reDesign Blog

March 22, 2017

Can Literature Make Our Nation Less Insular?

I grew up in a “flyover” state that is most notable for its spotlight in a 1930’s film where a young lady tries to escape the ennui of her farm life by running away to something bigger and brighter, just “over the rainbow.” The community I grew up...

October 15, 2016

#College Ready? Designing Performance Tasks for Historically Underserved Students

My first competency-based project began in 1993, as part of the founding design team of a small, alternative public high school in New York City. Like so many design teams we were committed to developing a curriculum that was culturally relevant and...

October 9, 2016

What IS the difference between competencies and standards?

Though often described interchangeably, competencies and standards are in some ways worlds apart.   If you’re asking this question, then well done, you! This question is a bridge from the old world order (of formal schooling) to...

October 3, 2016

Let every voice be heard: 6 activities to spark better class discussion

Reflections on pedagogy that works for marginalized students   I have a confession: I hate class discussions. I hate them because they remind me of baseball--which, however, I do enjoy. So please, let me explain. In baseball, most...

September 28, 2016

Who asks the questions around here?

The day I stopped handing out packets of questions for students to answer at the end of each chapter of the novels I assigned my teaching changed. We Make the Road by Walking by Myles Horton, who founded the Highlander Folk School, and Paulo...

September 21, 2016

North Queens Community High School: Blooming the Outcomes

This is the sixth post of my Mastering Mastery-Based Learning in NYC tour. Start with the first post on NYC Big Takeaways and then read about NYC’s Mastery Collaborative, The Young Woman’s Leadership School of Astoria, ...