Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Space: How much do we need to learn and live

by Ed Latham

Stumbled on the following video this morning.

This got me thinking about the spaces we educate in and how wasteful so many of our buildings are. It is almost as if architects don't "get it" or can't offer it without breaking the public bank. Most new schools start with a plot of land and people figure out how to best fill that land up with facilities that convey messages. What message do you get when you go into your school? Look around you next time you enter a school. Look at the outside, as you enter look around you, and as you sit in a classroom share with us how you feel. Do you feel as if you are a part of nature or in fact a part of anything? Our institutional designs may claim "most efficient", "most ergonomic" and many other feel good titles, but they fall so far short. Consider the gentleman in the video. With just 300 sq feet (1/2 a classroom) he has built in every convenience he needs to live comfortably. A traditional classroom needs some place for the teacher to lecture from, a surface to write on or display images, and seating (often the oh so comfortable standard student special). I have seen some teachers go to great lengths to try to make these institutional boxes into more human friendly places and their efforts are super! There must be some great creative ways teachers and students can transform their class spaces into more efficient and comfortable spaces. Our society is touted as being one of the creative centers of the world, so there has to be some great ideas out there. If anyone has transformed their rooms into energy efficient, comfortable, and welcoming learning environments can you share pictures, descriptions of the transformation and what struggles were encountered along the way. Hopefully by sharing possibilities of space, as shown in the video, we call all be inspired to think out side the box to make our classroom boxes better places to spend a huge chunk of our first 18 years of life.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Featuring Henry Giroux

Wikipedia: Henry Giroux

Articles by Giroux

Henry Giroux: In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis

"There has been a long, though declining, tradition in the United States in which public school teaching was embraced as an important public service. It was assumed that teachers provided a crucial foundation for educating young people in the values, skills and knowledge that enabled them to be critical citizens capable of shaping and expanding democratic institutions. Since the 1980's, teachers have been under an unprecedented attack by those forces that view schools less as a public good than as a private right." ~Henry A. Giroux
Read more . . . .

@ The Friere Project

@ Truthout

@ OpEdNews

@ Common Man News

Friday, April 16, 2010

Important Things to Learn

Back in 2006, Stephen Downes wrote a post here and here that spoke to what was essential for everyone to learn. Today I just happened upon it again, and it sparked some more thinking about his suggestions. Here are Stephen's essentials linked to some resource pages here at LIM:

1. How to Predict Consequences
2. How to Read
3. How to Distinguish between Truth and Fiction
4. How to Empathize
5. How to be Creative
6. How to Communicate Clearly
7. How to Learn
8. How to Stay Healthy
9 How to Value Yourself
10. How to Live Meaningfully

Monday, April 12, 2010

History of American Education

Should students be servants of corporations?

"It would be a mistake to assume that the present-day educational system is unchanging. On the contrary, it is undergoing rapid change. But much of this change is no more than an attempt to refine the existent machinery, making it ever more efficient in pursuit of obsolete goals."
~ Alvin Toffler

Ravitch on Education - A Podcast Interview
The Underground History of American History: John Gatto
Wikipedia: History of Education in the United States
American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline
The History of Education in America
A Short History of United States' History: 1900 - 2006

Thursday, April 8, 2010

John Dewey's Democracy and Education

Assignment for Business Round Table, Governors, Obama Administration and State Education Officers: Read John Dewey's Democracy and Education and then compare and contrast with the goals of RttT and the Common Core State Standards.

Democracy and Education WikiSource
Amazon: Democracy and Education
World Wide School: D & E
Creating a National Culture of Learning: Education & Democracy
Wikipedia: D & E

Education as Commodity & Democracy

commodity [kəˈmɒdɪtɪ]n: an article of commerce

"This is a perilous moment. The individualist, greed-driven free-market ideology that both our major parties have pursued is at odds with what most Americans really care about....Working families and poor communities need and deserve help because the free market has failed to generate shared prosperity — its famous unseen hand has become a closed fist." Read More

"What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the
community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy." ~ John Dewey

Until We Take Democracy Serious . . .
Free Market Schooling: Deborah Meier
PowerPlay: A Journal of Educational Justice

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Excellent SEEDLINGS Show with Wes Fryer

Link to Podcast

I just had the chance to listen to the April 1 podcast from Seedlings with Bob, Alice, and Cheryl. It features Wes Fryer, and I have to say, it is superb! I share his views and highly recommend listening to his wise words.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Online Privacy

Essential Question: With what should we be concerned regarding online privacy?

Privacy Resources at LIM