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Nick presents a perspective from around the world, Australia. This is not a story with a single question, let alone a single answer or two camps. It is a narrative needing multiple questions, new conversations, and new ways of engaging those in the classrooms in the conversations.

Nick Falkner

You may have read about the Edmonton, Canada, teacher who expected to be sacked for handing out zeros. It’s been linked to sites as diverse as Metafilter, where a long and interesting debate ensued, and Cracked, where it was labelled one of the ongoing ‘pussifications’ of schools. (Seriously? I know you’re a humour site but was there some other way you could have put that? Very disappointed.)

Basically, the Edmonton Public School Board decided that, rather than just give a zero for a missed assignment, this would be used as a cue for follow-up work and additional classes at school or home. Their argument – you can’t mark work that hasn’t been submitted, let’s use this as a trigger to try and get submission, in case the source is external or behavioural. This, of course, puts the onus on the school to track the students, get the additional work…

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

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