5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

January 9, 2008

Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, talks about our new wave of overprotected kids — and spells out 5 (and really, he’s got 6) dangerous things you should let your kids do. Allowing kids the freedom to explore, he says, will make them stronger and smarter and actually safer.

This talk comes from TED University 2007, a pre-conference program where TEDsters share ideas.

5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

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The Story of Stuff – Consumerism and Sustainability

December 8, 2007

This is an excellent video on materialism, consumerism, capitalism and sustainability. Its a really stylish and fun lecture, I really advise everyone to watch it. [Thanks Rick]

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

After watching it, try watching this Chomsky clip. According to the New York Times Chomsky is “arguably the most important intellectual alive.”

More Chomsky – www.chomsky.info

The clip is taken from this film


Free online materials could save schools billions

November 23, 2007

Since March, Dixon Deutsch and his students have been quietly experimenting with a little website that could one day rock the foundation of how schools do business.

A K-2 teacher at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., Deutsch, 28, has been using Free-Reading.net, a reading instruction program that allows him to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues.

He can visit the website and comment on what works and what doesn’t. He can modify lessons to suit his students’ needs and post the modifications online: Think of a cross between a first-grade reading workbook and Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia written and edited by users.

More: USA Today

Free-Reading.net


Democratic Schooling: What if everything you think about education is wrong?

November 12, 2007

Voices from the New American Schoolhouse (trailer)


In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

October 27, 2007

Great conference audio with some of the worlds leading intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein & John Mearsheimer.

In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

“The Oct. 12 conference, titled ‘In Defense of Academic Freedom,’ brought together not only Jews and non-Jews, but professors whose ideological differences are so vast they likely agree on little else than the notion that Jewish groups have degraded the quality and breadth of discussion in the media and in Washington.

 

 

Mearsheimer is a proponent of the realist school of international relations, which resists the intrusion of moral considerations into cold calculations of national interest. Chomsky’s belief that American policy in the Middle East is motivated solely by imperialist aggression is greatly informed by the moral consequences of American behavior.

 

 

Nevertheless, they came together around the view that universities are the final redoubts of robust criticism of Israel. Naturally, they added, these institutions are now coming under assault.”


Computer literacy better self-taught or schooled?

October 2, 2007

I heard a vice-president of IBM tell an audience of people assembled to redesign the process of teacher certification that in his opinion this country became computer-literate by self-teaching, not through any action of schools. He said 45 million people were comfortable with computers who had learned through dozens of non-systematic strategies, none of them very formal; if schools had pre-empted the right to teach computer use we would be in a horrible mess right now instead of leading the world in this literacy.

Probably most people working in IT learned most of what they know on their own.  Is it possible that creating fixed lessons could damage this enthusiasm?  I remember I was a huge technology geek, but found the Computer Studies standard grade so dull, I didn’t go on to do the Higher.  It was only later I returned to University to Study Computing and got very bored in the first year where compulsory classes explained what a mouse was.  The rest of the article is also very interesting, do we have the PhD because of a lost war?

The Public School Nightmare:
Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
by John Taylor Gatto
Read the rest of this entry »


School of Shock

September 3, 2007

The Rotenberg Center is the only facility in the country [US] that disciplines students by shocking them, a form of punishment not inflicted on serial killers or child molesters or any of the 2.2 million inmates now incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons. Over its 36-year history, six children have died in its care, prompting numerous lawsuits and government investigations. Last year, New York state investigators filed a blistering report that made the place sound like a high school version of Abu Ghraib. Yet the program continues to thrive—in large part because no one except desperate parents, and a few state legislators, seems to care about what happens to the hundreds of kids who pass through its gates.

Full Article