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Monday, November 2, 2009


The following continues the serialization of Chapter 2 on education from SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity:

Kagan Structures and Cooperative Learning

Spencer Kagan in 1968 began an effort to promote interaction among students. He says it's all about engagement, has about a dozen books listed in on the subject and has an active web site for educators. His Kagan Structures transform how content is taught, producing positive outcomes in academic achievement, thinking skills, character virtues, race relations, emotional intelligence and affirmative attitudes toward learning.

He is involved with learning centers and workshops, promoting grouping strategies and cooperative learning. It is in the mechanism of teaching, not the content. For the student, learning becomes more fun and social skills are enhanced.

Tony Wagner and the Change Leadership Group

Tony Wagner has been a leader in educational innovation, and his book on Making the Grade: Reinventing America’s Schools (Routledge, 2003) and Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming our Schools (with Robert Kegan, et al, Jossey-Bass, 2006) stand out as prime movers. He is co-director (with Kegan) of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Having served as teacher, principal and educational professor, but, more so, providing inspiration and vision, he certainly has the credentials and personality to lead the charge.

As he has on occasion come to Hawaii, I certainly would like to discuss with him how to best re-educate the one marshmallow child and upgrade gifted and talented programs. I wonder, too, how he feels about the “theory” that the future of the country is in good hands because our post-secondary educational system is so superior.

The Dow Jones Industrials did not crash, but certainly had a wild day, initially zooming up almost 150, then, sinking from that point minus 180, only to recover to end up 77 to 9789. The Japan Nikkei is at 9803, as markets in the Orient all dropped, while that of Europe mostly went up. Gold increased $14/toz to $1059, while crude is now at $78/barrel.

At 63 MPH, Tropical Storm Mirinae slammed into Viet Nam yesterday. The oceans are otherwise relatively calm.


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