Sunday, July 29, 2012

Edublogger Reflection

In the past two weeks I have perused the posts of several edubloggers, and have found the task thoroughly engaging and enlightening.  The education community is teeming with creative, insightful, and motivating teachers and administrators!  I realize this last statement seems a bit obvious…we have spent the last 6 weeks surrounded by countless teachers/educators who exemplify the very definition of high leverage practice.  But to see the ubiquity of genuine teacher professionalism as evidence by the posts I have read from educators positioned all over the country has been truly encouraging and inspiring.  One author I have particularly enjoyed following is Chris Lehmann, Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA. His blog is visually simple and contextually profound, interesting and thought provoking.  I have found many parallels between my own teaching philosophy and the content he proposes in his entries.  I also very much appreciate his well-composed, direct yet eloquent “tell it like it is” nature, which resonates through statements such as:

“To me, when you ensure your own child has an arts-enriched, small-class size, deeply humanistic education and you advocate that those families who have fewer economic resources than you have should sit straight in their chairs and do what they are told while doubling and tripling up on rote memorization and test prep, you are guilty of educational colonialism.”

In the above passage, Lehmann is referencing the disparity among what some “powerful folks” desire for their own children versus that which they advocate for others based on the political and policy decisions they make. 

As I continue to grown in my own knowledge of what it means to be a successful teacher and how to fully develop my role as a professional in this field, I find strength, inspiration, and even a sense of identify in the words of edubloggers with whom I can relate.


  1. Good find, Paula. My wife and I were discussing exactly what Chris Lehmann is calling "educational colonialism." He may be talking about private versus public education when he talks about small class sizes and deeply humanistic education. Does the same thing happen with public schools? Public schools within a district attempt equity.

    Small class sizes seems hard to attain for now, and so perhaps the private school has an edge there.

    But the achievement gap really widens when the 10 week summer break starts. Some of us take vacation time from work to spend with our kids, send them off to camps, enroll them in summer sports, arts, or academic programs. My wife reminded me that when we lived in Stamford, CT, all kids attended summer enrichment. If you could afford to pay, you paid. If you couldn't, there were scholarships. Seems like a good place to start.

  2. I am very interested in the idea of edublogging. Do you think that it is a practice that you would consider doing yourself after gaining more experience in the field? I agree with you when you say that educators form an extremely knowledgable community. I also think that edublogging is a way to show our support and share ideas with one another as teachers/admin. I am sure that there lies a wealth of information in blogs about different educational instruction practices, teaching philosophies, ideas for lesson plans, etc. etc. It is incredible to me the ease with which we can share these things with one another.

  3. Glad you found the task helpful. I may have said this before, but my pedagogical practice changed immediately once I started hearing more via the blogging community. Hope it proves to be similar for you!

  4. The issue Lehrmann addresses is one particularly near and dear to my heart, as both a teacher and a student. Until high school, I attended public school, and therefore classes that contained a few dozen kids each. You either got it or you didn't, because there was no chance for individual attention. For high school, though, I went to a small private school- an average of 12-15 students per class. The depth of learning increased exponentially.

    The independent school I attended gave me a ton of financial aid and scholarship money; it still gives significant aid to over 80% of its students. I once got in a fight with a man about private school tuition. His son is in second grade at a school that charges $18,300 a year for Grades 1-5; the man was outraged that he has to pay full tuition (when he makes "only" about $350k a year) so that other students can get financial aid.

    The term "colonialism" absolutely applies. Thank you for sharing this, Paula.