Recent Posts

People, Planet, Purpose

“It is easier to change the course of history than to change a history course”. “Proposals for change in schools are often met with a thousand points of no“ Liz, Julie and I are at the NAIS annual conference in […] 

Does Science Matter?

Educators are fond of commenting that children are natural scientists. Children, they say, are born investigators. Discovery, speculation, questioning, trying things out, testing their senses, trial and error, and exploration – that’s what small children do all day. It’s how […] 

Press Interview

In a recent interview with the PDS media I was asked for my opinion of some of the pressing issues of the day. The journalists arrived well prepared with questions and then posed for my camera.  

NCLB: Another Perspective

Last night in his State of the Union address President Bush outlined proposals to extend the NCLB (“No Child Left Behind”) law. These ideas are outlined in this White House policy memo. There has been a growing chorus of concern […] 

Strategic Thinking

At the recent Board Strategic Planning session we were encouraged to think forward to the year 2020. Of course, none of us can predict that future world but it seems prudent to consider current trends and think through what we […] 

Thesis papers, exams, end of semester reports

It’s the end of semester – a time for thesis papers, exams, tests, reports and etc. The demands on high school students are relentless. Clearly it is time for some serious fun: the Annual High School Talent Show aka Poise, […] 

The Passionate Learner: Part Three

The Climate for Learning A follow-up to Passionate Learning Part 1 and Part 2 Stained Glass Dr. Robert L. Fried is a leading American educator and teacher of teachers. He is an advocate for passionate learning and passionate teaching. Rob […] 

The Paradox of Hedonism

The impulse toward pleasure can be self-defeating. We fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them. This is the essence of what the moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick in the The Methods of Ethics called the paradox of hedonism. This came to […] 

Colleges still on break

Colleges are still on winter break. Nathan, Luke and Matt dropped by to say hello.  

The Passionate Learner: Part Two

“What have you planned for professional development day?” The starting point was this question from Andrea Archer – head of school at Duchess Day School. The outcome was Robert Fried who came to PDS yesterday and worked with the faculty […] 

The Welsh have a word for it: Dysgeidliaeth

The Welsh have one word for it: dysgeidliaeth. It means teaching and it means learning. And of course that is what good teaching is:  learning. But how to pronounce it? Any speakers of Welsh out there who can help […] 

The Lone Starfish

Over on the other side of the world at Leading and Learning in New Zealand, Bruce Hammonds has posted this picture of a starfish on the beach for his end of year post. It refers to the story of the […] 


Earlier this month I saw a remarkable production staged in the James Earl Jones Theater at PDS: the Shakespeare Central Study Elective performance of Macbeth. The players from grades 7-12 had chosen this from a variety of electives and spent […] 

Boxes: Part 1

Why do I stand here? I stand on my desk to remind myself that we must constantly force ourselves to look at things differently The world looks different from up here. If you don’t believe it, stand up here and […] 

Education delivery system – 17th century style

Packages and parcels get delivered, learning does not. Consider the two Time magazine covers in the previous post. The one from 1965 shows a funnel through which all manner of things are being poured into the school. Much like the […] 

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