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Virginia Journal of Education

Speaking of Education

What we value, motivation and more

“There’s another person who should be added to this exclusive club [of people who’ve influenced us]. If we’re lucky—and many of us are—there’s at least one teacher in our lives who was able to reach us, to kindle our spark of imagination, to provide us with the tools to succeed.”
from an editorial in the Gloucester-Mathews (VA) Gazette-Journal

“The increasingly massive and far-reaching use of standardized testing is one of the most effective, if unintentional ways we have created for suppressing creativity.”
Robert Sternberg, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University

“Learning can be brought to the levels now needed only by basically changed relationships among students, teachers and families, in which each participant first holds himself accountable for quality performance and then the others for collaborating and support in nonbureaucratic ways.”
David S. Seeley, professor, City University of New York

“I think humans will reach Mars, and I would like to see it happen in my lifetime.”
U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin

“If kids are worried that somebody's going to tease them or put them down or humiliate them in some way, or if they're afraid of getting beat up by somebody, they can't focus on their studies. . .Your mental state has a lot to do with how well you can concentrate."
Tom Roderick, executive director, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

“Schools fail not because they lack resources, or quality teachers. School influences are overwhelmed because so many children are molded by highly vulnerable and dysfunctional environments. The rhetoric of leaving no child behind has trumped reality.”
Susan B. Neuman, former assistant secretary of education for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education

"Everybody is motivated by challenge and solving problems, and we don't make use of that in schools enough. Project-based learning gives everybody a chance to sort of mimic what scientists do, and that's exciting. And it's fun if it's done well."
Bruce Alberts, president, National Academy of Sciences

“We have to market ourselves as the professionals we are. Some folks have the idea that teachers are still Charlie Brown's wa-wa-wa-ing lecturers, whacking kids with yard sticks if they misbehave. But we know real teachers are committed professionals who believe in purposeful instruction and who have our students' best interests at heart. As we speak to others, in the grocery store or by the neighborhood pool, we must embody that professionalism.”
Cindi Rigsbee, North Carolina’s 2008 Teacher of the Year



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