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The Learning Studio

John Holland

September 1, 2015

7 Steps I Took to Become an Advocate for Students

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I have been working for some time, going beyond my classroom, to help create the educational system students deserve. I sort of consider it my side job. It began when I was in teacher preparation and I accepted teaching as my calling. Since that time it has been a constant passion and lived in the underpinning of the opportunities I seek out.

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John Holland

July 26, 2015

Craving Criticism

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I crave criticism. I think it is a holdover from my years of training as an artist. People don't realize that is what really happens in art school and art classes. You spend several weeks working on a project, put it out there for everybody to see, and then you pick at it, look under the hood, ask and answer questions. It is a called a critique, and that is how you learn. In order to learn, an artist prostrates him/herself on the body of knowledge of the collective. There are no right answers.

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John Holland

July 9, 2015

Six Reasons Every Teacher (and Reformer) Should See Inside Out

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I am not the type to see movies in the theater but I recently took our family out to see Inside Out for Father’s Day. I have always been a fan of Pixar. The company really seems to have moved beyond the limitations of 2D animation in the same way film moved from silent slapstick and melodramas to more complex color films. Their films are both stylistically and narratively three dimensional.

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John Holland

May 31, 2015

From Consumers to Creators: Technology and Teacher Leadership

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Transformation happens at the edges of communities and organizations. It is where teacher voice is realized. However, when it comes to technology and innovation, it seems to be one of the places where teacher voice is most needed. When innovations are brought into the center of an organization by leaders who have vision or who can see clearly the value of those who are willing to take risks and experiment, such as teacherpreneurs, then changes can recreate the taken for granted.

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John Holland

May 17, 2015

AERA2015: Research, Technology, and Justice

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In April, I attended my first American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in Chicago. As a researcher and educator I was excited to be surrounded by so many interesting people doing good work. At the same time, I was a stranger in this familiar land. I am adjunct faculty at VCU in the department of Educational Foundations. I love teaching my courses and doing research but I am not full time faculty. I felt like a school teacher in the halls of the academy. As an National Board Certified Teacher I kept asking myself, “How does this relate to students?" It took me a little while to find my people.

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John Holland

April 30, 2015

#TeachingIs A New Story Every Day

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One  of the reasons I went into teaching is because of my love of stories. In my class we draw a picture almost every day. The teacher writes what the student says about their picture. Then we read it together. This is the very first instructional practice I was taught as a young substitute teacher in Head Start. Back then it was called the Language Experience Approach. It is the epitome of child centered literacy instruction. Since that time how we think about Language Experiences changed in early childhood.

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