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.

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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GRRReat We all want great learning, great schools, and great success in the future. For the past several years the narrow focus has been on test scores. Schools compete with other schools, states and provinces compete with other states and provinces, and PISA scores seem to be the only assessment measure that is taken seriously. […]

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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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No More Emotional Anorexia

Great teachers are emotionally intelligent and connect with their students and colleagues, they have the understanding that positive relationships are the bedrock of successful schools. This can be emotionally draining and if we do not replenish regularly then it can lead to what I call emotional anorexia. The emotionally anorexic lose the capacity to maintain […]

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