The Cleavers, Jim Crow, and Engaged Citizenship

Educators take the social mission of their work seriously. Regardless of where on the political spectrum a teacher may fall, we see our work – educating young people – as essential to the future of our communities, our country, and our world. It’s one of the reasons education is at the center of many political . . . → Read More: The Cleavers, Jim Crow, and Engaged Citizenship

Despair, Hope, and Education in the Anthropocene

Since its founding, Americans have understood education to be essential to democracy. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan, an icon of political conservatism, said “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, as Jefferson cautioned, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” “Informed” implies more than knowing, it implies action and . . . → Read More: Despair, Hope, and Education in the Anthropocene

Early Lessons From Ebola: Fear and Education

As I write this post the Ebola crisis continues to race forward, and no crest in the number of cases is on the horizon. Already, however, there are lessons for us to learn, as citizens and educators.

Fear, a natural human reaction, generally races ahead of thoughtful consideration. While fear is a valuable neurological reaction . . . → Read More: Early Lessons From Ebola: Fear and Education

George Fox’s Robot


Robots are trekking out the pages of science fiction, into our lives, and across the SSFS campus. Quaker Robots?

I’ll start this story in 1965 when Moore’s Law emerged to describe the march of technology. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore posited that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double about every 24 months. . . . → Read More: George Fox’s Robot

The Skilled Hand


“What should we be teaching our students in elementary, middle, and high school?” Fewer questions propel one more quickly into a morass of social, historical, political, neurological, and moral issues. This question is always germane to an independent Quaker school like Sandy Spring Friends School. The SSFS Statement of Philosophy seeks to answer this question, . . . → Read More: The Skilled Hand

Accreditation 101


This week SSFS is being visited by a team of 14 teachers and administrators from other area schools. They are visiting every teacher’s classroom and talking with administrators, students, staff, parents, board members, and a parent group. In addition, they will be rising early, staying up late, reading documents, discussing SSFS, and writing reports. What . . . → Read More: Accreditation 101

The MLC: Professional Development, iPads, and Learning


Sandy Spring Friends School just concluded three days of hosting the SSFS Mobile Learning Conference: Education in the Knowledge Age (MLC). From every report I could solicit from presenters and attendees, it was a highly successful professional learning event.

Professional development in our age of rapid technology change is a challenge. When everyone is adjusting . . . → Read More: The MLC: Professional Development, iPads, and Learning

Adult Swim: Summer Reads about Grit, Play, Childhood, and Schooling


Have you ever experienced symbiosis between two different books you read in proximity to each other? A recent reading symbiosis has me rethinking some of my assumptions about education. So, I would like to recommend two books that may deepen your thinking about learning, schools, and childhood.

Although human civilization is around a hundred centuries . . . → Read More: Adult Swim: Summer Reads about Grit, Play, Childhood, and Schooling

I’d Like a Word With You


Language and culture are intimately connected. The words we choose reflect much about our history and attitudes. This is certainly true in the world of technology, where the vocabulary and terms have grown at least as quickly as hard drive capacity. Is there a Moore’s Law for tech-speak?

For my part, I’m fascinated with words . . . → Read More: I’d Like a Word With You

Pillboxes and Personal Devices

Marc Wilson: Studland Bay, Dorset, England, 2011

A BBC news feature this week prompted some meditation on my part about technology and teaching. The article (“The Last Stand”) describes images soon to be exhibited at the Royal Armouries, one of Great Britain’s national museums. These are the work of London-born photographer Marc Wilson, who . . . → Read More: Pillboxes and Personal Devices