This is an excellent article on the "schools we [should] envy" in Finland. I encourage anyone who wants to become more interested in education reform in the United States to read this article:
"Even the corporate reformers admire Finland, apparently not recognizing that Finland disproves every part of their agenda."
We had our first annual "Teach-In" conference today at Teachers College, Columbia University. The theme for this year was "Nurturing Activism." It was our program's hope that we connect current teachers with fellow alumni of our program to create a broad network of activist teachers.
There were many great sessions including one that discussed how to create a thought-provoking and critical curriculum that culminated into a puppet show at the end of the year for students.
Mary Cowhey--author of Black Ants and Buddhists, a community activist for 14 years and a teacher for 12 years--gave opening remarks at the conference. I loved her book which talked about integrating activism, creativity, and responsibility into one's teaching.
In her talk, she stressed that teachers should focus on the three Rs:
Teachers, when teaching lessons, should always think about whether this is rigorous? Is it putting high expectations on the student? Is it relevant to what they are doing in the classroom? Relevant to the education standards set forth by the state? Relevant to the diverse backgrounds and cultures of your students? And finally, is the lesson fostering relationships? Is it fostering a community besides just your classroom?
I thought her talk was excellent. Below is a picture of me with Ms. Cowhey.
I really love this website. It keeps me updated on new literature I can introduce into the classroom.
Social Justice Literature for the Classroom
I am currently reading Understanding Disability: Inclusion, Access, Diversity, and Civil RIghts by Paul T. Jaeger and Cynthia Ann Bowman.
I'm really enjoying it so far and I highly suggest it for anyone who wants to understand more about the idea, concept, and construction of disability.
The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and do not reflect those of institutions, organizations, or employers associated with me, past or present.