Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Kathy Simon

Beating the Odds: High Schools as Communities of Commitment

by Jacqueline Ancess (Teachers College Press, 192 pages, $19.95) reviewed by Kathy Simon It is hard for most of us who attended and began teaching in standard-issue schools in this country to visualize how schooling could be truly different We can stretch our imaginations to picture a particularly exciting project, a spectacular field trip, or maybe smaller class sizes. But

Horace: Kathy Simon Published: December 10, 2003 By: Kathy Simon Topics: Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities

Moral Questions in the Classroom: How to Get Kids to Think Deeply About Real Life and Their School Work

The book review that follows was written many weeks before the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Those events, I believe, highlight the importance of exploring hard questions in our classrooms. In 1993, I taught a unit on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that turned out to be a bit flat. During class discussion one morning, I made reference to

Horace: Kathy Simon Published: February 10, 2002 By: Kathy Simon Topics: Curriculum, Essential Questions

Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and other Bribes

Many of us know Alfie Kohn for his courage and coherence on of the dangers of standardized testing. Kohn’s message in Punished by Rewards is perhaps even more important for educators and parents. In Punished by Rewards, Kohn painstakingly demonstrates the ways that behaviorist theory has seeped unawares into our everyday actions. We take it for granted that praise and

Horace: Kathy Simon Published: June 10, 2002 By: Alfie Kohn, Kathy Simon Topics: Alternative Transcripts, Assessment

Tuned In and Fired Up: How Real Teaching Can Inspire Real Learning in the Classroom

By Sam M. Intrator (Yale University Press, 208 pages; $23.00), BUY NOW! reviewed by Katherine Simon These are tough times for those of us who believe that the core of learning has to do with igniting the imagination, unleashing students’ creativity, and whetting their appetite for knowledge. This kind of rhetoric seems embarrassingly na??ve these days, and ever so far

Horace: Kathy Simon Published: September 10, 2004 By: Kathy Simon Topics: Classroom Culture