tgaffey

About Tom Gaffey

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Tom Gaffey has created 11 blog entries.

I miss teaching

Over the past few weeks, both of our lab schools held their celebrations of learning called Mid-year Exhibitions. Celebrations of learning (COL’s) are extremely important experiences for our schools and our students because they give us a chance to pause and spend some time reflecting on our accomplishments and celebrating our students’ learning. For [...]

By |2019-03-16T10:18:15-04:00January 30th, 2019|Personalized Learning, Reflection|0 Comments

Being recognized…

"The goal is personalized pathways where student strengths and interests shape a journey through foundational skills to college and career readiness." Tom Vander Ark Earlier this month, Building 21 was featured on the Getting Smart blog. We are honored and excited that our work is being shared on a national level. With transparency [...]

By |2019-03-16T10:21:01-04:00December 19th, 2018|Reflection, School Redesign|0 Comments

Building 21: Designing a Network for Competency-Based Education

This post originally appeared at GETTINGSMART on July 8, 2018.  By Chip Linehan Our current system’s narrow definitions of student success value content knowledge over the skills and mindsets needed for students to thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. On the other hand, next-generation graduation requirements that measure and credit a broader and deeper array [...]

To Overcome Poor Schools, Students Need to be Engaged by Karen Pittman

"There is, however, one thing that the twins' teachers, families and communities can do to improve their odds, no matter where they go to school: Make sure they are engaged in learning something important with someone who cares about them." To Overcome Poor Schools, Students Need to be Engaged by Karen Pittman   Early in [...]

By |2019-03-16T10:42:40-04:00March 16th, 2015|Personalized Learning, School Redesign|0 Comments

Π Day Epiphanies

On 3.14 this year, I sent an email to the team wishing everyone a Happy Pi Day. For fun, I threw in a little brain teaser: what other day of the year could stand in and serve as Pi Day and why? I’m so glad I chose to do that. What a delight! I didn't [...]

By |2014-06-02T20:47:32-04:00June 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Competency-Based Grading

We recently revisited the question, "Why competency-based education?" as a way to step back from our work. As Chip puts it, "Nothing is sacred." We believe that what we are doing transcends any model or method. They are just vehicles to realize our vision. Currently, I am neck deep in the process of envisioning a [...]

By |2017-04-06T00:05:01-04:00May 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Using Design Thinking in Education

If I had to pick a video that explains in an approximate way what we're seeking to do at Building 21 in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, this would be it. I enjoyed the entire sixteen and three-quarter minutes of it and was especially fond of Studio H's 6 Design Directives which can be [...]

By |2014-02-21T23:09:37-04:00February 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Design Thinking Toolkit

We're currently engaged in a design process as outlined by the Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit. This is a terrific resource that explains a process for design in very clear, concise and accessible terms. There are 5 stages of the process (see image from p.15 below): Discover, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation and Evolution. The toolkit is [...]

By |2014-02-04T17:00:38-04:00February 4th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What do we actually NEED from education?

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education  by: Chris Sturgis Pretty decent paper on traditional grading systems vs. competency grading. It quotes The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan quite a bit. My critique is this focus on gaps in knowledge. People seem to be so concerned with gaps in knowledge. Here [...]

By |2017-04-06T00:05:01-04:00January 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments