Posts from Diana Senechal
April 12, 2013
Sometimes, after a discouraging week, I sit down to correct homework and am enlightened, intrigued, and moved by what I read. For this reason, the opportunity to showcase and discuss my students’ work comes as a great treat. (more…)
January 25, 2013
Teachers need time to read and think, even if they have a strong background in their subject. Certain works and concepts reveal their meanings over the years; on the other hand, teaching is one of the best ways to delve into them. Not only that, but such delving will inform the very practice of teaching. (more…)
September 19, 2012
When I joined the faculty of Columbia Secondary School as a curriculum adviser last year, I had no inkling that I would eventually become the school’s high school philosophy teacher. This is an honor and an intellectual treat. I want to share my thoughts about what it means to teach philosophy at the high school (more…)
February 9, 2011
The teacher’s main responsibility is to bring the subject to the students in such a way that they learn it. If they take interest in it, so much the better. Some teachers live for that second part — sparking the students’ interest — but first and foremost, the students need to learn the subject.
That’s what (more…)
August 18, 2010
The path toward teacher certification is laden with demands that prospective teachers prove that they’re sensitive, socially conscious, and self-critical. If a national group of education agencies has its way, those demands could soon extend throughout teachers’ careers.
Teachers and others would do well to look at the “Model Core Teaching Standards: A Resource for State (more…)
April 6, 2010
Teacher layoffs in New York State are about to begin, and they will not be pretty. There is no ideal approach to them; one can only hope to do as little harm as possible. But how do we set our priorities? Who should stay, and why?
Currently, the teachers contract requires layoffs to be done according (more…)
January 15, 2010
Test scores now have regal status. They drive many of our policy decisions, yet we pay too little attention to their content and merit. We know they leave much to be desired, but we need to understand why.
Often the reading passages and questions are poorly written and geared toward limited thinking. For example, the New (more…)
September 23, 2009
The charter school study released this week that suggests charter school students are catching up with their suburban peers leaves many questions unanswered. As GothamSchools and the New York Times reported, the study found that a student who attended a charter school for all of grades K-8 would close approximately 86 percent of the “Scarsdale-Harlem achievement (more…)
August 17, 2009
Last week I read a thought-provoking column by Diane Ravitch in the New York Post, in which she discusses the lowering of the bar on New York State math and ELA tests. She points out that to reach level 2, which is sufficient for promotion in New York City, a student needs a significantly lower (more…)