Peter Herzberg

Deconstruction 2.0: Fake News vs. Propaganda
Date: September 9, 2018
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Is propaganda the same as fake news? Are both forms of manipulation equally corrosive to democratic norms? Recently, a close friend and an ardent supporter of President Trump, called a controversial Time Magazine cover a “classic example of fake news.” Many will recall the cover, from June, 2018, at the height of the parent-child separation […]

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Restoring the Lost Power of Observation
Date: June 24, 2018
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Should we worry that the magical seductions of the pulsating, digital screen are weakening fatally our powers of observation? We all have this power, but we may have to re-cultivate it.  Children playing on the beach have this power in its purest form;  scientists; and the great poets. We live amidst a crisis of inattentiveness. […]

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Mindset, Model and Practice: Learning from Community College Struggling Writers What They Need
Date: May 21, 2018
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Mindset, Model, Practice: Learning from Community College Student Writers What They need I have always felt that the most engaging work I do in the classroom is when I am teaching students to write well. Good teachers of writing know that writing is hard. Even great writers opine about the challenges of re-drafting, the psychic […]

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How Many ‘Likes’ does Data Deserve?
Date: January 7, 2018
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We know that our habits and affinities are now shaped by finely parsed algorithms; yet we collude in the act of becoming data points because we, too, gain something from the transaction. The data we collect and use in schools is likewise subject to parsing that sometimes lacks a clear relationship between means and ends. […]

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Can Teaching Books Pave the Way for Empathic Citizens in a time of Mean Spirits? Part III
Date: November 6, 2017
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This is part 3 of the series  |  Read Part 1  |  Read Part 2 What should we, as educators, consider when we want texts to predispose students to empathy? The old tropes are no longer so self-evident. Teachers and schools should go well beyond choosing and studying (the hip jargon is “curate”) texts that […]

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Can Teaching Books Pave the Way for Empathic Citizens in a time of Mean Spirits? Part II
Date: November 3, 2017
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This is part 2 of the series  |  Read Part 1  |  Read Part 3 It is a difficult argument to make to a diminishing audience of readers in a world wedded to data that literature can lay the groundwork for more empathic children and young adults—and therefore a stronger citizenry. That more than ever […]

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Can Teaching Books Pave the Way for Empathic Citizens in a time of Mean Spirits? Part I
Date: November 2, 2017
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This is part 1 of the series  |  Read Part 2  |  Read Part 3 At the age of twelve, my grandmother, who knew I was already an avid reader, gave me the novel Another Country by James Baldwin, which was quickly followed by “Sonny’s Blues” and The Fire Next Time. I realized later that […]

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Two Cheers for No Excuses
Date: September 20, 2017
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The no excuses approach to teaching and learning in Charter Schools is getting a second look. New trends in character education may have served to reveal some of the contradictions in this ideology (which some insist on calling non-cognitive skills in a certain fidelity to Cartesian logic). Does this mean that Charter networks are rediscovering […]

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Among School Children: (Charter Schools and its paradoxical culture of attrition)
Date: September 5, 2017
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Urban Charter School networks have now focused in some cases for twenty years on educating underserved children for whom a good education might compensate for huge gaps in early childhood. Many have accomplished this task with considerable success—though that success is sometimes narrowly defined by testing data until college (or high school) matriculation takes over […]

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Deck for a New School Design: from the XQ semi-finalist plan
Date: February 17, 2017
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For those of you interested in school design, this is a deck summary of our Emerson Collective’s XQ project high school design contest. My team of 6 and I were not among the 10 finalists who got the $10M jackpot, alas, but semi-finalists–a 7 person team of educators and social entrepreneurs with whom it was […]

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