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Book details
  • SubGenre:Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
  • Language:English
  • Pages:240
  • eBook ISBN:9798350915518
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350915501

Sprouting the Curriculum

Perversely Logical Essays and Thoughts on Improving American Education

by J. Lockwood White

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Why is school so troubling for many children? They're smart but they don't do well. They're warm and loving, but can't make friends. They can turn into awesome tradespersons but experience a lot of suffering until then. Using authentic learning as a guidepost, randomly diverse essays on both questionable practice and the alternative uplifting experience are contained in this book. The summation could lead to dumping the entire military model upon which almost all school settings are based. Settings that are content-rich and inspiring are needed for all children now. Jokes about school are not really funny. No child should start any day with an upset stomach.

Classroom teacher by day, professor by night. My daytime classroom is everything I rail against at night. Every day I walk into a maelstrom; a middle school classroom. We have many precious and euphoric learning moments in a matrix of confusion. Picture an atom with electrons careening around a nucleus. Students can appear impetuous but they are really just doing what electrons do in the universe of elements, careening around in their orbits. Whether in urban or suburban settings, I have been stunned by the limited implementation of workable, logical ways for kids to spend the day. The phrase "no-brainer" is apt and also ironic because all the current brain research points to rich activities that are not found in schools very often. I am prohibited from accomplishing "best practice". These essays underscore the many ironies that manifest themselves every day in many American school settings from the most privileged to the most troubled city schools. Quietly tormented by the simplicity of solving so many issues, the essays mirror the same simplicity in brevity and frankness without pretension. The brevity of the essays is a metaphor for how purely direct most of the answers are to our academic catastrophes.. Exacerbating those frustrations is my night job, training teachers in graduate school at my local university. There, I walk the walk formulating paths to content-rich curricula. My career has held a profound dichotomy. Among a variety of experiences, my angle is through the lens of two worlds. I founded what I consider to be a sincerely authentic school for children, then gave it up 15 years later because I could not attract diversity. Confidently daring myself to a formidable challenge, I looked for a demanding school in a 15 mile radius of my house. The connections are as interesting as the contrasts. I have waded through so many books on the problems in education with saccharine vagaries and ridiculous jargon that miss the simple points in exponential ways. It's time to emerge from a dark tragedy where the solutions are not difficult.

About the author

Joanne Lockwood White is a retired middle school science teacher, adjunct professor, wild edible forager, universe gazer, teacher trainer, homeschool helper, preschool founder, amateur fossil hunter, kayaker, neighborhood biker, skier, obvious bragger, citizen scientist and cranky critic of mediocre school settings. With four decades of experience, she hopes that this book will cause people to snap out of the hollowness of a rut. Human children and all living things deserve blissful or productive experiences as a mandate, on a healthy planet. She is surrounded by a jovial and supportive, large extended family, wonderful friends, neighbors, co-workers, siblings, enchanting offspring, devoted husband, memories of her parents and Nature..... Look for her authentic learning on Facebook and Instagram: J. Lockwood White