Thinking About Education

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. ~Socrates

The Carrots and Sticks of PBIS

  “PBIS” stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support. This is one of the groundswell initiatives moving through the schools in our area right now. It’s hard to argue with its premise: let’s focus ourselves on promoting good behavior rather than on punishing bad behavior. Let’s celebrate victories not wallow in failures. Let’s be positive, not negative. Sounds good on the surface. If you look at research about motivating human behavior, however, we.. Read More

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” ― Daniel H. Pink

  Autonomy. This is a vital characteristic of a satisfying human life. As interdependent as we and other creatures of the earth are in our communal and global ecosystems, each healthy life system is also organized around some principle. As humans, for example, we make choices, we determine what we will or will not do, or how we will relate to the larger system of which we are a part. According to Daniel.. Read More

“Learning is the only thing for you.” ~T. H. White, The Once and Future King

  “It is one of our greatest experiences, as advanced educators, to know the motivational content of our subjects, and to deliberately inspire our students with the love of content that they would have been unlikely ever to have known without our teaching. It is the special opportunity for grammar teachers to show students why grammar is beautiful and fun, and it is the special privilege of the calculus teacher to show students.. Read More

Grading Practices Today

  Here are the general grading practices across subject areas that are widespread in my area today. I heard from a teacher in Austin, Texas, who verified that such practices are widespread there as well. 1. Teachers assign no grade lower than a 60 to any student, for any assignment. This includes giving a 60 when the student attempts no work at all. 2. For students who do not do well on a.. Read More

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