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Education’s Failing Grade

In 2016, Minneapolis scholar Katherine Kersten reported that public schools were the most dangerous places in St. Paul, MN. The use of obscene language, overturning of furniture and trash cans, and fistfights had become common in grade schools, she noted, and even worse behaviors—including physical attacks on teachers, death-threats, and multi-student riots—were occurring in high schools.

When I read Kersten’s report, my mind flashed back to my visit to Singapore in the late 1980s, not because my experience had anything in common with what Kersten described, but because it was so dramatically different!Read More

 

Humor and Learning

Bored Students 123RFWhy do many teachers have the attitude that learning is such serious business that any hint of humor undermines it? I discovered a partial answer some years ago in a restaurant outside Wellesley, Massachusetts. It may have been an old library—it certainly looked like one, with bookcases lining the walls and dividing the aisles.

While waiting for my meal, I reached over and pulled an old book off the shelf.… Read More