I did learn from Todd this afternoon how to include citations in a blog entry. Sort of. While it's more complicated than I'd anticipated, it's a coding system I expect I'll learn as I use it more frequently.
In order to put into practice what I've learned about how to use this code, I'll use this entry to consider the summer institute's "exceptionality," especially in relation to Laura's comment on my initial blog entry. While my reference to Laura's comment will simply appear as "Laura's comment" in this blog entry (linked to a page that includes both the original blog and the comments on it), it will appear in the "edit" version of this blog entry in all it's complicated glory. That way I can go back to the edit version of this third entry to check to see how to perform this rather convoluted operation.
So here's the entry:
Thanks to Laura's comment on my initial blog entry, I was reminded that teachers already experience something akin to the summer institute, at least occasionally, in their places of work. We all have memories of times in our teaching lives when "creativity, conversations with colleagues, room to experiment, community with a purpose, [and] trust that best practices are better than teaching to the test" were the norm rather than the exception. My sense is that these school environments are becoming more and more infrequent, however, as the "mania for testing" gradually invades almost every aspect of our teaching lives.
My attention in the next few blog entries, therefore, will be to isolate and describe those components of the summer institute that can be replicated most realistically in a traditional elementary or secondary school setting. I'm not suggesting these components are always absent from our school year teaching lives, but I am suggesting that we've forgotten their collective power and essential nature. These blog entries can be viewed a counter argument, that is, to the pernicious influence of "accountability" measures in education today, especially in the way these measures have had the effect of creating divisive and distrustful school environments.
I'll begin, in my next blog, with the writing component of the summer institute.