Learning Omnivores


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We are an amorphous group of educators who have joined together—a tribe really— to learn from a diverse group of gifted, interesting and sometimes provocative learned people in the world. We’ve learned from the likes of poet David Whyte, provocative educators David Berliner, Gene Glass, and Yong Zhao, linguist George Layoff, researchers and professors Carol Dweck, Andy Hargreaves, Art Costa and Bena Kallick, Jon Saphier, and Tony Wagner.

We are about learning—exploring ideas to understand more deeply the institutions of education. We are also intrigued by the processes individuals experience while learning.

We’ll feature a blog about current issues around learning. We’ll offer reviews of books we’re reading. And we’ll focus on “New Rules”, changes in attitude and behavior we educators must exhibit to survive in our world of surprising changes.

Testing Destiny

As Pete Seeger sang years ago, “when will we ever learn?”  Yes, that dates me and gives me over 40 years of perspective in education.  So, my question is, knowing the results of the testing every child, when will we learn that this is not working?  We all know Einstein’s quote about continuing to do […]

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Comfort Stories: Stealing our Collective Intelligence

When I got home, as is my wont, I eagerly reached for the newspapers that had piled up on the steps. I wanted to find out what happened the past 3 days while I was away at a conference. Staring me in the face was the headline pictured here. My questions are: So what? Are […]

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 “The more things change the more they stay the same” — Bon Jovi Been thinkin’ a lot lately about education and schools and learning. That’s what happens when Bill calls, asking if I have a couple of minutes. He’s discovered some of the great quotes in whatever books he’s reading. And he wants to share […]

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The five myths of NYC education reform

The five myths of NYC education reform by Winifred Radigan While education reform has been on the front burner of political platforms and public opinion pages, sadly, true reform continues to give way to quick fixes and bureaucratic structural changes that fail to have a positive and lasting impact on teaching and learning.   The problem […]

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Growing Lilies in the Desert

“There I said it again,” is a song lyric that some of us mature (ok old) people know. That lyric resonated with me as I read Jon Saphier’s article, “Growing Lilies in the Desert”. In two previous posts Saphier is explicit and committed to a vision of what is possible. I hope some politicians and […]

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Years on the defensive, it’s time to get creative!

It seems to me that our growth as a profession in education  has been “delayed”, stunted, if you will. We’ve spent the last 10 years or so on the defensive, trying with everything we had,  to deal forthrightly with the bureaucrats and idiots who have controlled education policy. With the passage of ESSA (Every Student […]

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Feedback that Supports Learning for Everyone

by Giselle O. Martin-Kniep Feedback affect us and helps us learn. While some of the feedback we receive stems from within us through our engagement with a task or with information, much of the feedback we receive and give stems from our interactions with others. Since most feedback is relational, we should attend to the […]

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No, “No,” and Know

            Everyone can use appropriate doses of feedback.No feedback is debilitating. It keeps educators from being able to determine whether or not they are on the right track, whether or not supervisors care, and keeps good communication in the unknown. Everybody is busy. That is an old tiresome excuse. What is most important for learning? […]

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Feedback Spirals

FEEDBACK SPIRALS By Art Costa and Bena Kallick, Co-Founders, Institute for Habits of Mind, Westport, CT We want students to value feedback a they become spectators of their own growth. Building from both internal and external data sources, reflections and observations, rich and challenging learning activities provide opportunities to build the skills of monitoring and […]

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Bo Peep Was Wrong

New Rule: Bo Peep Was Wrong – Be a Good Shepherd Instead The Bo Beep style of management has to be eliminated for a more active and energizing form of leadership. Show up and be a presence or find another line of work. Leaders who manage by ‘leave them alone and they will come home’ […]

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When the Horse is Dead, Dismount

New Rule:  When the Horse is Dead, Have Sense Enough to Dismount Years ago I found the following story which I attached to the end of this new rule.  A few years ago a colleague told me about a book If You’re Riding a Horse and It Dies. Get Off. (1999) by Jim Grant and […]

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Be a Wet Baby

New Rule: Be a Wet Baby I tire of hearing people inside and outside of education say, ‘oh so much change, I can’t take any more.’  As the Eagles song title says, “Get Over It.” I am not saying ‘find your inner child and kick its little a##’ (song lyric).  I am saying change is, […]

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New Rule: Pull Don’t Push

New Rule: Pull Don’t Push Question: Is it easier to push a wagon from behind with a load or pull a wagon from the front?  Most people I ask say it is easier to pull the wagon from the front with the handle than to push from behind. So, a quote I either saw, heard […]

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