Story: Molly’s Life Thesis

June 9, 2022 § 1 Comment

Khommunity Enrichment Malls as the Pre-Future of School

As she walked up the corridor on her Last Day, Molly kept telling herself she shouldn’t be here.

No, whispered a cynical voice in her head. You shouldn’t even be alive.


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Being Human: A Curriculum

September 21, 2021 § Leave a comment

Reframing spirituality as the culturally-neutral, teachable practice of becoming more human, as expressed in:

  • 3 Capabilities
  • 4 Attributes per Capability
    1. Prerequisite
    2. Task
    3. Technique
    4. Mindset
  • 12 Learning Outcomes

Inspired by the Minerva Baccalaureate, especially their focus on Content over Context.

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Book Review: Quantum Philosophy and the End of Education

March 11, 2019 § 2 Comments

Quantum Philosophy and the End of Education, by Roo Pavan (self-published)

April 1st, 2019

This self-published book by a retired physicist turned tech millionaire has taken the education establishment by storm — and not in a good way. Few people had even heard of this book or its author, Roo Pavan, until President Trump mentioned it approvingly in a tweet. It is doubtful whether our Esteemed Leader actually read the book, but that didn’t stop him from claiming he would use it as the blueprint for education policy in his second term. Like most of the book’s critics, he probably only read the sensationalist claims in the final chapter rather than the surprisingly thoughtful analysis that preceded it.

Which is a shame, because that would have been a conversation worth having. The author’s main thesis is contrarian but hardly new: that Western philosophy in general — and higher education in particular — are more about perpetuating a cultural elite than actually pursuing truth and serving society, though he concedes that those have often been a useful byproduct.

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Third Millennium Values

March 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

I deeply appreciate and respect the new focus and push for 21st-century learning outcomes.  I just don’t think they go far enough.

Here are the four core character traits that I believe are foundational to creating those outcomes, as well as healthier individuals, communities, and society.

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Ten Universally Useful Skills

August 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

In no particular order

  1. Financial Management
  2. Public Performance
  3. Writing
  4. Design
  5. Programming
  6. Sales
  7. Fitness Training
  8. Research
  9. Listening
  10. Self-Awareness

Did I miss anything?

Triversity: How Preschool + Entrepreneurship Will Disrupt University

September 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

So far, 2013 is largely living up to the hype as a “tipping point” for education reform.  Conversations around disruption, blending, and mastery are becoming mainstream. At long last, it seems like every aspect of the educational is being reexamined and redesigned by someone. There is more opportunities for funding and innovation than ever before. Not all these experiments will work, but we as a society are arguably questioning and learning more about education in the last couple years than we have in the past century.

Yet there is one aspect of the educational experience where even the most adventurous reformers (with a few exceptions) tread cautiously:  the assumption that attending college is a (if not the) primary goal of K-12 education. « Read the rest of this entry »

What in God’s Name is Happening to School?

August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

A primer on the ongoing transformation of education, for my cousin-in-law who runs a seminary startup.

  1. Use video to “flip the classroom” so teachers are more “guide on the side” than “sage on the stage.”
  2. Shift the goal from passive content acquisition to constructive skill masteryKhan Academy Vision – YouTube
  3. Personalize education for different learning styles and goals: Mass Customized Learning
  4. Team students together as teachers and builders:  Challenge Based Learning – Home Page
  5. Prepare students to create jobs rather than find them: The Lean LaunchPad – Teaching Entrepreneurship as a Management Science « Steve Blank
  6. Develop a coherent theology of work and life: Strive For Work-Life Integration, Not Balance | Fast Company
  7. Nurture an organic learning network, not an institution: Stoos Learning Change » Think Productivity!
  8. Create a viral business model enabling lower cost yet higher quality: The Makers Triversity: A Father’s Education Dream « iHack, therefore iBlog

Did I miss anything important?

Appendix: Related tweets

  • What if seminarians were graduated solely based on the theology that the non-Christians they knew inferred from their behavior?
  • The skill theologians ought to be mastering is how to discern & articulate the purpose & activity of God in new contexts.
  • Seminary should train Christians to follow the process of Aquinas, Athanasius, Augustine, Luther & Calvin — not their results!
  • Christendom is dying for theological entrepreneurs who will convene new resources to fulfill God’s vision in new contexts.

How to Professionalize Teaching

June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Everyone knows that great teachers are the key to a great education. But how do we get more of them?

One popular request is to treat teachers as professionals, a “certified expert who is afforded prestige and autonomy in return for performing at a high level” rather than “interchangeable cogs in an educational factory line out of the last century.” Advocates of this approach typically focus on:

  1. Greater respect
  2. Higher pay
  3. Tougher certification
  4. Clearer accountability

While those are noble goals, there seems to be very little discussion about the structural changes necessary to achieve those results. Nobody even seems to realize that those four are signs of professionalization rather than the cause:

  • Pay and respect are outcomes of professionalization
  • Certification and accountability are consequences of professionalization.

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The Makers Triversity: A Father’s Education Dream

April 11, 2012 § 9 Comments

The following is a work of fiction, perhaps even of fantasy. I am no educator, and know nothing of the economics or mechanics of running such a school.  Yet I dream that my son’s future will look more like this than what passes for education today.

[May 16, 2017 Update: Maker’s Triversity missed the 2014 deadline I had hoped for back in 2011.  But it is more plausible now than it was then, with the rise of micro-schools such as the franchise-able Acton Academy.  Who knows?  Maybe something will happen in time for the 2018-19 school year…]

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