Why Learning Theory Matters

At Bemidji State we have teacher-candidates write a comprehensive “Central Focus & Context/Rationale” with every lesson plan. This is a statement requiring students to explicitly describe the big idea or central focus of the lesson, detail the lesson’s fit in the curriculum, and then lastly, use research and learning theory to support teaching methods chosen.Continue reading “Why Learning Theory Matters”

Connecting Dots of a New Normal

The unprecedented times of the new normal. Two terms or phrases I could happily do without. I mean, enough already. However, we cannot deny that we face a new normal and many of our institutions will never be the same. I’m confident that my field of education will never be the same. In many waysContinue reading “Connecting Dots of a New Normal”

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 2 of 3)

This post is second in a series of three. In the previous post I provided a paradigm for life using a “living systems” model. I want to expand that paradigm beyond explaining how a living system (a human in this case) is interlocked with its physical world, to how one understands and makes sense ofContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 2 of 3)”

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)

This post is the first in a series of three. I have been studying a “systems view of life” as a component of a larger three-part goal: First, become better able to leading students to explore their “ecological identity” (their self-described place/role in the natural world). Second, from a systems theory perspective, how a learnerContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)”

A New Framework for Learning

This morning I’m sharing a short video titled “The Learning Cycle: Consider, Construct, Confirm.” This is a 14 minute “nutshell” description and example of a teaching/lesson/curriculum design method that I have developed and outline in detail in my book, Consider, Construct, Confirm: A New Framework for Teaching and Learning. I offer this now for twoContinue reading “A New Framework for Learning”

Yes! That’s it Exactly!

I was nearly brought to tears this morning when what I have been feeling, worrying about, and thinking for the last, well, for a long time, was encapsulated by three New York Times essays. That constant background noise of my thoughts, worries and emotions might be akin to an individual’s constant tinnitus or even theContinue reading “Yes! That’s it Exactly!”

Thoughts From a Loser Teacher

Well, it’s official. I’m a loser. Have been since the age of 24 when I got my first teaching job. Probably longer since I was raised by a loser teacher and knew that’s what I wanted to do before I entered college. Damn. This is according to Donald Trump Jr. anyway. I love seeing someContinue reading “Thoughts From a Loser Teacher”

Why Grades Matter (but maybe not how you might think)

The act of grading someone for their work immediately changes everything. One cannot help but be influenced primarily by extrinsic motivation as soon as one is being judged and sorted. Of course, there are times this is necessary, such as on The Great British Baking Show…Mmmm, excuse me whilst I go find bake. The purposeContinue reading “Why Grades Matter (but maybe not how you might think)”