My Uncle Bobby, borrowing a page from George Burns and only half-jokingly, would often give me this sage piece of advice: “Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.” It was another way of saying, “Fake it till you make it.” To me, the underlying drift of Uncle Bobby’s and George Burns’ advice was an acknowledgment that pretending we feel some way that we don’t or that we know more than we do is universal. Read more about Learning How To Fake Expertise
I have been thinking lately about the civic responsibility – and negligence – of schools. Specifically, I have been thinking about the disservice schools (and the people who make decisions about curriculum in schools) have done to young people when it comes to our collective failure to confront the darker and more sinister corners of our history, that persistent undercurrent of racism and institutional oppression that has recently sprung to the surface in Ferguson, Missouri. Read more about The Civic Negligence of Schools: Reckoning With Race and History
James M. Noonan is an Ed.D. student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Spencer Foundation Early Career Scholar in New Civics whose research focuses on the design of professional learning environments for teachers and their impact on teacher practice and student learning. In various capacities, James has worked in early childhood, elementary, high school, and adult education, but after three years facilitating professional development for educators in the U.S. Read more about About Me
Schools are increasingly seen as having a promising role to play in reducing adverse health and wellness outcomes among young people. This paper uses a collaborative action research approach to examine the effects of one school’s efforts to change its students eating habits by implementing a “junk food free campus.” By engaging school administrators and students in a six-month long process of joint research design and analysis, the author found that students understood but did not necessarily support the policy. Despite students’ uneven support of the policy, however, there was some evidence that some students were developing healthier eating habits. Moreover, student researchers reported developing greater perspective and respect for the policy as a result of studying it.
. Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice, .Abstract
In Colombia, reducing levels of interpersonal and community violence is a key component of the country’s approach to citizenship education. In this study, we use data collected during the 2005 Saber test of Citizenship Competencies to examine the relationship of school environments and individual students’ supportive attitudes toward violence among 97,971 students in 1,649 schools. Using multi-level Tobit analysis with school random intercepts and regional fixed effects, we find that children taught in safe and participatory climates endorse attitudes less supportive of violence, with the effect of participatory climates almost double that of safe climates. Constructing a typology of four classroom environments, by crossing the two dimensions of safety and participation, we conclude that school environments that are safe and participatory lead to the least supportive attitudes toward violence, more than one standard deviation lower than unsafe and non-participatory school environments. Implications, limitations and areas for future research are discussed.
For decades, researchers and policymakers have looked to professional development (PD) as a promising tool to improve teacher practice and student learning. However, despite its potential, PD is widely considered pathologically unable to realize its potential. In this conceptual paper, the author suggests that the problem of PD’s persistent ineffectiveness is attributable to its alignment with a sociopolitical framework that prioritizes efficiency. Numerous past attempts to improve PD have failed to address underlying assumptions about teaching, learning, and human relationships embedded in this efficiency framework. As an alternative, the author proposes a new deliberative framework that is more compatible with learning principles and thus more likely to improve learning across contexts and at scale.