The Homework Myth | Quote 02698

Over the years, I’ve noticed that researchers may be so committed to a given agenda that they ignore (or at least minimize the importance of) what their investigations have turned up if it wasn’t the outcome they apparently had been hoping for. Their conclusions and prescriptions, in other words, are sometimes strikingly at variance with their results.

Feel-Bad Education | Quote 00592

I want new teachers to see progressive education at its best. I want them to spend as much time as possible in a place where they can watch seasoned educators work with children rather than doing things to them, helping those children to make sense of ideas and create opportunities to discover answers to their own questions, striving to shield them from stultifying mandates handed down from on high.

The Schools Our Children Deserve | Quote 01785

The trick is to start not with facts to be taught or disciplines to be mastered, but with questions to be answered. That may sound straightforward, but it's actually quite rare for learning to be organized around questions. In fact, it's even rare for classroom questions to reflect a commitment to real learning. What we find instead are those fact-based questions that Old School teachers are so fond of putting to the class: "Who can tell me...?"—or the practice of "guiding children to answers by [asking] carefully chosen leading questions," which isn't much different "from just telling them the answers in the first place."

What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? | Quote 00580

Our children are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world. While previous generations of American students have had to sit through tests, never have the tests been given so frequently, and never have they played such a prominent role in schooling. The current situation is also unusual from an international perspective: Few countries use standardized tests for children below high school age-or multiple-choice tests for students of any age.

Unconditional Parenting | Quote 01178

What kids really need is love without strings attached. But if all that’s offered— the only alternative to criticism or neglect— is approval based on what they’ve done, they’ll lap that up and then, perhaps vaguely unsatisfied, come back for more. Sadly, some parents who received too little unconditional love when they were children end up misdiagnosing the problem and assume that it was praise they lacked. Then they “Good job!” their own children to death, ensuring that another generation fails to get what’s really needed.

Feel-Bad Education | Quote 01177

Nothing contributes to a student’s interest in (and proficiency at) reading more than the opportunity to read books that he or she has chosen. But it’s easy to undermine the benefits of free reading. All you need to do is stipulate that students must read a certain number of pages, or for a certain number of minutes, each evening.