Month: March 2014

The Mystery of the Black Box

The black box is usually associated with tragedy.  However, this post is not about airplane accidents.  It is about wasted opportunities and undefined steps. There is a cartoon that shows a blackboard full of calculations.  The calculations on the left hand side are, presumably, Step One and those on the right hand side must be Step Three.  Between

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The Case Against Books

Textbooks, that is.  I’d like to make the case that textbooks and memorization of content are at the heart of much of what is wrong with primary and secondary education in the US. I came to the United States at the age of 21.  Of course my elementary and secondary schooling is now decades old and things have surely

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Parental Involvement: Cause or Correlation?

I was in a meeting about student success.  We had broken into groups, and the question of parental involvement came up.  “Were your parents involved in your school?” I half-whispered to a fellow director, born and raised in Hong Kong. “Not at all” she said.  “Not mine either” said I (born and raised in another

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Where Things Come from and Where They Go to

How much do we really think?  Here’s an example.  Toilets are a vital component of world health, yet we rarely give them a second thought.  For us, they are just there when we need them.  Just like almost everything else in our secure western world. The truth is that complex interconnected systems deliver food, energy, clothing, consumer

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