July 23, 2024

Stuff I’m Wondering About – #1

G’Day from Australia!

  1. Is American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten working for the enemy (Gates Foundation, Obama Department of Education)? Read this or this and decide for yourself.
  2. What should I do when I think that my friends’ work is embarrassing and taking education in the wrong direction?
  3. Can your school have entrance exams for little children and still say that it’s progressive or empowering?
  4. Can you call your work transformative if you never cite a single example of things changing?
  5. Can you advertise that your school is innovative if you adhere to a curriculum purchased from Switzerland?
  6. When will professional development end its reliance on asking Twitter followers “Why do you like Twitter?” before a bored, captive and perplexed audience?

More soon as they occur to me…

3 thoughts on “Stuff I’m Wondering About – #1

  1. 1) Walking a VERY fine line. Why she doesn’t see that she was portrayed as the enemy in WfS is beyond me. I think she’s trying to create a scenario where the unions have some say in what happens and she thinks that a conciliatory approach is the best way. What she doesn’t get is that there is *no* appeasing Gates / Rhee / Duncan, and they will whittle away and whittle away.

    2) Talk to them privately.

    3) I’d argue there is some tension there between political progressivism and pedagogical progressivism there.

    4) Not so much.

    5) Only if you claim that that curriculum is so innovative that replication of it is a milestone – I’d argue that’s a tough sell.

    6) Soon? Hopefully?

  2. Great to hear from you, Chris –

    #1 – Weingarten follows in a proud Shankerian tradition of sucking-up the powerful at the expense of her members. At best she shares Obama’s political naivete in believing that the other side is reasonable.

    As for #3, I don’t think that entrance exams for young children is politically progressive or pedagogically so?

  3. I agree that #3 isn’t progressive, the quesiton – and I don’t know the answer to it – is could you still call a school progressive pedagogically if the teaching and learning was project-based, inquiry-driven, whole-child-centered, etc… if the entrance is a test?

    In the end, this is why we do a a project-based interview, so that our entrance is pedagogically aligned with what we value. But that’s us.

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