Can We Fix Education?

Last week’s video got a lot of attention (thanks, YouTube algorithm) and I want to keep the conversation going. This week, my reaction to the 700+ comments I received and some concrete things teachers can do right now to make life a little better for yourself and your students.

Links to items mentioned in today’s video:

• I Quit Teaching video: https://youtu.be/vD0BGzNN0Yk

• Alfie Kohn’s The Case Against Grades: https://www.alfiekohn.org/article/case-grades/

• Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams/What are Schools for?: https://sethgodinwrites.medium.com/stop-stealing-dreams-4116c7dbff7b

• Sarah Zerwin’s Point-less: https://sarahmzerwin.com/

• 20Time materials (free download): https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Project-Based-Learning-Materials-for-the-English-Classroom-20Time-Project-1918986?st=25f8273a724ee2187299d0c504677143

• Imagined Life podcast blog: https://laurarandazzo.wpengine.com/2021/03/27/imagined-life-a-feel-good-podcast-about-failure/

• 21 Chump Street podcast blog: https://laurarandazzo.wpengine.com/2020/12/27/podcast-video-a-multimedia-cautionary-tale/

• My favorite Twilight Zone episodes to use in the classroom: https://laurarandazzo.wpengine.com/2021/01/31/5-best-twilight-zone-episodes-for-the-classroom/

Where are you in your relationship with teaching? How can we increase learning and lower stress? Leave those ideas below!

Broken glass photo credit: Pixabay, public domain

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Garreth Heidt
Garreth Heidt
2 years ago

thanks for this, Laura. I’ve been following you for a while, but I’ve also been part of school rethinking networks for over a decade. I don’t think we want to reinvent the wheel, though I know many teachers (myself included) often do. So if you don’t mind, I’m dropping the names and websites for a number of people working on this issue in many places.

Kelly Young and Education Reimagined–https://education-reimagined.org/

Chris McNutt & Nick Covington and The Human Restoration Project. https://www.humanrestorationproject.org/

Erin Raab — ReenvisionED. (brilliant work out of Stanford and elsewhere on Flourishing instead of Languishing, if you will : https://www.reenvisioned.org/

Erin Raab and the 100 Days of Conversation project (you can still get in): https://www.100daysofconversations.org/

Will Richardson and Homa Tavangar–The Big Questions Institute. (Will’s been at this for a long time. He has influence in many places across the world.). https://www.bqi.community/home

I see you have referenced Seth Godin’s Manifesto. I think that’s great, but you should also check out Will’s work from a previous project he created, Modern Learners. This is a great read by someone who was in and is now outside of education. I appreciate Seth’s work, but he’s more glib and comes at his manifesto from a much different perspective. Try this by Will from 2017: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0ik68nFEV8PSmd1SXlxR3FmdjA/view?usp=sharing.

Another person who is coming from the outside in is Thomas Vander Ark and his work at Getting Smart. https://www.gettingsmart.com/

I’d also suggest, and I can’t remember, but I think you are out this way, geographically…FREAKIN’ EVERYTHING DONE AT OneStone.org. O. M. G!!!!!!!!!!!! Just off the top, check out their Growth Transcript instead of the Report Card. https://onestone.org/growth-transcript

Let me know if you’d like more…And thanks for sparking this conversation, and for producing such high-quality work. I just used your “how to write a conclusion” video and sheet today.

If you’d lke to connect via wordpress, I’m at Onlyconnects.wordpress.com. and my innovation class is at pvhsnovalab.com.

Katie Martin

Garreth Heidt
Garreth Heidt
2 years ago

Oh…and I forgot to point you to Katie Martin (author of Learner-Centered Innovation.). https://katielmartin.com/2018/02/06/learner-centered-innovation/

Laura Randazzo
2 years ago
Reply to  Garreth Heidt

Holy, honey pot, Garreth! THANK YOU for this incredible body of resources to dig into. I’m excited (and a bit intimidated) by the brain-power this list represents. Time to get a second cup of coffee and start reading…

Garreth Heidt
Garreth Heidt
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Randazzo

For my money…start with Erin Raab. I can send you her dissertation if you want, but her work on Medium breaks it down and distills it quite well. Also, Will Richardson. Oh, and one of my hometown heros I forgot to mention, Dr. Jane Shore at The Revolution School. Check her out at substack where she writes the posts for The School of Thought. (Revolution School, by the way, is doing some great stuff. Not quite One Stone, but damned good.)

Laura Randazzo
2 years ago
Reply to  Garreth Heidt

Thanks again, Garreth. I am in the weeds with all of this right now and will back up to start with Erin Raab’s work. There are so many folks doing so many interesting things and some of this work is 10+ years old; it’s clear that smarter people than me have been working on this for a while now. And yet…I wonder why these innovations haven’t taken hold on a broader scale? What changes can teachers and administrators make within their current systems today to help the bulk of kids right now? My head hurts…

Kendall A Childs
Kendall A Childs
2 years ago

Dear Laura . . . Yes, I think education can and should be updated, changed, or overhauled. When I taught at the high school level our district worked very closely with our local community college. We wanted to know what the colleges felt our students needed to know or be able to do when they got there. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The state requirements for graduation and the college requirements for entry into higher education are not the same. The state is lower than college. Colleges and universities dictate what is taught at the high school level and it trickles down to middle school. We are asking our students to do things their brains are not ready to do. This is according to brain research experts. Sorry for the long rant. Have a good day.


Laura Randazzo
2 years ago

No apology needed, Kendall. I’ve had the same thoughts when colleagues say students will need to know XYZ skill in college, so we should get them ready for that now. I think, wait. Let’s allow them to be 14 years old when they’re 14 years old. When/If they go to college, they can learn APA style or complex poetry terms or whatever then. Much more important to teach our students how to think instead of what to think. If we can do that, they’ll be able to figure out the solution to whatever future puzzle they’re presented.

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