Harriet Cuffaro's Building Blocks of Educational Equity

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I recently learned that Harriet Cuffaro had left us. Suddenly, I was back on the classroom floor at Bank Street College of Education, where she taught for three decades. Well past childhood, we were deep into block building, one of the most rigorous assignments I encountered in graduate school.

Cuffaro, a renowned progressive educator in the mode of John Dewey, championed open-ended play and experiential learning. In the introduction to Bank Street’s Occasional Paper Series No. 32, or “Festschrift—a volume reflecting the values, theories, and passions of a senior scholar in a field”—Miriam Raider-Roth, a former . . . Read full article →

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Personalized Learning for All Youth: A Denisha Jones Invention

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As the guardians of child development lament the state of play in early education—the loss of a human kind of learning—technology companies are sprouting like weeds, choking the garden. They’ve constructed a narrative of competency-based education, one they claim meets students’ individual needs.

Denisha Jones, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Howard University, and advisor to Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit advocacy group, is not persuaded by their arguments. This former kindergarten and preschool teacher, who is fiercely committed to social justice, equity, and the best interests of the child, is determined to . . . Read full article →

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ExcelinEd's Pitch to Drive Student Progress: Not for Children

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Late last week, an email arrived from Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She was pitching a new online course. With spring testing over, and the opt-out folks quiet, I guess ExcelinEd thought this a propitious time for study.

Launched by Jeb Bush in 2008, the organization boasts that it is transforming education for the 21st century economy. Their guiding principles: all children can learn; all children should learn at least a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time; and all children will achieve when education is organized around the singular goal of . . . Read full article →

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