Jeff Bloom's Blog

Mullings on teaching, learning, schooling, society, ecology, systems, spirituality, connections…

The Problem with Hierarchies

| October 31, 2010

We live in a world of hierarchies… that top-down organization with a few powerful people at the top along with progressively larger numbers of individuals at each layer as we move towards the bottom. Our political structures, the military, the organization of businesses and corporations, the organization of schools and universities, and all sorts of […]

“Stupid”

| October 21, 2010

Earlier this week, my teacher education students completed their month-long moon study. As I’ve been doing for years, we spend a class session “debriefing” and sharing the explanatory models each student has developed over the month. In general, this session reveals the conceptual difficulties children and adults have in making sense of phenomena from a […]

Relationships, Bundles of Relationships

| October 14, 2010

Over the past several years – actually it’s probably been over the past several decades – I’ve been increasingly interested in “relationships.” This topic has arisen in previous posts. However, I’d like to explore this topic briefly, but in some depth here. When I bring up the topic with my students, the immediate reaction is […]

Creativity and Kids

| October 14, 2010

A while ago, I posted a short entry on creativity and children. The essence of this entry was that the politics of schooling with an emphasis on achievement and test scores is problematic. In fact, the current efforts in schools are actually acts of psychological violence against our children (and teachers, too!). Testing, accountability, standardized […]

Children as Real People and Engaged Learners, but Schools Get in the Way

| October 14, 2010

I mention in my book, Creating a Classroom Community of Young Scientists (2nd ed.), that “children are people.” Although this may seem obvious, the “institution” of schooling assumes that children are something less than human. In fact, children (as emotional, thinking, creative, and curious human beings) are totally missing in The No Child Left Behind Act. Children […]

Confusion – Double Bind or Connection in the Classroom

| October 14, 2010

Recently, I was reading part of A Letter to My Students that I had sent them a few days earlier. Among the ideas that I mentioned were ideas of learning as non-linear and of learning as pattern thinking. After I finished a student asked the question, “… but how do patterns fit?” She went on, […]

The Travesty of “Distance Education”

| October 14, 2010

If you watch television, browse the internet, read magazines and newspapers, listen to the radio, or read bulletin boards and billboards, you’ve been bombarded with advertisements about distance education degrees, like those listed below: “Earn an Distance Degree In 5 Days” “Earn a degree online while you keep
working.” “It’s back to school time-Have you
 registered […]

In the Heartlessland of America

| October 14, 2010

Sometimes we get so caught up in the speed of everyday life, we don’t take the time to ponder what’s happening around us. As for me, I feel like I’ve been going about my everyday business with blinders on. It’s embarrassing. I feel like I’m extremely slow on the uptake. Maybe this time too many […]

Disconnects – A Brief Initial Exploration

| October 14, 2010

The initial question I posed on my previous post (What is the extent of the disconnects we experience today?) is almost overwhelming. Each of us, if we sit and think about it, can come up with a huge list of examples of the disconnects we experience in our lives. In some ways the list seems […]

Gregory Bateson: An Introduction

| October 13, 2010

I had the fortunate opportunity to spend five weeks with Gregory Bateson during the summer of 1975. Gregory was an extraordinary man with a huge heart and phenomenal mind. In 2004, his last wife, Lois, mentioned to me, “you know Gregory had a big mind, but he thought with his heart.” My interest in connections […]