Langston Hughes: The powerful poet from Harlem

Remembering Langston Hughes on his 113th Birth Anniversary with a couple of my favorites:


Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


Mother To Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.









Education in Ancient India

Here is a video on the talk I gave for The India Center in New York City in November 2014. The presentation offers a glimpse into aspects of Education in Ancient India. Viewers can read this topic in more details in my books Going to School in South Asia (Greenwood 2007) and Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, and Teaching Practices and Policies in India (Palgrave, 2006/2013).



2015 WISE Awards - Deadline approaching!

Consider applying for a WISE Award if your project is having a strong educational impact in your community!!

"Each year the WISE Awards recognize six successful innovations for today’s education challenges.Since 2009, the WISE Awards have identified and promoted education excellence by recognizing projects that are addressing key education challenges, and are having a strong positive impact on individuals and in communities globally. In bringing forward these models, WISE is helping build a network of change-makers and encouraging collaboration" (WISE Awards Brochure).

Click on the following link for more information about the awards and winning projects in previous years:
http://www.wise-qatar.org/sites/default/files/2015_wise_awards_digital_brochure.pdf

The deadline for applying for the 2015 WISE Awards is January 15th.

Access vs Quality?

Education policies are forever challenged by the access vs quality tension. Is this a false dichotomy or are the two parallel lines that just will not meet? Here is a piece in today's NY Times that describes another example of this challenge in the context of education in India.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/in-india-revealing-the-children-left-behind/?mabReward=RI%3A11&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine



Rethinking the purpose of teaching

The opinion piece by Harvard Professor David Edwards published in Wired focuses on how the fundamental purpose of schooling and education needs to be given some serious thought - a makeover in light of where the world is headed. The author highlights the important goal of teaching children to learn how to discover.

One thing that we do know is that children will learn the art of inquiry and discovery only when their teachers practice a pedagogy that supports these goals in the classroom; and when teachers can model for their students the processes of discovery and the accompanying joy and excitement it brings. Yet state governments in the US are even now fundamentally re--purposing teacher preparation programs to become even more academically driven with an ethos of high stakes testing taking over the ethos of discovery and critical thinking. When teacher education itself becomes so test driven and score oriented, then teacher educators also tend to teach to the test. It is more than likely that their students will graduate from teacher education programs, enter schools and perpetuate the cycle of teaching to the test.

Click here to read David Edward's piece:

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/on-learning-by-doing/





Schooling in Finland and America

In this oped, Passi Sahlberg highlights three factors that contribute toward the high quality of Finnish schools, and that are absent in the current system of schooling in America: educational equity, the nature of teaching responsibilities, and the presence of physical movement and play for students during school hours:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/sahlberg-finland-education/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

Sahlberg is a former director-general in the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and has written a book detailing the system of education and schooling in Finland titled: Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?