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Monika Hardy

TTT#285 Who drops out? with Nick Perez, Todd Finley, Alex Pappas, Troy Hicks, Lisa Nielsen, Teresa Bunner, Lisa Nielsen 2.22.12


59:59 minutes (13.73 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers +Paul Allison +Monika Hardy, and +Chris Sloan welcome many different perspectives on the important question of Who drops out? Why? Does it matter? What alternatives are available?

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With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.

Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:

I don’t think high-school is for everyone - just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems - some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.

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Teachers Teaching Teachers #284 Engagement w/ Mary Reilly, Troy Hicks, Buffy Hamilton, Jeff Grinvalds, Teresa Bunner 2.15.12


59:58 minutes (13.73 MB)

Why do high school students drop out? This is the question that +Paul Allison, +Monika Hardy, and +Chris Sloan host on this episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers. We are joined by some pretty amazing colleagues and teachers%23284pic a student.

+Mary Ann Reilly was one of the catalysts of this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. She had shared this video with +Troy Hicks, +Teresa Bunner, and +Buffy Hamilton "in response to the question about how we empower/engage high school students. The video chronicles work that educators at Morristown High School did in developing a classics academy. The film was made by Ben Donnellon."

This video frames our conversation. In addition we refer to "A 2006 survey, The Silent Epidemic, [which] put these questions [about engagement or the lack thereof in high school] to a group that isn’t usually asked for opinions on American education—high school dropouts. The study found that while some students drop out because of significant academic challenges, most dropouts are students who could have, and believe they could have, succeeded in school." http://www.gatesfoundation.org/learning/Pages/2006-High-school-drop-out-rate-survey.aspx

In reference to this survey, Troy Hicks had been wondering: "Where we are at ten years into '21st century learning' and NCLB. Are the problems with engagement really still just the same? Who are the students that are dropping out and why? Who is actually sticking around and not feeling engaged? Why?"

We also welcome Louis, a student from Bronx Academy Senior High http://bronxbash.com the school where Paul Allison teaches. His stories of staying school or not were a needed grounding for this conversation.


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Teachers Teaching Teachers #283 Empowering Students with Documentary Filmmaking/George Mayo, Joel Malley, Brian Paccione 2.8.12


47:47 minutes (10.94 MB)

Paul Allison was so inspired by George Mayo’s “conversation” at Educon 2.4 the last weekend of January http://educon24.org/conversations/Empowering_Students_Through_Documentar... that we invited him and his filmmaking colleague, Joel Malley to join us for this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. (Please subscribe: http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 )teachers283

George and Joel talk about their work with students making student-directed documentaries on self-chosen topics. Scott Shelhart also joins to ask questions from an elementary school teacher’s perspective and to show us a couple of videos made by George's middle school students and Joel's high school students.

A video by George Mayo's students, describing a current project - in the podcast at 21:21

Animal Euthanasia (ROUGH CUT) from mrmayo on Vimeo.

A video by Joel Malley's students - in the podcast at 38:03

Skateboarding from taylorj roberts 2011 on Vimeo.

Monika Hardy has a few reflections toward the end of this webcast as well. And if that's not enough, we are also joined by Brian Paccione who will be working with Paul Allison in April on a documentary video project to add to the education videos in the MyBlockNYC project http://myblocknyc.com/#/video/id/424

Brian created this Web site and project with friends and he currently serves as the education director for MyBlockNYC.

 
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Teachers Teaching Teachers #282 Detox: An Adrenaline Jolt to Your Soul with James Folkestad, Monika Hardy and 3 students 2.1.12


44:30 minutes (10.18 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2, Monika Hardy and Paul Allison discuss "Detox," a reflective practice that they have been inviting students to do in their different contexts.

Monika has been doing Detox with her students for a couple of years http://labconnections.blogspot.com/p/what-is-detox.html

teachers282Recently, Paul started asking his students to reflect on their work, dreams, thoughts, and learning on Youth Voices: http://youthvoices.net/channel/31618

Monika and Paul are joined in this conversation by a co-conspirator with Monika and a researcher of Detox James Folkestad, from Colorado State University.

We also get the perspective of youths from two of Paul's high school students Evelyn Salazar and (on the phone) Shamar Smith. In addition there are valuable insights from 7th Grader Kelsey Shelhart and her father Scott Shelhart as well as Fred Mindlin.

After listening to this podcast, you might be inspired to try something similar in your classroom or perhaps your students are already doing this kind of reflection on who they are, what they are doing, what they dream could happen, what they are noticing, and what connections they are making.

Either way, whether you are starting something new or continuing a valuable process in your classroom, please let us know about it. We'd love to hear if "detox" is spreading virally or "scaling across trans-locally" to use some of the language that Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze have given us in their book Walk Our Walk On:

Taking things to scale doesn’t happen vertically through one-size-fits-all replication strategies... experiments move horizontally, scaling across villages and nations, trans-locally, as many diverse people learn from their discoveries and are inspired to try their own.
( http://www.walkoutwalkon.net/mexico )
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Teachers Teaching Teachers #281 - National Writing Project Teachers Ready to Celebrate Digital Learning Day on Feb 1 - 1.25.12


61:56 minutes (14.18 MB)
This conversation about #NWP teachers in the National Digital Learning Day continued the next day at NWP Radio - on Blog Talk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nwp_radio/2012/01/27/digital-writing-matters

What are your plans for National Digital Learning Day #DLDay on February 1, 2012? http://digitalis.nwp.org/site-blog/what-are-your-plans-national-digital-lea/3369

Enjoy this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, recorded a week before the big day.

+Paul Oh helped us invite this amazing list of guests. They are listed below, along with one thing we've asked them in our conversation about Digital Learning Day.

+Natalie Bernasconi, Central California Writing Project and middle school teacher; presenting the Digital ID wiki http://digital-id.wikispaces.com/Welcome as part of California Digital Learning Day presentations in Sacramento on Feb. 1

+Gail Desler, Area 3 Writing Project and Instructional Technologist in Elk Grove, California; also presenting the Digital ID wiki as part of Digital Learning Day presentations in Sacramento

+Andrea Zellner, Red Cedar Writing Project, doc student at Michigan State University, who is working with Michigan State’s MA in Ed Tech program to “try something new” and document; artifacts from and about the experiences will be found here: http://dlday2012.tumblr.com/

+Leigh Wolf, Program Director for the MA in Ed Tech Program, is coordinating efforts with Andrea; here’s a link to a post at Leigh’s bloghttp://www.leighgraveswolf.com about Digital Learning Day.

+Tom Fox, Northern California Writing Project & National Writing Project, English Professor at Chico State University, will be presenting digital compositions created by his students at the Digital Learning Day presentations in Sacramento

+Jack Zangerle, Hudson Valley Writing Project, 8th Grade ELA teacher in Dover, NY, doing things for Digital Learning Day in his classroom

+Matt Dunleavy, former Tech Liaison of the Tidewater Writing Project in Virginia, and a professor at Radford University, currently working with Chris Dede from Harvard on an Augmented Reality project called EcoMobile, which will be presented in D.C. on Feb. 1 as part of Digital Learning Day activities there.

More on Digital Learning Day: http://www.digitallearningday.org


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