David A. Gamberg's Blog (52)

How did we get here?From Educating Children to Supporting a Psychometric Industrial Complex


It was President Eisenhower who warned our country of blindly falling victim to a military industrial complex as an unintended consequence of the relationship between government and defense contractors.  He spoke of this as a grave threat to our democracy. Today, we face a different insidious threat from within, cloaked in the false clothing that masquerades as new and improved commercial products and technical fixes to an organic problem.  We hear…


Added by David A. Gamberg on May 30, 2012 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Common Core…. Common Sense?

The following is drawn from elements presented at a Regional Literacy Conference for educators.  I started by reading The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth.  Based on the work of Leo Tolstoy, Muth’s brilliant picture book tells the story of a young boy trying to be the best person he can be.  In it the boy asks:


When is the best time to do things?

Who is the most important one?

What is the right thing…


Added by David A. Gamberg on May 14, 2012 at 1:01pm — No Comments

An Earth Day Reflection: Testing vs. Authentic Engagement. The Rights of Childhood are Being Abridged


News coming in from various districts around the state of New York anecdotally indicates that increased stress levels with the new, longer state assessments have been affecting both students and teachers alike.  Stories of an uptick in the number of students who have actually become sick— vomiting directly on their test papers in…


Added by David A. Gamberg on April 22, 2012 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Public Education at a Crossroads

How do we judge performance while maintaining the humanity of a profession that rests on an exchange of ideas between the child and adult?  Thus is the dilemma faced throughout our nation as we grapple with the impact of testing our students and evaluating our teachers in the age of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process.  The art and science of teaching and learning is of course more than either the sharing of ideas and the grading of students and…


Added by David A. Gamberg on March 25, 2012 at 9:43pm — No Comments

The Challenge Faced by Schools and the Community

Under the best of times there are those who challenge and question the priorities and decision making of local school districts.  Arriving at a consensus regarding any proposed spending plan is difficult and far from a perfect science.  In many districts including Southold, we have established a long-term strategy of examining spending, maintaining adequate reserves in general, and specifically planning for the future with the establishment of both a capital and repair reserve…


Added by David A. Gamberg on May 12, 2011 at 8:17am — No Comments

Leadership Conversations that Create a Culture of Understanding…

Sometimes the simple act of having a genuine and respectful dialogue can serve a broader purpose than the topic of discussion.  Today I had an unplanned exchange with two teachers about their instructional practice.  We did not do extensive planning for our meeting.  We sat down at small tables designed for young children.  The 10 -15 minute dialogue produced commitments to conduct a follow-up email exchange that would sharpen our focus, and lead to further steps aimed at reaching as yet…


Added by David A. Gamberg on May 1, 2011 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Can I Be Done?

I remember having a conversation with an elementary art teacher about 12 years ago whereby she lamented over a question posed by a student regarding an art project.  "Can I be done?," the student asked.  The teacher responded, "I don't know can you?"  Only the artist knows when he or she is done.  Artwork, like any other work in school - math or science tasks, historical or literary analysis, etc. is an exploration of understanding that should not be guided by a process akin to…


Added by David A. Gamberg on April 15, 2011 at 2:21pm — No Comments

21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020

I came across the following post on The Committed Sardine (a great site to check out).


Inspired by Sandy Speicher’s vision of the designed school day of the future, reader Shelly Blake-Plock shared his own predictions of that ideal day. How close are we to this? The post was written in December 2009, and Blake-Plock says he’s seeing some of these already beginning to come to fruition.


1.   …


Added by David A. Gamberg on April 6, 2011 at 9:23am — No Comments

What We Do and What We Don't Do

Recently I had the opportunity to spend the better part of 12 hours engaged in a series of professional development workshops.  Three presenters offered insight into a particular strand of educational practice, focusing on two primary aspects of our effectiveness as educators.  Two of them looked at issues related to literacy, and the third presenter examined the nature of teacher effectiveness through the lens of a practice known as instructional rounds.  Spending 12 hours immersed…


Added by David A. Gamberg on April 4, 2011 at 2:54pm — 2 Comments

Changing the Learning Paradigm

Here are two posts that get us to think in a new direction.





Added by David A. Gamberg on March 30, 2011 at 3:35pm — No Comments

Listening to Students

What do we hear when we give our 18-year-old students a chance to express their views and concerns regarding their education?  I listened to five students recently and not surprisingly they have a deep desire to experience a more purposeful and engaging school experience.  They like their school, their teachers, and their friends.  But, intuitively they recognize how we must dig deeper, and to systemically create a more profound experience that is not rooted in mandates, standardization and…


Added by David A. Gamberg on March 29, 2011 at 9:37am — No Comments

Moving From Why to How

In my work as an educator and as someone who seeks to help lead others to consider the prospects of change in order to meet the needs of education in the 21st Century I have followed a basic principle that the why is more important than the how.  If we develop a strong enough why, then we will determine how to institute the necessary changes leading towards any improvement.

Consider the need to prepare our students for learning in the 21st Century.  Given the financial and…


Added by David A. Gamberg on March 25, 2011 at 11:45am — 1 Comment





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