In addition to responding the questions submitted by readers, now and then I pose a question that's been on my mind and that I believe others might find interesting. This is a week for one of those questions, and it's: How can you tell the difference between good and bad education research? Colleagues in the Teacher Leaders Network and I have previously written about the importance of having a certain amount of healthy skepticism about research in the field, and I've written about the importance of being data-informed instead of being data-driven. Even then, though, we need to be careful ...


An educator who prefers to remain anonymous asked: How do you go about teaching critical thinking skills? I try to infuse critical thinking during much of my teaching, and have particularly found the "thinking routines" developed by Project Zero in Harvard useful. I describe in my latest book how I use two of their recommended questions: "What's going on here?" and "What do you see that makes you say so?" One other strategy I use is helping students understand the difference between opinion and judgment. It's a perspective shared by many community organizers (I was one for nineteen years prior ...


This week's question comes from an educator who prefers to remain anonymous: How do you go about teaching critical thinking skills? Boy, this is sure an important issue! And one where we often need to remember William Butler Yeats' often quoted comment: "Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." Please share your responses in the comments, or, if you prefer, feel free to email them to me. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve published by Eye On Education. You can send questions to me ...


(NOTE: This is the concluding post in a three-part series) Brad Patterson asked: Can we be friends with our students? Where do we create barriers? How about social-media wise? I'm interested to hear about your experience, lessons learned, regrets, what you would offer as advice for new teachers. Rick Wormeli provided his response in the first post of this three-part series. In Part Two, I shared how this issue relates to the differences between a "public" and a "private" relationship and Jose Vilson's response to Brad's question. Today, I'll conclude this series with two guest responses -- from Bud Hunt ...


(NOTE: This is the second of a three-part series) Brad Patterson asked: Can we be friends with our students? Where do we create barriers? How about social-media wise? I'm interested to hear about your experience, lessons learned, regrets, what you would offer as advice for new teachers. Rick Wormeli provided his response in the first post of a three-part series. Here in Part Two, I'll first share my own thoughts on how this issue relates to the differences between a "public" and a "private" relationship; followed by Jose Vilson's response to Brad's question, and then conclude with a number of ...


Brad Patterson asked: Can we be friends with our students? Where do we create barriers? How about social-media wise? I'm interested to hear about your experience, lessons learned, regrets, what you would offer as advice for new teachers. It's an important question with two key components. One relates to the question of how teachers and students view their relationships with each other on a broader level, and the other more narrowly in the social media realm. In fact, it's so important -- and it has so many nuances -- that I'll be devoting three separate posts responding to Brad's question. ...


This week's question comes from Brad Patterson, who asks: Can we be friends with our students? Where do we create barriers? How about social-media wise? I'm interested to hear about your experience, lessons learned, regrets, what you would offer as advice for new teachers. It's an important question with two key components. One relates to the question of how teachers and students view their relationships with each other on a broader level, and the other more narrowly in the social media realm. The second aspect has definitely been in the news lately, particularly in Missouri. What do you think? Anyone ...


Eric Skoog asked: How can you minimize unpredictable behaviors that negatively affect your classroom? I'm sure we all have experienced "unpredictable" (what a diplomatic way of phrasing it, Eric!) student behaviors in our classes. The key question is how we can respond to them in positive ways that are helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of our students, and to our own sanity.... I'm going to begin this post with sharing a few examples of how I respond to "unpredictable" or disruptive student behaviors (I have also previously shared ideas at "Response: Several Ways To Help ...


This week's question comes from Eric Skoog, who asks: How can you minimize unpredictable behaviors that negatively affect your classroom? I'm sure we all have experienced "unpredictable" (what a diplomatic way of phrasing it, Eric!) student behaviors in our classes. What strategies have you found helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of your students, and to your own sanity? Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve published by Eye On Education. Thanks, Eric! You can send questions to me at [email protected] ...


Alice Mercer asked: What are the major critiques of standardized tests and what are alternatives to them? My bias is pretty obvious if you look at the title of my related "The Best..." list -- The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They're Bad). However, there are far more articulate critics than me out there, and two of the most well-known and most respected -- David C. Berliner and Yong Zhao -- agreed to respond to Alice's question. During the nineteen-year community organizing career I had prior to becoming a teacher in 2002, one of ...


The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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