The GWT Blog

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Responsibility at Work

January 09, 2012

By Tracy Money, Tracy is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Harvard University; the mission of the program is to develop leaders who will transform public education.
Increasingly, educators must weigh the demand for time-consuming accountability reports and fidelity to a prescribed curriculum that is not in the best interests of their students with the demand of carefully attending to individual student learning needs, providing them with the time and attention necessary for their intellectual, social, and emotional growth.

Good Work and the Global Financial Crises

December 22, 2011

By Susanna Katsman, Susanna Katsman works as Director of Alumni and Development Information at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Susanna is taking Howard Gardner’s course “GoodWork in Education: When Excellence, Engagement, and Ethics Meet.
Excellence, engagement and especially ethics have been shaped by countless opportunities and challenges over the course of many centuries. Globalization rapidly increases the pace of workplace change and influences the nature of the opportunities and challenges. The transformation of the three “E’s” in the coming decades is certain to be fascinating.

Good Work Goes Global

December 19, 2011

By Lynn Barendsen and Wendy Fischman
However, as the two days unfolded, we were “blown away” with the deep enthusiasm, determination, and focus of the teacher participants. Compared to our experiences in the United States, these teachers wanted to impress us with their hard work and commitment, rather than expecting that we should impress and entertain them!

Twitter Trouble

December 14, 2011

By Diana Lockwood, Public school teacher in the Atlanta area. In her fifth year teaching, she strives to find new ways to engage her 21st century learners with twitter.
I learned firsthand all about the “digital perils” associated with Twitter.  An administrator pulled me aside to explain that a student’s mother was challenging my ability to teach her child because of a tweet I posted encouraging students to not be lazy and attend tutorial to raise their grade.  There was no room for discussion because the student had already been reassigned to another classroom.

Materiality as a means to deepen understanding in social sciences in high schools

December 05, 2011

By Aaron Faver, Mr. Faver teaches US Government and AP History in Amarillo, Texas.  In his third year as a teacher, he chairs a committee that seeks to locate good student citizens that have demonstrated a pattern of virtuous and ethical behavior.
Finally, I wanted to open up and ask you all for new ideas and ways of integrating these types of instructional materials into day-to-day and week-to-week practices.  It’s not often that we, as educators, are able to teach students “textuality” while also dealing with “materiality”. In Texas, we have a definitive curriculum to teach, and a highly limited amount of time to teach that curriculum within, as many of you know (meeting the demands of standardized testing). How do we incorporate these texts into a curriculum without adding “time-issue” burdens?

Professional Ethics and Social Media-Medicine and Religion

November 21, 2011

By Margot Locker
After hearing Dr. McCoy speak, several conference participants offered their experiences with ethical uses of the internet in medicine. One participant wondered if it is ethical to find information out about a patient online in order to better treat them (such as a picture of a patient smoking). Another participant in the conference noted that psychiatric residents are more commonly “googling” patients in order to gather more information about their histories, which in turn changes the nature of their clinical encounter and how they may treat the patient.

Professional Ethics and Social Media-The Law

November 09, 2011

By Margot Locker
Case by case, our legal notions of privacy and free speech are being confronted by the new realities presented as people share more of their lives online. Browning believes that there is a need for social media policies in companies, firms, and organizations to guide employees’ online conduct. On the other hand, many are wary of enforcing policies governing online activity as they could easily become a form of censorship and viewed as prohibition of free speech for employees.

The Rise and Fall of the University Emperor

November 01, 2011

By Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner Against this background, the call for university presidents, individually or corporately, to get their act together to solve the financial problems, make students accountable and speak out bravely on the issues of the day seems unrealistic.

GoodWork in the Elementary Classroom: Round 2

October 18, 2011

By Margot Locker
Amy led the discussion about the story with her class by asking students, “If you are being a good friend are you also being a good, ethical class citizen?” This gave the class the opportunity to work on a definition of ethics and think about its implications in the classroom. Infusing the qualities of a good class citizen into the discussion of ethics helped Amy’s students understand the concept and further develop their definition.

GoodWork in the Elementary Classroom

October 04, 2011

By Margot Locker
“Why is it important to like what you are learning about?” This is one of the first questions Amy Maturin, a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Unity Charter School in New Jersey, asked her students as they started a unit on “Citizenship in our Community.” Incorporating several GoodWork concepts into her instruction, Amy’s first lesson tackled the subject of engagement. She began with reading a story about 6 year-old Kyle who thought he was “horrible at school” before finding a passion and applying it to all of his learning.

Values, Value, and Schools

September 26, 2011

By Peter Gow, Director of College Counseling and Special Programs, Beaver Country Day School
“Is that school worth it?” As a career independent school educator, I tend to find this question both annoying and provocative. Often enough the inquirer is looking at astronomically high tuitions and wondering about economic factors that I, as a teacher working daily in what William Faulkner called “the agony and sweat of the human spirit,” like to dismiss as superficial and beside the point—my point, anyway

Revisiting "Making Good"

September 14, 2011

By Wendy Fischman
After reading David Brook's recent column in the New York Times, we would be remiss if we did not point out that his conclusion that adolescents are "bad" at talking and thinking about moral issues is exactly what we report in Making Good: How People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work (2004), nearly seven years ago...Specifically, we interviewed nearly a hundred individuals, including young scientists, actors, and journalists, to understand what it took for them to carry out "good work," work that is at once excellent, ethical, and engaging.

Riding for Change: Mitigating Sexism Within Sport Through GoodWork

September 06, 2011

By Julie Maier, Julie works as research assistant on the GoodPlay Project. Her research interests include women’s sexual identity development, feminist activism; and the social construction of the female athlete
While the women running the Ride Like a Girl clinics are clearly acting in socially responsible ways by helping to create empowering environments for female athletes, I believe all sports administrators, coaches, and athletes need to take on such responsibility. Indeed, the onus to carry out GoodWork within sport, which includes challenging and mitigating social injustices, such as sexism, must be shared by all participants.

Second Update GoodWork Pilot University Medical Centre The Radboud in Nijmegen, Netherlands, May – July 2011

August 29, 2011

By Alexandrien van der Burgt-Franken
Before we started to work on this pilot, we knew the GoodWork Project from the chapter Howard Gardner et. al. wrote in the book ‘Professional Pride’. The GoodWork Project provides values of which we believe are very important. This pilot made us see that we are ready to work with the GoodWork Toolkit.

Challenges of a Young Professional

August 01, 2011

By Emily Weinstein, Emily is a first year doctoral student at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, focusing on Human Development and Education. Emily is broadly interested in studying the influences of social contexts on individual development.
I don’t consider myself a wimp or a pushover. In school, I was selected as a representative to my college’s Academic Integrity Hearing Board, as well as the Greek Judicial Board. Despite my ease participating in discussions of difficult, value-ridden issues in school, I watched myself become a silent observer in corporate environments.

To Improve U.S. Education, it’s Time to Treat Teachers as Professionals

July 21, 2011

By Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner But it’s hardly a secret that many of our teachers do not consider themselves, and are not treated, as such. And it is even less of a secret that most people in positions of power today—whether CEOs or legislators—do not want “the teachers of another person’s children” to behave like professionals. If teacher-proof education isn’t an option, these potentates at least prefer teachers who do exactly what they are told and whose rewards or sanctions are based simply on test scores or some other easily measured result.

Summer Reading, Summer Experience, Summer Learning

July 14, 2011

By Peter Gow, Director of College Counseling and Special Programs, Beaver Country Day School
But I think there may be an approach to the summer “reading” issue that could offer, if not an alternative, but a kind of complement to summer reading lists. While my own school did not pursue this idea after a couple of years’ experimentation, I believe that it could go a long way toward adding an authentic, experiential learning element to students’ summer lives.

Will young children learning about choices and purpose better prepare them for navigating adolescence in a digital world?

June 27, 2011

By Jo Hoffman
Are aspects of our current society and the digital environment responsible in part for the apparent anxiety of this generation? Is the seemingly unlimited array of choices at any given time when we are using digital applications getting in the way of pursuing a positive purpose? Is there a set of skills or strategies teachers can apply that will help to prepare students over time to face these digital demands?

Part 3 of 3: Collaboration in Elementary Schools: The Role of Collaboration in Excellent Teaching

June 17, 2011

By Jan Duffy
I like to think her class advanced by leaps and bounds in their understanding of what it means to be there for each other, collaborate together and really perform too, because between the two of us, and Judy, we reinforced all those same important lessons just about as many ways as it was possible to reinforce them.

Part 2 of 3 Collaboration in Elementary Schools: The Role of Engagment

June 07, 2011

By Jan Duffy
I’m not the kind of person who sits back and congratulates herself on a job well done; this wasn’t Me-this was US-together- but there’s no denying that this class overall developed a more advanced form of understanding almost right from the very beginning-Why???

Part 1 of 3: Collaboration in Elementary Schools: The Power of Many

May 25, 2011

By Jan Duffy
That these 7-9 year old dance students all co-choreographed with me such lengthy pieces for their ages is somewhat of a feat when you consider that the formula I use myself as a “fast” professional choreographer is this one: 1 hour of choreography equals 1 hour of music-just to make up all the movement! These children’s dances were completely co-choreographed, memorized, cleaned, added to, rehearsed, cleaned again, and rehearsed in costume two or three times in our classroom before we ever went to the theater-and almost all of the work was accomplished in two 20-30 minutes sessions of their 40 minute bi-weekly classes, over a period of 14 weeks.

GoodWork Pilot in Radboud Academic Hospital, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

May 13, 2011

By Alexandrien van der Burgt-Franken
The Professional Pride Foundation in the Netherlands is starting to use the GoodWork Toolkit to lead sessions on GoodWork in an academic hospital. The translated GoodWork Toolkit will be used during four sessions. For these sessions, three groups of hospital employees will be selected: the junior staff, the nurses, and the heads of the different departments of the hospital, including senior doctors and educators. The first session took place in April, and the second session will start this week.

Needed: A Reversal of Figure/Ground

April 20, 2011

By Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner In considering education in the United States today, what's wrong with the picture? In a word, we've focused so exclusively on one figure--performance on a certain kind of standardized test instrument--that all other considerations are obscure or absent. I recommend a dramatic reversal of figure and ground. At the center of the image called American Education, I propose three dominant figures: the kinds of Persons we value; the kinds of Workers we cherish; the kinds of local, national, and global Citizens that we need.

Coaching at the Frontiers

April 20, 2011

By Christina Congleton
I’m left with the puzzle of how best to establish coaching as a profession characterized by good work—work that is excellent, ethical, and engaging. The good news is that if coaches are “cowboys” exploring the frontiers of a new profession, we certainly represent the warmest hearted of mavericks. The coaches I interviewed in the fall expressed deep dedication to their work and an impressive sense of responsibility to their clients, their own integrity, and the wider world. Indeed, such a sense of responsibility is integral to good coaching.

It's Time for Universities to Apply the Mirror Test

April 14, 2011

By Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner I raised the question of what universities in general, and Harvard in particular, should do, with respect to high profile and less dramatic cases of COI and other ethical lapses, such as plagiarism or data manipulation or creation by faculty.
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