The Educational Value of Wikipedia in the Age of Fake News

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard a middle school student say that another teacher told them Wikipedia was not a reliable source, “I would be making money in a very weird way” (to put it in the words of the late comedian, Mitch Hedberg). When Wikipedia came along in 2001, … Continue reading The Educational Value of Wikipedia in the Age of Fake News

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Trauma Informed Schools: The New ‘New Paternalism’

In 1997, New York University professor, Lawrence M. Mead, edited a book entitled “The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty.” Mead’s work, spanning more than 30 years, has been highly influential in the implementation of draconian and ineffective work requirements for government assistance programs. “The New Paternalism” directly inspired noted education reformer, David Whitman, to … Continue reading Trauma Informed Schools: The New ‘New Paternalism’

No Space in Public Schools for Teaching Alt-right Ideology

A recent HuffPost exclusive titled, “Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast,” details how a 7th grade social studies teacher in Crystal River, Florida, moonlights under a pseudonym as a podcaster, young adult novelist, and a rather public figure with a considerable presence and following in the alt-right media. The website Angry White … Continue reading No Space in Public Schools for Teaching Alt-right Ideology

Political Teaching – Part I

Teaching is an inherently political vocation. Every teacher, without exception, is a conduit for multiple political agendas. The Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) are the political agenda of the Oklahoma State Department of Education, with direct oversight from the Oklahoma Legislature. To be fair, for the most part, the OAS were created with input from actual … Continue reading Political Teaching – Part I

Individualism and Culturally Responsive Teaching

The education reform movement, characterized by standardized tests, charter schools, and voucher programs, is a product of both capitalism and individualism. The buzz word for the movement, which itself implies a commitment to individualism, is “choice.” The language is always about one student and never about all students. Reformers want schools to be marketplaces for … Continue reading Individualism and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Teaching (History) While White

Much has been written, though not enough, concerning the dynamics of a public school system where the teacher workforce is increasingly white, and the student demographic nonwhite. Studies show that in California, the percentage of white teachers is roughly equal to the percentage of nonwhite students, around 70 percent. Center for American Progress Teaching Tolerance has … Continue reading Teaching (History) While White

Reading For Revolution

All of the presently available alternatives to the American public school system (private schools, charters, vouchers, home schooling, online, and even “unschooling”) are all predicated on elitism. It is hard to know what Paulo Freire would think of the public school system in the U.S. today, but I am quite confident he would be highly … Continue reading Reading For Revolution