Navigating Chaos: The New 21st Century Skill

Navigating Chaos: The New 21st Century Skill

The problem with the 21st century is that it won’t stand still. Just when the goal came into focus—get students ready to be ‘globally competitive’ and prepare them for ‘tomorrow’s world’ by teaching problem solving, collaboration, communication, and design skills—the planet decides to accelerate into its next phase. A confluence of events is laying this … Continue reading Navigating Chaos: The New 21st Century Skill

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The Innovation to Drive Innovation: Scaling Inquiry

The Innovation to Drive Innovation: Scaling Inquiry

After watching her deeply engaged students and teachers gather in celebration after an inspiring project showcase last fall, a proud elementary school Principal—the new head of a school that had underperformed for years—exclaimed to me: “Every teacher needs to learn how to do this!” In another school, a 6th grade science teacher related how multiples … Continue reading The Innovation to Drive Innovation: Scaling Inquiry

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An Educational Letter to the American Public

An Educational Letter to the American Public

I’ve worked at over 350 schools—public, private, and charter—and with more than 6000 teachers in the past fifteen years. Perhaps it’s quaint in a post-truth world, but I have ‘experience’ and a certain number of ‘facts to share. First, congratulations to President Trump and presumptive Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, for putting education front and … Continue reading An Educational Letter to the American Public

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Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21St Century Learning

Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21St Century Learning

Like other aspects of modern life, education can make the head hurt. So many outcomes, so much important work to do, so many solutions and strategies, so many variations on teaching, so many different kinds of students with so many different needs, so many unknowns in preparing for 21st Century life and the endless list … Continue reading Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21St Century Learning

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How PBL Educates the Whole Child

How PBL Educates the Whole Child

Over the past decade and a half, I’ve seen how well executed project based learning (PBL) can provide a joyful learning experience for students. Joy is not our number one standard, I realize, but when projects offer the right mix of challenge, engagement, and personalized support, blended with a motivating, meaningful learning experience that reaches … Continue reading How PBL Educates the Whole Child

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Ten Tips for Better PBL

Ten Tips for Better PBL

Meeting Common Core Standards requires more emphasis on inquiry and project based learning (PBL.) Increasingly, in the 2012 -2013 school year, teachers will be asked to design and implement high quality, student-focused projects that help students go deeper into subjects, think harder, and perform better. Teachers with experience in ‘doing projects’ often feel that they … Continue reading Ten Tips for Better PBL

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Seven Steps to High Quality PBL

Seven Steps to High Quality PBL

I emphasize the term ‘high quality’ PBL for two reasons. First, many educators still equate PBL with ‘doing projects,’ ‘hands on’ learning, or ‘activities.’ This is an industrial holdover from the time when projects were designed as an antidote to lecture or a respite from seat time, as a culminating opportunity for students to finally … Continue reading Seven Steps to High Quality PBL

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