the innovative educator

The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.
—  Jean Piaget

Unconscious bias—whether it’s targeting race, religion, sexuality, ability, body type, or the mountain of other ways in which we judge each other—does not necessarily stem from active hate, and is not as easy to spot within our friends and ourselves. But it impacts our communities every single day. So we need to do a better job acknowledging it.

We can start by taking this Harvard Implicit Bias Test. The most responsible thing we can do right now is recognize ways to improve ourselves.

This Issue Time features a panel of experts answering your questions and addressing your concerns on Implicit bias.

Ask our panel of experts a question now

Laura Mather, PhD, is an expert on unconscious bias and the neuroscience behind decision-making. She has built creative software solutions for the National Security Agency, eBay, and her own startups, Silver Tail Systems and Talent Sonar. Her work has been featured in many outlets including NPR and the New Yorker and her writing can be found in Ozy, Salon, Time Motto, Fast Company, Forbes, and the Huffington Post, where she is a regular blogger. She is the winner of the Anita Borg Institute’s 2017 ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship.

Tanya M. Odom is a global consultant, coach, facilitator, writer, teacher, storyteller, ally, and thought-leader focused on equity, civil rights, and diversity and inclusion. Tanya’s unique portfolio career has allowed her to work in the education, private sector/corporate, not-for-profit/NGO, law enforcement, and university/college arenas. Tanya’s work focuses on topics including :  Diversity and Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, Race/Racism, Challenging Conversations, Mindfulness, Coaching, Innovation and Creativity, Educational Equity, and Youth Empowerment/mentoring.

Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author, and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. As a keynote speaker and consultant, Joe works with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to small non-profits.

Bryant T. Marks, Sr. is a minister, researcher, master teacher and human developmentalist.  His calling/passion/purpose is to develop the knowledge, wisdom, and skills of others that will allow them to reach their full potential and live their lives with purpose and passion. He is particularly driven to identify the factors that foster the affirmative personal and academic development Black males and create programs and publications that incorporate these factors. Dr. Marks combines research from social, educational, and cognitive psychology with hip-hop, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and African/African American history to engage, inform, and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Our panelists will begin to answer your question this Friday, October 6.

anonymous asked:

If someone has a Good Idea, how do they go about implementing it in a socialist society, as an alternative to raising capital, starting and running a business and hiring employees?

It wouldn’t be about “starting a business” in the same way as it exists now – like, the entire point wouldn’t be about making something that can be sold on the market so you can accumulate profits and compete with other businesses. This is why it ought to be emphasized that socialism involves more than just “worker control of the means of production”, even if it is a helpful and stylish way to compress a lot of ideas into a good soundbite. Socialism also entails communal control of the means of production, where communities control the production and distribution of goods according to a wider definition of needs and wants, accomplished through a more directly-democratic planning system. Depending on who you ask, socialism still does involve markets for non-essential items for leisure and fun, just as long as the core essentials of the economy are owned and managed by communities and distributed according to need (rather than according to profit for a select few capitalists); especially in the early stages of socialism, this market context for leisure goods is fine by me. But even that market context would differ from today, because the “businesses” would have a socialist internal structure (mutualist cooperatives) and wouldn’t focus on maximizing profits for unaccountable owners and pushing costs onto workers and communities. It would probably reflect the market rhetoric that capitalism-apologists use to justify the status quo, in that it would be a market actually used to meet needs and tally supply and demand, divorced from the class context that the apologists ignore.

That was a bit of a tangent, but I guess you could say a Good Idea, and innovation more broadly, could be handled in democratic “science councils” where resources and knowledge are open-access and put to use for innovation, without all the bullshit of patents and intellectual property (which are more about corralling benefits towards the owner of said patent or property, rather than for the purpose of “cultivating innovation”; like with everything else in a capitalist economy, they’re about capital accumulation and not about humanely meeting needs in the most effective way possible). Think publicly-funded research but on a more accountable and humanitarian scale. So much of the technology we enjoy is the result of collaboration between groups and over generations, rather than the result of the sole “creative individual” coming up with life-changing stuff in a vacuum. Universalize education and more people would actually have the means to innovate as well – do you know how many Einsteins exist in this world, who are shoveling shit instead of helping to create the next life-saving vaccine? Most people are excluded from the “innovation process” today – open-sourcing would have huge impact on how we even contextualize creativity and technology, probably for the better in leaps and bounds. 

All is for all.

‘Hamilton’ and Its Innovative Education Program Arrive in Los Angeles [Source]

“There is no audience more honest on earth than 17-year-olds — they’re unjaded and scream at any action or kissing,” says Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical’s creator and original lead, who earned an Emmy nomination for hosting Saturday Night Live and next stars in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. “By the time they get to the theater, they’re buzzing. They’ve learned about the show and this chapter in American history, and they’re ready to go.”

“These kids are writing these incredible poems and dances and songs and scenes, not just from the perspective of George Washington, but also Sally Hemings and Phillis Wheatley — it’s this incredible way to explore how history isn’t told,” he says. “We really don’t treat Hamilton as the be-all, end-all of American history — it’s a musical! It’s as much as we can cram into two hours and 45 minutes! — but it’s been a great jumping-off point.“

The idea for #EduHam sprouted back when Miranda still envisioned Hamilton as a mixtape and his 2009 performance of the now-opening number at the White House went viral online. "In the six years I was writing Hamilton, teachers were already using the song in classrooms — YouTube comments said, 'My social studies teacher showed us this,’ ” he recalls. “As the show began to have success, we realized [the] need to prioritize kids in a real way, because this is going to be a tough ticket.”

The picture was taken by Wesley Mann on June 28. Lin-Manuel Miranda posed at NYC’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts with #EduHam alums. [BTS]

10 tips for talking about news, politics and current events in schools

Animation by TOGETHER

In schools everywhere, students are deeply affected by current events. Certain policy changes and related commentary can cause children to experience fear, confusion and anxiety. For example, some kids might fear deportation. Others might be upset about hurtful generalizations they hear regarding their cultures and countries of origin. A lot of kids might fear the loss of rights.

Teachers around the world have shared that having conversations about these topics is challenging, and sometimes they end up avoiding these conversations altogether. So how might teachers facilitate a classroom discussion that allows students to express their perspectives and work through their emotional distress? It’s important to note that an emotionally charged conversation requires a different set of skills than leading an academic class discussion. Here are 10 tips for success:

Animation by @rewfoe

1. Come up with class norms. It is hard to have a spontaneous conversation about a controversial issue. Classroom procedures for conversations and discussion can help your conversations go smoothly. At the beginning of the school year, establish guidelines for class discussions with your students’ input. What are the qualities of a good listener? How can students feel heard and understood? What happens if someone becomes overly emotional? Post the guidelines in your classroom, review them periodically, and stick to them during discussions. If you have guidelines in place, students won’t feel singled out if you have to give them feedback about their style of participation.

2. Make sure everyone has the same basic background information. Not all students are politically minded or have access to news media. Before starting a class conversation, provide a basic summary of events. Students are less likely to tune out if they understand what the conversation is about.

3. Provide explanations and clarifications. Sometimes students’ emotions are rooted in confusion, fear, and misinformation. Students look to teachers for information and clarification, so don’t forget your role as an information source. Even if you don’t have an answer, you can search for it alongside your students. If fake news seems to be at the root of the problem, empower your students to evaluate news sources. PBS has an excellent lesson plan for that here.

Animation by TOGETHER

4. Avoid debates. There will likely be a variety of viewpoints in your classroom. Debates can be a constructive activity in the context of an organized, structured lesson. Yet when students are emotionally charged, debates can often devolve into arguments and personal attacks. Shift the focus from changing minds to exchanging ideas. Frame the conversation as an opportunity for understanding and empathy.

5. View yourself as a facilitator. If you view yourself as a facilitator, you can provide a comfortable space for students to express themselves and develop their own opinions. Your role is not to persuade students of a particular point of view. Instead, you are providing a safe, structured space for students to work through a specific topic.

Animation by @rewfoe

6. Reflect what you hear and encourage students to do the same. Simply repeating back what you hear can be tremendously helpful. It can help students understand their emotions and thoughts about particular issues and events and it can help deescalate emotionally charged situations by showing that you have heard and understood your students. Model this technique for your students and encourage them to repeat back what they have just heard before they respond to a classmate.

7. Provide space for students to experience their feelings. If students are experiencing strong emotions, that is OK. Oftentimes, adults try to cheer kids up when they are angry or sad. This can send the message that they need to suppress their emotions so that the people around them aren’t uncomfortable. Acknowledge their emotions and encourage classmates to do the same. When students judge each other’s emotions with comments like, “You have no right to feel that way,” encourage them to recognize the emotion of their classmate instead. Remind them that people do not all have exact same experience. When you establish your classroom norms, this can be an important point to cover. Brene Brown’s video resource on empathy can help show the importance of allowing others to experience their emotions.

Animation by TED-Ed

8. Provide time for independent reflection. Give students some time to write (or create an audio file, drawing or other product) independently so that they have a chance to process the conversation. Let students know that this isn’t a graded assignment, and that you are open to feedback about ways to improve the classroom discussion.

9. Check in with distressed students. If a student is particularly anxious or upset, check in with that student privately. If you are worried about a student, avail yourself of other resources in your building and district so that students get the support they need to function well during the school day.

Animation by Cinematic Sweden

10. Consider a class project related to the discussion. A class project can help build cohesion and a sense of community in your classroom. It can also show that even in the midst of controversy and disagreement, people can work together for a common goal. The project does not have to be complicated or expensive. For example, TED-Ed Innovative Educator Kristin Leong created Roll Call, a project that highlights the commonalities between students and teachers.

Author bio: Dani Bostick is a writer, teacher, and TED-Ed Innovative Educator in Virginia.

anonymous asked:

Do you think the dislike Snape/Harry had for one another (although mostly due to their hostile history and interactions of course) was further reinforced by a slight jealousy of the other's relationship with Albus? An almost sibling rivalry if you will? Albus' seemingly absolute trust for each seemed to annoy the hell out of them both!

Yes, yes, yes - I’m a big believer in this.

Harry’s side is very simple in these circumstances - Dumbledore is the embodiment of all that is wonderful in the wizarding world.  He’s powerful, impressive, intelligent - and he seems to really love Harry.  For a boy who is utterly starved of emotional affection when he arrives at Hogwarts, to be liked and mentored by a man of Dumbledore’s standing is a heady feeling.  It’s no wonder that Harry shows Dumbledore such loyalty when in the Chamber of Secrets, for example.

But the flip side is, Harry despises Snape.  He doesn’t simply dislike him - he outright hates him.  Snape has unfairly picked on him from the moment that he arrived in his Potions classroom.  Throughout the series, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, Harry is convinced that Snape is a terrible man, and it must be a source of constant frustration to him that Dumbledore - wise, intelligent, savvy Dumbledore - has been taken in by a man who Harry is convinced is evil.

Out of all of the characters, Harry’s devastation at Snape’s betrayal is raw.  Unlike McGonagall and Slughorn and Hagrid et al, Harry is not devastated at the betrayal, because he didn’t believe that Snape was a good man.  Harry is devastated at Dumbledore’s fallibility.  Harry is devastated that it was so obvious to him that Snape was a bad man, and almost-perfect-wizard Dumbledore completely missed it.

Snape’s side is a little more complex, and his reaction is probably stronger than Harry’s.  We don’t know much about Snape’s time at Hogwarts as a student, but it’s plausible that he didn’t have much of a relationship with Dumbledore; I even think it’s fair to argue that he had a negative perception of Dumbledore, given the werewolf incident, the Gryffindor/Order aligned Marauders, and the fact that he was growing up in Slytherin, a pro-Voldemort environment.

When Snape defects, Dumbledore tells him that he’s disgusted with him - and you can’t imagine that Snape brushes it off that easily.  He pledges to be Dumbledore’s spy, and not only stays loyal to Dumbledore for the rest of the war, he then commits to stay true for many more years.  He stays at Hogwarts as a teacher, and seemingly becomes respected by his fellow staff members.  I think it’s fascinating to think about how Snape changed over those years, and how Dumbledore saw him grow from being the angry youth who aligned himself with the Death Eaters into a young man who his fellow teachers respect and accept as one of them.

I know fandom is rather split on Dumbledore’s attitude towards Snape, but the vital part - to me - is that Snape believes that his word has some sway with Dumbledore, even though we see in Harry’s years that he rarely gets his own way.  Snape isn’t shy at speaking his mind, whether in public or in private, and Snape clearly values Dumbledore - we can see this in how quickly Snape leaps to defend him on more than one occasion.  It is possible that Dumbledore didn’t have quite the affection for Snape that Snape had for him, but I think it’s important that Snape really does admire Dumbledore.

…and then in walks Harry.  Snape clearly antagonises Harry during their first lesson, and then their dislike never abates.  Harry sometimes behaves in a way that would be determined, from Snape’s perspective, as being outright malicious and disrespectful, even if the reader knows that wasn’t Harry’s intent.

And I wonder at how hard won Snape’s friendship with Dumbledore was.  For a boy who perhaps rarely had contact with the Headmaster during his student years, or who felt utterly maligned by the Headmaster following the Marauders’ antics, it must’ve been somewhat galling to see James Potter’s son seemingly following in his footsteps, getting away with murder and being liked and adored for it.  Snape, in comparison, spends years convincing the Headmaster that he’s not a lost cause, and is worthy of his time and praise - and Harry, who Snape sees as being lazy, arrogant and reckless, is immediately the Headmaster’s favourite for no apparent reason.

Fuelling this even more is Snape’s fury at Harry’s apparent failings.  There is truth in Snape’s words in Spinner’s End when Snape suggests that Harry has prospered through pure luck and more talented friends; to Snape, who values education, innovation and talent, Harry appears to coast through life without applying himself.  He doesn’t study hard, he doesn’t invent spells, he doesn’t research - and I think Snape is left stalking his dungeon and wondering how this useless boy is going to defeat the Dark Lord when Dumbledore…Albus Dumbledore…cannot.  I do not think it is a mistake that we witness Snape’s disdain at Harry’s retort at ‘ghosts are transparent’ - it is a key moment in Snape being burdened by the truth that Dumbledore has to die, Snape has to go undercover, and The Chosen One can barely explain the definition of a ghost.

When Snape demands answers of Dumbledore a short time later - when Snape seemingly erupts in a jealous fit in the forest at the end of Half Blood Prince and wants to know what Dumbledore is telling Harry but isn’t telling him - I am certain that Snape is confident that Harry will fail in his quest to defeat the Dark Lord.  When that happens, with Dumbledore long dead, Snape needs to know what to do to pick up the pieces and defeat Voldemort in their absence.  

Frankly, both of those scenes (Snape’s demand, and Dumbledore’s reveal) are criminally under analysed in fandom.

Interestingly, Snape and Harry go on slightly different journeys at the end of Half Blood Prince.  Harry is wrapped up in the idea of Dumbledore being wrong, and Snape betraying him.  Snape is wrapped up in the way that Dumbledore treated Harry, and how it was apparently fake.  No longer does Snape feel that Harry has usurped his place as the favoured son, but Snape now believes that both he and Harry have been misled and lied to all along - that the affection that Dumbledore showed Harry, that the love that Snape wanted that seemingly Harry got instead was…well, apparently not legitimate.

Of course, the reader later learns that Dumbledore did love Harry, and that Dumbledore’s presentation to Snape was merely a case of keeping Harry safe - of giving Snape enough information so he didn’t desert his duty whilst ensuring that the real truth was kept silent.  

But it adds another beautifully complex layer to that final year.  There is also a horrible irony that Harry believed that Snape had betrayed Dumbledore, and Snape believed that Dumbledore had betrayed Harry…but the stark truth - that nobody realises until the very final moment - is that the real betrayal was Dumbledore’s betrayal of Snape.  Poor Severus indeed.

In ten years most people say “I see myself happily settled down with a family and kids”

In ten years I say “I will help thousands of lives, be a leading integral member of Florida’s Stem Cell Surgical Network, have several publications and publish a book or 2. And if I have a family, that’s cool too.”

If you want to be ‘excellent,’ you have to have vision that doesn’t let you be anything less than that which you aspire to be. Whether it’s being an excellent mother, father, teacher, nurse, doctor, etc. have goals and a vision; you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.

[…] #EduHam follows the show into each new city thanks to Miranda’s father, Luis A. Miranda Jr., who became the founding president of the Hispanic Federation, a leading Latino nonprofit, and has advised the likes of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer. Each city means starting from scratch, and the 21-week L.A. run comes with fresh challenges for the program.


“In New York, kids jump on the subway to get to the theater — we don’t need buses,” explains Luis. “And the Pantages is the largest venue where Hamilton will be — but we also need a place for the kids for lunch, and nothing around it is big enough to accommodate. It’s still a work in progress.” Mayor Eric Garcetti tells THR that though LAUSD “is still evaluating transportation costs, once they have completed that process, we can determine together what needs to be done to make sure that as many children as possible get this opportunity.”


To support the program, which nearly 40,000 kids have experienced so far, the production sells the hottest tickets in town for their $70 cost value; private entities — like the formative participant The Rockefeller Foundation and now including corporations like Google — donate $60 per seat. The $10 each kid contributes gives them “skin in the game,” says Luis. Adds Gilder Lehrman president James Basker, “[The producers] are forgoing millions of dollars in revenue so kids can get to the show. It’s not exactly traditional philanthropy, but these people wanted kids included, and this is the most efficient way.”


Miranda stresses that seeing the show live has its own lasting effect on these audiences: “This is not a typical Broadway audience that’s overwhelmingly white with an average income of $150,000. To see these kids experience Hamilton onstage — a story told in the music they listen to, with a multiracial cast that looks like them — it’s magical.”


In 2018, Hamilton launches a national tour, with hopes to include student matinees at every stop. “In Salt Lake City, I don’t have to raise a penny because the legislature appropriated dollars!” says Luis. “This cuts across [political] lines because it’s a unique experience for kids.” So far, #EduHam’s biggest tour obstacle is implementing the program during the summer, when school isn’t in session. Beyond the U.S., it is undecided whether the initiative will be implemented in conjunction with the show’s London run.


In addition to #EduHam, Hamilton continues to birth initiatives like the viral #Ham4All Challenge supporting immigrant rights (brainstormed by Sara Elisa Miller, Lin-Manuel’s philanthropy director). “With social media, you can take your pick of horrible things going on everywhere. You can’t let it all in, you’ll drown,” says Lin-Manuel. “But there’s no shortage of things we can do to make the world a better place.” Adds Luis, “Exciting initiatives like this will always find funding in major cities, but the kids in Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas and smaller places that probably elected Trump are the ones who will suffer,” especially as the president threatens to cut funding to arts education. “We need to do everything we can to make sure that won’t happen.”