Why do high school students drop out? This is the question that +Paul Allison, +Monika Hardy, and +Chris Sloan host on this episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers. We are joined by some pretty amazing colleagues and
+Mary Ann Reilly was one of the catalysts of this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. She had shared this video with +Troy Hicks, +Teresa Bunner, and +Buffy Hamilton “in response to the question about how we empower/engage high school students. The video chronicles work that educators at Morristown High School did in developing a classics academy. The film was made by Ben Donnellon.”
This video frames our conversation. In addition we refer to “A 2006 survey, The Silent Epidemic, [which] put these questions [about engagement or the lack thereof in high school] to a group that isn’t usually asked for opinions on American education—high school dropouts. The study found that while some students drop out because of significant academic challenges, most dropouts are students who could have, and believe they could have, succeeded in school.” http://www.gatesfoundation.org/learning/Pages/2006-High-school-drop-out-rate-survey.aspx
In reference to this survey, Troy Hicks had been wondering: “Where we are at ten years into ’21st century learning’ and NCLB. Are the problems with engagement really still just the same? Who are the students that are dropping out and why? Who is actually sticking around and not feeling engaged? Why?”
We also welcome Louis, a student from Bronx Academy Senior High http://bronxbash.com the school where Paul Allison teaches. His stories of staying school or not were a needed grounding for this conversation.
After hearing about a teacher from Ft. Worth, Texas, Brian Ingram at the end of a couple of recent “Best of the Left” episodes http://www.bestoftheleftpodcast.com we decided to invite him to join us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 . Brian is a teacher who recently made a decision to Walk Out and to Walk On into an electoral campaign. The Occupy movement has inspired him to consider a run for Congress. Talk about Inspiring!
Brian joins the teachers listed here in an ongoing a conversation about Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze’s book, Walk Out Walk On http://walkoutwalkon.net :
Like on earlier episodes in December, we talk about our work in classrooms, schools and beyond through some of the the lenses provided in Walk Out Walk On. (See https://edtechtalk.net/node/5057 and https://edtechtalk.net/node/5053 )
We also look to learn from the Occupy movements. Recently we have been having discussions around the book http://walkoutwalkon.net which was published earlier this year by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze of The Berkana Institute. We’ve been noticing the convergence between the school change movements that many of us connected to Teachers Teaching Teachers are involved with and this book. We have also taken note of the convergence between the Occupation movements and Walk Out Walk On.
As it says in the book:
Walk Outs are people who bravely choose to leave behind a world of unsolvable problems, scarce resources, limiting beliefs and destructive individualism. They walk on to the ideas, beliefs and practices that enable them to give birth to new systems that serve community. This is the story of an emerging movement of pioneering leaders and communities around the world who are self-organizing to create healthy and resilient communities.
On Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have been talking to teachers involved with their local Occupy Wall Street movements, and we are looking for what we can learn from both that movement andWalk Out Walk On to further our commitments and understanding of change in education.
Enjoy! And join us in upcoming shows when we plan to continue this conversation.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
This is the second episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers [ http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 ] in which we invite the ideas of Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze’s Walk Out Walk On http://walkoutwalkon.net to inspire our conversation.
Are you a Walk Out? Read these couple of paragraphs from the book and Web site, then come join us on Wednesday, 12.21.11 for a chat room at https://edtechtalk.net/live-ttt and watch the LiveStream.
ALSO – if you would like to join us in the Hangout soon, if you have read the book and would like to get in on the conversation directly, just let us know.
Inside dying systems, Walk Outs who Walk On are those few leaders who refuse to work from the dominant values that permeate the bureaucracy, such things as speed, greed, fear and aggression. They use their formal leadership to champion values and practices that respect people, that rely on people’s inherent motivation, creativity and caring to get quality work done. These leaders consciously create oases or protected areas within the bureaucracy where people can still contribute, protected from the disabling demands of the old system. These leaders are treasures. They’re dedicated, thoughtful revolutionaries who work hard to give birth to the new in very difficult circumstances.
And then there are those who leave the system entirely, eager to be free of all constraints to experiment with the future. You’ll read their stories in the next pages. But even though they might appear to have more freedom than those still inside, they encounter many challenges that restrict their actions. Old habits and ways of thinking constantly rear up on their path. It’s easy to get yanked backwards, or to doubt that this is the right direction. It takes vigilance to notice when these old ways of thinking block the path ahead.
Below the video here are notes and links on some of the threads we weave together on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers (Please subscribe: http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 ). Participants in this episode’s Hangout are: Monika Hardy, Mary Ann Reilly, Scott Shelhart (and his daughter) , Liam O’Donnell, Paul Allison, Ann Leaness, and Fred Mindlin
We begin a conversation about Margaret Wheatley’s and Deborah Frieze’s book, Walk Out Walk On [ http://walkoutwalkon.net ], and we explore how the Occupy movements and Educamps might reflect some of the principles in this book.
Monika Hardy wrote recently that she is “absolutely swimming in Walk Out Walk On.” She goes on to explain:
We have been working on a quiet revolution the last four years in Colorado [ http://labconnections.blogspot.com ], both outside and in the public school system, in order to create the communities the authors, Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze share and describe so poignantly, so beautifully in their book.
Mary Ann Reilly joins us this week. Mary is also be inspired by Walk Out Walk On, and has been trying to get a group of teachers together to talk about the book. Mary is a progressive educator, artist, photographer, and writer of Deepening Literacy Learning: Art and Literature Engagements in K-8 Classrooms. [ http://infoagepub.com/index.php?id=9&p=p4b917a12e9f4a ] We are delighted when she is able to join our conversations at Teachers Teaching Teachers.
Ann Leaness joins us as well. Ann is a high school English teacher in Philadelphia, and she is a member of the edcamp foundation [ http://edcampfoundation.org ] board. Ann’s team began edcamp in Philadelphia [ http://edcampphilly.org ] in May of 2010. Walk Out Walk On is on Ann’s bookshelf too, and recently she wrote about “The Dissenters” [ http://lifewithl.com/2011/12/04/the-dissenters-part-1 ] in her blog:
I wanted to spark some interest and also to make this unit relevant for my students. To get started, I showed the students these two videos: “UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed” [ http://youtu.be/6AdDLhPwpp4 ] and “UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to car amidst protesters” [ http://youtu.be/nmfIuKelOt4 ] These videos sparked some interesting discussion about non-violence and the violent reaction. Some students were shocked by the violence of the direct pepper spraying on the docile students, and the lack of reaction on the students’ part. Why did they just do nothing? Why didn’t they fight back? They also remarked about the silence on the second video. We talked about the impact of that silence and the effect of the sounds of the heels hitting the pavement. Again, someone questioned why they didn’t get up and get in the Chancellor’s face.
Reading Walk Out Walk On, one can’t help but wonder if the Occupy Wall Street movement might a place to find “Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,” as it’s put in the subtitle of Walk Out Walk On.
One of the authors of the book, Deborah Frieze also wonders in a blog post last month, “Is Occupy Our Opportunity?”
In Walk Out Walk On, we found ourselves often in the conversation about “building the world we want today.” The communities we wrote about were walking out of failing institutions and walking on to experiment with new ways of feeding and sheltering themselves, of creating health and safety, of learning together and rebuilding relationships. This has never been about creating utopia. It’s about confronting the reality of our situation with new eyes, being willing to abandon limiting beliefs about what’s possible and who’s qualified to make a contribution. Walking on is an invitation for a different kind of social order to emerge in community. So, too, is Occupy. Dewey Square [Boston] is in some ways a microcosm of our society—for better and for worse, it amplifies our gifts and diseases. It places our social impoverishment under a microscope and invites us to do something different. It challenges us to re-learn what it means to be citizens who take responsibility for one another. [ http://www.deborahfrieze.com/2011/11/understanding-occupy-as-a-space-to-re-learn-citizenship/#more-559 ]
Also joining us on this episode of TTT is Liam O’Donnell, an award-winning children’s author and educator [ liamodonnell.com/graphic-novels-books ]. He will help us wonder about communities and to talk about his work as an educator in the Occupy movement. He writes:
I’ve been bringing the Occupy movement into my work with Grade 5/6s studying government and protest (with videos, twinke fingers in the classroom, etc) As a member of the OccupyToronto Education work group, I can speak to the curriculum we’re developing for schools around issues of social justice, and poverty.
Also, in a recent blog post, “How Twinkle Fingers turned my classroom into a General Assembly” Liam writes:
Instead of shouting out agreement or disagreement, students showed their “Twinkle Fingers” of agreement or their down low twinkles of disagreement. Confusion or questions were shown by making a letter ‘C’ shape with their hand. This “General Assembly Guide” [ http://www.nycga.net/resources/general-assembly-guide ] from the New York City General Assembly shows what each symbol looks like. And to ensure all voices were heard, not just the loudest, a “stack” or speakers list was put on the chalkboard. [ liamodonnell.com/feedingchange/2011/11/how-twinkle-fingers-turned-my-classroom-into-a-general-assembly ]
Fred Mindlin also joins us to reflect on his nine years of “living at Black Bear Ranch, one of the original 60’s “back to the land” hippie communes, and perhaps the only one which survives on the same terms on which it was founded: radical free.”
Enjoy and plan to join us for follow-up episodes on Walk Out Walk On in the coming weeks.
In a busy week with conferences and conventions–physical and and online–going on all over, it was good to stop and think about what we want schools to look like. On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Paul Allison introduces his Assistant Principal, colleague and friend Ron Link to Monika Hardy and Mary Ann Reilly. Ron is cooking up ideas for a new school, and many of his thoughts have seemed parallel to some of what Monika and Mary Ann have been talking about at labconnections.blogspot.com. Andrea Zellner and David Wees are always a delight to hear from! Enjoy this conversation, and let’s keep talking about what we want schools to look like. Joining this episode are: monika hardy, Ron Link, Andrea Zellner, Mary Ann Reilly, David Wees, and Paul Allison
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Monika Hardy, Chris Sloan and Paul Allison invited Amy Lewark, Mary Ann Reilly, Adam Mackie, and Jodhbir Singh, who has been visiting visiting the Lab that Monika Hardy facilitates. He has a passion to help change education in India where he is from. Monika writes, “We’ve been corresponding for some time now. This is our first face to face. He’s incredible and will have some good insight of what we’re doing and how it looks in person.”
Mainly, we learned from a group of educators who teach the classics using gaming. We hope you’ll enjoy learning more from the Pericles Group.
From their web site:
Kevin Ballestrini teaches Latin and Mythology at the Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut. He has received an M.A. and B.A. in Classics from the University of Colorado and University of Connecticut respectively. In addition to experience teaching in a traditional classroom setting, in the 2010-2011 academic year Kevin deployed the first fully practomimetic introductory language course at the high school level in a section of Latin I. The experience has clearly enhanced student engagement and connection to life and culture in ancient Rome. For 2011-12, he will be expanding the offering of practomimetic courses to the second year of introductory Latin in addition to the first. As an avid technology enthusiast, he maintains his blog, Techna Virumque Cano (http://kevinbal.blogspot.com) where he discusses the intersection of technology and his teaching. He is also a regular contributor to the collaborative blog Play the Past (http://playthepast.org). Kevin is the leader of a large kinship in The Lord of the Rings Online and active in many gaming communities.
Roger Travis is an Associate Professor of Classics in the Department of Literatures, Cultures & Languages of the University of Connecticut. He is also the Director of the Video Games and Human Values Initiative (http://vghvi.org) at UConn, an interdisciplinary online nexus for online courses and scholarly activities like fellowships, symposia, and the initiative’s Proceedings, of which he is the editor. He received his Bachelor’s degree in classics from Harvard College, and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley before arriving at UConn in 1997. He has published on Homeric epic, Greek tragedy, Greek historiography, the 19th C. British novel, HALO, and the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game He has been President of the Classical Association of New England and of the Classical Association of Connecticut. He writes the blog Living Epic (http://livingepic.org) about his discovery of the fundamental connection between ancient epic and the narrative video game, and is a founder and contributor of the collaborative blog Play the Past(http://playthepast.org). In the 2009-2010 academic year, Roger offered the first courses ever designed entirely as practomimes (seehttp://www.academicimpressions.com/news.php?i=59 for detail).
Stephen Slota is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut and holds a full-time assistantship with the UConn Two Summers Program under his advisor, Dr. Michael Young. Stephen received both his Bachelor of Science in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut, followed by two years teaching life science at a Title IX Connecticut high school. He has previously served as a professional development specialist in educational technology and now works with Dr. Roger Travis of the UConn Department of Modern and Classical Languages on the effects of game-based learning in high school and college Latin courses. Stephen’s research interests include: gaming and its effects on student engagement and achievement, situated effects of gaming on secondary learners, prosocial learning through massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), the influence of imagination and dreams on situational perception, and pedagogical means of improving student self-efficacy.