I swear I taught them this before I put it on the final exam. At least they know where Africa is!
The truth is, every profession should be granted the opportunity for a time of reflection, renewal, and rest. Teachers, stop being ashamed of having your summer “off”, and tell the haters to back up.
What happens when a teacher lets one student get away with something small…KABOOM.
And the best quote?
Benjamin She, 16, says the test is all about skill. “Taking a standardized test like the SAT is just like doing a skill like Poker, it’s all about what you need to do to analyze the questions.”
Couldn’t have said it better. Are the reformers listening?
Read the article here.
EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,” IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa
Someone asked me to somehow “verify” that this story is real.
Of course it’s real! The PROBLEM with the coverage regarding these manuscripts is that they’re constantly portrayed as being in “danger” because many of them are still in the possession of Malian descendants. About 700,000 have been cataloged so far, and they have had to be moved in part because apparently extremist groups have tried to firebomb them. Many others are still in the possession of the families they have been passed down in.
Many of these collected manuscripts are being housed in exile, but mold and humidity have been a constant threat. They have been raising funds to try and preserve these manuscripts-you can read more about the project to house and protect them here.
A bit of the history of these manuscripts from National Geographic:
These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.
By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region.
At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.
By the beginning of the 1600s with the Moroccan invasions from the north, however, the scholars of Timbuktu began to slowly drift away and study elsewhere. As a result, the city’s sacred manuscripts began to fall into disrepair. While Islamic teachings there continued for another 300 years, the biggest decline in scholastic study occurred with the French colonization of present-day Mali in the late 1890s.
So yeah, basically the story of this collection’s source more or less ends with “…but unfortunately, colonialism”, as do most of the great cities of Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.
Also, as an additional consideration:
With the pressures of poverty, a series of droughts, and a tribal Tureg rebellion in Mali that lasted over ten years, the manuscripts continue to disappear into the black market, where they are illegally sold to private and university collections in Europe and the United States.
Notice where the blame is placed here via language use: on the people in poverty forced to sell their treasures, as opposed to the Universities in Europe and the U.S. buying them.
It’s really just another face of Neocolonialism.
Local history teaches students to be Washingtonians -
Here’s a great article on why teaching history, specifically local history, is important and a great way to engage students. This is a reminder of how important it is to meet students “on their level” and speak directly to their sense of identity while also accomplishing content goals.
As a teacher at Washington Latin Public Charter School, one of my greatest challenges is motivating and inspiring the young minds that enter my classroom each day. However, I’ve found a remedy in DC History, a class that engage students about the cultural, social, and political history of their city while preparing them to one day lead it.
Does anyone check the “did-you-kno” sources? They rarely referenced…
Start a Coding Club For Girls -
Girls Who Code is on a mission to achieve gender parity in computer science by “educating, inspiring and equipping young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields.” Help them achieve this goal by starting a Girls Who Code club at your loca…
From Good: Girls Who Code is on a mission to achieve gender parity in computer science by “educating, inspiring and equipping young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields.” Help them achieve this goal by starting a Girls Who Code club at your local school or community center.
Also see a group called “Black Girls Code”
We need quiet places and noisy places, places full of books and computers and others full of paint and clay. We need adults with the freedom to make spontaneous decisions—shifting the conversation in response to one of those “wonderful moments” and deviating from any designed curriculum. Teachers need the time to mull over what they have learned from student work (written as well as observed) and collegial time to expand their repertoires. We need feedback from trusted and competent colleagues. We need time for families and teachers to engage in serious conversations. We need settings where it seems reasonable that kids might see the school’s adults as powerful and interesting people who are having a good time. — Deborah Meier, Bridging Differences. This is what makes schools work, and what separates “good” ones from not so good ones. Read the article here.
"Beware of random collisions with unusual suspects.
Unless, that is, you want to learn something new. In that case, seek out innovators from across every imaginable silo and listen, really listen, to their stories. New ideas, perspectives, and opportunities await in the gray areas between the unusual suspects.
It seems so obvious and yet we spend most of our time with the usual suspects in our respective silos. One of the most important silos we need to break down is the one between generations.”
- From the Huffington Post’s article on Choose2Matter and Business Innovation Factory, where students and innovators are linked in purposeful conversations and action. Read the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-maiers/breaking-down-generationa_b_3285895.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
Education 3.0 and the Pedagogy (Andragogy, Heutagogy) of Mobile Learning
Some “light” readings for my fellow pedagogues. Here’s an excerpt:
Education 3.0 is a connectivist, heutagogical approach to teaching and learning. The teachers, learners, networks, connections, media, resources, tools create a a unique entity that has the potential to meet individual learners’, educators’, and even societal needs. Many resources for Education 3.0 are literally freely available for the taking.
The problem is the assumption that 3.0 is better than 2.0 in all areas. For example - do we want technology everywhere? If that was the case, my students would be more saturated with memes and pictures of Jordans than they already are. Not good.
China Bans 7 Topics in University Classrooms -
“Chinese professors and political analysts said a recent directive from Beijing to universities indicated an awareness among the country’s leaders that the government is losing its ideological grip over students and younger faculty members.
While many faculty members said they had not been briefed by university administrators about the taboos, and in some cases had never heard of them, several professors said university leaders had instructed them at the beginning of May to avoid the subjects in class. According to academics who have been told about the list, the other taboo topics are judicial independence, economic neoliberalism, the wealth accumulated by top government officials, and civil society.”
This article highlights how different education can be in other parts of the world. I have students who feel they are being censored because they cannot curse in my classroom. I wonder how they would feel in a classroom in which the discussions are limited by the government.
Exhibit #152 why education is so damn powerful. Schools are the place where ideas are strong enough to be banned.
“In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France?”
Read the full article here.