The Saber-Tooth Curriculum Revisited—A Brief Walk in Time

Abstract Objectives and Purpose of Proposal In his 1939 book, The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, Harold Benjamin (aka J. Abner Pediwell) sketched a parable of stagnate curriculum reform. The book is a metaphorical and historical account of the development of an educational system. This paper addresses, through the “lens” of Pediwell, the critical need to examine the…

Stress-Producing Obstacles in Relationships

Patterns to avoid Want to reduce conflict, pain, and alienation in relationships with the important people in your life? Here are some of the patterns that make connecting difficult. (Some suggestions for resolution below.) • Needing to be in charge or in control, especially when it depends on disempowering or controlling others, or when it disregards…

Does Your Confidence Propel or Sabotage You?

How confidence affects our happiness There are two different kinds of confidence a person may embrace. One comes from a strong, quiet strength and the second type comes from a fear-based confidence. Quiet confidence is an inner strength that when attained doesn’t have to be talked about or placed on a résumé; it shows in a…

Starting Fresh

Beginning a new year. Or a new day. Note: I started this post on Feb. 8, 2014 and, like many things I started during the time I was working on the perfectionism book, lost track of it before I finished. I think the idea of coming back more than 2 years later to complete this…

Increasing Success for ALL Students

Strategies for changing or maintaining the students’ level of alertness and attentiveness There will be times when your students are starting to drift off or glaze over but you need their attention for a few more minutes before the bell rings. Or they come in all wound up and you need them to settle down…

Ways to Build Tolerance and Respect for Diversity

Practical strategies for positive change • Pay attention to peer-to-peer interactions. Increase awareness, advocacy, and a willingness to take immediate, positive action (regarding how kids treat one another). • Advocate for the underdog. Encourage kids to connect with children who seem isolated. Emphasize the value of inclusion. • Interrupt any instances of meanness, name calling,…

Wish List for Beginning Teachers

Interviews with new teachers reveal what they want most: • Encouragement: Feedback that builds on their strengths, not just cautions to “do better” or “try harder.” • Fairness: Not being placed in the toughest schools, given the most challenging students, or being the first asked to make last-minute room or grade level changes • Honesty:…

Fear, Stress, and Learning

Obstacles to the learning process Excerpt from “Learning and the Brain,” chapter 4 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is available on…

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Background and ESSA Context The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA—now also coined as the “Every Student Succeeds Act”—ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 10, 2015. It will be phased in over the next two years, and will not be fully in place until the 2017-18 school year when…

Presentation: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging our relationships, making us sick, and holding our happiness hostage Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic and achievable healthy pursuit of excellence. Working diligently toward improvement, learning, and growth is also far less destructive (and…