Category Archives: Engagement

A way of teaching about life

I was part of a district leadership team attending a conference at Madden’s resort near Brainerd, MN in the early 90’s. Seymour Papert was the keynote speaker. Papert, the MIT creative genius behind the Logo computer language, carried all the … Continue reading

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Drawing out knowledge: What it means to be a constructivist teacher from the voices of the learner

“The single most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows.” David Ausubel  A constructivist learning framework is based on the idea that students come into our classrooms with pre-existing knowledge. Our task as teachers is to structure … Continue reading

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The Pedagogy of Equus, Post #3: The Experiential Nature of Learning

The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) approach to facilitating a client’s journey to greater insight into their own mental health offers a strong, clear context for the mental health professional. I recently had the pleasure of completing a … Continue reading

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Petersburg: Recipe for a Successful School

Being at sea was a great experience. Capping it off with a tour of the Petersburg Public Schools by Dr. Rob Thomason, Superintendent, who took two hours out of a busy day to show me around made for a great … Continue reading

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How do you spell excitement?

As a little boy, I remember so well the anticipation of opening an intriguing Christmas present, of the thrill of getting a new bike, of the joy of going on a fishing trip with my dad. Several weeks ago, I … Continue reading

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Simple Joys

Often the simplest of things can become the richest sources of wonder. My 9 year old grandson was with us this past week for a visit from Michigan. As it being the holiday season, candles were plentiful. Grandma asked him … Continue reading

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Leading with Questions

Fall semester came to a close just before Christmas. On our final day, we do a “go around” inviting everyone to share a thought, observation, favorite activity, memorable learning, or anything else they might like to share. In reference to … Continue reading

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Born Scientists

I have advocated for a long time that children are born natural scientists – overflowing with curiosity and wonder.  Their early lives are filled with experimentation as they wave their hands haphazardly until eventually landing in their mouth. Feeling quite … Continue reading

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Gentle Adversity

It feels good to work hard. Working hard engenders engagement, motivation, and a feeling of well-being. One summer during college I worked at the Environmental Learning Center (Wolf Ridge ELC) teaching a three-day class on orienteering to high school students … Continue reading

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Framework for Teaching: Principles of Engagement

I recently had the chance to share with students completing their student teaching some of the things I have garnered throughout my career that have served to inform my teaching. It was satisfying to be able to pull together these … Continue reading

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