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teacher-writers build bridges

Last week I was able to participate on a panel at the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) annual meeting. I was the discussant on a panel, “What Writing Can Do for Teachers: Beyond Pedagogy and Professionalism.” Below the fold is my response, “Teacher-Writers Building Bridges.” For those of you who might not know, a discussant aims to synthesize the individual papers and to frame a conversation for the panel and audience. I hope I was able to do both, because the research shared was insightful and helpful in a wide range of ways, which I tried to capture in my remarks below. Many thanks to my colleagues on this panel, and thanks too for those teachers, scholars, librarians, and administrators who were in the room and participated in the conversation. [Read more…]

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The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90.
“Because I think I’m making progress,” he replied.

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thank you, mr. banks

“My whole life, I’ve just wanted to make people better.” – Ernie Banks, 2013, after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Yesterday, back in Chicago, they paid tribute to the life of Mr. Ernie Banks. Since he died of a heart attack on Friday January 23rd, I’ve struggled to explain to myself and to others why his passing has saddened me in the way that it has. It’s true, I’ve been a fan of the Chicago Cubs since my first memories, but I was born the year before Mr. Banks retired, which is to say that I have no memory of watching him play. [Read more…]

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uncertainty as opportunity

The blog Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care published a post I wrote, “Uncertainty as Opportunity.” Briefly, I write about how as writers, teachers, and learners we face many moments of not being sure, and we have to pay attention to the way we respond to those moments.

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rethinking assessment: map the landscape

This semester I’m teaching a special topics graduate course with the title “Rethinking Assessment.” We’re a few meetings into the semester and our overarching question for the course is, tentatively, “How could assessments help our teaching and our students’ learning?” In order to work toward understanding this question, I’ve divided the course into three different chunks: mapping the landscape of assessment, understanding the work assessments do, and designing our own performance tasks.

I mostly want to spend some time here writing about the first three class sessions as a way to capture what I think is sticking out to me as we “map the landscape of assessment.” [Read more…]