Browsing All Posts filed under »books & reading«

More Curated Excerpts from Earl C. Kelley

April 6, 2014


  This time of year, as we’ve got much more behind us than ahead of us, my mind begins to straddle the adjacent school years. And this is typically when I try to reconnect with ideas that are foundational to my development as a teacher. I begin to ask, What am I doing? So it […]

One Great Truth

November 2, 2013


The first three paragraphs of an essay called “Education Without Instruction” by Jacques Barzun, from his book The House of Intellect (1959): Clearly, the blame for much that is lacking or painful in our manners can be laid upon our education, individual and collective. The same cause will also explain what is wrong with our […]

On the Thermostatic Function of Schools

August 8, 2013


As I mentioned in a previous post, this time of year, I like to browse back through books that were important to me as I formed my earliest approach to teaching. My approach is always changing, but I’d say I’m generally facing the same direction. The works that resonated with me as a very young […]

On Error

August 4, 2013


 Years ago, I picked up James Moffett’s Teaching the Universe of Discourse (1968), and it changed the way I taught writing–and, well, pretty much everything. Here, in a favorite passage of mine, Moffett discusses the importance of trial-and-error learning. Now, trial and error sounds to many people like a haphazard, time-consuming business, a random behavior […]

This Is Just a Great Introduction

July 9, 2013


From “Aquarius in Question” by William Firebrace from Cabinet issue 48 (I’m a little behind): The history of descending into the depths of the ocean is filled with dubious facts, half-truths, and impossible claims. How can one really tell that someone has traveled into the high-pressued darkness of the cold ocean, where no trace is […]

The Limits of Thought

April 11, 2013


Like all teachers, I busy myself with the questions specific to my discipline. In my case, these are questions like “Should my students have a regular broadcast show, or should they move their work exclusively online?” or “What are the limits of ‘news’ or ‘journalism’ as a cognitive frame for approaching and discussing the world […]

Some Common Assumptions of Education

December 30, 2012


Post #3 on Earl C. Kelley’s Education for What is Real. I’ve returned to this list of Kelley’s assumptions several times every year of my teaching career, just to check in, to see if I’ve changed my mind about these ideas, and to continually challenge myself to remain thoughtful. (For the record, it’s not the […]