Reading Nancie Atwell’s wonderful “In the Middle” again; she quotes John Dewey on p.85:
“From the standpoint of the child, the great waste in school comes from his inability to utilize the experiences he gets outside of school in any complete and free way; while, on the other hand, he is unable to apply to daily life what he is learning at school.”
“One reason schools have been able to absorb outside demands for change is that they have been steadily expanding during most of their history and could reform by accretion.Â This kind of incrementalism has made it possible to smother conflict by acquiesence-to say, yes we’ll have that too.”
David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot, Managers of Virtue (NY: Basic, 1982.)Â Â
“The development of this historical field (the history of American education) took place, consequently, in a special atmosphere of professional purpose. It grew in almost total isolation from the major influences and shaping minds of twentieth century historiography; and its isolation proved to be self-intensifying: the more parochial the subject became, the less capable it was of attracting the kind of scholars who could it give it broad relevance and bring it back into the public domain. It soon displayed the exaggeration of weakness and extravagance of emphasis that are the typical results of sustained inbreeding.”
Bernard Bailyn. Education in the Forming of American Society (NY: Norton, 1960.) pp.8-9.
A number of all-stars are quoted in this essay.
It concludes with Deborah Maier, who makes a great point:
â€œWhy is the word â€˜empowermentâ€™ in proliferation when weâ€™re actually taking more power away from teachers?â€ she said. â€œMaybe weâ€™re talking so much about reflection because we have no time to reflect at all.â€
The folks who are up in arms ought to be aware that reflection is the last thing someone struggling to prepare children for a high stakes test has time for…
Great, great article on the impact of student debt in Dissent.
Of particular importance is his discussion of how student debt is slowly strangling career options for undergraduates. What fool would enter the non-profit world staring down 40k+ of debt?
Times article here.
Predicted response from every administrator who has ever cut an arts program:
“well, standardized tests are the only truly objective way to measure student improvement.”
This 2004 film documents the travails of a Native American basketball team. What was striking to me was the resemblance of these players to the African American students I taught at West Philadelphia High School.
Friends: slowly making this transition; bear with me.
Like everything but the countertops: here
Like the lines, like how clean, like the cabinets: here
Like the kitchen: here
Like it: here.
Like it, although is Conshohocken really a forest?
Like it, wish I could rebuild this way.
Questions I’m pondering as I think about what our kitchen will look like:
Why is everything white these days? Do none of these people have children?
Are we picking modern designs that won’t work in this space?
Are most of the designs we’ve identified as to our liking “cold” when one of our key things is to have a “warm” kitchen?
General principles (churned up by exhausted school teachers who are not architects)
*Simplicity: in thinking about what we want for all of these spaces, we want things to be as clean and as simple as possible. We are never going to be folks who can carefully put a room together or folks who can manage a lot of stuff; we want the various rooms to be as straight forward as possible.
*Functional: we like cooking and we like being in the kitchen. We want a space that makes people want to be in the kitchen.
*Light: To me, light goes along with simplicity. As much natural light as possible and as open as possible.
*Fidelity to the original design/purpose of the house: we don’t care much about this. I think our front room will remain the only room that has most of the original features but it’s pretty much the only room at this point.