July 9, 2014
susangaylord.com: Book Arts Tuesday-Bookmaking with Children in Croatia

This is a guest post from Zoran Vidaković, an art teacher in a primary school in Croatia. Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has been making books with children for many years. She has also put up lots of projects, resources and videos. A Great resource! Here’s  Zoran Vidaković’s blog.

July 8, 2014
"We should be livid that we have continually insisted upon the disposability of poor and working class youth of color. We should be angry that we teach young people that ultimate forms of masculinity value brawns over brains and privilege aggression, brute force, and violence over compassion, communication, and empathy. We should be outraged that schools, in desperate need of resources, realign their curriculum and culture to meet the needs of the security industry, which donates dollars and expertise to schools. We should be furious that we’ve reduced schools to merely churning out disciplined young people who will maintain and extend the US national security state rather than critique and transform these violent relations of power."

Nicole Nguyen in The Feminist Wire. Homeland Security Goes to School

July 8, 2014
"Chuck D famously referred to hip-hop as the CNN of black America, precisely because much of the music that emerged from the culture in the late 1980s detailed with troubling acuity and precision the war zone-like conditions in which black and brown folks lived in the two decades following the out-migration of good factory jobs."

Brittney Cooper at Salon. White supremacy stripped bare: What “Do the Right Thing” tells us 25 years later 

The film the Obamas saw on their first date challenged America’s narrative of progress. It also saw into the future

July 7, 2014
"He illustrates the basic mechanism to schoolchildren by getting them to take a straw and blow into a glass of water. A simple litmus test shows the children how the pH level drops as the carbon dioxide from their breath dissolves in the water. It’s a sign that naturally alkaline water is becoming less so—and it’s what is happening on a global scale as the oceans absorb a significant amount of the carbon dioxide we pump out through the burning of carbon fuels."

Casey Coates Danson at Global Possibilities. The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the World’s Oceans May Be Irrevocable

July 6, 2014
"It is obvious that the movement from individual to class consciousness has something in common with a movement from individual to community consciousness. But the awareness of class conflict, of class war, made it difficult to assume a unity that transcended the class struggle. Classes seemed real; the broader “community” did not."

Joseph Tussman at a Site dedicated to him. 

Remembering Alexander Meiklejohn

July 5, 2014
"I see a LOT of potential for Indigenous story-telling with these kinds of tools! In fact, I would love to do another one that focuses on using the Cree language exclusively, rather than having a few words here and there as in this game."

Chelsea Vowel at âpihtawikosisân. A present for Canada Day!

July 4, 2014
"The availability of source code and its relation to learning how to program is so fundamentally correlated, it’s zen."

Jim Nelson at Jim Nelson/Yorba blog archives. THE NEW 501(C)(3) AND THE FUTURE OF FREE SOFTWARE IN THE UNITED STATES

July 2, 2014

PS22 Chorus “Rise Like A Phoenix” Conchita


PS22 Chorus

A fitting swan song for the PS22 Chorus of 2014 as the school year comes to an end…. (Although happy to report we still have several more videos from these guys to come!) Truly one of the most outstanding PS22 performances of all time! Brace yourself!!

I stumbled upon PS22 Chorus a few years ago searching for  Let There Be Peace on Earth at Youtube. “Music soothes the savage beast” and while I seem incapable of making music I seem to have a mental jukebox of songs that accompany me along the bumpy road of living.

This year I managed to follow along with the PS22 Chorus  2014 during the year. The Chorus really kicks this song, and it’s obvious by their expressions  they know it.

It’s not just how well they sing, but also how much they learn. Conchita Wurst was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Conchita  Wurst is the drag persona of gay man. Okay, so I’m old and that seems like a lot to process for fifth graders. Even the vocabulary, “phoenix” and  ”retribution” reflect high level constructs. 

I teared up watching them perform Nothing More in their Sunday best in front of an audience. From that song:

Tell me what it is that you see
A world that’s filled with endless possibilities?
Heroes don’t look like they used to, they look like you do.

June 23, 2014
"The gist of it all seems to be that ASU gets a captured student-consumer audience in exchange for tuition discounting at its for-profit online division."

 Tressie McMillan Cottom at tressiemcLattes and Letters

(note the exchange between Clay Shirky and Cottom in the comments)

June 14, 2014
Chuck Noll

I’m not much of a sports fan, in fact so ignorant of the games they appear mysterious to me. Nevertheless living near Pittsburgh for so  long, I had to  take note of this news: Chuck Noll, the coach who led Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles, dies at age 82 —Jan. 5, 1932 - June 13, 2014

Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County. In 1976 a quarter million people living in Allegheny County worked directly in the steel industry. In 1980 about four thousand did. The collapse of the steel industry in the region was rough. So even for a person as disinterested in sports as I am, The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970’s play an out-sized role in my imagination.

Gerry Dulac quotes O.A. “Bum” Phillips in his Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  obituary:

Chuck was an innovator, believe me. He was really intelligent, and most of us coaches aren’t in the real intelligent class. His players played hard and clean. They were tough now, don’t get me wrong. They’d knock your head off and hand it to you. But he believed in playing fair. He lived his life that way and coached that way.

Phillips might not have copped to being “real intelligent” but there’s no doubt he was quick-witted. I can’t help but to read too much into Phillip’s use of the word “class.”

Chuck Noll had a degree in education, so did Phillips. Lyndon Johnson had  a degree in education too.  I’ve got a degree in education too. It turned out I wasn’t cut out for teaching, but education is still a matter I care a lot about.

Nowadays some of the most appealing college majors are widely considered “useless.” If education as a major isn’t thought exactly “useless,” people think most education majors “dumb as a sack of hammers.”

After my father died my sister Sharon and I went out to dinner with a colleague my father had worked with for many years. One of the stories he told involved a funny detail:

You know your dad often wore a blue blazer. And I always picture him writing out calculations at the chalkboard and when he found the result turning around and brushing the chalk dust off the front of his blazer.

My dad’s degree was actually in agriculture because that was the only way he could get some little scholarship money. But he consciously pursued a chemistry major and thought of himself as a chemist. He did not serve in the armed forces during WWII, but after the war thought chemistry at Penn State extension campuses in addition to his full-time work. He considered that as service.

Reading Chuck Noll’s obituary my thoughts turned to Dana Still an imminent figure at Clarion University where I got my degree. I was privileged to know Still before attending Clarion through my friendship with his stepson. Dr. Still was quite a brilliant man. Like my father would, Dr. Still would sometimes say, “Not bad for an old farm boy.”

With Chuck Noll’s passing and reflecting what we’ve lost the generations that preceded us knew, it’s the value and importance of education that stands out. 

Dulac quotes former linebacker Andy Russell:

He’d tell us life is a journey and you never arrive. He was always telling us at some point to find our life’s pursuit. I love the guy. He was a tremendous mentor in my life.

Education wasn’t so much about what you know as it was a means to finding a way in life. A sense of the importance of the commonweal seems lacking today and seen in our general contempt for teachers and schooling. Noll, like many in his generation knew that education as an important value, that the common good matters most.


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