self-directed

7 Ways For Promoting More Choice within “Compulsory Schooling”

7 Ways For Promoting More Choice within “Compulsory Schooling”

here will always be limitations within the rigid public school system. However, especially as we make advances in technology that provides more opportunities for personalized learning and agency, there will always be ways to find flexibility to help learners take more ownership over their lives as learners.

Escape from Reality: The Apathetic Adolescent

Escape from Reality: The Apathetic Adolescent

Easily the most daunting challenge I face is the apathetic teenager, one who is disheartened, disengaged, or likely distracted by something much more appealing: Clash of ClansFortnite, Snapchat, the latest memes — what have you. How can I possibly design a curriculum that conquers instant gratification?

My Pragmatic Journey to Voice & Choice in the Classroom

My Pragmatic Journey to Voice & Choice in the Classroom

I had prided myself on unpacking standards, planning engaging, performative lessons and units that were well-paced and tech savvy; putting together complicated, ambitious projects and writing prompts with standards-referenced, multiple-tiered rubrics and criteria for students to meet or exceed.

Being the Serious Teacher Who Doesn’t Take Traditional Seriously

Being the Serious Teacher Who Doesn’t Take Traditional Seriously

When your classroom doesn’t look like any other classroom — students are often overjoyed, but also bewildered. Why would I do anything when it’s not for a grade? If they’re not going to lecture, why wouldn’t I just goof off? If there’s not a test, is any of this information relevant? Educators face this scenario daily: by doubling down on progressive practice, their unwillingness to embrace the traditional delegitimizes their class.

“Let’s get to work!”

“Let’s get to work!”

Students love school the first day and begrudge it the rest. Teachers plan their beginnings to be engaging, then “get to work.” Isn’t it odd how easily this aligns? When a child is not forced into endless, substantiated curricula and learns about their peers, moves around, and is excited to be there — they’re engaged.

The Path to Discovery: Providing Real Choice in Schools

The Path to Discovery: Providing Real Choice in Schools

If a group succeeds in beginning change, any step forward is worth taking. That step must be large enough to matter, but not so much that the movement falls apart. Teachers must understand the pedagogy of democratic education — reading authors such as John Dewey, Deborah Meiers, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, John Holt, and A.S. Neill.