Connect Facilitate Change
Posted on: October 13th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
3 Comments »
The Awful Truth About Social Programs?

I’ve just finished reading Margaret Wente’s latest Globe and Mail Opinion piece on the push for more rigorous evidence about the success (or lack of) of the social programs funded by various levels of government in Canada. This comes after being challenged on Twitter earlier in the week by B.C.’s Tobey Steeves to look a little deeper and more carefully at some of the ideologies and  rhetoric associated with the way  that we frame and talk about public education. Taking up his challenge, I’ve immersed myself in some of the writing of Gert Biesta, one of the many voices stepping forward to challenge some of the assumptions that we make when we talk about evidence-based strategies, best practice and scientific rigor.

At first blush, Wente’s call to a disciplined approach to research of social programs sounds like common sense, but when you begin to poke the beast a little, you may become sensitive to fact that not everything that is valuable and worthwhile is easily measured by even the most rigorous of scientific inquiries. Human communities, and the systems that we have designed to support them, are complex things and, as Biesta and others will argue, to attempt to impose a frame that looks to find a simple relationship of cause and effect is foolish and, itself, ineffective.… Read the rest

Curious for more?...

Who Killed Amanda Todd? Too Many Clues In This Room
Posted on: October 12th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
8 Comments »
Who Killed Amanda Todd? Too Many Clues In This Room

I was devastated to wake this morning to read this article in the Toronto Star.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1270262–b-c-victim-of-cyber-bullying-commits-suicide

Amanda Todd, according the article, committed suicide this week but, in reading through the published details of the last few years, including the video that she posted on YouTube just a few weeks ago, I’m overwhelmed by the complexity of Amanda’s story. There are too many clues in this room and, although school officials say that Amanda was being helped and supported, it became obvious this week that those supports were not enough.

Over a decade ago, I began working with the Peel Regional Police on a district-wide Cyberbullying program. At that time, not many people had ever heard of the term and many of the dimensions of the problem had, at that time, not been clearly defined. Now the term cyberbullying has become a well-used “box” to tuck away certain examples of unwanted behaviour. But, Amanda Todd’s story runs much deeper than this. In fact, labelling it as a case of cyberbullying sweeps so many other things under the carpet. For sure, technology has something to do with the tragic demise of Amanda Todd, but gathering all of the threads of her story and placing it “over here” as a case of cyberbullying could cause us to miss many of the other factors involved.… Read the rest

Curious for more?...

whiteboardtable
Posted on: October 10th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
3 Comments »
A Smart Idea? I’m Dying for Someone to Try This

I posted this piece back in May, and I’m posting it again here because I presented the idea to the salespeople who were in yesterday to present to us the latest and greatest. They kind of just stared at me. You may do the same, but there may be someone out there that might be able to run with it!

So here’s a way that I think the use of Interactive Whiteboards could transform the dynamic of your classroom. It’s not really about the new technology; instead, it’s about the technology that your new IWB is replacing.

You walk in on Monday morning to discover that the tech department in your district has finally made it to your school to install the new IWB that was ordered sometime last year. They arrive after you have left for the day on Friday, so it’s a surprise to return after the weekend to find that something new has been added to the landscape of your classroom. Lots of questions are probably circulating in your mind, including, “How do I turn this thing on?” and “What happened to the science lesson that I written out before I left on Friday?

But here’s the question that I would be asking.… Read the rest

Curious for more?...

Twitter

Quote of the Day