Comment on The sage on the stage by Steve Greenlaw

At the risk of appearing too much of a fanboy, let me relate some of the responses that your sage post prompted in me. I love to hear your wisdom. I learn from it every time. I wish there were (better) fora for experienced teachers to share what they’ve learned with novices. A craftsman or artist doesn’t need scaffolding to create his or her work. They are post-scaffolding. I suspect, though, that novices need a structure to learn how to create. It may not make them a master, but it would help them become journeymen, which is a fine achievement. I know that I needed scaffolding as a new teacher. I wish I’d known about backwards design, learning outcomes and other buzz words back then, but then the only models I had were what my teachers has done, back when I wasn’t paying as much attention. I now use those tools to inform my teaching, but not to limit it. (One of my greatest pleasures was the year I spent thinking about what it was I really wanted my students to get out of my intermediate theory course. The result doesn’t look like a list of learning outcomes–it’s a bit too abstract for that–but it is what I strive to help students achieve.)

A wise mentor once told me that he thought teaching should be learning-centered rather than learner-centered. Yes! And, it should be metacognitive. If I can get my students to think about their learning, and how well they are learning, and what’s limiting their learning, I feel like that’s success.

Comment on Rod Serling Seminar by Jon Udell

So strange to hear That Voice in conversation.

I was a bit put off when he dismissed the notion that a plumber is creative, heartened by the student’s pushback and his acknowledgement of it.

That only scratches the surface, though. I don’t think inventing a new way to fit a pipe — or do any other of myriad tasks in “the trades” — is rare. I think creative problem solving is routine, and perhaps for that reason, usually not noticed or celebrated.

Comment on Polarization and provocation by Graham Mulligan

I once sat in a crowded session of school administrators listening to a communications specialist tell us how the media journalists (print, radio and television) seek to frame every story as a conflict. The duality of antagonist and protagonist sets up the interest in the story. Without this the story will sink to the back pages or not get told at all. Your suggestion of a fourth element in the misinformation tidewater is accurate, the ‘pundit/trolls’ masquerading as journalists drive the sale of corporate media.

Comment on Polarization and provocation by Graham Mulligan

I once sat in a crowded session of school administrators listening to a communications specialist tell us how the media journalists (print, radio and television) seek to frame every story as a conflict. The duality of antagonist and protagonist sets up the interest in the story. Without this the story will sink to the back pages or not get told at all. Your suggestion of a fourth element in the misinformation tidewater is accurate, the ‘pundit/trolls’ masquerading as journalists drive the sale of corporate media.