I work professionally as a teacher and this is my professional blog. I write posts pertaining to educational issues that often involve competing tensions or issues such as instructionism vs. constructivism/onism, learning vs. education, oppression vs. empowerment, learner centered vs. teacher centered, play vs. work, learning to code vs. coding to learn, using technology vs. integrating technology. Sometimes I write about false dilemma fallacies such as iPad vs. Chromebook, block vs. text coding, and so forth. Actually, I hesitate to characterize any issue using an X vs. Y structure because no debate is ever that simple… and the notion that the reality is dynamically located somewhere on a continuum between extremes. Nevertheless, I find X vs. Y and handy way to summarize and simplify as long as the cavats are noted, too. All thoughts and ideas expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect my employer.
I have been a maker for my whole life. As a kid I took apart almost every gift I ever received and then built other things from the parts… such audio mixing-boards, loudspeakers, robots, and radios. I spent endless of hours building with cardboard, string, tape, paper, and Lego. I also loved to write stories, create photographs and videos, draw, and write music. Creating and building things were/are the only times in my life when I experience flow so that has become a significant line of professional inquiry for me:
- How can educators support a maker learning culture in the youth of today?
- How do we foster both creativity and critical analysis as equal players in the educational endeavours of teachers and students alike?
In June 2018, Benjamin Doxdator tweeted a prompt that I love and that I continue to think about.
I think it’s a very useful and thoughtful prompt for anyone asking big questions about the goals of education. Here’s what I posted as a response:
I made a follow-up tweet to point my thinking behind the three data points I mentioned:
- inspiration, learning to learn, self-regulation, research
- Competencies – collaboration, creative-critical stance, communication, project management, innovation
- Love, equity, social justice, cultural competencies
Where I share online:
I try to post resources and share ideas in various places. Here are a few:
- Twitter: @cashjim
- Blog: makelearn.org
- Medium: @cashjim
- Podcast:modernlearners.ca (episodes: 0-35)
- Scratch: JimmyC
- Prezi: user/jim
- YouTube: my channel or my school channel
- web site: Scratch Mathland
Brief career summary:
I have taught for 18 years in the classroom with students ranging from grades 1-8. My six years as a grade 1 teacher pretty much ‘made me’ professionally and I wrote a little about that. Currently, I am a resource teacher in my board and I support teachers and students in 26 school in Brampton, Ontario. During the summer of 2016, I was one of several authors of a renewed vision document for teaching and learning in my board. The result is Empowering Modern Learners.
My undergraduate degrees focused on developmental, social and cognitive psychology and education. In my 1991 BA thesis, I examined Seymour Papert’s microworld learning environment (as described and developed in his 1980 book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas). In 2012, I graduated from the MET program from the University of British Columbia.
I use Twitter (@cashjim) as my primary means of connecting to other professionals who have similar interests and who are, in turn, also learning and networking with others.
Even though my blog posts will often relate to my work as a resource teacher in my board, it should be noted that all blog posts are my own and do not necessarily reflect their policies or opinions.