Wonder-Stellar Science Series-Ink & Sword



This video is from about a month ago, so it's really recent/relevant.

Education activist Brian Jones discusses Real vs. Phony Education Reform and punctures the myth that privatization (charter schools, high-stakes testing, merit pay) will create racial and economic justice for under served communities.

Jones is an elementary school teacher in New York City, a union activist and author, most recently of a chapter in the book Education and Capitalism on The Struggle for Black Education.

If you enjoy this, here is a pretty strong collection of similarly framed articles on the topic of education and fighting to save our school system.



This is our continual inspirational jam.  

 Udacity - Higher Education 2.0


Nine Lies about Academic Achievement that Parents and Teachers Often Seem to Believe -but Don't Really

We seem to believe the many myths of this model-lies like:

  1. Life is a race to the top
  2. Academic achievement is the ticket to the top. (test scores/brandname colleges)
  3. It is all about ability, and there are 3 kinds of kids: gifted, normal and those who learn differently.
  4. The race starts in kindergarten with kids at ZERO (even though by the time they walk into their first kindergarten classroom and are asked to sit in a circle, they have already been researchers, scientists, detectives and problem-solvers for over 43,000 hours.)
  5. You can get a head start by starting the race early: preschool, birth, pre-natal.
  6. The sooner you get started in the race, the greater the likelihood you will end up high on the pyramid, and be happy.
  7. Parents have the power to get their kids to turn out the way they want them to.
  8. Education is about shaping your child or a bit like getting your child through the eye of the needle.
  9. Worst of all, academics is something you wouldn't naturally like, and therefore you have to sacrifice your imagination, your inquisitiveness and your self to get through the eye of the needle to the next level of academic achievement.

(Taken from Rick Ackerly)




Every child is an artist. The Problem is staying an artist when you grow up. Pablo Picasso.





But still, I have questions. Unanswered questions. Rhetorical, perhaps. Yes, I have questions:

If we say we want differentiated instruction, why does every child take the same test in the same way?
If we say we want critical thinkers, why are the tests created at the lowest base knowledge level?
If we say we need multiple intelligences, why are the tests only in one modality?
If we say it's important that students learn to ask questions, why do they spend the entire time filling out bubbles, answering other people's questions?
If we say we need students who can make connections between multiple sources, subjects and topics, why are all the test questions separated by subject?
If we say that students need to articulate an answer in their own words, why are the tests based upon recall instead of synthesis of knowledge?
If we say we want creativity, why aren't students actually creating anything? Why aren't they developing solutions and actually solving problems?
If we say we want students who can collaborate, why do they test in isolation? And why are we creating a system where knowledge cannot be shared?

Yeah, I have questions. Not just about the test, but about a nation that holds eighth graders accountable for meaningless facts while the Wall Street execs who bankrupt our economy got off with a golden parachute.


I have questions.


Adventures in Learning, A Heretic During Holy Week (via adventuresinlearning)

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.


Alvin Toffler - Author, Futurist, Knower of all things. (via marzipanslabyrinth) (via visualturn)


Visual Turn: What's wrong with this picture?


(Source: rizkyselma, via world-shaker)

However neat and tidy this image may be, we really need to put this sorry old chestnut to rest, and remind ourselves of the dangers inherent in citing secondary sources.

Will Thalheimer (2006) published a rather detailed and well-cited debunking…


Knowing ourselves enables us to teach others

After over 20 years of teaching, I believe that the best way to increase my capacity to help others is to learn more about myself. To ensure successful learning, I include these four actions in weekly lesson plans, because knowing ourselves enables us to help others.

  1. Look for and document changes in your own learning
  2. Plan to learn while you teach
  3. Reflect on moments of success
  4. Make your perceptions of students visible to yourself



Adam Gopnik, How the Internet Gets Inside Us, New Yorker (via visualturn)

There is no requirement that faculty in higher education understand learning theory. Even saying that, and knowing it is true, seems astonishing. How is it possible to make the turn from teaching to learning without knowing what that means? This is the 800-pound gorilla in the middle of the room. Faculty members in higher education are researchers. The focus of their research has traditionally been on disciplinary knowledge and not on how humans learn. To make the turn from teaching to learning become a reality and not just a phrase, the first step should be toward a faculty development effort across the board to dramatically increase awareness of the basic research in learning theory of the past 30 years. Those who have been teaching for years without this awareness may find astonishing discoveries: ...Oh, that's why that innovation worked that I tried three years ago,“ or ...Okay, now I see why problem-based learning can work so well if designed correctly.

The Problem of ...Pedagogy“ in a Web 2.0 Era - Campus Technology (via infoneer-pulse)

As it stands, we seek to decrease inequality and poverty by improving educational enrollment, performance, and attainment. A good deal of evidence, however, suggests that we should do just the opposite. Only by first decreasing inequality and poverty might we then improve educational outcomes.



Why Education Is Not an Economic Panacea - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education (via infoneer-pulse)

It took me a long time to get this, but it is irrefutably true. We have been working the wrong side of the equation for decades.

(via visualturn)


The disadvantages of an elite education

An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn't understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students' experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she'd been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don't have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it's not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks.

- William Deresiewicz


So useful!




Tackling Literacy Today, Milwaukee Public Library:

This set of three images was taken from Milwaukee Public Library's recent Internet campaign; it is clearly reaching out to younger uses that use the Internet as a form of social networking. They are trying to get users away from their computers, and into a book - hence 'Put Your Face in a Book', 'You Could Be Reading' and '140 Characters? Try Millions'.

It's effective because it uses current Internet logos of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (three powerful, popular sites) and alters them so they show a statement about reading. This method makes their statement instantly relatable, as the logos of these sites are something that most of us see at least once a day.

What many adults don't get is that computers and smartphones are not considered technology by kids. They are not in awe of the capabilities of these tools. They expect it. It is part of their world. Educators should not be so arrogant as to think they have the ability to decide whether or not kids can use these tools for learning. The kids do it with, or without adult permission. Any educator has the right to choose to live in a cave, however, they do not have the right to drag their students in there with them.

Teaching As A Subversive Activity, linked up by my man Jason Sturgill

Some things that I love about Inquiry Education:

  • Pleasure in problem solving
  • Self-confidence in student's learning ability 
  • Avoidance of telling students what they ...ought to know“.
  • Talk with students mostly by questioning (and do not accept short, simple answers to questions).
  • Encourage students to interact directly with each other without judgement.
  • Do not plan the exact direction of lessons in advance and allow for the curriculum to develop in response to students' interests.
  • Students being GOOD LEARNERS is a goal. 
Oh and here is a PDF of the above for you to read if interested.

(via Photo by jgspdx - Instagram)

Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age.“ - Aristotle

(via undroppable)

I know from my own education that if I hadn't encountered two or three individuals that spent extra time with me, I'm sure I would have been in jail. -Steve Jobs

(via undroppable)


Relationships Matter! « Cooperative Catalyst (via adventuresinlearning)

Being able to communicate and connect with students like they're not only students, but leaders of the world, and complex important human beings is the first thing I think a teacher should have in order to be successful. Anyone can slap on a smile and say good job, but it's the feelings you have about teaching the future that will rub off. ...People can forget what you said, and people can forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel.“ Maya Angelou

(via useyourwingssilly)

You have to ask yourself, 'What is the nature of education as a good?' Ideally you want it to be learning. But it also functions as insurance. Parents will pay a lot of money for insurance against cracks in our society. Education as insurance has something to be said because it connects to the economy. You know computer science, you can get a job. But education also functions as a tournament. You do well if you go to a top school but for everyone else the diploma is a dunce hat in disguise. People need to understand what they're trying to do? Is it insurance? A tournament? Learning?


Eight Brilliant Minds on the Future of Online Education - Eric Hellweg - Our Editors - Harvard Business Review (via wildcat2030)






Looking for a fresh way to bring relevancy to your classroom? Take a look inside this school to see how its teachers use financial literacy curriculum to provide real-world context for learning:



A new drawing,





What values do you emphasize most in your classroom?









Pearl of Wisdom from Teaching with Love and Logic.

Relevant advice is relevant.







Carl Jung (via stayven-carnivale)

When we take our thoughts too seriously, life becomes heavy. When we identify with our emotions too strongly, we begin to get lost in them. When we assume our words define us, we start thinking too much. And when we are unable to find any sense of forgiveness with the things we fail to get right in life, then we begin to feel bitter. The mind is bigger than this. Life is bigger than this. There is something beyond thought, beyond feeling, beyond speech and beyond action. It is a place of awareness. We can call it by any name we like. We might attach it to a particular way of thinking, a philosophy, a faith, or have no name for it whatsoever. It really doesn't matter. Either way, it doesn't change this quality of awareness, this place of perspective, from which we can see a thought for what it is and let it go with ease.



Knowing ourselves enables us to teach others

After over 20 years of teaching, I believe that the best way to increase my capacity to help others is to learn more about myself. To ensure successful learning, I include these four actions in weekly lesson plans, because knowing ourselves enables us to help others.

  1. Look for and document changes in your own learning
  2. Plan to learn while you teach
  3. Reflect on moments of success
  4. Make your perceptions of students visible to yourself



a rothko valentine




CHRIS GUILLEBEAU: 11 ways to be average (x)






Study shows cogntive benefit of lifelong bilingualism

Seniors who have spoken two languages since childhood are faster than single-language speakers at switching from one task to another, according to a study published in the January 9 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. Compared to their monolingual peers, lifelong bilinguals also show different patterns of brain activity when making the switch, the study found.

The findings suggest the value of regular stimulating mental activity across the lifetime. As people age, cognitive flexibility - the ability to adapt to unfamiliar or unexpected circumstances - and related ...executive“ functions decline. Recent studies suggest lifelong bilingualism may reduce this decline - a boost that may stem from the experience of constantly switching between languages. However, how brain activity differs between older bilinguals and monolinguals was previously unclear.

In the current study, Brian T. Gold, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the brain activity of healthy bilingual seniors (ages 60-68) with that of healthy monolingual seniors as they completed a task that tested their cognitive flexibility. The researchers found that both groups performed the task accurately. However, bilingual seniors were faster at completing the task than their monolingual peers despite expending less energy in the frontal cortex - an area known to be involved in task switching.

...This study provides some of the first evidence of an association between a particular cognitively stimulating activity -in this case, speaking multiple languages on a daily basis - and brain function,“ said John L. Woodard, PhD, an aging expert from Wayne State University, who was not involved with the study. ...The authors provide clear evidence of a different pattern of neural functioning in bilingual versus monolingual individuals.“

The researchers also measured the brain activity of younger bilingual and monolingual adults while they performed the cognitive flexibility task.

Overall, the young adults were faster than the seniors at performing the task. Being bilingual did not affect task performance or brain activity in the young participants. In contrast, older bilinguals performed the task faster than their monolingual peers and expended less energy in the frontal parts of their brain.

...This suggests that bilingual seniors use their brains more efficiently than monolingual seniors,“ Gold said. ...Together, these results suggest that lifelong bilingualism may exert its strongest benefits on the functioning of frontal brain regions in aging.“

(Image: Harriet Russell)

General advice: learn a new language.



Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Submitted by dontcallmesmall.



Young people have the power to imagine a more just, sustainable and democratic education and learning system! We must be stewards to their vision and lift up their voices so everyone can hear them! -David Loitz Imagining Learning


From his excellent book Letters to a Young Contrarian.



Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby ...schooled“ to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is ...schooled“ to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question. 





Great way to put it via Soundout

the deepest learning happens at the edges - out beyond the comfort zone - sometimes in the dark and sometimes all alone - in that still and sacred moment when you let go of what is known and turn toward the possibilities-



Imagination will take you anywhere!

Imagining Learning believes that imagination and vision are necessary to truly transform education. We believe young people's ability to access and use their imagination is key to unlocking deep wisdom about how schools can look in the present and the future! We believe that the visions and imagination of young people can take us anywhere! 


A statement I have always hated, and one I used as a teacher is: 'They struggled on this unit, but we have a test coming up next week on material they are more comfortable with, so that should pull their grade up.' We move on knowing there are holes. When do those holes get plugged? Maybe they never do. And don't even get me started on the messages we send to students. Something like 'The quality of our work and whether we have done it correctly does not matter. Time does.' 

Assessment All the Time? Why Not? (via gjmueller)

The whole article is definitely worth a read. I think it connects nicely to my thoughts on retests that I wrote about earlier this week.

(via coloursinaflower)


Teaching is an Art!



Creativity is intelligence having fun - Albert Einstein



(via 8x10 The Whole Hog Print by kensiekate on Etsy)





Best description of the school system in my opinion

The next question is what should school help students learn!?





The Talk.



found on Imagining Learning



When public schools are judged by how much art and music they have, by how many science experiments their students perform, by how much time they leave for recess and play, and by how much food they grow rather than how many tests they administer, then I will be confident that we are preparing our students for a future where they will be creative participants and makers of history rather than obedient drones for the ruling economic elite.

Mark Naison, Fordham professor and social justice activist (via socialismartnature)



4 Bad Reasons to Believe Anything



The 7 habits of highly effective writers

Have you ever wondered why some people write easily and fluently, while others struggle and strain as if trying to squeeze a 185-lb body into a size six pair of jeans? In 30 years at this trade, I've noticed that effective writers tend to share seven traits. So, with apologies to Stephen Covey, here is my list.

Effective writers:

1) Separate the writing and the editing processes. When they write, they write, not worrying about the quality of their work. Writer/director Cecil Castellucci says: 'The best flowers are fertilized by crap.' Remember this and give yourself permission to write a crummy first draft.
Editing is a job for later. That's when you'll have plenty of time to rearrange big chunks of text, monkey around with sentence structure, obsess over word choice and fix punctuation.

2) Focus on the interesting. Effective writers (and speakers) always tell lots of stories. If they have to communicate something 'theoretical', they illustrate it with real life examples and anecdotes. They know that human beings don't just crave food - they are also starved for stories.

3) Tap into the power of metaphor. As metaphor expert Anne Miller likes to say, 'metaphors lead to instant understanding'. There are at least three metaphors in this article (can you find them all?)

4) Do adequate research. There is nothing more painful than trying to write when you have nothing to say. Effective writers understand that good research is all about asking interesting questions - of themselves, of the books, Web sites and reports they read and of anyone they interview. And this needs to be completed before any writing can begin.

5) Learn from the writing of others. Effective writers understand that they are lifelong apprentices. They learn by reading - constantly. Note: this is not just passive, flip- through-a-thriller-while-sitting-on-the-pool- deck kind of reading. This is active sit-up-and-pay-attention-to-technique dissection- similar to what a scientist would do in a lab. You won't want to read this closely all the time, of course (it's work-, although fun work, to my mind). But effective writers do some of this every week.

6) Write in small bursts. Creative work doesn't require oodles of time. That first draft you need to write? It's best done in dribs and drabs, a little bit at a time. Instead of procrastinating, effective writers persuade themselves to write a little each day, no matter how frazzled and frantic they feel. (Editing, on the other hand, usually needs space, time and quiet.) 

7) Read their work out loud. Language isn't just meaning - it's also music. The most effective writers can often be found sitting by the computer keyboards, madly whispering to the screen, repeating their words back to themselves. Yes, it looks kooky and co-workers may become alarmed. But effective writers don't care. They do it because it works.

By Daphne Gray-Grant

A former daily newspaper editor, Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing and editing coach and the author of 8 Steps to Writing Faster, Better. She offers a free weekly newsletter on her Web site the Publication Coach. This story first appeared on PR Daily in August 2011.

From Writers Write

I like these perhaps as potential tools for fostering writing skills in the classroom.










Time is scarce so be fruitful with it , make the source of your time with something you love because that makes you happy  and not wasting it on sadness or pain, just move on cause all it causes is unhappiness. - Kain ( Live Life and Create)


...Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve“ Roger Lewin


Education Quote Pic #6 

Is there still a place for rote learning in modern education?
(photo by Daniel P. Fleming on Flickr)




Education is not an act of consuming ideas


of creating them.

Great Quote!


Our work at Imagining Learning is based on our respect for the voices and the visions of young people. We believe like Lyle Perry that all relationships of learning, trust and value start with respect.

-Imagining Learning


Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.


One, you pay for; the other, you are born with.


Fail better!


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.-Frederick Douglass


...And Children make Art Powerful! We choose art as the media of choice for Listening sessions because we believe deep wisdom is unlocked through art!“-Imagining Learning



via (Education Transformation)



  1. Respects students
  2. Creates sense of belonging in classroom
  3. Warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring
  4. High expectations for all students
  5. Own love of learning
  6. Skilled leader
  7. Flexible
  8. Collaborative
  9. Professional
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (via dietcokeporfavor)



...Learning is more than a test score“ Via (

The harsher, the better?


Two school-related photo prompts (the description in quotes comes from a way a teacher once described me and on some level it's still true)


Keep Calm listen to Young People - What we're all about!


And we brag about encouraging our #children to #conform how sad.

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