• Bridging Differences

    In Bridging Differences
    Deborah exchanges views with a different colleague, each for a month or two. Bridging Differences will re-start in September.  Her new correspondent will be Harry Boyte, another Minnesotan (although his roots are southern). He has always been a friend and mentor, even though they come to stuff in different ways and even disagree on and off. He is a professor and an activist, a theorist and a practitioner, with a focus on democracy—beginning a long time ago when he worked with Martin Luther King. He has written or edited ten books on the topic and founded a Center on
    democracy which is now at St Augsberg College, but formerly at the University of Minnesota.  

  • Where I’ll Be

    April 24–26 speaking at Network for Public Education conference, Chicago, IL

    May 21 6:30pm, Central Park East I Concert Always great. New York city.

    May 20-14 AERO Conference at LIU/Post. Mission Hill film with Amy Valens on May 22, 1pm, speaking 2pm

    Mat 25 Workers Defense League Dinner in NYC

    June 3, 4, 5 FairTest Dinner and meeting in NYC
    June 4th 6-8:30pm Deborah Meier Heroes in Education Award

    June 8 Boston CCE Board mtg, 3:30pm

    June 11 Mission Hill Graduation, and MH Board meeting

  • Network for Public Education

  • Good Morning Mission Hill

    For information on showings or purchasing the video Good Morning Mission Hill
  • Central Park East Elementary School

  • Twitter Updates

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Mike Rose on Cognition!

Before I forget. Once again Mike Rose opens my eyes and clears my mind of the nonsense that accumulates when I’m not looking!

“Giving Cognition a Bad Name”, Education Week, January 16, 2013–back cover!

The false distinction between “affect” and “cognitive”–“character” vs “academics” and on and on is more than foolish. It’s dangerous. Above all to those we’ve too long cheated in our schools under the name of “care” and “love” and “the whole child.” Strong character–feistiness, grit, or whatever the latest fad word may be–is not mindless. And if it is, mindless grit is not a virtue.

Children come out of the womb with minds – and they are working hard every day filling that mind with thoughts, feelings, ides, assumptions, concepts—even “critical thinking”. Ouch, that hurts.

Mike, as usual, in his gentle way takes these myths on, He acknowledges that some of the latest crowd of “character” fans are not only meaning but are trying wisely to stop the rush toward more and more mindless so-called achievement tests of academics. But in reconsidering the importance of the “whole child” he hopes for a “reclaiming of the full meaning of cognition–one that is robust and intellectual, intimately connected to character and social development, and directed toward the creation of a better world.”

Enough said!

Well, not quite. I urge folks to read the following paragraph printed in Dianne column today by an unnamed Illinois teacher–whose views I largely share. . What’s wrong with it? More later.

“I believe strongly that students need good, solid foundation skills and a wide range of experiences before they can think critically. “

2 Responses

  1. re: “I believe strongly that students need good, solid foundation skills and a wide range of experiences before they can think critically. “ –

    students – even the very young ones I’ve taught – think critically, if by critical thinking we mean approaching experiences and information in a querying manner, seeing patterns, connecting the dots, and asking good questions. And don’t we need all of this as a way of empowering children to master and fully gain from those “solid foundation skills” and their “wide range of experiences”?

  2. Oh no not isolated social skills. They won’t transfer or generalize.

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