I have come to learn about an exciting, cutting edge teaching/learning site called HASTAC (anyone can join)


In it I found a blog regarding a lecture given by Professor Cathy N. Davidson (Duke University) on “The Invention of Failure.” Where she reflected on the industrial approach to education as the source of our frustrating success/failure concepts and the constricting, counter-intelligent grading systems in our schools – a system that I always have found as limiting thought, risk-taking, and actual learning in the classroom.
Richard Rorty taught us that the concept we use are not written in stone anywhere but are our own creations and they can easily be changed when they cause more pain than happiness.
Can we begin a discussion about creating classrooms where learning and not grades is the focus? Can we find ways of creating learning spaces in our classrooms where everyone succeeds? At different aspects of learning…at different subtopics… at different approaches to learning as a social act?
In my classes I give every student an A on the first day. From that point on all they each have to do is hold on to that A by putting in thought and work. They have the right to do less work and put in less thought when their life circumstances are overwhelming (we are all only human) – they grade themselves at the end of the semester (in a letter to me) and if I agree with their evaluation, that is the grade they receive, or if not, we discuss…
Imagine how great it is for the teacher (me) not having to give tests, grade on a curve, give 20 page papers… The students work on projects, individually and in groups and their work is evaluated for content and understanding with (if necessary) opportunities to rewrite, rework, rethink, learn from others and succeed.
Learning is something only a learner can do so by teaching about reflective practice, we can bring our students to a proactive place where they will both take responsibility for their own learning and learn to evaluate it – a tool for real life.

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An amazing woman is characterized in the media by her (plain-ness of) facial features and her (over) weight

The Thorn Birds author Colleen McCullough dies on Norfolk Island

COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.”


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Internalizing female sterotypes

Yesterday at the superbowl (of all places) this commercial was aired, in partial response )Ithink) to the severe abuse of women and children associated with some of the players in the past year

Always #like a girl pertains to every one of us and our children/students/friends

I think most of us could share it with others to raise discussions and send an important message, followed by focusing on other marginalized groups….

http://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs    (3 min.)

אמנם הסרטון באנגלית אבל המסר ברורוכולל גם את העובדה שזה הופיע באמצע משחק הפוטבול הכי גדול וחשוב בארה”ב אתמול בערב (דקה פירסומת עולה 9 מיליון דולר)

ליגת הפוטבול מתמודדת בשנה האחרונה עם התעללויות קשות של חלק מהשחקנים בנשים וילדים. הפרסומת הזאת בחלקה, מתייחסת גם לזה.

מקווה שתוכלו לשתף בשיח ובמסר כמה שיותר אנשים סביבכם – זה כל כך חיוני

אח”כ אפשר להמשיך את השיח\מסר לגבי קבוצות מודרות אחרות

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Whiplash – the movie

“Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity. (C) Sony Classics”  (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/whiplash_2014/)

Commenting on the story itself (in Hebrew)(http://mekomit.co.il/וויפלאש-כמייצג-מערכת-החינוך/Gil Gertal (Ph.D. in Education) writes that the story mirrors the schooling experiences of many: breaking down and disregarding “average” kids to make room for the geniuses. Society, he says, pays dearly for the process of finding the “geniuses” and that price is pushing the rest of us through a sieve, putting pressures on us that ultimately break so many, labeling and negatively categorizing those who do not reach the top… 

I agree with Gil but see this not as a society’s search for the “Best” (who can ultimately benifit society at large) but as more of a process of continuing the marginalization of those who are already powerless and keeping them in that low place for the benifit of those holding the power of writing curriculums and deciding on educational policy…

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