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I looked back and saw that my last post went up nine days ago.  Nine days.  Damn, that’s some slipshod blogging.

The absence of posts, however, was the result of my last few weeks in my first master’s course.  For many other courses I have taken in the past, it would have taken very little for me to use blogging as a distraction from actually doing the work.  But this one was different.  This course actually felt like something that had value and meaning in my life and career path.  (I can’t remember the last class that made me feel that way.)

The focus was on the curriculum, what it looks like, why it looks like that, and what (if anything) needs to change about it.  We looked at various theories and models of curriculum development, read about schools that have tried all different approaches to education, and discussed what we think would make for the most fruitful educational experience for everyone.

I am aware that all of this sounds dreadfully dry, but I promise you that, to a teacher that hates a lot of things about the way the Ontario curriculum is designed, it is the most fascinating thing in the world.  It also led me to a bunch of theorists and authors (John P. Miller foremost among them) that seem to actually be doing something about changing our view of education.

And it gave me a wealth of really great quotes to share.  Here’s my current favourite:

“Against the grain of current educational fetishes for testing children’s cognitive abilities, measuring their factual knowledge, and quantifying their skills acquisition, I plead for the according of a higher priority to children’s inner lives.  I ask us to uphold their birthright to wonder and to question and to make up their own ‘superheroes.’  Let them experiment and be wrong but in their own terms so that it is they who want to find better answers.”

Ellen Handler Spitz

Just stop and imagine how great school would be if we built education around that.

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