Module 3

Explorations of Other Problems

June 14th – 24th

This module delves into some specific issues we're facing as teachers (and parents and citizens). Make sure you allow yourself enough time to view all of the videos and complete all of the readings.

Keeping Abreast of Current Events and Thinking about the Problems Facing Teachers

DUE: ongoing

A great deal is happening everyday. There is no way to present an established course (with pre-determined readings) that covers what is happening currently. I highly recommend checking the following sites on a daily basis. Some of these sites have news feeds or are associated with Twitter and Facebook feeds. Join and follow the Facebook groups and Twitter feeds.

  • Badass Teachers Association
    • This association started as a Facebook group a little over a year ago and now has over 46,900 members. It's free to join and participate. Although some "venting" occurs here, a lot of useful information is communicated. The members (BATs) also provide a broad support network.
    • Facebook Group page
    • BATs Website
    • BATs Blog
  • The Collaboraider
  • Diane Ravitch
    • Diane Ravitch is a former U.S. under-secretary of education and educational historian
    • Diane Ravitch's Blog

Common Practices and Their Problems

DUE: June 16th

Discussion Questions:

  • What assumptions and orientations, etc. do you see in these position papers by Alfie Kohn?
  • How do the ideas in these papers affect children (i.e., your students) and teachers (i.e. you and others)?
  • How can we work towards changing some of these practices?

Discuss on the Wiki Forum

Deadening Schooling, Teaching, & Learning

DUE: June 17th

  • Both of these videos appear on the same webpage.

Discussion Questions:

  • How do you see this problem manifesting in your school?
  • What factors contribute to this problem?
  • What underlying assumptions, orientations, frameworks, and patterns are involved in perpetuating this problem?

Discuss on the Wiki Forum

Issues of Schooling

DUE: June 18th

  • READ: Valenzuela, A. (2010). Uncovering internalized oppression. In M. C. Fehr & D. E. Fehr (Eds.), Teach boldly! Letters to teachers about contemporary issues in education (pp. 77—83). New York: Peter Lang.
  • READ: Gatto, J. T. (2002). Some lessons from the underground history of American education. In R. Kick & R. Metzger (Eds.), Everything you know is wrong: The disinformation guide to secrets and lies (pp. 274—287). New York: The Disinformation Company.
  • READ: Wood, G. (2010). The limits of schooling. In M. C. Fehr & D. E. Fehr (Eds.), Teach boldly! Letters to teachers about contemporary issues in education (pp. 105—107). New York: Peter Lang.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are the implications of the issues brought up in these articles and the video?
  • How do you see these ideas manifesting (or not) in your school?

Discuss on the Wiki Forum

The Common Core, Standardized Tests, and Attacks on Teachers

DUE: June 19th

Discussion Questions:

  • What is happening in your schools as they relate to the issues raised in these readings and videos?
  • What are you experiencing as a teacher?
  • What are the reactions of parents to these issues?

Discuss on the Wiki Forum

Additional Explorations

DUE: June 20th — 24th

  • Share, post, and react to any additional videos, Tweets, blogs, articles, etc. Post these on appropriate pages on the wiki and refer to them through the Wiki Forum.


  • Critical Analysis #2
    • should focus on readings through June 23rd
    • DUE: June 24th


Module #1 6/2 to 6/3 Introduction and Initial Explorations
Module #2 6/4 to 6/13 Making Sense of and Analyzing Problems and Issues Critical Analysis 1 – 6/13
Module #3 6/14 to 6/24 Exploring Other Problems and Issues Critical Analysis 2 – 6/25
Module #4 6/25 to 7/1 Making a Difference Project Update – 6/26
Final Project – 7/1

June—July, 2014
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© 2011 Jeffrey W. Bloom


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