Monthly Archives: October 2013


7 Skills for Life-Long Learning and How to Address Them

A large number of district, schools and classrooms that include “create life-long learners” among their goals.  But what are the skills really necessary to learn throughout your life?  And are we really addressing those goals in the best possible ways? The changes that I believe are necessary to better work on these skills (and therefore […]


“Student paced” versus/and “mastery learning”

My post from yesterday described how my 8 year old daughter, out of no where, saw the need the for individualized instruction and instituted it in her “classroom” (her bedroom where she plays teacher).  When I tweeted about the new post I used “#masterylearning” but then I stopped and added a new one I hadn’t […]


Science is a verb – and how to shift lab paradigms to reflect it 1

I read a wonderful post lately about the use of models in science classrooms.  In it, Drew Roman wrote: “The second greatest mistake in science education is to teach the book of knowledge in isolation from the process of scientific inquiry, or with process itself defined as a recipe to memorize.” (I also happen to […]


Project and Problem-Based Learning – just semantics or real difference?

We educators are famous (or should I say infamous) for using multiple terms for the same thing, changing those terms frequently and using lots of acronyms (I’ve heard education lingo referred to as “alphabet soup”).  So are “Project Based Learning” and “Problem Based Learning” both talking about the same thing (they are both “PBL” after […]


Creating moments when you can’t “Just Google It”

The questions students investigate in school have answers that someone, somewhere (usually including the teacher) already knows.  Even teachers that are using carefully constructed, wonderfully inquiry lessons are almost always having students investigate something for which the answer is already known. I’ve spent the last four years working with graduate science fellows to bring their […]


You say it can’t be done. Have you tried it?

One of the things I run up against often in my workshops on student-paced and student-directed mastery learning classrooms is the “that won’t work” response.  And today I read a blog post that was asking connected teachers to stop “ignoring reality” in the ideas that we post/talk about.  An example the blogger gave was there […]