The GWT Blog

Blog Category: Teaching

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.

The Value of Play

January 20, 2011

By Margot Locker
I find it hard to consider the issue of play without thinking about GoodWork. Teaching a lesson where students stayed in their seats and were talked “at” often resulted in sleepy eyes, heads on desk, and an obvious lack of engagement. However, when I attempted to incorporate some aspect of play in a lesson-a skit about verbs, a race outside to learn decimal points, a hands-on science experiment-the engagement level skyrocketed.

Howard Gardner on best approaches for teaching ethics

December 15, 2010

By Howard Gardner
Across cultures and history, morals and ethics have been taught or conveyed in multiple ways: through religion, through stories, through history, through the media, through formal education, and, most importantly, through the individuals with whom one spends time, particularly when we are young.

Educating for Today and Tomorrow

November 22, 2010

By Lynn Barendsen
Last week, along with several colleagues from Project Zero, I participated in a conference in Washington DC. Our hosts were CASIE (Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education) and WIS (the Washington International School).

The First Rule of Teaching: Do No Harm

October 25, 2010

By Holly Robinson, writer and former teacher
What makes a teacher brilliant? It's not easy for me to say, despite the fact that I've ushered three children and two stepchildren through school and into college. Along the way, I've attended countless parent-teacher conferences and PTO meetings. I've been a school volunteer. But it was only at that moment, with Jennifer and my son, that I really considered what makes a teacher brilliant and not just okay, or downright evil.

The New and Improved GW Toolkit

October 14, 2010

By Lynn Barendsen
This past summer, Wendy and I reworked the GoodWork Toolkit. We’re very excited by the result – and hope you will be too.

Educating for Failure, Seeking Success

September 24, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
Educating for Failure, Seeking Success seeks to involve parents actively in their children’s education. How? By providing children with real stories, life experiences through which parents become “humanized” and are much more than “perfect” images. Through this project, each parent is invited to write about a personal encounter with failure, pain or difficulty that can be used to teach and be an example of a learning experience.

Early Warning Signs of Ethical Disaster

August 09, 2010

By Shelly London, The Family Dinner Project
It seems that every major disaster is followed by almost pro forma revelations of danger signs that should have alerted us to the danger but were ignored. We heard those revelations in the aftermath of 9/11 and we're hearing them now as the BP oil spill takes its place as the worst environmental disaster in American history.

Thoughts about the Summer Institute

August 03, 2010

By Wendy Fischman
We have just wrapped up our Project Zero annual Summer Institute—when hundreds of educators from all over the world come to Cambridge to learn about Project Zero research and practice methods. It is always an energizing experience for us researchers—it is a reminder for many of us that we are fortunate to do work that is engaging and stimulating, and attendees always make us feel as though it is important and helpful to their own work‚ which is rewarding for us to hear.

Lay It on the Table

May 26, 2010

By Bill Bussey, Provost, Ombudsman, English Teacher at Noble and Greenough School
The end of the year for graduates is understandably pretty much all about them, but to be honest, sometimes we all can lose perspective down the final stretch.

On Being a True Activist

May 11, 2010

By Bill Bussey, Provost, Ombudsman, English Teacher at Noble and Greenough School
A while ago I put forth the proposition that there are no innocent bystanders, that those who sat idle while classmates were being humiliated or taken advantage of against their wishes were a major part of the problem. Our students will forever hesitate to stand up for what is morally right if they perceive a social cost, and they may never do it if the adults in their world do not stand up with them and for them in their formative years.

Inspiring for Change: GoodWork for Mexico's Children

April 28, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
My name is Yael Karakowsky; I am from Mexico and have been a preschool teacher for the last 3 years. I often ask myself how many "dreamers" are out there … doing everything they can, walking that extra mile, never missing a chance and always seeking to do a little bit more. I consider myself a fighter, a dreamer and sometimes … a person that expects more than what is actually possible...

Inspirando al cambio: GoodWork para los niños de México

April 27, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
Mi nombre es Yael Karakowsky. Soy mexicana y he trabajado como maestra de preescolar durante los últimos tres años. Constantemente me pregunto ¿cuántos soñadores hay allá afuera?... personas que salen de la norma, que no descansan hasta dar ese paso extra, intentando no perder oportunidades y siempre buscando hacer un poco más. Me considero una de estas personas; una luchadora, una soñadora y en ocasiones… una persona que podría esperar más de lo que es realmente posible.

GoodWork in Nursing

March 17, 2010

By Joan Miller
My name is Joan Miller. I have been a nurse for over 35 years. I currently teach in a baccalaureate nursing program at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA. I entered the profession with a desire to provide excellent care for my patients. I wanted to be known as a caring nurse, one willing to work hard, listen well, and show that my patients were always my top priority. I've worked hard to foster professional growth and excellence among my students. However, much to my dismay, many new graduates become disillusioned when they enter the work place.

Success in Teaching

February 26, 2010

By Wendy Fischman
Today is the second day of the Expeditionary Learning (EL) National Conference 2010, in Kansas City (where the temperature outside seems to be "warming up" to a whopping 30 degrees!). The conference has been inspiring and powerful thus far, and even more so for us on the GoodWork Project because of its focus on "good work."

"Good work. It's what we're all about."

February 25, 2010

By Lynn Barendsen

Expeditionary Learning 2010 National Conference

Wendy and I are attending the Expeditionary Learning Schools National Conference in Kansas City. An amazing group of educators, and an inspiring series of discussions. This year's focus is on good work and we're honored to be a part of it. For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Expeditionary Learning, let me tell you a little bit about it, because it's growing, it's having impact, and that impact is of exceptional quality.

Howard Gardner in Mexico City

February 01, 2010

By Mayus Chavez, Jules Verne School
Last October, Mexico City had the pleasure of receiving Dr. Howard Gardner. Banamex, one of the most important Mexican Financial Groups, invited him to their " 2009-3rd Encuentro de Educación Financiera "Respuestas de Pe$o" Ser, conocer y hacer para vivir juntos". Dr. Garder's lecture "Five Minds of the Future" gave participants new alternatives to develop strategies within ourselves, and everyone who is devoted to education in a formal or informal way.

The Ministers' Misconceptions

January 11, 2010

By Howard Gardner
Of all the findings from cognitive psychology that are relevant for education, one stands out. That is the repeated demonstration, across a number of disciplines, of the prevalence of misconceptions and the difficulty of getting rid of them and replacing them with more powerful and more veridical conceptions.

Press Release: On Teens' Online Activities

December 04, 2009

By Carrie James
Global Kids, Harvard's GoodPlay Project and Common Sense Media today released Meeting of Minds, a report that highlights the ways in which parents, teachers, and teens relate to the emerging ethical dimensions of life online. The report is the result of a series of cross-generational online dialogues held this past spring about digital ethics, and reveals the critical importance of active adult engagement with teens to help develop healthy attitudes about online behaviors that often have long-lasting and far-reaching effects.

Nobel Prize for Mentorship?

October 16, 2009

By Lynn Barendsen
The recent announcement of the Nobel Laureates in Medicine point to another achievement that deserves recognition: outstanding mentorship. Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider were members of a scientific "lineage" with Joseph Gall at its head. Blackburn studied under Gall; Greider studied under Blackburn. Two very successful women in a field that has been dominated by men, in a field in which mentoring does not typically come first.

The Road to Hell?

September 26, 2009

By Howard Gardner
If the proverbial inter-planetary visitor observed educational policymakers around the world, she would soon infer their single preoccupation: “How to raise scores on international comparisons like the TIMMS or the PISA tests.” This mentality also dominates the United States. A focus on standardized tests, how to raise scores, and what consequences follow ...
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