Moments of Joy

What does it mean to experience joy? Looking back, I recall some unjoyful experiences of sharing middle names as a child. Mine is Joy. My classmates would hear it and start singing “Joy to the World” at the top of their lungs on the playground,…

My Mother’s Curriculum

From the moment we’re born, we learn from those around us. Our parents or caregivers, extended family and friends, and our environments teach us how to live and behave. Some of the things that we do are instinctual, but the rest is a product…

Where to Now?

I’ve had some time to step back and reflect on the state of education—where we are, what’s important, and what’s in store for the future. Out of school systems globally, four themes are emerging: Let’s fix education by solving the…

Leading Change: The Steady Path on the Roller Coaster

By Mary Coverdale, Executive Director of The Learner First, Australia. I work with courageous leaders. They have a profound sense of what’s right for their students and teachers—not just with regard to curriculum, but to the skills and…

Point of Reference

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The third-grade students were busy arranging and rearranging desks. They had just received news that the whole class could learn in the classroom together,…

Enough

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Over the last several days, I’ve found myself reflecting on the concept of “enough.” When it comes to who we are and how we see ourselves as individuals,…

When We Say No

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Years ago, in the depth of winter, our school team was asked by a teacher to support a kindergarten student (“Lisa”) who, in response to every request,…

Turning the Lock on the Assessment Vault

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. By questioning and so challenging the assumption that an exam or test gives us the truth of what a child knows and understands, we dislodge belief systems and practices of 100 or…

Driving in the Dark

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. When you drive at night your vision is limited by the scope and quality of the car headlights. You can see an arc in front of you that guides you along the road. At the edges of the…

The Educational Dartboard

By Mary Coverdale, Director of The Learner First, Australia. Educational change strategies tend to be a bit like throwing darts at a dartboard. We know what we’re aiming for, and we hope for the best. The intention is there––the desired…