robertogreco + stevemiranda   61

Out of the Box Learning Studio
"OUT OF THE BOX LEARNING STUDIO (OBLS) engages students in authentic learning that is personalized, active & connected.

Using the city of Seattle as the extended classroom, OBLS will prepare students for our complicated world by integrating academic content into experiential learning opportunities.

Students will showcase their learning & creativity through collaborative digital media arts projects & real-world problem solving challenges.

The outcome will be graduates with exceptional resiliency & agency as learners who excel in college, careers & life."
schools  charterschools  seattle  bigpictureschools  stevemiranda  jeffpetty  hannahwilliams  lindanathan  larryrosenstock 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Correlation does not imply causation | re-educate seattle
"Everyone wants to prove their program works, and the way we do that is through cold hard data. Figuring out what to measure, however, is not simple. The Gates Foundation used to measure how many kids were getting into college, until it realized that it was measuring the wrong thing. Now, getting kids through college with a degree is the primary focus.

I suspect that, over time, the Gates Foundation will realize that it’s still measuring the wrong thing.

* * *

The cold hard data on the matter of education and income is clear: the more you learn, the more you earn. At least, that’s what we’ve convinced ourselves. I suspect that the relationship between the two is one in which correlation does not prove causation. In other words, it’s not clear that college graduates earn more because of what they learned in college.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of three friends who never finished college.


This is why I suspect the relationship between a college degree and success is merely correlation and not causation. What you learn in college often has very little to do with the work you do at your job. Would Allan be a better project manager or a better father if he’d spent more time analyzing Hemingway’s prose? Would Terry deliver better customer service if he’d passed Oceanography 101?

* * *

I know, I know. To suggest that kids don’t necessarily need to go to college is heresy in our society. But the relationship between academic learning and life satisfaction is not clear.

The thing that kids get out of college—the reason they’re able to earn more money after graduation— is they’ve completed a process in which they had to set a goal that’s achievable over time, in which they had to develop the self-discipline to overcome obstacles and see it through to the end. That’s a valuable process that some people learn in college. Allan, Dan, and Terry learned it some other way.

* * *

In the end, the whole point of this stuff is to figure out how we can maximize our happiness, right? We want to figure out how to be successful, contributing members of society because we want to be happy.

Well, consider this quotation from Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association and the father of the Positive Psychology movement. He’s a scientist, which means he makes his living analyzing cold hard data. “As a professor, I don’t like this, but the cerebral virtues—curiosity, love of learning—are less strongly tied to happiness than interpersonal virtues like kindness, gratitude and capacity for love.”

So, what exactly should we be measuring?"
measurement  quantification  stevemiranda  2014  college  colleges  universities  unschooling  deschooling  life  living  learning  schooliness  correlation  metrics  graduationrates 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Apprenticeships and internships « Re-educate Seattle
"I’m using these two words—apprenticeship and certification—in a way that’s overly simplistic, but I’m doing it to make a point: when your daughter heads off to school each morning, does she treat it like an apprenticeship or an internship?

Is she more concerned with learning something interesting, or her GPA? Is she developing deep relationships with mentors, or merely securing snazzy letters of recommendation? Is she learning something useful right now, or participating in a ritual as preparation for the future?

* * *

Here’s perhaps the most important question: does your daughter’s school view it’s work as closer to providing apprenticeships, or internships?"
stevemiranda  2011  pscs  learning  apprenticeships  internships  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  credentials  grades  grading  tcsnmy  toshare  usefulness  meaning  purpose  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Legacy institutions, and why the bureaucracy always comes first, and the students come second « Re-educate Seattle
"He said, “You get these legacy institutions that are designed to first serve the bureaucracy, the administrating of the program. The kids come second.”

He was referring to big box traditional schools that serve thousands of kids. He continued, “We need to create schools that handle students’ needs first.”

I looked up “legacy” in the dictionary, just for kicks. Here’s what I found: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.

We’ve been handed legacy institutions from our ancestors from the factory economy, in which the individual was subordinate to the machine. We now live in a creative economy, which requires new kinds of institutions. The only thing stopping us from changing them is our collective belief that this is normal, that it’s acceptable for things to be this way."
stevemiranda  legacyinstitutions  institutions  organizations  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  unlearning  human  scale  efficiency  2011  education  schooliness  schooling  schools  self-preservation 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Certifying 14-year-old poets « Re-educate Seattle
"But here’s a question: should a 14-year-old who is forced to take a required class in poetry be subjected to a process of certification?

Given their brain development and the fact that traditional schooling places kids in required activities, should a 14-year-old—or an 8-year-old, or 16-year-old—be subjected to a process of certification for anything?

There are profound differences between the developmental needs of kids in K-12 versus those in higher education. Young kids need to be in environments in which they can try new things, experiment, grow up, discover who they are.

They need teachers to draw out the genius within them. Higher education, for those who choose that path, is a place where that genius can get refined into certified expertise."
certification  stevemiranda  learning  grades  grading  caltech  unschooling  deschooling  education  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  highered  highereducation  discovery  exploration  maturity  k12  lcproject  tcsnmy  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
How would classrooms be different if teachers came to class not with a lesson plan, but with a concept? « Re-educate Seattle
"So here’s a question: how would classrooms be different if teachers came to class not with a lesson plan, but with a concept? The class could take that concept in new and unpredictable directions based on the dynamic interaction between teacher and students. Doesn’t that sound like fun?"
curriculumisdead  teaching  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  schools  tcsnmy  howwework  cv  stevemiranda  2011  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
The high school transcript is the most nefarious force in education that no one is talking about « Re-educate Seattle
"High school is a game that’s played by a certain set of rules. Those who are good at understanding and following the rules are rewarded with A’s. The problem is that, often, these rules have nothing to do with a student’s command of academic content.

So all the complexity of Jane, Andrew, and Zelia are reduced to this:

Jane – A
Andrew – B
Zelia – F

As their classroom teacher, I can tell you with certainty: these letters, they do not mean what you think they mean."
stevemiranda  collegeadmissions  highschool  grades  grading  assessment  learning  education  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  2011  transcripts  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  standardization  thegameofschool  theprincessbride  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Pick yourself « Re-educate Seattle
"In school, students are taught to wait to be picked. If you want to speak in class, you…raise your hand & wait until the teacher calls on you. If you want to be editor of the school newspaper, you have to hope the faculty advisor picks you. If you want to gain approval from your parents & teachers upon graduation, you have to hope Harvard picks you.

What if, instead of training students to wait to be picked, we encouraged students to pick themselves?

Instead of waiting for the teacher to call on them, we could encourage students to facilitate their own learning experiences, w/ support from a guide/mentor. We could encourage them to start their own underground newspaper. Instead of dedicating their high school years trying to please Ivy League admissions officers, we could encourage them to focus on the things they’re passionate about & help them create a personalized, customized post-high school plan that fed their soul & gave them a chance to make an impact on the world."
stevemiranda  pscs  agency  entrepreneurship  unschooling  deschooling  learning  doing  richardbranson  2011  lcproject  tcsnmy  actionminded  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
We have to stop daydreaming about this « Re-educate Seattle
"we’re trying something new: What if we invited people to come to campus and just to do something they love doing?


This is a different kind of teaching in that it’s spontaneously responding to a student’s curiosity in the moment. This is the kind of activity that enriches the school environment.

* * *

Will these new ideas work? I don’t know. But we’re going to find out.

There are two things we’re not going to. We’re not going to force students to participate in a battery of required activities, then use punishments and rewards to ensure compliance.

And, we’re not going to sit around watching Sir Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” TED talk, lament the sad state of education in this country, & daydream about what it would be like if school was different.

As a society, we have to stop daydreaming about this."
stevemiranda  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  modeling  teaching  learning  education  2011  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  doing  cv  daydreaming  motivation  punishment  rewards  coercion  compliance  schools  todo  tcsnmy  curriculumisdead  domanifesto  action  actionminded  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
The lesson that I took me more than a decade to learn « Re-educate Seattle
"I walked into the office of PSCS founder Andy Smallman and asked him, “Are we an alternative school?”

“No,” he said.

“I know that, but what do you say when people ask that question?”

“Alternative schools use alternative strategies for helping kids understand geography and science and math and literature,” he said. “That’s not our product.”

“What’s our product?”

“Our product is this environment,” he said. “We provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment in which kids feel connected to a caring community, then we surround them with people of high character who are excited about life and excited about learning. Then we partner with them to help them figure out what they love to do, what brings them joy.”"
andysmallman  pscs  stevemiranda  pugetsoundcommunityschool  education  unschooling  deschooling  2011  2009  progressive  learning  environment  schooldesign  lcproject  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Why euphoria in school can’t last (from the archives) « Re-educate Seattle
"first stage [PSCS students tend to move through] being “euphoria.” Students can’t believe it when they find themselves in a place where everyone is so focused on helping them engage in activities that bring them joy.

…can fade…students can begin to grow bored. No one is forcing them do anything. They haven’t yet learned skill of self-direction…don’t know what to do w/ themselves.

…by the time PSCS students head to college, they’ve had years of practice at self-direction & support in learning how to handle responsibility. Sometimes, they report being disappointed in their first semester in college because other students are only there to party & mess around.

I can relate: I wasted a great deal of the first 3 years of my college experience simply going through a process of growing up.

“Those students are just entering stage one. They go off to college, & it’s the first time they ever get to make decisions that affect their life. They’re in a state of euphoria.”"
self-directedlearning  self-directed  stevemiranda  tcsnmy  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  learning  maturity  colleges  universities  education  motivation  life  responsibility  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Would you like to try something different? « Re-educate Seattle
“Americans all think this way, they all think in disability…Native Americans have no term for disability, there is only a term for ability. It’s such an odd culture to be in where we spend so much time & resources talking about disability. It’s a negative focus. How about if we look at this differently: what if dyslexia is an advanced form of evolution?”"

"Harford: “I’m not saying we can’t solve complicated problems in a complicated world. We clearly can. But the way we solve them is with humility. To abandon the God complex & actually use a problem solving technique that works. We have a problem solving technique that works. . . . trial and error.”"

What’s the best way to educate kids? The search for the answer to this question only leads to more questions: Who are the kids? Where are they from? How old are they? What do they love to do? What is their home situation?…Human beings are complicated. There is no one mass answer to this question. There is only a mass of answers."
stevemiranda  education  learning  problemsolving  schools  schooldesign  dyslexia  unschooling  deschooling  whatwedon'tknow  humility  cv  godcomplex  fernetteeide  brockeide  dyslexicadvantage  2011  timharford  economics  onesizefitsall  tcsnmy  ability  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
How are revolutions born? « Re-educate Seattle
"The best we can do, I think, is to simply embrace a new way of thinking about school and live our lives according to a new paradigm. If enough people do that, the revolution will happen. That’s how the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution were born. That’s the only way that revolutions happen."
stuartbrown  kenrobinson  change  education  revolution  educationrevolution  unschooling  deschooling  gamechanging  paradigmshifts  stevemiranda  2011  keepon  tinkeringaroundthedges  substantivechange  tcsnmy  lcproject  schedules  schoolday  play  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
What does it mean to “love the child”? « Re-educate Seattle
"In our staff meetings at PSCS, we rarely talk about academic subjects. The content of our staff meetings is typically filled with dialogue about individual kids. Our goal is to make sure that every student in the school—and with eight staff members serving 38 students, it’s not hard to track, literally, every student in the school—is excited about something in their life, excited about something at school, feeling connected to other members of the community, and challenging herself to stretch outside her comfort zone."
pscs  teaching  caring  education  love  tcsnmy  pugetsoundcommunityschool  stevemiranda  2011  progressive  lcproject  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
James Brown as school principal « Re-educate Seattle
"We talked about “Cultural Relations”…in which the school would rearrange the class schedule for an entire week while students led forums on issues like racism & sexism. The students led the forums. Adults were instructed to sit at their desks & stay out of the way.<br />
<br />
The result, of course, was mayhem. It was the same every year, with some of the discussions spiraling out of control, hordes of students skipping out to grab coffee…attendance counts hopelessly inaccurate. The administration had lost control of the school.<br />
<br />
But when you talk to alumni from that era, many will tell you that Cultural Relations was a life-changing experience. Because amid all the chaos, there were still moments when black kids, white kids, Asian kids, Latino kids, gay and lesbian kids, kids who had been abused, rich kids and poor kids . . . they engaged each other in authentic conversations about their lives and their experiences. These conversations were raw and unfiltered. They were real…"
stevemiranda  unschooling  deschooling  education  messiness  learning  chaos  control  administration  whatmatters  memories  highschool  school  schooliness  2011  authenticity  realworld  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
What does your school stand for? « Re-educate Seattle
"What does it stand for? What is its mission? What does it believe in? What outcomes does it consistently deliver? Is there a match between what the school offers & what kids & families want?…

Finally, it’s unlikely that a match exists between the school & families because the school has never really figured out what it’s trying to accomplish. Many families have reduced their hopes to merely surviving the ordeal w/ a minimum amount of pain.

One of the best things we can do to help transform our schools is figure out—specifically—what they’re trying to accomplish. & that doesn’t mean all schools should have the same mission. In fact, each school should have its own unique mission.

Once that’s established, schools can go about the business of connecting w/ families that are a good fit for their particular mission. Either that, or they can continue declaring “academic achievement for all” & stumbling on the never-ending “reform” treadmill."
education  values  mission  missionstatements  tcsnmy  clarity  purpose  outcomes  lcproject  teaching  learning  community  parents  students  stevemiranda  pscs  publicschools  2011  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Now, we make projects « Re-educate Seattle
"we don’t live in a factory economy anymore. There’s no such thing as “set it & forget it.” The pace of change in the digital age is too rapid, & the competition too relentless. You’d think that Facebook, w/ it’s hundreds of millions of users, would be able to sit back & simply let the profits come rolling in. But it recently recruited the CEO of Netflix to its Board of Directors because it knows that it’s not 2009 anymore. Times have changed since then.

We don’t go to work in factories anymore. Now, we work on projects. Sometimes those projects last 3 months, or they might last 9 years. These projects typically involve either solving a specific problem or, if you’re doing truly innovative work, identifying a problem before it becomes a problem & being the first to market with a solution. The have a beginning, middle, & end. When the project is finished—remember, there’s no specific timetable for how long any given project will take—then it’s time to get busy on the next one."
projects  projectbasedlearning  education  tcsnmy  toshare  sethgodin  stevemiranda  learning  factoryschools  unschooling  deschooling  facebook  making  doing  self-directedlearning  problemsolving  criticalthinking  2011  thisiswhatwedo  howwework  howwelearn  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pbl  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Sitting around « Re-educate Seattle
"I visited an awesome progressive school today. The thing that was most impressive was this: there were kids all over the place who were doing absolutely nothing productive.

That may sound strange, but I think it’s the defining characteristic of a progressive school. Having anti-racist values or an environmental curriculum don’t make your school progressive. It’s not about your lesson plans, it’s the structure of the educational environment that makes all the difference…

A lot of schools talk about lifelong learning and nurturing curiosity, but when they stand at the edge of that precipice—what happens if we give students freedom to direct their own learning, and they just sit around?—they refuse to jump…

It takes patience. It takes faith. But sometimes, you have to let kids just sit around and do nothing. It’s in those moments when they’re learning the lesson they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives: I am in charge of my own education."
pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  lcproject  progressive  teaching  education  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  agency  empowerment  learning  schools  unstructuredtime  productivity  stevemiranda  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
What’s the point? « Re-educate Seattle
"What I learned from that class and had clarified by that assignment was what I wanted from my education. I wanted my learning to be supported, not required of me. I wanted an environment where I could experiment and fail or succeed with someone to give constructive feedback and encouragement regardless of the outcome. This was not always possible in the education structure of my high school, but it stuck with me when teachers made an effort to provide it."
stevemiranda  tcsnmy  pscs  learning  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  thinking  engagement  risk  constructivecriticism  constructivism  failure  success  teaching  schools  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
PSCS fundraiser: "Learning isn't about being perfect"
[Great piece by a PSCS parent, plus…]

"Here's what she took out:

“Lest you think I’m praising too much, let me say it's a growing community there. They have their bumps, and they meet challenges head-on. They try. They stay open to learning and growth.”

This, I think, shines a spotlight on a fundamental problem we face in schools, and highlights an area in which PSCS is so remarkable. For generations, school has been about getting the right answer. It has been about getting an “A,” acing the test, being perfect. Take a tour of some other schools in the city and they’ll show you only the classrooms they want you to see, only the shiniest students, and only the teachers who appear to be perfect. It’s all a part of the myth that says, when you’re learning, mistakes should be avoided at all costs.

That’s not who we are. And that’s not what learning looks like.

Learning means stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new, then reflecting on the experience."
pscs  learning  education  schools  progressive  unschooling  deschooling  stevemiranda  pugetsoundcommunityschool  lcproject  mistakes  reflection  tcsnmy  cv  perfection  community  self-knowledge  self-directedlearning  2011  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Safe is risky. Risky is safe. « Re-educate Seattle
"Years ago, he assumed leadership of a college that was in transition, & helped it grow & develop.

I said, “I want to do the same thing for PSCS that you’ve done for [this college].”

He spent an hour with me telling stories & offering advice on organizational development. When he was finished, I tried to sum up.

“It sounds like the way to grow an organization is to find the important stories, tell them to people who might be interested, & then keep working like crazy until you succeed.”

He smiled. “It’s not complicated.” Then he added, “But it’s not easy. And the more success you have, the more work there will be to do. It never stops, so you have to love it. Doing the work has to be energizing for you. If not, it’s time to get a new job.”

It’s after midnight right now, and I still have almost an hour’s worth of work before sending this out. I believe that re-imagining what school can be—& then building these new kinds of schools—is the most important work there is."
stevemiranda  storytelling  schools  leadership  sharing  marketing  tcsnmy  cv  growth  learning  self-knowledge  lcproject  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
The myth of objectivity « Re-educate Seattle
"This attitude is part of the myth of objectivity that pervades traditional schooling. The curriculum is presented as objective, comprehensive, and factual. Sit in the chair, follow directions, and you will receive an objective, comprehensive, and factual education…

Education is a highly personal process. Every decision that teachers make, whether we’re conscious that we’re making it or not, is loaded with bias. History, for example, contains a seemingly infinite set of people, events, and stories; the bias comes not necessarily in how the teacher presents selected events, but in the process of selecting which stories to tell.

I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with being biased as a teacher. In fact, I don’t think there’s any way to teach authentically without bias. It’s when we surrender to the myth of objectivity that we do students a disservice."
stevemiranda  education  objectivity  teaching  schools  schooling  compliance  facts  traditionalschools  curating  curation  cv  bias  authenticity  2011  philosophy  pedagogy  truth  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Wanna run? You can « Re-educate Seattle
"The way schools are structured teaches kids to think that anything you want to do requires asking permission first. Without that permission, we learn to sit around and wait for something to change. There’s no process in place to help kids learn how to initiate something. One of the best things we can do for kids is to help them internalize some version of these two-word messages.

Mine is, “You can.”

Clay Hebert’s is “Wanna run?”"
stevemiranda  pscs  permission  doing  cv  glvo  tcsnmy  lcproject  teaching  learning  experience  hesitance  inhibition  unschooling  deschooling  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Why most conversations about education start with the wrong premise « Re-educate Seattle
"overwhelming majority of the discussions around fixing our schools happen w/ the wrong set of assumptions. For the most part, pundits argue about the best ways to deliver academic content from teachers to students…

…new way of thinking is that the point of school is to facilitate the transition from childhood to adulthood. That means designing schools based on research from the field of human development, not on research on how to raise test scores.

Academic content is important—it’s really important!—& best learned by kids who are pursuing material that interests them, who are surrounded by adults they trust, who are intrinsically motivated to learn, who are mature and responsible, and who have a sense of autonomy over their education.

This was taught to me by PSCS founder Andy Smallman: the first focus of school should be on creating an environment grounded in sound principles of human development. Academic learning then becomes a powerful by-product of that environment…"
stevemiranda  education  learning  schools  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  humandevelopment  standardizedtesting  testing  content  andysmallman  pscs  2011  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Don’t tell me what you’re passionate about « Re-educate Seattle
"School can help facilitate this process. One of the best things we can do is to give kids autonomy in how they spend their time, including time in which they’re not required to do anything in particular.

As educators we can stand back & observe how they spend that time. Students will fill those unscheduled slots w/ activities that give them joy. (This is the part that many people have a hard time believing. They think kids are lazy & unless they’re told what to do, they’ll just sit around…not true.) Then we don’t have to ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, we can say things like, “I’ve noticed you’re spending a lot of time drawing superhero characters. Would you like to meet a professional illustrator?”

The way traditional schools are structured causes kids miss out on these opportunities. They spend their days sitting through required classes, then it’s home to decompress from the stress of school w/ video games or YouTube videos, then it’s homework time…"
openstudio  unschooling  deschooling  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  progressive  democratic  freeschools  autonomy  motivation  choice  entrepreneurship  identity  self  productivity  google20%  education  schools  schooliness  trust  learning  teaching  passion  unstructuredtime  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
You have to let go « Re-educate Seattle
"The problem with standards is that by imposing a minimum, you are at the same time imposing a maximum. If you say to your 10th grade English class, “Write a five-page essay analyzing Joseph Heller’s use irony in Catch-22,” there’s pretty much zero chance that anyone will go above and beyond that.

If you say to a student, “Your assignment is to write 67 music reviews,” he’s going to look at you like you’re insane.

But if you help kids identify what they love to do and support them in pursuing it, you will be amazed at the kind of work they’ll produce. The key is, you have to let go. You have to let the students set their own standards, because the standards they set for themselves will far surpass anything you try to impose upon them."
writing  cv  teaching  tcsnmy  stevemiranda  pscs  learning  expression  meaning  purpose  standards  standardization  unschooling  deschooling  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  education  schools  pedagogy  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Am I willing to be that brave? « Re-educate Seattle
"This is why, when PSCS is recruiting volunteers, we’re not necessarily looking for people to teach a particular academic discipline. We’re looking for people to be role models for kids. We’re looking for people of high character who are excited about life. We want to surround kids with people who pursue things they love, who step outside their comfort zone, and who take their passion and DO something with it.

We want kids to look at our volunteers and think, Am I willing to be that brave?"
pscs  stevemiranda  andysmallman  tcsnmy  passion  learning  mentoring  teaching  pedagogy  modeling  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Three rules for bringing out the best in teachers « Re-educate Seattle
"My friend Nick wrote to me earlier this week and scolded me for constantly critiquing the existing paradigm while rarely proposing specific solutions. So, with a nod to Nick, here’s my specific advice:

1.    Hire talented teachers and let them teach what inspires them.

2.    Never require—in fact, never allow—a teacher to teach content that doesn’t inspire him or her.

3.    Allow teachers to bring their whole selves to work; don’t limit their ability to share talents and things they love simply because it falls outside of their academic department.

I know what you’re thinking: If we followed this advice, we’d have to completely re-invent the way we’ve structured our schools. The current model simply can’t accommodate these recommendations.

Exactly. We have to re-invent the way we structure our schools."
pscs  stevemiranda  tcsnmy  education  teaching  change  gamechanging  passion  interest  interestdriven  interestdriventeaching  standards  hiring  management  administration  curriculum  curriculumisdead  lcproject  schools  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
No disrespect intended toward Emily Dickinson, but . . . « Re-educate Seattle
"In this case—and I would argue that this principle is universal—academic content and skills serve as a means towards helping the student mature from childhood to adulthood, from a novice learner dependant on others to a self-directed one that is capable of greater independence.

We spend a lot of time in schools worrying about the product of learning, and not nearly enough on the process."
stevemiranda  processoverproduct  process  projectbasedlearning  projects  teaching  learning  schools  education  pscs  tcsnmy  self-directedlearning  maturity  dependence  interdependence  independence  self-sufficiency  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pbl  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
There are reasons to attend elite universities, but I don’t think any of them are related to education « Re-educate Seattle
"For many young people, getting into elite universities means sacrificing sleep, relationships, and time that could be spent pursuing personal passions in order to prepare a resume that will impress the admissions committees. That gives you the privilege of paying a quarter of a million dollars for access to academic content that’s free with an Internet connection and a library card, and a network of peers not nearly as impressive as those that could be found elsewhere. For free.

There are reasons to attend elite universities, but I don’t think any of them are related to education."
education  colleges  universities  stevemiranda  pscs  ivyleague  money  motivation  learning  unschooling  deschooling  selectivity  opencourseware  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The importance of following directions « Re-educate Seattle
"The system of mass education we maintain has very little to do with nurturing personal growth, and is almost entirely a test to see if you can follow directions. I could tell almost immediately which of my students were going to follow directions, and which weren’t."
education  learning  stevemiranda  schools  schooling  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  colleges  universities  aristocracy  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
We do a lot of things backwards in school, but this is a big one « Re-educate Seattle
"That’s how I’ve always learned. I like to identify a topic of interest, pursue it in depth, & then follow wherever it leads. By focusing on micro-topics like General Marshall or the Black Panthers, I managed to give myself a pretty comprehensive understanding of 20th century American History. I learned the big picture by focusing on the individual episodes.

I think a lot of people learn this way, & it’s why so many kids find survey courses—in which “coverage” is deemed more important than depth—so dreadful.

I think this is also helps explain the popularity of “problem-based learning,” when students are placed in collaborative groups and given challenging, open-ended, ill-defined problems to solve. For example, they need to promote their rock band, so they learn what they need to know about advertising, design, and communicating with media. Next thing you know, they’ve learned all things they’d get in a Marketing 101 class."
stevemiranda  teaching  tcsnmy  learning  education  problemsolving  problem-basedlearning  projectbasedlearning  cv  howwelearn  howwework  microtomacro  zoomingout  context  unschooling  deschooling  self-directedlearning  autodidacts  lcproject  pbl  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
“It takes a lot to render me speechless, but . . .” « Re-educate Seattle
"When I finally finished speaking, I looked into the audience and saw a well-dressed boy of about 16 signaling me from the balcony. “You’re telling us not to just get in a race for the traditional rewards,” he said. “But what else is there?”

It takes a lot to render me speechless, but I stood on that stage clutching my microphone for a few moments and just stared. This was probably the most depressing question I have ever been asked. This young man was, I guessed, enviably successful by conventional standards, headed for even greater glories, and there was a large hole where his soul should have been. It was not a question to be answered (although I fumbled my way through a response) so much as an indictment of college prep and the resulting attenuation of values that was far more scathing than any argument I could have offered."
independentschools  education  learning  ratrace  csnmy  unschooling  stevemiranda  alfiekohn  fulfillment  rewards  life  deschooling  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Community. Community. Community. « Re-educate Seattle
"Community. Community. Community.

In school, we operate under the conceit that if we focus on content delivery—that is, if our lesson plans and unit plans are elegantly prepared—then human relationships won’t matter.

And after-school programs are left to pick up the pieces.

Of course, classroom teachers know that relationships matter. But school is not set up in a way to enable true community to develop. Six classes a day, five minutes between classes and 30 minutes for lunch. Get ‘em in, get ‘em out. One teacher typically sees 150 kids every day, for 55 minutes at a time. In that structure, there’s a limit to what classroom teachers can do to build the authentic, caring human relationships that provide the foundation for academic and social growth.

The failings of our schools are not a result of the failings of individuals. It’s a failing of the institution.

We need to redesign the institution."
stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  education  tcsnmy  learning  community  communities  lcproject  curriculum  socialcurriculum  toshare  topost  change  relationships  responsiveclassroom  responsivedesign  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The students who were happy when I handed them a textbook « Re-educate Seattle
"The students had been waiting for this moment all semester. All they wanted was to be given a task and told what to do. And if you ask the folks who set up the education system in the 19th century—with the intent of training workers for a factory economy—if it was working well, I’m sure they’d offer an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

But this isn’t the 19th century. We don’t live in a factory economy.

We should stop using this structure.

We need to create something new."
stevemiranda  teaching  learning  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  factoryschools 
october 2010 by robertogreco
The Fisch Flip, or why upside down thinking can drive innovation « Re-educate Seattle
"Karl Fisch…upended typical way we think about teaching: videotaped his lectures, uploaded them to YouTube, & assigned them as homework. Then had students do what used to be homework—practice problems—in class where he walks around & gives students one-on-one help.

…Pink explains how Seth Godin proposed a Fisch Flip for book publishing industry: publishers launch new book by releasing cheap paperback, & then introduce pricey hardcover once it catches on.

Or what if movie studio released film on DVD, let word of mouth spread, then invite early adopters to watch it on big screen as communal experience?

…another: one software company has decided to throw huge party for employees on first day on job, rather than waiting for a going-away party on their last day.

This is just a start. The most forward thinking people in business are refusing to accept the rules of the previous generation. They’re challenging every assumption, & sometimes completely flipping the script."
karlfisch  danielpink  stevemiranda  sethgodin  fischflip  andysmallman  pscs  happiness  education  learning  homework  publishing  books  dvd  film  movies  business  gamechanging  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
The Statue of Responsibility « Re-educate Seattle
"Any definition of progressive education has to include, in addition to students having the freedom to direct their own education, some discussion of individual’s responsibility to a larger community."
progressive  education  learning  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  andysmallman  viktorfrankl  community  communityservice  activism  responsibility  tcsnmy  self-directed  society  self-directedlearning  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
“. . . ready to welcome the ecstatic experience” « Re-educate
"There are plenty of smart people of good character who would love to teach. But maybe they don’t want to teach full time, don’t want to spend thousands of dollars & 18 months getting a teaching credential, & they certainly don’t want to teach classes in subjects that don’t interest them or their students. And so they miss out on the electric feeling that teaching gives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can build a network of community schools on every street corner, ones that not only provide safe, loving, nurturing environments for kids, but also provide an opportunity for adults in the community to share what they love. Imagine a city in which every adult had the chance to have their lives enriched by the experience of teaching & learning in an environment that was designed to fuel people’s passions. Imagine how alive we would all feel!

We can do this. But we have to build new schools that are, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”"
stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  emilydickinson  teaching  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  credentials  community  schooldesign  alternative  learning  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Why can’t classes be more like Meetups? « Re-educate
"Here’s a line from Tellio:

“Why can’t classes be more like Meet-Ups? Some of my most successful classes were ones where we met socially for breakfast or coffee/tea. Why not have a Meet-Up Monday?”…

The thing I think they most appreciated about that class was, for once, something in school felt authentic. It felt spontaneous.

* * *

According to Wikipedia, “Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.” No tests, no arbitrary hierarchy, no grades, no bathroom passes. Just a group of people connecting with others to engage in conversation about something they’re passionate about.

So why can’t classes be more like Meetups?

In some leading edge progressive schools, that’s exactly what they’re like."
education  tcsnmy  meetups  spontaneity  teaching  conversation  progressive  schools  learning  dicussion  lcproject  informallearning  informality  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Reflections on the valedictorian’s speech « Re-educate
"Erica Goldson can give speeches every day for the rest of her life. I can write blog posts until my fingers fall off. Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks are indeed powerful. Alfie Kohn’s & Daniel Pink’s books are important & compelling reads. But it all remains a self-indulgent exercise unless someone builds schools—or transforms existing schools—into places that nurture kids’ intrinsic motivation to learn, & allow them to direct their own education & pursue their strengths. At some point, we need to stop talking, stop writing, & [do]…

There is something seductive about the act of rebellion. The adrenaline rush that comes from speaking truth to power can become addictive. But oing the lonely, dangerous work of actually building something new is the stuff that actually makes change. That’s the work that really matters.

My advice…find someone who’s doing work that matters & ask how you can help. We’ve got a lot that needs to get done, & we’re going to need all the help we can get."
ericgoldson  valedictorians  do  make  tcsnmy  lcproject  stevemiranda  schools  education  productivity  learning  self-directedlearning  self-directed  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  pscs  kenrobinson  danielpink  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
The one thing you need to know (from the archives) « Re-educate
"“cognitive psychologists explain [..]. that when an event occurs, you store in your memory not only the specifics of the event, but also how this event made you feel. Over time, as more events occur, you build up a network of event memories all connected by the fact that they created in you a similar emotion. So when a new event occurs that makes you feel incompetent, the entire network of events-where-you-feel-incompetent lights up, making it almost impossible for you not to think about them. Negative thoughts will activate thoughts of past failings, whereas positive moods will activate thoughts of past successes.”
education  stevemiranda  learning  progressive  schools  schooling  deschooling  quitting  interests  psychology  cognition  pscs  memory  feelings  emotions  networks  brain  success  failure  mood  dropouts  tcsnmy  lcproject  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The heart of what progressive education means « Re-educate
"“The faculty are interested in providing an environment of collaboration where faculty and learners will identify topics of mutual interest and act as partners in the exploration of those topics.”
education  learning  schools  partnerships  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  exploration  progressive  pedagogy  intrinsicmotivation  evergreenstatecollege  teaching  students  stevemiranda  toshare  topost 
july 2010 by robertogreco
0-for-3 « Re-educate
"“Teens with high levels of sparks, voice and relationships do better on every academic, psychological, social-emotional and behavioral outcome, signaling that youth with all three strengths are already on the path to success in school, work and life. Yet more than one-third of 15-year-olds surveyed did not score high on any of the strengths, and only 7 percent experience high levels of all three strengths.”
stevemiranda  interests  engagement  teens  adolescence  relationships  voice  choice  conrol  influence  teaching  learning  schools  tcsnmy  education  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness 
july 2010 by robertogreco
News flash: Brontosaurus was not a real dinosaur « Re-educate
"when parents interested in PSCS for their child ask me about the school’s curriculum, I always tell them the same thing: “Our curriculum is responsibility. Our goal for our graduates is maturity.”
pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  stevemiranda  curriculum  tcsnmy  responsibility  progressive  toshare  lcproject  community  integrity  maturity 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The kid who couldn’t spell (from the archives) « Re-educate
"I asked a friend who works at a progressive school how he handles kids with glaring deficiencies in subjects that are deemed important by society: subjects like writing and spelling. “I’ll tell a student, you don’t have to write perfectly for me every time. But for times when it needs to be perfect, you need to show me that you know how you can deliver perfect.”
stevemiranda  pscs  tcsnmy  writing  spelling  necessity  curriculum  self-directedlearning  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Time magazine = traditional schools « Re-educate
"This is a revolution in our society, and education policymakers and legislators are either unaware or acting as if they hope it will go away. It’s not going to. The days of average schools for average kids—and pre-fab curricula passed down from above—will soon go the way of Time magazine. People will simply stop settling for an average education for their kids when they can choose from the rising number of options that are customized just for them."
stevemiranda  schools  education  future  changer  revolution  botiqueschools  scale  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  choice  customization  policy  us  society  differentiation  differentiatedlearning  options  charterschools 
june 2010 by robertogreco
How to deal with poverty in schools « Re-educate
"Perhaps that’s one way to define wealth: the ability to choose from many options. In this way, our schools are suffering from a poverty that is much more profound than just a lack of money. Our schools—teachers & students—are suffering from a staggering lack of options...a profound absence of the possibility of anything interesting happening."
pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  small  transformation  lcproject  cv  schools  education  poverty  options  wealth  change  gamechanging  deschooling  optimism  stevemiranda  choices  teaching  scale 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Raising the bar for things that matter « Re-educate
"[PSCS] graduation requirements. Every senior needs to write a credo, which is a statement of belief about what matters to you...needs to complete a senior project, which is an ambitious undertaking that advances a personal passion & demonstrates the ability to set a goal & achieve it over time...must meet certain standards of community involvement & uphold school’s core commitments: engage the community, practice integrity, act with courage."
pscs  tcsnmy  identity  belief  education  policy  simplicity  stevemiranda  plp  passion  learning  curriculum  unschooling  deschooling  schools  standards  community  goals  self-directedlearning  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Graduation day « Re-educate
"This was unlike any graduation ceremony I’ve ever heard of, and it was an experience that will be impossible to forget. It’s the result of asking two simple questions: What is the purpose of a graduation ceremony? Instead of doing what has always been done, how can we create a ceremony that will be appropriate for this time, this place, and this unique group of people?"
pscs  graduation  tcsnmy  pugetsoundcommunityschool  stevemiranda 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Lessons we can learn from the positive psychology movement « Re-educate
"In schools, we...pathologize kids by making them do things that don’t make sense to them, then giving them grades so they have a record of all the ways in which they’re deficient. The academic program serves as a way to make all kids “normal” by pushing them towards a predetermined minimum standard."
stevemiranda  tcsnmy  lcproject  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  learning  grading  grades  assessment  autonomy  deschooling  unschooling  positivepsychology  psychology 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The rise of DIY education « Re-educate
"Schools that continue to treat students like factory workers will find themselves creeping towards irrelevance. Schools that create an environment that nurtures curiosity, creativity and collaboration will continue to grow in demand."
tcsnmy  stevemiranda  pscs  creativity  lcproject  learning  collaboration  change  gamechanging  opencourseware  curiosity  diy  diyeducation  deschooling  unschooling  sethgodin  economics  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Why I don’t like the poem that everyone else loves « Re-educate [I'm not the only teacher that is not fond of Taylor Mali's poem.]
"I don’t believe in the teacher-as-hero narrative. And I really don’t believe in the teacher-as-martyr story. Mali’s poem reinforces the old notion that teachers and students are adversaries, and the teacher’s job is the push the students hard and—against all odds—to make them do things they don’t want to do. Contrary to what society tells us, my experience has taught me that attitude actually hinders student achievement...
taylormali  teaching  education  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  learning  schools  stevemiranda 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Alfie Kohn is, I think, missing the point « Re-educate
"Here’s a letter written by Alfie Kohn. It’s for schools that don’t give grades to send off to colleges on behalf of their students. I like it, but I think he—just like almost every other education critic I’ve read—is missing the most important thing... The game-changing idea in reimagining our education system is that when you pressure kids with academics, it makes them not like it. However, if you engage the whole child—if you dedicate yourself to making the child feel safe, secure, and loved—those kids will tackle academics with a passion and purpose that will far exceed what they would do if you engage them only in academics."
alfiekohn  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  education  schools  learning  academics  whatmatters  grades  grading  self  tcsnmy  lcproject 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Re-educate | Facebook
"Re-Educate is looking to connect people in the Puget Sound area who believe the industrial model of school should be quietly laid to rest as we welcome a new kind of school for the 21st century. Mission: This page is designed to serve as a gathering place for people interested in helping organize Re-Educate 2012: a Collaborative Learning Event."
stevemiranda  pscs  cascadia  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  2012  unconferences  togo  tcsnmy  change  gamechanging  progressive  schools  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Why Apple’s $40 billion matters to us « Re-educate
"The traditional school model hinders imagination and creativity because it’s very hard to be original when you’re constantly being asked to produce. On the contrary, the progressive school where I work does not schedule regular classes on Fridays. Instead, we leave that space open for field trips, guest speakers, or just socializing. Here’s a quick story—taken from Imagination First, by Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon—about Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey that illustrates the point: “As often as possible, in good quarters or bad, he will clear his calendar for days at a time. During those blank hours, he reads. He thinks. He gets lost in science fiction, economic theory, comic books. He notices where resistance arises, where inspiration flares. He’s not trying, Mackey insists, to cultivate imagination. There’s no plan. He merely trusts that letting things unfold nonlinearly is the best approach to growth that is enduring and, well, organic.”"
pscs  learning  creativity  stevemiranda  tcsnmy  openstudio  time  imagination  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  freetime  progressive  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
march 2010 by robertogreco
What not to do « Re-educate
"If you want to teach your children to be ethical, a really bad way to do it would be to coerce them into following a “ethics” curriculum filled w/ worksheets & tests. A better way would be to surround the child w/ ethical people, & consistently elevate in their consciousness the value of being ethical."
schools  lcproject  education  modeling  tcsnmy  pscs  stevemiranda  unschooling  deschooling  curriculum  learning  ethics  math  responsibility  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
february 2010 by robertogreco
“Our product is an environment” « Re-educate
"No, we’re not an alternative school. An alternative school uses alternative means to help students master concepts in geography, science, mathematics, and literature. Their product is the same as traditional schools: academic achievement."
unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  lcproject  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Flow « Re-educate
"What would it mean to create schools in which one of the explicit goals was to create as many opportunities as possible for students to experience flow? What would that mean for bell schedules, required classes, and standardized tests?
mihalycsikszentmihalyi  flow  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  learning  immersion  unschooling  deschooling  stevemiranda 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Lessons from the Inuit « Re-educate
"So here’s a question: should we prepare young people to compete in the world in which we live, or prepare them to create the world we want?"
essentialquestions  education  society  tcsnmy  learning  gamechanging  hierarchy  stevemiranda  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  cv  glvo  parenting  inuit  culture 
november 2009 by robertogreco
"Re-Educate is looking to connect people in the Puget Sound area who believe the industrial model of school should be quietly laid to rest as we welcome a new kind of school for the 21st century. This blog is also designed to serve as a gathering place for people interested in helping organize Re-Educate 2012: a Collaborative Learning Event. For information, email"

[Discussion at: AND Twitter feed at: ]
education  blogs  community  alternative  seattle  pscs  stevemiranda  washingtonstate  schools  schooling  lcproject  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  conferences  deschooling  unschooling  gamechanging  progressive 
november 2009 by robertogreco

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