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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New Rule: Be a Peach, not a Coconut

New Rule:  Be a Peach, Not a Coconut William Sommers, PhD There has been a tremendous amount of books and research about leadership.  Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z and everything in between.  There are kick butt leaders, spiritual leaders, open leaders, clear leaders, etc.  The motivational research by Harlow, Deci, Pink and others indicate […]

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New Rule: Choose Duct Tape or WD-40?

New Rule: Use Duct Tape or WD-40 “There is too much change to deal with” is the expression I hear a lot in schools and district offices.  Bullfeathers.  We love change.  Don’t we want kids and colleagues to learn?  Learning means change. Changing what or how we think and/or act.  Doing something different than before.  […]

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There is NO Substitute for Brains

New Rule:  NO Substitute for Brains “There is no substitute for brains.”  Marney Wamsley As an assistant principal, Marney was my third principal.  My first principal was an ex-Marine Corp colonel. I learned courage, political savvy, and management skills. My second principal was an ex-wrestler from Iowa.  (I, too, was an ex-wrestler from Iowa).  I […]

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Failure IS an Option

We have been around a long time, both over 40 years in education, and worked in many parts of the country. One of us, mostly as a building principal, and the other as former teacher, counselor, and union business agent. We have heard lots of rhetoric about what needs to happen and have seen many […]

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