Neero Idea

Working Title: The Role of Voice in the Pursuit of Just Schooling

Working Foci:

lynn voice of the physically disabled

katie voices of parents of children with disabilities in policy making

kelly multiple voices within publication

how does “voice” express itself

using voice in educational research

penny voice, schooling, and middle school children

academic engagement of middle school students

go to the learners, are you engaged, how are you engaged

cr interrogating career: consideration of personal voice

shared meanings, shared spaces, the transactional effects of sharing personal voice

moderator and discussant

Ricardo Johnson, III

I’ve been thinking about how we might put our syposium together (as organizer). Several years ago, I saw a symposium that I really liked. Rather than have each person go through their papers “in order,” each person in turn went through a section of their papers a section at a time. That way, the audience saw a broader view of the approach as well as a sharing of the deeper content. This would also give our moderator and discussant an very useful introductory and commenting role. Plus, he wouldn’t have to figure it all out – some of the order and content would be predetermined.

What if we approached each of our papers in this fashion, the trick being could we all agree that we could more or less address the following sections… .

overview – where did the idea for the research come from, where does the research fit within my professional ouvre

rationale – why did I want to focus on the issue of “voice”? why I chose my particular approach to “voice” (method)

the voices themselves – who were they, how did I listen, what did i collect, how did I analyze

observations/findings – what were the outcomes/results/observations/shared realities of my work

What do you think? Could each of us organize our papers in this way?

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Owning the challenge: transforming 24

I teach this course, Learners and the Learning Process. The content potential is rich. The challenge is as always, how to approach it to best engage student interest. First year students predominantly at 8am. I’ve learned to do the course well and know how to keep it fairly engaging, even for that time of day. But still, I nag myself with the knowledge that my approach could be so much more. I continue to teeter on the edge of traditional. I use technology a lot but I don’t take advantage of the full pre-frontal cortex of technology if you know what I mean. There is so much more I could do to turn the learning over to the students.

Why would I want to do that? There’s a fundamentally simple answer to that question. My teaching models a kind of benign hierarchical power that in repetition, becomes lethal. These 21st century students need a 21st century teacher who knows important stuff, but facilitates their accessing the important stuff. Investigation, not transmission. I am still a transmitter of information and if I continue to do so, then my implicit message affirms the centrality and importance and dominance of that essentialist (?) mission. They will turn into a “me.” I don’t want them to do that. I want them to find and turn into a “them,” whatever it is that “them-as-teacher” is evolving to.

I want them to have measurably different responses to these two questions at the end of our investigation. This is what I thought teaching would be before we did the investigation. This is what I thought I’d be as a teacher before we did the investigation. This is what I’m thinking now about teaching and myself as a teacher having done the investigation. This is what I know, this is what I’m not sure of.

I’m going to find two links, the information from which I’ve seen over that past year, to serve as a kind of rudder for my thinking during this work. One is a link to problem based learning. The other is a link to “expeditionary learning,” a curriculum that I think went through the national diffusion process and is now certifiably “effective”: I know it is also investigatory and learner-centered.

Project Based Learning

CSI-An Example of Project Based Learning

Expeditionary Learning – experiential learning at its finest

Mihaly Csikszentmihali on Flow

This is very cool stuff. I hope to add to it with my group of students.

For the moment, here are some of my recent structuring ideas.

We will investigate each of the twelve criteria for brain-based learning (Cain and Cain) as task force groups. My trust is that as students delve into the meaning of their criteria, they will experience the interconnectedness of their criteria with many if not all of the remaining eleven. As of now, here are some thoughts.



agenda keeper and tail twister

scribe and communication specialist

creative effects specialist

Meeting Process…


opening (a quote from someone – Banks, Dewey, Duckworth, etc.)

agenda reviw

work time

report out

next steps: when, where, who/what

closing (another quote – same…)

Group Process Reminder – Tuckman, 1965







Overall Task Requirements

bonding/group strength assessments

clarification of task

goal setting








definitions and examples






the internet

those around us – UVM faculty, people in other places (iChat potential)

‘Nuff for now. It’s way too early in the morning. Even the cats are giving me weird looks. And Kyla, I did not wake up the baby! She did that on her own accord.

“Futures” conversation coming up!!!!

Last week my 178 class really dug into their future. Lots of concern among you all about your marketability once graduated from our program. Lots! I said I’d try to get a late afternoon jam session together with several faculty where we might be able to explore these issues together. You have the concerns, we have the stories from folks who have graduated from the program. Putting these two together will speak to your concerns. We’ll spring for some pizza and drinks. Tentatively, we are set up for 539 Waterman on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, 430-530PM. COME ONE COME ALL. If you’d like to listen to this as a podcast, use the link below.

Download file

An Evening to Chat…

My sophomore class evidenced a huge amount of interest in getting together a whole bunch of majors in the program for an evening of open discussion about the world of work and their eventual entry into it. There were lots of questions that pointed to concern about the job market, their marketability, the usefulness of a major in education as opposed to a major in an A&S course, and on and on. Melissa Giordano – Thank you Melissa! – asked around and came up with Wednesday evenings as a time when most of her contacts could come. I’m going to start getting this organized tomorrow and will be getting back to advisees, classmates, other faculty to get this pulled together. Seems like it might make a good pizza night event??? What do you think??

Oh…remember this, gang??