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Articles written by Jim Strickland

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The structures of leadership

I like to walk. It's a great feeling to be outdoors in the fresh air, stretching my legs, and just having a little time to think. But walking has had a side benefit that I didn't plan or expect. It...

 
 By Jim Strickland    Opinion    May 10, 2017

Education - A process of Living that Never Ends

In 1897, John Dewey wrote that education is "a process of living and not a preparation for future living." I don't think Dewey meant that the future is unimportant, but that the seeds of a quality...

 

Aspiring to democracy

I live to be inspired. Life can be tough sometimes, and moments of inspiration are the stepping stones that help get me across its roughest patches. Thankfully, I find most of the inspiration I need...

 

Ice Cubes or Snowflakes? The Big Question in American Education

How are human beings like snowflakes? If you ask grandparents they will tell you that every child is bright and beautiful in their own unique way, and that is what makes them so special. But the full...

 

Elvira on education

“Listen sister, if I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you!” – Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) If there is one thing that really irritates people, it is unsolicited criticism. It is hard enough to hear negative opinions that we ask...

 

Making democracy work

I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. – Anne Frank It’s not always easy keeping our faith in human nature these days. Horrific...

 

Facing the challenge of public education

What would you say is the primary purpose of our schools? Is it to equip students for success in college? To develop critical thinkers? To create lifelong learners? To prepare students for future jobs...

 

Looking beyond the high school diploma

Philosopher Bertrand Russell once wrote that “We must have some concept of the kind of person we wish to produce before we can have any definite opinion as to the education which we consider...

 

People First: Countering our American epidemic of alienation

Let me begin by giving credit where credit is due - People First is a national nonprofit that helps people with disabilities define themselves by their common humanity rather than by their disability....

 
 By Jim Strickland    Opinion    July 1, 2015

Strong work ethic is important

One of the most prized compliments any of my students can get is for someone to say that he or she has a strong work ethic. This description carries more weight than a host of other attributes —...

 
 By Jim Strickland    Opinion    May 27, 2015

Rethinking the high school diploma

There are very few achievements in our culture that are valued as much as the high school diploma. And rightly so, for the high school diploma serves two critically important functions: 1) It certifies a minimum standard of competence in academic...

 

In pursuit of un-common goals

Imagine it’s a beautiful spring day and your boss gives everyone the afternoon off to enjoy the great weather. Several people start talking about having a picnic in the park and someone asks for...

 

Finding the 'one thing'

After their freshman year at Boston College, students are invited to participate in a weekend retreat called Halftime. The purpose of this workshop is to help students clarify their direction as they...

 

Challenging educational assumptions

John Dewey was a professional philosopher, but he was not what you think of as your stereotypical ivory tower academic. Dewey believed that the practice of philosophy needed to be directly related to...

 

Can video games save us?

Our society has a love/hate relationship with video games. On the one hand, some researchers warn that our national obsession with gaming is separating us from the real world, disconnecting us from...

 

Documentary offers surprises, lessons

I just finished watching a very disturbing documentary called “Dropout Nation,” a Frontline episode that follows several at-risk students in a Houston, Texas, public high school during the 2012 sc...

 

What’s love got to do with it

I’m a sucker for a good reader board message â something short and simple that really captures an idea powerful enough to make you stop and think. I was driving past one of our local churches a...

 

The opportunity of a calling…

John Dewey was a professional philosopher, and from all we can tell, he was born for the job. At the celebration of his seventieth birthday, Dewey made these remarks: “One of the conditions of...

 

Tapping into the wisdom of our community

In his bestselling book, The Wisdom of Crowds, business columnist James Surowiecki explores the simple but powerful truth that “under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent,...

 

Committing to Continuous Renewal

My wife’s mother had a series of devastating strokes about 10 years ago and has been living with us ever since. For most of that time she had her own apartment in our home with its own separate...

 

Let the district hear your priorities for new superintendent

Dear Marysville Teacher, Parent, Student, or Community Member: Community input on our search for a new superintendent is being accepted through February 11th. The following are some priorities that...

 

Job coaches enable the disabled

Editor, I was having coffee with a friend the other day, and I noticed a young man bussing tables who had an obvious developmental disability. He was able to work successfully, however, because he...

 

Human rights for all

Editor, It goes without saying that we live in complicated and often confusing times. In order to make the wisest and most humane decisions possible, we need to have a clear vision of the common value...

 

Citizenship as education

The term "public education" can be understood in a couple of different ways. One common meaning is related to its funding source. Public education is education that is publicly funded, as...

 

Measuring our real wealth

Editor, In his Agenda for a New Economy, author David Korten warns against overemphasizing financial indicators (such as GDP) when assessing the performance of our economy. Real wealth is more than...

 

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