Filed under Creativity and Student Needs

Business Research Comes to School

Business Research Comes to School

I will admit I’ve frequently railed against using business models to design and evaluate schools. There are so many ways schools and businesses are different that attempting to translate one to the other risks assuming children are some kind of consistent raw material that can be transformed into a uniform product. I can see teachers … Continue reading

The Progress Principle Comes to School (or Not)

The Progress Principle Comes to School (or Not)

It is sad, but perhaps not unexpected, that since I recently wrote about discouraged educators, I’ve spent a lot of time coaching a young teacher friend. She’s trying to find her way through an interaction with an administrator that has her questioning whether she belongs in public education at all. The specifics don’t matter because … Continue reading

Atoms, Cookies, and Creative Choice

Atoms, Cookies, and Creative Choice

Recently I had the chance to make spring sugar cookies with a group of young friends. We had all the cookie cutters you might expect–flowers, butterflies, hearts, rabbits, and eggs. The children had a grand time rolling out dough, cutting cookies, and later frosting them. Some of the cookies looked typical, but the ones we … Continue reading

Motivation and Me: Part 2

Motivation and Me: Part 2

Again, today, I’m thinking about motivation, specifically, motivation to learn. Needless to say, teachers hope students will be motivated to learn the content they’ve prepared. There are few things more frustrating than facing a class with a carefully crafted lesson only to be met with indifference. Thinking about what motivates students to learn—and how it … Continue reading

French, Motivation, and Me

French, Motivation, and Me

They say that medical students spend much of their early training examining themselves for symptoms of every disease they study, no matter how obscure. The more they think about something, the more they find evidence of it in their lives. I’m finding something similar (although less frightening) happening to me this semester as I’ve taken … Continue reading

Squeeze a Stress Ball for Divergent Thinking?

Squeeze a Stress Ball for Divergent Thinking?

Can squeezing a soft ball help you generate more ideas? How about a hard ball? What would you predict? Those are questions addressed by researcher JongHan Kim in a study titled, logically enough, “Physical Activity Benefits Creativity: Squeezing a Ball for Enhancing Creativity.” Studies in embodied cognition both fascinate and puzzle me. The assumption of … Continue reading

Gerbil Uncurled: When the Rules Don’t Work

Gerbil Uncurled: When the Rules Don’t Work

In our family, road trips mean exploring bookstores. So, naturally, our holiday travels meant time to discover new resources for children of all ages. I know many of the books I share with you are appropriate for elementary-age readers, but I long-ago learned that picture books are not just for children. In fact, I often … Continue reading

What Data Do We Really Need? Really.

What Data Do We Really Need? Really.

One of the key contemporary teacher-questions for the first few months of school is, “What kinds of data should I be collecting?” A perhaps unexpected answer comes from Mark Barnes and Jennifer Gonzalez. In their book, Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School, Barnes and Gonzalez suggest a number of education “hacks” to solve school … Continue reading