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Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 1

It is assumed that you cannot find the

website or your network has blocked
access to this site… This document
has much of what you can find on the

Guide on
Dedication: To the school directors who asked,
"What's happening here?" and
"What is your lesson plan?"

To the students who asked

"Where are the textbooks?" and
"What am I supposed to do?"
and said, "I don't understand."
"This is too disorganized."
"This is a circus."
"I don't know what to do."
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 2
Here's why my classes look the way they do...
Table of Contents

1. Survey about “The Reader’s Attitude about Teachers

2. The Quotes
3. Second Survey
4. The Ten Points
5. More Quotations (including several quotes by students)
6. Comments by Mario Llorenta
7. How to Transform your Classroom
8. An Article by Dennis Yuzenas
9. The next step….

sage on the stage, especially if

students need that admirable
The format of this document is character … the students need to
generally two columns… The idea is see great interest.
to get the material OUT to you and
then you can send me comments. Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat
(pages 209-211) has several points
If you have a document that you about how to prepare for a flat world
would like to submit and attach to – but his first point is “Find a good
this GOTS document, teacher, someone who is passionate.”
write to It doesn’t matter what the subject is
that the teacher teachers. The
experience of spending time in class
with a fabulous person who is deeply
interested in his subject can turn you
This book is intended to be an into a passionate self-starting learner.
“Airplane Book.” -- you can read it
during a typical hour-long flight… and
if I go down in an airplane, I can think ============
to myself, “Well, at least I put down
what I learned in that GOTS book.”

The Guide on the Side is not dogma.

These are guidelines that help me
1. Survey about “The
daily as a teacher. I constantly fight Reader’s Attitude
the teacher who wants to lecture.
After all, I spent ten years in
about Teachers
university studying to become an
educated person. Why shouldn’t I be
heard? That’s the voice that I have
to fight. Let’s ask some questions
At the same time, there is the need,
about your assumptions
as Mario Llorente points out, for a about teachers and
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 3
learning. (7) When lectures are
boring, teachers should use
To Start: Please take this bright colors and pictures
short survey
Survey: Please give your opinion
(1) “The teacher knows what I about these statements and
should be learning.” answer the questions. If you don’t
Circle one: agree not sure disagree want to write your answers, you
can work with a partner (who can
(2) The teacher should teach us write what you say) or you can
information about what’s going to dictate your response to a teacher.
be on the test. You can also send the response by
Circle one: agree not sure disagree email to
(3) Students should listen, take
notes and then ask questions. (This survey was given to
Circle one: agree not sure disagree middle school students. For
results of the survey, visit
(4) The best way to learn is to
listen carefully to the teacher.
Circle one: agree not sure disagree

Write at least two sentences to

reply to the next three statements.
You can use another page.

(5) Describe the way or

ways that you like to learn
something new:

(6) Lectures are sometimes

boring, but they are better
than reading the textbook.
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 4
Computer Assisted Instruction
2. The Quotes into the classroom is the
teacher, because teachers love
to perform.
Can you match at least one of
5 Jack is a boy from Brooklyn
these quotes to the following
who dropped out of school to
avoid terminal boredom.
Howard Gardner Dennis
6 I never let school get in the
Littky Maria Montessori W.
way of my education.
Edward Deming Gordon
Dryden Mark Twain
7 Drive out fear.
William Glasser
8 Never do for a child what a
Jean Piaget Abraham Fischler
child can do for himself.
W B Yeats (poet)
9 There are 2 billion children in
Robert Burns
the developing world. Instead of
asking their teachers to
"reinvent the wheel" every day,
1 The teacher of the future is a
why not share lesson plans that
GUIDE on the SIDE, not a sage
work with their 59 million
on the stage.
2 Education is NOT the filling of
10 Keep Teacher Talking
a pail, but rather the LIGHTING
Time to a minimum.
of a FIRE.
11 What a gift some power
3 Most students might forget
could give us: to see ourselves
what you taught them, but they
as others see us.
will always remember how you
treated them.
12 The goal is to gradually
transfer responsibility for
4 A big obstacle to bringing
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 5
learning to the student. teachers negotiate with their
students what they will learn,
13 Schools teach children to when they will learn it and how
obey. But we need creative we will check that they have
answers to the challenges of learned it.
our times. Many of the people
who've had the greatest 18 Until we find the child’s
influence on our times were passion, it’s just school. When
failures in school. the child finds his passion, we
teach to that passion. We can
14 The greatest sign of find internships for high school
success for a teacher is to be students: Kids say, “I love this
able to say, "The children are internship!”
now working as if I did not
exist.” 19 Unfortunately, to most
people, teaching is the giving of
15 Let’s create people who are knowledge. What are you going
capable of doing new things, to tell the students? What is
not simply of repeating what your expertise? But teaching is
other generations have done. really about bringing out what's
already inside people.
16 Innovative schools offer
small classes, individualized 20 If individuals have different
instruction, and flexible curricula kinds of minds, with varied
which can accommodate the strengths, interests and
child. The same teacher stays strategies, then could biology,
with the same group of children math and history be taught AND
for as many as eight grades. ASSESSED in a variety of
The teacher has to grow and ways?
learn with the children.
21 Trust. Truth. No Put-
17 Many teachers believe that downs. Active
they need to control how they Listening. Personal Best.
teach and how they test. Other
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 6
22. Learning should be fun.
Students should enjoy
performing their understanding.

23 The Student is the


Howard Gardner Dennis

Littky Maria Montessori W.
Edwards Deming Gordon
Dryden Mark Twain

William Glasser Jean

Abraham Fischler W
B Yeats (poet) Robert

Who said these

words? Match the person
with the quote
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 7
What did you learn from the

3. Second “The teacher knows what I should

be learning.” Circle one:
Survey Agree strongly agree
not sure disagree
disagree strongly
Now take the survey
again. What are your "The teacher should teach us
reactions this time? information about what’s going to
be on the test." Circle one:
Agree strongly agree
After reading the QUOTES on the not sure disagree
home page, take this follow-up disagree strongly

This is the AFTER survey. "Students should listen, take notes

Please give your opinion about and then ask questions." Circle
these statements and answer the one:
questions. If you don’t want to Agree strongly agree
write your answers, you can work not sure disagree
with a partner (who can write what disagree strongly
you say) or you can dictate your
response to a teacher. You can "The best way to learn is to listen
also send the response by email to carefully to the teacher." Circle one:
IF YOU WANT TO WRITE A Agree strongly agree
COMMENT or TALK ABOUT not sure disagree
these statements, ask your disagree strongly
partner to write (if you don’t
want to write) or talk with the Write at least two sentences to
teacher. YOU CAN USE THE reply to the next three statements.
OTHER SIDE OF THIS PAGE. You can use the other side, too.
(a) Describe the way or
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 8
ways that you like to teaching an intensive
learn something new: three-week English
language program in Fort
Lauderdale). Three
(b) Lectures are teachers (who were
sometimes boring but escorting their students
they are better than from Italy) asked to sit in
reading the textbook. my lessons. They took
notes. Something was
going on here.
(c) When lectures are
Something I had done
boring, teachers should
changed in me so that
use bright colors and
my classes were
somehow magnetic.
This article shares with
Send the results of your two you what happened to
surveys to me.
m I was a lecturer for much
of my teaching career.
From 1996 to 2005, I
worked as a teacher of
English to adults and half
of my classes were
Here’s the main idea… lectures. Then I heard a
remarkable interview
with Dennis Littky,
The idea for this website founder of the Met
and book The Guide On Center in Rhode Island.
the Side came when I Go to this website:
realized that students or search
were clamoring to get "NPR Littky April
into my classes (I was 2005." you will have the
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 9
direct experience that I every student writes a
did and you'll want to put 75-page biography
into practice the seven about their family
key points mentioned by members (we all need to
Littky: know where we came
from, what our families
students learn through did and how they got
projects; here); and

teachers get to know grading is with a

the students (eating narrative every eight
dinner at least once weeks (a kid said, "I'm
every two months in more than a letter in the
their homes); alphabet," and that
inspired Littky to require
teachers teach every teachers to write and
subject (yes, math talk to kids about what
teachers teach literature, they did, how they could
science teachers teach improve their work and
art, French teachers what will be the next
teach math and challenge in the next
science); eight weeks).

quotes are placed on

walls to encourage
random learning;
Here are some quotes
tests are "stand-up" that guide me in
exhibitions; students becoming a facilitator.
go on internships and
report back to the school The teacher of the future
what they learned; is a GUIDE on the SIDE,
not a sage on the stage.
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 10
Aphorism Dryden, New Zealand

Education is NOT the

filling of a pail, but rather Keep "Talking Time" to a
the LIGHTING of a FIRE. minimum.
Most students might
forget what you taught Creativity: Schools
them, but they will teach children to obey.
always remember how But we need creative
you treated them. answers to the
A big obstacle to challenges of our times.
bringing Computer Many of the people
Assisted instruction into who've had the greatest
the classroom is the influence on our times
teacher, because were failures in school.
teachers love to perform. The greatest sign of
Jack is a boy from success for a teacher is
Brooklyn who dropped to be able to say, "The
out of school to avoid children are now working
terminal boredom. as if I did not exist.” Maria
I never let school get in Montessori

the way of my Let’s create people who

education. Mark Twain are capable of doing new
Drive out fear. W. Edwards things, not simply of
Deming repeating what other
There are 2 billion generations have done.
children in the Jean Piaget

developing world. Innovative schools offer

Instead of asking their small classes,
teachers to "reinvent the individualized
wheel" every day, why instruction, and flexible
not share lesson plans curricula which can
that work with their 59 accommodate the child.
million teachers? Gordon The same teacher stays
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 11
with the same group of If individuals have
children for as many as different kinds of minds,
eight grades. The with varied strengths,
teacher has to grow and interests and strategies,
learn with the children. then could biology, math
Many teachers believe and history be taught
that they need to control AND ASSESSED in a
how they teach and how variety of ways?
they test. Other teachers Trust. Truth. No Put-
negotiate with their downs. Active Listening.
students what they will Personal Best.
learn, when they will

learn it and how we will

check that they have
learned it.
Until we find the child’s
passion, it’s just school. Join me. Read these
When the child finds his words. Paste them on
passion, we teach to that walls and ask students to
passion. We can find put the ideas in their
internships for high own words. Let's
school students: Kids gradually transfer the
say, “I love this responsibility for their
internship!” learning to the students.
Unfortunately, to most NO MORE BORING
people, teaching is the LESSONS.
giving of knowledge.
What are you going to Steve McCrea is an educational
tell the students? What is consultant. He no longer likes
your expertise? But lecturing. He believes in creating
teaching is really about projects for students who then
bringing out what's discover what Steve was going to

already inside people. lecture about. Comprehensino is

Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 12
checked with numerous questions
and exhibitions (performance of
Understanding, to use Howard
Gardner's term). This website is
inspired by Lois Hetland, Tony
Lloyd, Cary Elcome, Dan Pink,
Thomas Friedman, Dennis Littky Here's an example of my work
and others. Steve devised the as a curriculum writer. I was
Visual and Active Teacher Training asked to "reverse engineer" a
course (allowing participants to course to prepare students for a
carry the certificaton and initials test, the new test that is
VATT to indicate that they have required for students to pass
passed this rigorous analysis of into the 3rd year of University in
Dennis Yuzenas' work). For Florida.
attribution of the sources of these
quotes, please go 5341/PERT-WORD-Syllabus-
to For and-Sample-Questions-
more information: BcRoOlWlAeRgDe-2011,
+1 954 646 8246. Steve is happy
to give free workshops in
exchange for a hotel room or a
couch to sleep on and the
opportunity sell his books, CDs and
DVDs. He likes to sit in classes
and take notes. Watching other
teachers teach makes Steve a
better teacher. Invite him to your
school and he'll fit you into his

Return to HOME
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 13
developing a host of mentors for
the students.

4. The Ten 4. Learning by watching,

Points learning with hands-on
experience: The curriculum
should include for teenagers a
The basic techniques: skill-building section so that they
can watch mentors at work,
1. Each child has an individual eventually gaining skills through
education plan (IEP) experience (and also gaining
scholastic credit for time in the
2. A focus on passions: internships).
Each kid studies the parts of the
curriculum he wants to. If a kid 5. Exhibitions instead of
loves horses, he students the written tests (or in addition):
history of horses, the chemistry Students give exhibitions
and biology of horses. Numbers (making posters, delivering
and math relate to genetics of powerpoints, making movies on
horses, speed, decimals for computers)
speed, fractions and ratios for
how to feed the horse (dividing 6. Projects instead of
horse feed into meals and lectures: Students are asked to
calculating the cost of work in small groups on projects
maintaining the horse). to discover information

3. Connect the curriculum 7. Narratives instead of

with skill building. grades: The teacher writes a
The works of Will Sutherland letter to the student every 8
( and Dennis weeks describing What was
Littky ( and planned, What was done, What are paramount needs to be done in the next 8
in such a school, both for weeks (all connected to the
building relationships and for student's IEP)
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 14
promoted by Dr. Fischler
8. Portfolios instead of a
transcript: There is a portfolio Students are taught to
of work accomplished (essays, suspend judgment (gathering
photos, reports, etc.) To information before leaping to a
demonstrate mastery of English conclusion)
and other languages, the
student has a digital portfolio Lateral thinking exercises
showing performances in ( is a
spoken tests. leading source of out-of-the-box
9. "Take Apart Laboratory" or
workshop, where broken items Teaching is 25% academic,
(fans, computers, air 60% listening and observation,
conditioners, refrigerators, car 15% guidance and positive
engines, etc) are taken apart reinforcement.
and analyzed (and, if possible, Meeting with parents and
reassembled) by students. integration of the curriculum are
10. Learning through stories.
Ethics and inner strength are Long-term relationships with
acquired by telling stories like the teacher are important.
Stanley Milgram's experiments, Dennis Littky's teachers stay
giving time for contemplation, with the same 15 students for 4
and showing complex and years, grades 9-12, teaching all
morally ambiguous situations to subjects. That's how you build
the students. relationships of trust and how
the teacher REALLY gets to
Summary know the student.
Time is a variable*: students
progress when they master a No more boring classes.
subject, not according to a fixed
calendar related to their age No more boring lectures
group. *The phrase is
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 15
The teacher is the guide on the
side, not the sage on the stage.

Guide On the Side Schools

(unless you already have a
name for your schools)

Teacher training is vital.

Most teachers teach the way
that they were taught ("It worked
for me, so I'm asking my
students to memorize what I put
on the board"). Most teachers
must learn to teach in a way that
they were NOT taught. Most
teachers need restructuring of
their "teaching self."

Those are the main points.

Steve McCrea

Links recommended by my
colleague F. Savain "Constructionist
Teaching" "Constructivist
Learning Theory"
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 16
to perform. I know that
when it comes to preparing
a lesson, my first impulse is
to LECTURE about a
5. More topic. The more difficult
Quotations route is to write a word on
(including the white board and ask,
“Work with a partner and
several by write five things you know
students) about this word...” and
then let the pairwork flow
from there... That’s hard
for me and hard for many
Thousands of educators are teachers because we want
on a mission (to make to be in control of the flow
learning fun and of the class. It's hard for
permanent). I’m on a some students who expect
mission, too. I want to give to be told what they need to
students / learners the know.
benefit of an open I have a mission: I want to
classroom. People who capture “what goes on
want to take charge of inside the heads of
their learning should have teachers who are guides
the choice to do so. on the side."
We want to gradually ----------------
transfer responsibility Here are some more
for their learning to observations by students:
students. I think a student like me
Abraham Fischler, president should use really modern
emeritus of Nova methods.
Southeastern university, has To learn English (or
identified a key obstacle to another language),
this goal: Teachers like studying the perfect
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 17
grammar at school is
only the beginning. The Comment by Dr. Abraham S.
real way to learn English Fischler:
perfectly is practicing. So
it's a really good way =====================
using Facebook (for =======
example, my best
friend's American, so i What makes a class
always talk in English interesting?
with her and it really
A student's opinion
helps me) and then
talking about things we I think this class is interesting
like. and I believe it is because we
You should give the can lead the lesson by
student all the things suggesting topics, discussing
you know and then let and discovering new things on
her choose the things the net and changing the
he/she wants to do. program if we don't like it or
Most teachers think that find it boring. I can't really
being under pressure suggest a way to make this
makes us give our best. class better since we have a
lot of freedom and can
change what we are doing
TRUE. When I'm
according to what we would
anxious or nervous, I
prefer much more.
really cannot do
anything. It's like I am What makes a class
blocked. So I think that boring? The wrong topics, a
the right way to improve boring teacher, bad
is feeling comfortable classmates are things that
and doing things that can make a class terrible.
interest us. Choosing a topic that is not
-- Arianna Costantin, Milano, 13 fascinating or not putting
August 2010 passion in teaching destroys
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 18
the attention of the class. Not your message to
helping in creating TheGuideOnTheSide@gmail.c
cooperation within the om She can be reached
students is the worst thing a directly at
teacher can do.
Note about “Save the Last Dance”:
A teacher brought his guitar and
Describe what you like about the lyrics for the song. He started
the class: I like the fact that the class with this question: "Did
students are nice and we get you know that the composer of
on I love choosing every day this song was unable to walk?
what I want to do and I'm fond Now let's listen more closely to
of discovering something I the lyrics." That's what interested
didn't know, such as "Save Giulia...
the Last Dance For Me" (a
Note: More books were brought to
song that was sung in our
the class the next week, giving the
student a chance to read quotes
How can we improve the
and longer chapters about
method? We could read
educational theories.
more books, like the ones
about the method we are
experimenting with. And this
would be interesting. Or we
could keep some books on our
own as I would like to do Changing your
tomorrow, to practice with the
thoughts changes
reading with chapters that are
more difficult than newspaper your brain. Give in
to useless
Giulia Mastrantoni, 6 August behaviors and you
SONG are more likely to
If you would like to keep doing them.
correspond with Giulia, send
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 19
The good news is that digital
Engage in more
learning won't cost more, and it
useful behaviors will boost achievement and
graduation rates.
and you will be
more likely to -- Tom vander Ark (click here for
his post)
continue them.
Your moment-by-
moment actions
program your
brain's actual
Jamie McKenzie's article The
function. WIRED Classroom provides a list
Magnificent Mind at Any Age by of descriptors of the role of a
Dr. Daniel Amen (page 166) teacher who is a Guide on the
Side while students are
Most kids use a mobile phone. conducting their investigations.
Most kids spend time online. Most "... the teacher is circulating,
schools prevent both. Our kids redirecting, disciplining,
are online; it's time their education questioning, assessing,
was. guiding, directing, fascinating,
validating, facilitating, moving,
By the end of the decade most
monitoring, challenging,
U.S. schools will blend online and
motivating, watching,
on-site learning to customize
moderating, diagnosing,
learning and extend the day and
trouble-shooting, observing,
year. Most high school students
encouraging, suggesting,
will do most of their work online.
watching, modeling and
All students (and teachers) will
have Internet access devices and
broadband. Cloud-based school-as- The teacher is on the move,
a-service will provide 24/7 access. checking over shoulders, asking
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 20
questions and teaching mini-
lessons for individuals and groups If you see the best in a student,
who need a particular skill. they'll come to see it as well.
Support is customized and
individualized. The Guide on the
Side sets clear expectations, Respect all people. All means
provides explicit directions, all.
and keeps the learning well Suggested by Leslie Lott
structured and productive.

From Now On The Educational Technology

Journal The WIRED Classroom Jamie

"By now we know that most
students learn
best when actively
participating in a
Here are some additional quotes collaborative,
that inspire teachers exhilarating, 'something-in-it-
for-me' environment.
I am not a teacher. I am an However, the magic cannot
awakener. -- Robert Frost
happen without the
navigation of the
I teach by how I live not by what
I say. group mentor -- the expert-
Be the change you want to Suggested by George
see. -- Gandhi Schiano

There's good in everyone. If you

don't see it, the problem is with
your vision.
"I am not a letter in the alphabet. I'm
Faith really CAN move more than that."
mountains. == 9th grade student in Providence,
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 21
R.I., quoted by Dennis Littky in The What a gift some power would give
Big Picture: Educatio is Everybody's us, to see ourselves as others see
Business. us.
Robert Burns
The world will not evolve past its (O would some power the gift
current state of crisis by using the to give us to see ourselves as
others see us)
same thinking that created the
situation. Albert Einstein.
My grandmother wanted me to
You must be the change you wish to have an education, so she kept
me out of school. -- Margaret
see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Education will not change until

Nobody grew taller by being we change the power structure.
-- Seymour Sarason
measured. -- philip gammage
As long as the same people are
making all the decisions,
eveyrthing will stay pretty much
In the traditional method the child the same.
must say something that he has -- Seymour Sarason The Culture
of the School and the Problem
merely learned. There is all the of Change
difference in the world between (argument: we will change our
having something to say and having education system when we
to say something. -- John Dewey. extend decision making down to
the next level, to the community
and the parents)

What the best and wisest parent

wants for his own child, that must be
Students concentrate harder and
what the community wants for all its
appear to learn more duing activities
children.. -- John Dewey
that they find both challenging and
important -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
(another way of saying "It takes a
author of Flow: The Psychology of
village to raise a child." --- african
Optimal Experience
We begin by asking ourselves,
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 22
"What's best for kids?" and build about. -- an advisor at the Met
everything around the answers. School, Providence, RI, quoted in
-- Dennis Littky Dennis Littky's book, The Big Picture

You learn from your experience of You have to start where people are,
doing something and from your becuse their growth is going to be
analysis of that experience. Myles from there, not from some
Horton (July 5, 1905 - January abstraction or where you are or
19, 1990) was an American someone else is. -- Myles Horton
educator, socialist and
cofounder of the Highlander Folk There is no one body of content that
School is right for every kid. -- dennis Littky

Only passions, great passions, can One size never fit all. one size fits
elevate the soul to great things. one. -- Tom Peters, author of In
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) Search of Excellence and other
books on business management

We do things backwards. We think

in terms of getting a skill first, and I'm more interested in school now
then finding useful and interesting because school is more interested in
things to do with it. The sensible me. -- student at the Met School,
way, the best way, is to start with Providence, RI
something worth doing, and then,
moved by a strong desire to do it, get
whatever skills are needed.
-- John Holt How Children Learn In small schools, the learning needs
of students, not the organizational
needs of the school, drive school
operations. -- Kathleen Cotton
They are passionate about their author of studies on "small learning
learning because they are learning communities"
something that they are passionate
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 23
No matter how far you have gone on
a wrong road, turn back. -- Turkish
Advisory (a small mentoring group of proverb
up to 15 students) in one word is
communication. It makes the school
smaller. Studnets know someone is When we talk about reform, we
there for them, they are not getting should not be talking about tweaking
lost among all the other students.... the scheduling and modifying the
In advisory we dont' talk at kids, we curriculum, but about completely
talk with kids. overhauling the entire structure of
-- Don Weisberger, special education schools as we have known them for
teacher at Thayer School, New way too long. -- Dennis Littky

The world is integrated. Every day

schools unravel the world and put it
To be playful and serious at the into boxes called subjects and
same time defines the ideal mental separate things that are not separate
condition. -- John Dewey (1859- in the real world. -- Dennis Littky.
We learn best when we care about
what we are doing, when we have
Given the widening array of choices. We learn best when the
possibilities, there's no reason that work has meaning to use, when it
every child must master the matters. We learn best when we are
sciences, algebra, geometry, biology using our hands and minds, when
or any of the rest of the standard the work we are dong is real and
high school curriculum that has relevant. -- Dennis Littky
barely changed in half a centruy. --
robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in We want to see the child in pursuit of
the Clinton Administration knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit
of the child. -- George Bernhard
Shaw (1856-1950)
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 24
and schools are still giving them
I want students to: facts and one-way lectures. --
be lifelong learners Dennis Littky
be passionate
be ready to take risks
be able to solve problems and think If these words spark interest in
critically you, let me know. If you find
be able to look at things differently other quotes, please let me
be able to work independently and know.
with others
be creative Steve
care and want to give back to their
have integrity and self respect
have moral courage Sometimes you have to be
be able to use the world around the sage on the stage. Other
them well times, a guide on the side.
speak well, write well, read well, and "A good teacher knows when to
work well with numbers act as Sage on the Stage and
truly enjoy their life and their work. when to act as a Guide on the
to me, these are the real goals of Side. Because student-centred
education. learning can be time-consuming
-- Dennis Littky and messy, efficiency will
sometimes argue for the Sage.
When students are busy making
If we care about kids more than we up their own minds, the role of the
care about schools, then we must teacher shifts. When questioning,
change schools. We need to stay problem-solving and investigation
focused on the student. -- Dennis become the priority classroom
Littky activities, the teacher becomes a
Guide on the Side." Jamie
Society is asking our graduates for McKenzie Wired Classroom
skills and fast-paced communication,
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 25
... the teacher is circulating, Inspiration and admiration. If
redirecting, disciplining, you give a person a reason to
questioning, assessing, admire you, he will learn very
guiding, directing, fascinating, fast. Sometimes it is
validating, facilitating, moving, necessary to lecture to
monitoring, challenging, inspire. More
motivating, watching, Mario Llorente
moderating, diagnosing,
trouble-shooting, observing,
encouraging, suggesting, What procedures
watching, modeling and could evolve from
clarifying. these quotes?
The teacher is on the move,
checking over shoulders,
stunning, inspiring. I love the
asking questions and teaching
climbing words
mini-lessons for individuals
and groups who need a
particular skill. Support is
... Gordon Dryden suggested
customized and individualized.
that I watch this video. I want
The Guide on the Side sets
to go out and inspire kids to
clear expectations, provides
reinvent the world. I'm
explicit directions, and keeps
downloading this video and
the learning well structured
showing it to my 500 facebook
and productive.
These quotes were found on Learn about Gordon Dryden's
work with Jean
Vos an
d their book "The new Learning

What is the ideal situation for

teaching and learning? "...a one-size-fits-all
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 26
approach to classroom
instruction teaching is
ineffective for most
students and harmful to
Teach Me, Teach My Brain – A Call

For Differentiated Classrooms - Carol Ann

TomlinsonNovember 1998 | Volume 56 |

Number 3 | How the Brain Learns | Pages

20-25 The Brains Behind the Brain

If you agree with these

quotations, perhaps you
are looking for projects,
tips and procedures to
put these themes into
action in your school and
classrooms. Contact us
to get individualized
training -- not one-size-
fits-all workshops, but
tailored to the
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 27

by Mario

What is the ideal situation for

teaching and learning?
Inspiration and admiration. If
you give a person a reason to
admire you, he will learn very
fast. Sometimes it is
necessary to lecture to
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 28
Students can be given a survey
before the “priming,” followed by a
7. How to Transform second survey. We expect
your Classroom students to become more
interested in taking a greater role
in their learning after they have
read, discussed and thought about
the quotes.
A survey is taken of students’
attitudes about “who controls the
Suggested Procedure
agenda in the classroom?” (the
for “Priming” Your
survey captures the students’
Students with These
mindset before exposure to the
Quotations quotations – free response and
“Priming” in a classroom can
“range of reaction” questions are
build confidence in students
asked -- see the draft survey on
Teachers can display inspirational
the next page). To protect
and thought-provoking quotations
students and to encourage honest
to encourage students to take
answers, students select three
more responsibility for their
words to “code” the survey (for
learning. The process is called
later comparision with “after”
“priming” because the teacher
“feeds” information to the
Provocative quotations (see the
students the way liquid is
packet that follows) are posted
introduced into the pipe leading
around the room. Students are
into a pump. When the pump
encouraged to find three quotes
starts, the liquid in the pipe enters
and put their initials or names on
the pump and helps draw more
the quotes that “resonate” with
liquid into the pump. If you start
them. Students are encouraged to
the pump with dry pipes, the pump
write to talk to the teacher or a
sucks air and labors to create
partner about why they like certain
suction. “Priming” the pump
makes it easier for the water to go
Students are asked to work in
up the pipe.
small groups to talk about their
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 29
favorite quotations. What is Key Point: Gateways
another way to state the opinion of or Single Stops?
the quote maker? Using their own Introductions to Science
words, students restate the basic -- Surveys of Literature
idea of the quotation and give Universities generally
examples of how to apply the make a mistake by
quotation. assuming that one
4. Students take a “post survey” introductory course can
(similar to the “before” survey)
handle all types of
with free-response questions.
students. These courses
Students can submit the opinions
are gateways for some
anonymously. To assist the
students, the only stop
before/after comparison, the
students are asked to write the
for others. The
same three words at the top of the
advantage to the
survey sheet.
university is that one
course can cover two
Option: Help us groups of students. The
Scan or take photos of the disadvantage to some of
“before” and “after” answers. the students is that one
Send the results of the two group gets bored and is
surveys to asked to memorize if words that they won't
you would like to participate in the use later.
data gathering. We expect to see
changes in behavior by students Gateways begin with
who take more responsibility for terminology, building the
their learning after exposure to vocabulary that students
these “school reform” tasks and will use when they
quotations. progress through the

A single course in
zoology for an English
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 30
major Where can we see the
A single course in project?
physics for a history
major What is in the project?
A single course in
Spanish or Asian history WHERE
for a future physicist The teacher has power to
What will these students decide where the students'
remember? A few projects will go:
definitions. Posters on a wall
notice board (bulletin board)
This is why we need in a box
Physics for Poets and on a CD or DVD
Rocks for Jocks and Poetry on a door
for Rocket Scientists. above the urinals
These courses can give next to the toilet roll
the great concepts that near the water fountain
drive these disciplines, wherever people stand in
that educated people line
need to carry in their in a discussion
heads. on a shelf
on the whiteboard
A.S. Fischler on a TV screen
from a talk to students at Nova on a computer monitor
University, September 1985 in a binder
in a Facebook group
on a blog
on a website
on Youtube
Tips and examples the “I want to remember
of projects this” (IWTRT) journal, diary
Before we look at specific or log
projects, let's describe two the “This is important”
parts of projects: Where and issues book
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 31
skills while using projects to
WHAT explore the curriculum.
The content is important,
too. What will appear in the Special note about the “I
spaces (the “Where”)? The want to remember this”
teacher transforms the (IWTRT) journal and the
classroom into a newspaper “This is important”
office. Students are the issues book: Perhaps they
reporters and editors, are the same binder. When
finding words, videos and the teacher/facilitator finds
photos and cutting them, an article that is important
piecing them together in to her, she puts it in the
new ways. binder marked “IWTRT” –
the “Tunafish are
The teacher can encourage overfished” articles are in
students to post many types my IWTRT binder. Why not
of content: encourage students to find
stories issues that matter to them
interviews and THEN build the
essays curriculum (math, science,
drawings literature, writing,
quotations languages, history) around
videos those issues?
poems Note: To keep the interest
lyrics of the students, quotations
job assignments in the and other posted materials
class? can be moved around the
room once a week (or
The students can learn to placed in storage for two
edit videos, create websites, weeks and then returned to
YouTube channels, be displayed in another
Facebook groups and page, location). The teacher can
and blogs, and gain new assign or request students
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 32
to do the moving of the foreign language are always
materials – and this task of seeking “the perfect
moving turns into a learning textbook.” “If only I could
moments, since the get xxx, then the class
students can look at each would flow more.” Some
item and decide, “Marsha's teachers point to a book by
poster would look good over Raymond Murphy (Grammar
there – most people couldn't in Use) and its companion
see it when it was on the (Vocabulary in Use) and say,
back of the door.” “That's a wonderful book.”
That's the WHAT, the
content of the class. I
The purpose of this book remember when I was a
now becomes clear: Most new teacher of English – I
teachers focus on WHAT bet everything I had in that
happens in the classroom book (I was certain that my
(the content of the class). classes would be stunning
This book (especially the and fantastic because I was
quotes, the excerpts from using Murphy!) and I was
Neil Postman's book and the puzzled why some students
quotes from Littky) asks you did not see as much value in
to focus on procedures and the book as I did. (Why were
the WHERE of the class. those students bored? What
Where can students perform more could I do to please
their understanding? Where them?) After all, Murphy's
can they express grammar book has
themselves? What locations everything that you'll need
will you release to the to learn English. However, if
control of students? Please: the only content in the class
let students take over walls, is in that book, then the
websites and more. students are ignored. My
mentor Cary Elcome
EXAMPLE reminds me, “We often
Teachers of English as a forget the most
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 33
overlooked resource in
the school: the students. One of my students worked for a
We ought to close the week to create a kaleidoscopic
textbooks, turn off the poster. (Thank you, Ane and
teacher talk and ask Irene). Contact the artist:
students to talk and share
their concerns and let them See the poster on the website.
practice speaking. Instead
of forcing in another week
of grammar, why not allow How do you make a class more
them to speak and reveal interesting and effective?
their grammar gaps as well FROM CARY ELCOME:
as their passions?” For most groups, I like
In other words, finding a
great textbook will help play a song to start the
make the class more
interesting because YOU the
teacher are more excited
a) for the rhythm of the
and passionate about
WHAT is poured into the language
room. Why not expand
the WHERE of the class? b) for the meaning or
Let's release control and message - focussing on
offer other places for the English
students to perform their
understanding. You found c) just to wake them up
great content (books,
websites, videos) d) it might be familiar
gradually transfer to the (the tune, maybe not
students the responsibility the lyrics or the
for their own learning meaning)
through projects.
e) it might be
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 34
unfamiliar, so it's new
terrain for them

The experience seems Tip: Read Teaching as a

to be memorable for Subversive Activity by
Neil Postman and Charles
students. We can link in
the lyrics, play the song We want to make several
(if it's popular among bizarre proposals that are
the class) several times designed to change the
until they can sing perceptions of teachers now
along without written functioning in the schools.
prompts, e.g. Green
Day's songs, some Declare a five-year
moratorium on the use of all
Beatles songs, Billy
Joel, (earlier) Bruce
Springsteen, Queen, Have “English” teachers
Abba. “teach” Math, Math
teachers English, Social
It may / may not link to Studies teachers science,
the substance of the Science teachers Art, and so
lesson. Either way, it's on.
good. A new Transfer all elementary
perspective. Many teachers to high school and
students recognise the vice versa. Require every
tunes, but cannot sing teacher who thinks he
the words. It's OK for knows his “subject” well to
the teacher to sing, too write a book on it.
(growl in my case).
Dissolve all “subjects”,
Cary Elcome “courses”, and “course
<bradstow2@yaho requirements”.>
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 35
Limit each teacher to three “field” other than education.
declarative sentences per
class, and 15 interrogatives. Require each teacher to
provide some sort of
Prohibit teachers from evidence that he or she has
asking any questions they had a loving relationship
already know the answers with at least one other
to. human being.

Declare a moratorium on all Require that all the graffiti

tests and grades. accumulated in the school
toilets be reproduced on
Require all teachers to large paper and be hung in
undergo some form of the school halls.
psychotherapy as part of
their in-service training There should be a general
prohibition against the use
Classify teachers according of the following words and
to their ability and make the phrases: Teach, syllabus,
lists public. covering ground, I.Q.,
makeup, test,
Require all teachers to take disadvantaged, gifted,
a test prepared by students accelerated, enhancement,
on what the students know. course, grade, score, human
nature, dumb, college
Make every class an
material, and administrative
elective and withhold a
teacher's monthly check if
his students do not show
any interest in going to next
month's classes.
Chapter 12: So what do
Require every teacher to
you do now?
take a one-year leave of
1. Write on paper these
absence every fourth year
questions: What am I
to work in some other
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 36
going to ask my students to discuss an issue about
do today? What is it good which they have strong
for? how do I know? feelings. But their
2. In class, avoid telling discussion has an unusual
your students any rule applied to it: A
answers. Do not prepare a student may say
lesson plan. Instead give anything he wishes but
your students a problem only after he has
which might interest them restated what the
Allow them to work the prrevious speaker has
problem through without said to that speaker's
your advice. Your talk satisfaction. Students find
should consist of questions themselves concentrating
directed to particular on what others are saying to
students, based on remarks the point of forgetting what
made by those students. If they themselves were going
a student ask you a to say.
question, tell him that you
don't know the answer, ever 5. Tell your students
if you do. Don't be that all of them will get
frightened by the long an “A” for the course. At
stretches of silence. Silence first, the students will not
may mean that the students believe you. Eventually, the
are thinking. students can begin to
3. Try listening to your concentrate on learning, not
students for a day or their grades. There is no
two. We do not mean need for them to ask,
reacting to what they say. "When is the midterm?" "Do
Any questions you ask we have to do a paper?"
would not be designed to "How much weight is given
instruct or judge. They to the classwork?" Then
would be attempts to clarify help the students discover
what someone has said. what kind of knowledge
4. Ask your students to they think is worth knowing
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 37
and help them decide what or for one special
procedures can be used to assignment.
find out what they want to We propose a shift in
know. You will have to emphasis in the roles of
remind your students that teacher and student, a
there is no need for them to change in the nature of the
make suggestions that they classroom environment.
think will please you. There The facilitator allows the
is no need for them to students to pursue that
accept your suggestions. which is relevant to the
Most students will pursue learner.
vigorously whatever course (Permission to reprint this
their sense of relevance information -- THE WORDS IN
dictates. There are always PURPLE -- was requested from the
a few who will view the publisher of Postman's book,
situation as an opportunity Teaching as a Subversive Activity.)
to "goof off." So what? It is
a small price to pay for
providing the others with
perhaps the only decent
intellectual experience they
will ever have in school.
The number of students
who goof off is relatively
small compared with those
who, in conventional school
environments, tune out.
There is no way to predict
what syllabus your students
will evolve. It depends on
them. If you prefer, you
could try this experiment
(“everyone gets an A”) on a
limited basis for two weeks
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 38
lesson plans and in my
8. An Article by classroom to put this
information to use?
Dennis What materials can I bring into
Yuzenas my classroom that could build
on what I'm hearing today?
Yes, 1983 is ancient history for
many of us...
1. The Situation in 1983
The Carnegie Foundation paid
millions of dollars to get a report
Dennis and Steve would
that made broad
like to give this workshop recommendations for school
someday….. reform.
Here is the outline: Chairman Boyer looked at the
school systems around the
country and concluded:
Reset the Mindset A I hope that in the century ahead
presentation (and workshop) students will be judged not by
for teachers their performance on a single test
but by the quality of their lives. I
NOTE: you don't need to take hope that students will be
notes. Just listen. If you want encouraged to be creative, not
to take notes, don't worry. We conforming, and learn to
will give you this presentation cooperate rather than compete.
on a CD or DVD, your choice. Ernest Boyer, president of
At the end of this presentation, Carnegie Foundation for the
you will be asked to work with Advancement of Teaching, 1993.
partners to apply some of the Nearly 30 years later
information that is discussed in We have more measurement.
this workshop. You might want to Did anything ever grow by
keep this question in the back of measuring it? (Dennis Littky)
your mind: How can I use this Have things really changed? Is
information in my classroom? Boyer turning over in his grave?
What could I change in my
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 39
What's needed? A new way of describes a material's ability to
looking at the problem. burn... Intellectuals in the Middle
2. What happens when you Ages thought that wood and paper
change the mindset? had more “phlogiston” than metal
Before we look at schools, let's or stone.
look at other times when the à Gasoline: our mindset before
mindset was changed. 1973 was (hopefully) different than
Galileo looked at the moon and We are talking about cars that run
said, "I can see that the moon on alternatives to gasoline.
orbits the earth, and there's no There have been dozens of major
way that the sun circles the earth." changes in humanity's collective
He provided a new model for mindset and we are in the middle
categorizing what everyone saw. of a mindset change now...
His telescope showed that there Howard Gardner helped us reset
were little moons that went around the way we think about
Jupiter and those moons did not intelligence (multiple intelligences)
circle the Earth. This data blew Robert Ballard asked us to look at
the minds of 16th century Italians the Black Sea and imagine what
and they couldn't handle it. might have happened to create
Galileo had to recant. the story of Noah's Ark and the
There have been other shifts in Great Flood
mindsets or paradigms. Dan Pink told us to think about the
Copernicus showed that the orbits other side of the brain… but these
of planets were ellipses, not a mindsets have stalled.
circle. People like Dan Pink are saying,
Mindsets come from the way we "Hey, design is important, look
look at the world scientifically to the whole brain" while test
à Ether. Scientists used to think mavens want to standardize
that light traveled along the ethers. education in a left-brained, data-
they used to think that light was a driven, lopsided manner.
wave, but it also acts as a particle Progress does not have to move
(that's a shift in the mindset) forward smoothly. There will be
à Phlogiston -- this word losses, retrenchment before we
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 40
unloose the bonds that bind us to a) teaching to the test
tradition and then we can surge "Tell us what's on the test, and let
ahead. us prepare for the test."
So let's move on... b) Preparing for a test (instead of
3. Unintended Consequences teaching as we used to and just
letting the test measure what was
Problem: we depend on foreign taught.)
oil Remedy: ethanol from corn These were NOT what Governor
Unintended Consequence: Jeb Bush stated in his plan for
(cartoon of starving kid next to fuel "A+" when the Florida
pump with ethanol from corn) Comprehensive Assessment Test
There are numerous other (FCAT) was proposed.
examples of unintended 5. SOME QUOTES
consequences. "It seems to me that schools
Who knew that when Congress primarily teach kids how to take
made it a goal to help more test, a skill one hardly uses in real
people to own their homes that life unless one is a contestant on a
the entire structure would start to quiz show). Elementary school
fall down? prepares kids for junior high; junior
Action: Congress made it easier high prepares them for high
to lend money school. So the goal (if we can call
Response: Interest-only loans it that) of schools is to prepare
with a balloon payment and kids for more school." --
increased interest rate after four or Tom Magliozzi, one of the Car
five years. OOPS: people who Talk guys, writing in his book, In
couldn't afford to borrow were Our Humble Opinion: Car Talk's
given loans... Click and Clack Rant and Rave
Political cartoon is by Chan Lowe, "I have been a psychologist for 21 >>>>> years, and I have never had to do
4. What are the unintended in the profession what I needed to
consequences of measuring do to get an A in many of my
students and applying courses in college. In particular,
standards to schools? I've never had to memorize a book
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 41
or lecture. If I can't remember relevant.
something, I just look it up. We want to prepare our children
However, schools set things up to for the world, so let's no isolate
reward with As the students who them from the world.
are good memorizers, not just at Many people talk about how
the college level but at many other difficult it is to integrate a
levels as well. -- Robert curriculum. How can English
Sternberg, psychologist. teachers work with math, science
Our education system should be and history teachers? That is
creating mindful learners. (Littky) ridiculous: the world is integrated!
Too often we teach people things Every day schools unravel the
like "There's a right way and a world and all its vast knowledge
wrong way to do everything." and put it into boxes called
What we should be teaching subjects and separate things that
them is how to think flexibly, to are not separate in the real world.
be mindful of all the different What is science and geography
possibilities of every situation and without math? What is English
not close themselves off from with its history and word origins
information that could help them. and other languages? We teach
Ellen Langer, professor of kids about the real world by
psychology locking them up in a building that
I never let schooling get in the looks, acts and feels nothing like
way of my education. -- Mark the real world. -- Littky, page 29
Twain (Samuel Clemens) The traditional school isolates
No matter how far you have large groups of young people from
gone on a wrong road, turn adults and the experiences of the
back. -- Turkish proverb real world, then expects them to
Think about how people learn emerge at age 18 knowing how to
best. We learn best when we be adult, how to work and how to
care about what we are doing, live in the real world. Kids are
when we have choices. We learn expected to sit still for long periods
best when the work has meaning of time, to learn primarily by
to us, when it matters. We learn listening to someone talk and
best when the work is real and never talk to anyone around them.
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 42
They learn how to please eight 2) How can we integrate our
different teachers with eight lessons with other subjects?
different sets of expectations -- 3. How can we bring the
and the teachers base their world into class or take the
understanding of the kids on 45 class out to the real world?
minutes spent in a room with 20 to GROUP ACTIVITY (for the
30 other kids. Only if they are participants in the seminar)
having trouble do they get an Let's brain storm together -- sit
individualized education plan (IEP) with a group of four teachers and
or get any feedback on their come up with three things you
learning beyond a single letter on can do to individualize training.
their report card. Their education
system assumes that they are How can you integrate your
exactly like every other kid in the subject with other subjects?
class and every other kid who was Can we use the Internet to
in that class 40 and 50 years ago. create virtual internships?
The school emphasizes the same (time to circulate with the
"set of knowledge" for everyone audience, put them into groups,
and expects them all to someone takes notes, the notes
demonstrate the exact same skills. get passed to the front, a big list is
The world is changing -- schools made and checked off the list that
are not. -- Littky, The Big Picture, is given to the audience.)
page 32
One-third of the jobs that will be Project-based Learning
around ten to fifteen years from Many education reformers point to
now haven't been invented yet. narratives and portfolios for
6. BEYOND RANTING AND assessment and projects to guide
RAVING the learning in the classroom (to
What can teachers do today? reduce lecturing). Inquiry and
We could continue complaining, independent thinking by students
but let's end this training with two ought to lead the way in the
questions: classroom, so that the teacher is a
1) How can we personalize our “guid eon the side” not a sage on
lessons? the stage.” OBJECTIONS: “It’s
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 43
hard to grade a project” and “it’s visits or emails, 7 30 90, then
messy.” More objections? Other circle all three numbers. We will
comments? contact you or visit you on this
basis. Please add your phone
CONCLUSION This workshop is number. If we can text your
not over yet... When you are mobile phone, please write the
finished working in your small word "TEXT" next to the phone.
group, we say, “Very good. Each Thank you for your attention. The
group got at least ten of the items unexpected consequence of this
that are on our list.” BRAVO, presentation is not yet known, but
thank you for your participation. we have a hunch that you might
Some of the groups added some bring a camera into your
ideas that we didn't have on our classroom, a computer and a disk
list, so we will add them to the lit burner.
for our next training. As the crowd disperses, the
Don't leave! Sit! Stay! NOW following quote goes on the
You might think that this seminar What is the power of
is over. We've talked together for stories?
30-40 minutes. This has just I tell stories to new teachers who
begun. We are passing around a are just beginning to get a sense
sheet of paper with your contact of what "one kid at a time" really
information. You signed this means. When they start to gather
paper, putting your email address their own stories that is when they
and your name on the sheet. are beginning to see the inner
Well, most of you did. We want workings of each kid and to
you to sign up for 7, 30, 90 day understand where the kids come
checkups. Dennis and Steve will from. This is when they are able
make it their job to call you, email to make learning happen and
you or possibly visit you in your when they are helping to carry on
class to see how you use these the culture of our school.--- Dennis
techniques. If you want none of Littky
that follow up, scratch out the At the end, quotes by Steve Jobs,
numbers. If you want all three Thomas Friedman, etc., go on the
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 44
wall, CDs are distributed with the
materials and the lecture on the
CDs so the participants don't need 9. The next step….
to take notes.
Presented by Dennis and Steve
By the way... here are three things The next step is simple:
you can introduce to you students join us. Become a Guide
immediately – (1) Posters for the
on the Side. Keep your
walls at home (and at school), (2)
other skills ready, but
digital books and (3)
start with the key
educational mp3 files – the CDs
quotes. Post them
are included in your packet.
Please follow up with us and tell
around your classroom
us how you have used this
and ask your students to
information and please share GRADUALLY take charge
contrary or supporting articles that of their learning.
you find in the news.
Photo from 2006 – we've been Ask your students to
pushing digital books on TV (see write about the
the photograph of Steve on a local quotations and perhaps
TV news show, South Florida we’ll include their
Today) comments on the
For more information, write to website.
Dennis Yuzenas Send me your
Steve McCrea comments.

Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 45
through high-stakes tests,
I learned a lot by visiting students give standup
schools and watching presentations or
teachers. Please invite “exhibitions.” Students
me to your school so I interview relatives and
can learn more. friends of their parents to
build a 75-page
autobiography. One teacher
stays with the same fifteen
Schools that students for four years,
teaching all subjects.
inspire us Building relationships with
students (eating dinner in
each student's home at least twice a year) allows
Providence, R.I. Dennis teachers to know the
Littky's book The Big Picture capacities of the class.
describes some of the Former students are
procedures used to put the welcomed on campus as
kid in the center of the peer mentors and are
school. Students are given encouraged to use the
narratives instead of letter school's facilities.
grades (the teacher writes a
two-page letter
summarizing the student's San Diego. A visit to the
work in the past eight school's channel at
weeks and describes gaps
that need work in the next gives a sense of the intense
two months). Learning focus on blending
through internships (LTI) technology and projects.
allows students to discover
how parts of the high school
curriculum are linked to the Philadelphia. The Charter
real world. Instead of sitting High school of Architecture
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 46
and Design welcomes at about 25% of the focus of
visitors, blending a the school. Spirit,
curriculum with remarkable intellectual development
projects: I enjoyed the (lateral thinking, which is
manga books that the often overlooked in
students produce. schools), social skills and
emotional intelligences, and
Urban Academy physical development are
New York. Student work and four other areas of focus.
photos cover 80 percent of
the walls. Hallways display Aiglon College
framed photos and posters, Chesieres, Vaud,
signs, artwork and Switzerland. Founded in
announcements. Learning 1949 by John Corlette, the
by walking around. school's vision is captured in
part in a speech by Corlette at The
m central concepts: You can
North Miami Beach, Fla. learn more by going to
Many of the students at to see a
charter schools in the curriculum that is based in
Mavericks system use part on the Corlette
computers to work through philosophy.
the curriculum
independently. Computer
Assisted Insruction (CAI) is
robust, allowing teachers People who inspire
time to talk with students us
Ted Sizer (1932-2009): Author of The Red Pencil:
Look at the website: Convictions From Their Experiences in Education
curriculum puts academics and Horace's Compromise.
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 47
He founded the Coalition of on how students learn.
Essential Schools and Teachers are encouraged to
advocated school reform. present information in a
“Ted made us question variety of ways to help the
assumptions we’d never spectrum of learners in the
looked at before and examine classrom. Often overlooked
the bedrock of our ideas— is Gardner's prescription
which may be what his idea of about assessment: If
education is… When he was individuals indeed have
up there in front of us in All- different kinds of minds,
School Meeting, he tried to with varied strengths,
get us to see our interests and strategies,
responsibility to the then it is worth considering
community and to each other whether pivotal curricular
as individuals” ( materials like biology could
A colleague, Vic Henningsen, be taught AND
wrote, “Ted as headmaster [at ASSESSED in a variety of
Philips Academy in Andover] ways (Intelligence
pushed the Trustees, the Reframed, p. 167, emphasis
faculty and the alumni, as well added).
as his students, to wrestle
with the difficult questions of He advocates the use of
purposes and aims, to “performances of
question what they were understanding”: When it
about and why, and to seek comes to probing a
new levels of understanding, student’s understanding of
performance, and evolution, the shrewd
excellence.” pedagogue looks beyond
the mastery of dictionary
Howard Gardner: His definitions or the recitation
Multiple Intelligences of textbook examples. A
Theory has been widely student demonstrates or
mentioned in teacher “performs” his
training programs that focus understanding when he can
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 48
examine a range of species thinks about the reason why
found in different ecological a particular content is being
niches and speculate about taught and how best to
the reasons for their display one’s
particular ensemble of comprehension of this
traits. A student performs content in a publicly
her understanding of the accessible way. When
Holocaust when she can students realize they will
compare events in a Nazi have to apply knowledge
concentration camp to such and demonstrate insights in
contemporary genocidal a public form, they assume
events as those in Bosnia, a more active stance to the
Kosovo or Rwanda in the material, seeking to
1990s. exercise their “performance
muscles” whenever possible
“Measures of (page 165).
understanding” may seem
demanding, particularly in Thomas Hoerr: Principal of
contract to current, often New City School in St. Louis,
superficial, efforts to Mo., Hoerr has written a
measure what students column for Educational
know and are able to do. Leadershiop (the magazine
And, indeed, recourse to of the Association for
performing one’s Supervision and Curriculum
understanding is likely to Development, His
stress students, teachers, school's workbooks for
and parents, who have teachers about mutliple
grown accustomed to intelligences are often cited
traditional ways of doing (or as important for the spread
NOT doing) things. of Gardner's theories (since
Nonetheless, a performance the workbooks give practical
approach to understanding tips about how to
is justified. Instead of implement the use of
mastering content, one portfolios). The school has
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 49
red doors (note the link to relevance and relationships)
Ted Sizer). in a speech to the nation's
governors in February 2005
Tom vander Ark: He at the National High School
invented the term “edu- Summit. His company Big
preneur” and writes a blog Picture Learning has
( which spawned dozens of schools
discusses the challenges in a network called Big
facing charter schools. He is Picture schools. For
a partner in Vander additional input, see the
Ark/Ratcliff, an education interview on National Public
public affairs firm, and a Radio (April 25, 2005) and
partner in a private equity search “Dennis Littky small
fund focused on innovative school” on
learning tools and formats.
He was the first business Edward deBono: “Mr.
executive to serve as a Lateral Thinking.” Look up
public school his name on Wikipedia and
superintendent and was the see the remarkable span of
first Executive Director for his career as an educator.
Education at the Bill & He has repackaged lateral
Melinda Gates Foundation. thinking to match the needs
Contact him at of current trends. For people unfamiliar with the term, here is a typical math
vander-ark/#blogger_bio problem: A wall 200 feet
long by 8 feet tall separates
Dennis Littky: His book your school from your
(The Big Picture: Educaiton neighbors. You need to
is Everyone's Business, paint the wall. Assume 100
published in 2004 by square feet for each gallon. was read by Bill How much paint should you
Gates, who used the phrase, buy?
“The New Three Rs” (rigor,
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 50
Some people place limits on Abraham S. Fischler:
a problem by defining the President Emeritus of Nova
wall as only the part that we Southeastern University and
see when we stand inside author of a blog called
the school. DeBono's life
work concerns getting the His catch-phrase is “Time is
reader to think “outside of a variable”: “Instead of
the box.” asking the student to fit
the administrative
Lateral Answers: The structure (i.e., the class
following answers are and arbitrary time periods
typically marked as for learning subjects and
incorrect in most multiple- achieving competencies),
guess tests. we must provide each
a) “Enough to cover the student with the time and
surface, plus enough to do means to succeed. Rather
touchups. I would include than punish the student
the other side of the wall, who learns more slowly
since we want to be good than the arbitrarily chosen
neighbors.” 8 x 200 x 2 plus period, we must treat each
the top of the wall, and I student as the class.” He
need at least two coats, so recommends eliminating
double the whole thing. the use of the age of the
b) “I'd take a photo and ask students to organize the
the guy who sells paint to school, instead using
make the estimate.” That's “mastery of content” as the
a practical answer, isn't criterion for grouping
it? students. Computer Based
Thanks to deBono, Lateral Instruction for math and
thinking is held in high English allows teachers to
regard in many focus on problems, not
corporations. How about in presentation of the material.
schools? Additional learning takes
place in small groups, where
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 51
students work on projects to use in high school and
and discuss their portfolios, university. “Mr. Y, I just
applying the information aced my U.S. History class
learned from the computer because I knew all about
sessions to other parts of the Civil War, thanks to
the curriculum. He that CD you gave us with
recommends a K-12 Uncle Tom's Cabin” (a
approach to implementing message from one of his
this system. His testimony students). Interviews with
before the Miami-Dade Yuzenas form the core of
Public School Board helped the curriculum for the
win approval for Mavericks Visual and Active Teacher
charter schools. Key Quotes: Training certificate
“rather than studying (,
history through
memorization and ive).
chronology, it can be
studied through problems Dan Pink: Chapter 15 of his
based on the immediate book Free Agent Nation
environment for younger (2001) highlights the
children and more ossification of schools:
abstract concepts in later “Whenever I walk into a
grades.” public school, I'm nearly
toppled by a wave of
Dennis Yuzenas: nostalgia. Most schools I've
Innovative teacher based visited in the 21st century
in West Palm Beach, look and feel exactly like
Florida. His workshops the public schools I
have trained dozens of attended in the 1970s. The
teachers in the use of classrooms are the same
computer-based projects size. The desks stand in
and team learning. He those same rows. Bulletin
distributes ebooks on CD boards preview the next
that his students continue national holiday. The
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 52
hallways even smell the education. His book The
same. Sure, some World is Flat has
classrooms might have a recommendations for
computer or two. But in reforming schools.
most respects, the schools
American children attend Websites (schools)
today seem
indistinguishable from the, the Dennis
ones their parents and Littky / Eliot Washor
grandparents attended. At organization
first, such déjà vu warmed
my soul. But then I thought, Charter High
about it. How many other of Architecture and Design,
places look and feel exactly Philadelphia
as they did 20, 30, or 40, San Diego,
years ago? Banks don't.
Hospitals don't. Grocery
stores don't. Maybe the,
sweet nostalgia I sniffed on chain of charter schools that
those classroom visits was include the CAI model
really the odor of described by Dr. Abraham S.
stagnation. Since most Fischler in
other institutions in
American society have
changed dramatically in the, Providence,
past half-century, the stasis R.I.**
of schools is strange.”, St. Louis
2001/10/01/schools-out. (publishers of a widely used
workbook for introducing
Thomas Friedman: The New multiple intelligences in
York Times columnist academics)
advocates a “moon shot”
effort to revitalize science,
Millennium High School,
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 53
Tracy, California Motto:, Jack Taub’s
Aspire, achieve, advance site, New York, vander

City** Motto: A small school Ark’s investment group
with big ideas, Coalition
**These schools were profiled of Essential Schools, formed
in High Schools on a Human by the late Ted Sizer
Scale: How Small Schools can
Transform American, funding
Education (2003) by Thomas for education reform
Toch, introduction by Tom, Steve
vander Ark, Beacon Press,
McCrea, teacher training
ISBN 978-0807032459
workshops, Project Zero,

Websites (reformers, Harvard University, teacher
publishers), Will, publishers of The
Sutherland, innovative
Big Picture: Education Is
Everybody’s Business (2004)
by Dennis Littky and,
Samantha Grabelle, ISBN 978- Sutherland's consulting site
0871209719, Ben, Center for Udy's English school in
Education Reform Honduras (using John
Corlette's educational, Tom vander
Ark’s blog, Michelle, newsletter,
Rhee (former superintendent
served hot with a twist
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 54
of Washington, DC schools) go to, Gordon

Dryden, New Zealand, author e
of The Learning Web with
Jeannette Vos: How to quit
school at 14 and eventually
write a top-selling book about
Send your suggestions for
additional websites and for additional philosophy of
YouTube channels.
Dr. Abraham Fischler, Two Million

Minutes, Robert A. Compton’s m
project, Dennis Postman and Weingartner

Yuzenas, master teacher and Teaching as a Subversive
trainer, developer of Activity
workshops integrating digital

Youtube channels
NOTE ABOUT COPYRIGHT by I have not obtained formal permission for
reprinting the paragraphs from
Postman and or Weingardner. I believe
Guide on the Side ROUGH DRAFT as of January 2011 55
their book is essential to school. I’ll give a free
getting the message in workshop and I’ll
my head that I need to observe some teachers.
listen more and “be a
sage” less.

I hope the people who

control the copyright to It is assumed
the “Subversive
Teacher” book will see that you cannot
that an extended find the website
quotation might drive
people to read the rest of or your network
the book. has blocked
access to this
site… This
Keep in touch.
document has
much of what
Steve you can find on
m the website.
954 646 8246 Fort
Please invite me to your com