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The first zombie cat appears

5 hours agoEducation / Learning : Infocult

The zombie plague took a shaking step closer to reality this week, as a cat in Florida (of course) clawed its way back to life after being interred. the most likely – if extraordinary – explanation is that the cart...

UFT Unity and Sunlight

Last night was interesting at the DA, to say the least. We're under siege, and the very first thing on the UFT President's mind was tweeting. Oddly, Mulgrew said people, surely me, were tweeting "to the press." I'm not sure how you determine the direction of a tweet, but of course I'm not part of the UFT Unity Caucus. Show More Summary

DA Report (Unedited)

Mulgrew’s first order of business was tweeting to the press. He says he leaves it alone, but what we are talking about today is pointless if people are tweeting to the press. He doesn’t want to discuss why they do this, but asks that this not take place today. Show More Summary

Teacher Torture Takes Tumble

On Monday, I'm told that the 80-minute session of whatever was canceled due to the impending snowstorm. Doubtless that broke the hearts of teachers citywide, who were eager to do inquiry, listen to speeches about precisely how perfidious...Show More Summary

Will Cuomo Really Kill this Dog if We Reject His Reformy Nonsense?

At the last Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told us we were going to focus only on school funding. Capital NY suggested this was because this particular battle appeared to be one we would win. Indeed, Cuomo's speechShow More Summary

Revive NYSUT Targets this Blog

I wrote a little blog about rumors I was hearing the other day, and it seems to have provoked a reaction from NYSUT bigshot Martin Messner:@NYSUT despite some who claim "secret sources" there is no deal on APPR. Far from it. NYSUT APPR Taskforce 2 be released soon. Show More Summary

Play Makes Us Human III: Play Is Foundation for Religion

Some people would take offense at the idea that religion is play. Religion, they would say, is sacred, and play is trivial. How can the one be lumped with the other? But regular readers of this blog know that I regard play as the highest form of human activity, so I am not demeaning religion when I describe it as play....

School Bullying: A Tragic Cost of Undemocratic Schools

Let's say you are 15 years old, or 13, or 11, and for some reason--over which you have no control--you have been singled out by your schoolmates as an object for scorn and humiliation. Every day at school, for you, is another day in hell. No matter how you feel about school and how terribly you are treated there, the law requires you to be there. What...

Video Game Addiction: Does It Occur? If So, Why?

The concept of "video game addiction" has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association, by many video game researchers, and by many psychotherapists who work with video gamers. I reject it too. Here's why; and here's how you might help someone you know who spends lots of time at video games and seems unhappy.

The Value of Play I: The Definition of Play Gives Insights

To understand play's many purposes, it is useful to think deeply about what play is. In this essay I argue that play is activity that is (1) self-chosen and self-directed; (2) motivated by means more than ends; (3) guided by mental rules; (4) imaginative; and (5) conducted in an alert but non-stressed frame of mind.

Children Teach Themselves to Read

The general assumption in our culture is that children must be taught to read, but the experiences of "unschooling" families and of people involved in the Sudbury school movement prove otherwise. Here, based on stories submitted by parents, are seven principles relevant to the question of how children teach themselves to read without formal instruction.

Learning Requires Freedom: Introduction to a New Blog about Play, Curiosity, and Education

Everywhere we turn these days we find pundits and politicians arguing for more restrictive schooling. Of course they don’t use the word “restrictive,” but that’s what it amounts to. They want more standardized tests, more homework, more...Show More Summary

Play Makes Us Human IV: When Work Is Play

One of the first and most often reinforced lessons that children learn in school is that work and play are opposites. Work is what one has to do; play is what one wants to do. Work is burdensome; play is fun. Work is essential; play is trivial. But when we leave school and go on to the "real world," at least some of us, the lucky ones, discover that work is...

Play Makes Us Human V: Why Hunter-Gatherers' Work is Play

My reading about life in many different hunter-gatherer cultures has led me to conclude that their work is play for four main reasons: (1) It is varied and requires much skill and intelligence. (2) There is not too much of it. (3) It is done in a social context, with friends. And (4) (most significantly) it is....

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders

Rates of depression and anxiety among American children and adolescents have been increasing steadily for the past fifty to seventy years. Today five to eight times as many young people meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or an anxiety disorder as was true half a century ago or more. Why?

Welcome Home

I wish all my brother and sister teachers, and everyone out on the road a safe trip.I was on an early schedule today, and finished before 2 PM. I live 23 miles from my school. I hopped in my car, and was home in three hours.How was your day?

Doing More Time in School: An Unimaginative, Mean Proposal

When will educators realize that people learn best when they are happy? Schools fail because they make children unhappy. More time in school won’t fix that.

The State of the State: When You Fail Your Bar Exam Four Times, It's Time to Raise the Bar!

I learned Governor Andrew Cuomo failed his bar exam four times. His war against NY State's teachers has finally been put into context for me. Whereas I once thought his words reeked of harmful stupidity, now I feel the boy that is still in the man. Show More Summary

What I'm Hearing

I don't have a lot of time right now, but several sources I trust tell me there is already a deal in place for a new APPR plan. They think it will either be a 40% junk science plan, or that it may be a statewide model based on the NYC plan. Show More Summary

Cuomo, Alas, Not Clueless at All

One of the brilliant ideas of Revive NYSUT was the hashtag #CluelessCuomo. I guess name-calling feels good. Certainly there was an awful lot of it directed at President George W. Bush. He was a buffoon, a moron, and he would never accomplish anything. Show More Summary

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