18, 2011 by
    It’s the hot news story of the week, that quite a few of the reformers out to fix public education have themselves been educated in independent schools: “In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education.” At least the political–or is it ideological?–spectrum is covered. From Obama […]...
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  • A Larger Public Purpose?
    April 18, 2011 by
    It’s the hot news story of the week, that quite a few of the reformers out to fix public education have themselves been educated in independent schools: “In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education.” At least the political–or is it ideological?–spectrum is covered. From Obama […]...
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  • It’s been a very long time
    April 18, 2011 by
    …but it’s not that I haven’t been thinking about schools and how they could be. A couple of weeks ago I had occasion to present at a large and well-known boarding school, an experience that was delightful and fascinating and that made me ponder the role of […]...
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  • It’s been a very long time
    April 18, 2011 by
    …but it’s not that I haven’t been thinking about schools and how they could be. A couple of weeks ago I had occasion to present at a large and well-known boarding school, an experience that was delightful and fascinating and that made me ponder the role of […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 14: The Finale)
    February 22, 2011 by
    A school must always be a set of undiscovered possibilities in the realm of the human spirit and a community devoted to their exploration and realization. We’ve come to the end of the exercise here, perhaps fittingly as I watch the Rhode Island shoreline rush by en […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 14: The Finale)
    February 22, 2011 by
    A school must always be a set of undiscovered possibilities in the realm of the human spirit and a community devoted to their exploration and realization. We’ve come to the end of the exercise here, perhaps fittingly as I watch the Rhode Island shoreline rush by en […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 13)
    February 17, 2011 by
    A school is a laboratory for the human experience in the context of a distinct, intentional, and internally consistent mission and set of values. I’ve probably worked over the concepts of mission, values, and intentionality to the point of saturation, but it has occurred to me—especially during […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 13)
    February 17, 2011 by
    A school is a laboratory for the human experience in the context of a distinct, intentional, and internally consistent mission and set of values. I’ve probably worked over the concepts of mission, values, and intentionality to the point of saturation, but it has occurred to me—especially during […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 12)
    February 14, 2011 by
    A school is a place whose environments must practically and aesthetically serve students and staff. When I was a kid I wanted to be an architect, but the profession fortunately dodged that bullet. It’s more than just as well, because every year the whole idea of designing […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 12)
    February 14, 2011 by
    A school is a place whose environments must practically and aesthetically serve students and staff. When I was a kid I wanted to be an architect, but the profession fortunately dodged that bullet. It’s more than just as well, because every year the whole idea of designing […]...
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  • A School is… (Verse 11)
    February 5, 2011 by
    A school is a legal and corporate entity whose structure, operations, and management must conform to legal and ethical standards of multiple jurisdictions. More nuts and bolts, but strangely the requirements that these jurisdictions place upon schools will necessarily have more than a small effect upon their […]...
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  • A School is… (Verse 11)
    February 5, 2011 by
    A school is a legal and corporate entity whose structure, operations, and management must conform to legal and ethical standards of multiple jurisdictions. More nuts and bolts, but strangely the requirements that these jurisdictions place upon schools will necessarily have more than a small effect upon their […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 10)
    February 1, 2011 by
    A school is an economic entity whose operations must be prudent and ethical. Okay, this should be short and sweet. It’s about governance and money. Historically governing bodies have a simple role—to determine the course the school is to take (i.e., “set the mission”) and then make […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 10)
    February 1, 2011 by
    A school is an economic entity whose operations must be prudent and ethical. Okay, this should be short and sweet. It’s about governance and money. Historically governing bodies have a simple role—to determine the course the school is to take (i.e., “set the mission”) and then make […]...
    Read more
  • A school is… (Verse 9)
    January 30, 2011 by
    A school is a community resource to the extent that it is willing to share. There’s a good deal of buzz these days (even here) about payments and services in lieu of taxes (the infamous PILOTs and SILOTs), charges and demands for services that communities are attempting […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 9)
    January 30, 2011 by
    A school is a community resource to the extent that it is willing to share. There’s a good deal of buzz these days (even here) about payments and services in lieu of taxes (the infamous PILOTs and SILOTs), charges and demands for services that communities are attempting […]...
    Read more
  • A school is… (Verse 8)
    January 26, 2011 by
    A school is a workplace whose product is personal experience and growth. Widget factories make widgets, and insurance companies sell and service policies. While the business wisdom of the moment would focus on the “people” aspect of these enterprises, in point of fact you can hold their […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 8)
    January 26, 2011 by
    A school is a workplace whose product is personal experience and growth. Widget factories make widgets, and insurance companies sell and service policies. While the business wisdom of the moment would focus on the “people” aspect of these enterprises, in point of fact you can hold their […]...
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  • What is a school? Intermission
    January 24, 2011 by
    With seven “verses” down and seven more to go, this seems like a good time to stop and reflect on where I’ve been so far in the current project. I’ve had a couple of revelations and probably should have had a few more getting to this point, […]...
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  • What is a school? Intermission
    January 24, 2011 by
    With seven “verses” down and seven more to go, this seems like a good time to stop and reflect on where I’ve been so far in the current project. I’ve had a couple of revelations and probably should have had a few more getting to this point, […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 7)
    January 23, 2011 by
    A school is a set of intentional and unintentional learning experiences for students. We have come almost half way through this exercise before getting around to academics, you might say. But I am not even thinking specifically about academic learnoing here, although I am thinking very much […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 7)
    January 23, 2011 by
    A school is a set of intentional and unintentional learning experiences for students. We have come almost half way through this exercise before getting around to academics, you might say. But I am not even thinking specifically about academic learnoing here, although I am thinking very much […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 6)
    January 21, 2011 by
    A school is the incarnation of ideals to which some people will want to dedicate themselves and their resources. I’ve already written at length on these ideals and their importance, but not to be underestimated is the degree to which some people will want to dedicate their […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 6)
    January 21, 2011 by
    A school is the incarnation of ideals to which some people will want to dedicate themselves and their resources. I’ve already written at length on these ideals and their importance, but not to be underestimated is the degree to which some people will want to dedicate their […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 5)
    January 19, 2011 by
    A school is a key locus for social interaction—among students, parents, alums, staff. This almost seems to obvious to mention. Whether the school is day or boarding, in some ways it is a society unto itself. The school is the scene of a million little stories—dramas, romances, […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 5)
    January 19, 2011 by
    A school is a key locus for social interaction—among students, parents, alums, staff. This almost seems to obvious to mention. Whether the school is day or boarding, in some ways it is a society unto itself. The school is the scene of a million little stories—dramas, romances, […]...
    Read more
  • A school is… (Verse 4)
    January 18, 2011 by
    A school is a social enterprise, with obligations to the society that supports it. (And I will admit freely to cribbing this line from the teaser from this article by Lawrence Bacow, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, and Saran Kaur Gill in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 13 January 2011) […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 4)
    January 18, 2011 by
    A school is a social enterprise, with obligations to the society that supports it. (And I will admit freely to cribbing this line from the teaser from this article by Lawrence Bacow, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, and Saran Kaur Gill in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 13 January 2011) […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 3)
    January 15, 2011 by
    A school is an aspiring utopia: an intentional community driven by ideals. As a community an independent school sets its own standards of behavior based on its own deep principles and values. Students and staff are subject to these standards, which may range from small things like […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 3)
    January 15, 2011 by
    A school is an aspiring utopia: an intentional community driven by ideals. As a community an independent school sets its own standards of behavior based on its own deep principles and values. Students and staff are subject to these standards, which may range from small things like […]...
    Read more
  • A school is… (Verse 2)
    January 15, 2011 by
    A school’s name is shorthand for a set of shared experiences—lived, hoped for—deeply understood across generational and other boundaries. To those who have attended or who have been associated with any independent school, its very name will evoke that experience. To those who hope to be associated […]...
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  • A school is… (Verse 2)
    January 15, 2011 by
    A school’s name is shorthand for a set of shared experiences—lived, hoped for—deeply understood across generational and other boundaries. To those who have attended or who have been associated with any independent school, its very name will evoke that experience. To those who hope to be associated […]...
    Read more
  • A school is … (Verse 1)
    January 14, 2011 by
    A school is an idea representing an ideal or aspiration. On one level, this is like brand—a set of expectations built around experience—but on a deeper level, this is of course a combination of the ideas and beliefs behind the school’s founding and its current stated mission. […]...
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  • A school is … (Verse 1)
    January 14, 2011 by
    A school is an idea representing an ideal or aspiration. On one level, this is like brand—a set of expectations built around experience—but on a deeper level, this is of course a combination of the ideas and beliefs behind the school’s founding and its current stated mission. […]...
    Read more
  • What is a school?
    January 14, 2011 by
    I’ve set myself a little exercise lately, to come up with very short lists of things that independent schools need to get over and that they need to be doing in order to insure their own sustainability. It’s fun to think about (especially if you sort of […]...
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  • What is a school?
    January 14, 2011 by
    I’ve set myself a little exercise lately, to come up with very short lists of things that independent schools need to get over and that they need to be doing in order to insure their own sustainability. It’s fun to think about (especially if you sort of […]...
    Read more
  • What this is all about
    December 27, 2010 by
    The other night I watched the original 1947 Miracle on 34th Street, and it pushed me over an edge on which I have been teetering for a while. No, I did not give up my belief in Santa Claus, but one little phrase–a phrase I’ve heard again […]...
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