Category: Education Policy

Citizen or Subject? My Letter to the Governor

written by Todd Beach   Late last week, Governor Mark Dayton contacted the president of the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies, asking her to solicit members for their…

An Irresistible Narrative

written by H. Michael Hartoonian Today’s global conflicts are fundamentally struggles over ideas.  The ideas are religious, philosophical, and political, and they form the belief systems of a people….

Let’s Fix the Schools—Really!

written by H. Michael Hartoonian The media appears fond of parading out pundits and “experts,” exclaiming that our public schools are a mess and need fixing. A high…

Education: Obligations of the Profession

written by H. Michael Hartoonian   Athens, itself, is a school where we understand that, Any society that does not educate its warriors to be philosophers, And its…

The Broken Promise

Freedom without Equality and Responsibility written by H. Michael Hartoonian The United States may be ready for a new motto. My recommendation: Freedom, Equality, and Responsibility. The definition…

A Broken Covenant

written by H. Michael Hartoonian The culture teaches. The only question is, what is our culture teaching? A necessary condition of any society that claims democratic DNA is…

Scenes from My Classroom: The Pantheon

What does teaching look like?  I’m sure right now you have images of classrooms, desks, whiteboards, or perhaps even chalkboards scrolling through your head.  Teaching is all of…

2013: A Year to Remember

The University of Minnesota produced this video to make us proud of our public, land-grant university…and, I am. “The University of Minnesota: Founded in the Faith that Men…

Putting Exceptional back in America: It’s What Great Schools Do

written by H. Michael Hartoonian America is an exceptional place. It is exceptional not because of its landscape, the people, or its wealth, but simply because it is…

Civic Virtue, School Reform, and the Creation of Real Wealth

written by H. Michael Hartoonian   When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America What have we…

Kindergarten and Finnish Lessons

written by Todd Beach Have you ever read the book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?  The author, Robert Fulghum, composed a poem of…

Reframing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness

Written by Howard Gardner Originally published in Education Week, September 21, 2011 Reprinted here with the permission of the author This summer, I attended my 50th high school reunion….

Fault Lines in American Culture: The Case for the Common School

Written by Michael Hartoonian The social landscape of the United States of America can be mapped by using a series of cultural fault lines that lie just beneath…

Recognizing the Value of Good Teachers

This article was originally published for Education Week (April 5, 2011).  It is posted here with the permission of the author. Written by Eric A. Hanushek The teachers’…

Be Careful What You Vote For

Written by H. Michael Hartoonian What greater joke can God play on a man, than to give him what he wants. -Martin Luther Within the last quarter century,…

The Purpose of Schooling

Why are you here?  I often ask the freshmen in my American Government & Citizenship class this on their first day.  What is the purpose of schooling?  Is…

Collaboration, Leonardo, and Jazz; Lessons for Teachers

All too often teaching is an isolating profession.  It is ironic that new teachers enter the profession because they like to work with people.  Instead of collaborating with…

Education Reform – Explain it to Me Like I’m a Fifth Grader

This whole approach to education reform for the 21st century…yeah, I need someone to explain it to me like I’m a fifth-grader. I’ve been reading the recently published…

How’s Your Teaching Practice?

If you would have asked me how my teaching was going during any of the first three years of my career I would have sheepishly replied that “everything…

You Can’t Have it Easy and Expect to be Educated

Sir Ken Robinson and his videos/talks surrounding education reform are incredibly popular.  His persuasive TED Talk from 2006 is one of the most viewed to date.  Recently, Robinson teamed up with…

A Better ‘Gates’ Solution

Well known entrepreneur, philanthropist, and billionaire Bill Gates has stated through his foundation website that, “The evidence is clear that teachers matter more to student achievement than any…

You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

Researchers, parents, students, politicians, indeed all stake-holders in education agree that good teachers are essential to helping students learn.  Furthermore, there is broad consensus that improved training and…

Traditional meets 21st Century – a Synthesis

Socratic seminars for many teachers are a traditional teaching practice which facilitates an opportunity for students to critically interrogate various genres of text and ideas through a face…

Good Teachers Matter!

Some of the most passionate, hard-working, and talented teachers I know are finding it very difficult to keep a positive perspective surrounding our profession.  The ‘Waiting for Superman’ effect…

How’s Your Feedback?

I ran in a 10K race on Thanksgiving morning.  It was cold and the road conditions were icy so needless to say when the race started I was…