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Practically Idealistic blog
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Recruitment, Experiences, and Retention of Teachers

Travis Bristol – a doctoral candidate at Teachers College and a clinical teacher educator with the Boston Teacher Residency program – recently sent me information about his dissertation project, “Men of the Classroom: An Exploration of how the Organizational Conditions, Characteristics, and Dynamics in Schools Affect the Recruitment, Experiences, and Retention of Black Male Teachers.”

Travis, whom I met when he was a 16-year-old senior at Manhattan’s Washington Irving High School in 1998-99, has a profile on the Boston Teacher Residency website.

His 2006-07 teaching of Othello to New York City 10th-graders was featured on a Teachers College site before he entered graduate school there.

9:03 am edt 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ray Allen: Reader and Basketball Player, Poise amid Pressure

This blog mentioned basketball player Ray Allen in a January 2009 post on his attendance at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.  A recipient of various citizenship awards, Allen is known for his advocacy of causes including juvenile diabetes research and reading (and for starring in the movie He Got Game).  In July 2001, First Lady Laura Bush acknowledged Ray Allen’s work with the “Read to Achieve” program.  He has spoken of enjoying books ranging from The Alchemist to Siddhartha.

He is also the most prolific three-point shooter in NBA history, with ten percent more three-pointers made in both regular season and playoff games than his nearest rival (the celebrated Reggie Miller).

I saw Ray Allen play many times from 1993-96, when he was at UConn, including at Madison Square Garden in March 1996; he made the winning basket in a Big East championship victory over Georgetown.

Since then, while aspects of his all-around play may be underappreciated, he has earned acclaim for his brilliance as a three-point and free-throw shooter.  He is recognized as one of the best "clutch" scorers in the game.

Never was the pressure greater than in game six of the NBA finals the other night, with his Miami Heat trailing three games to two and by three points with just seconds remaining.  A miss would end his team’s season.  Ray Allen made the shot.

Afterward, a New York Times article described him as “unpretentiously classy.”  Then Miami won game seven and the NBA title.

11:17 pm edt 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Concord Review, History and Writing in High Schools

The Concord Review has received a $30,000 challenge grant.

A December 2009 (December 3) post discussed the Concord Review, which publishes the work of high-school students of history.

5:40 pm edt 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

TED Radio Hour: Violence

This week’s TED Radio Hour considered violence, including domestic abuse (in a segment featuring Leslie Morgan Steiner).

Last month’s May 2013 (May 4) post below included relevant information.

5:00 pm edt 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NPR on Cities, Innovation; NYC's "Geek Squad"

There are recent reports in the NPR series on cities and innovation.

Earlier this spring, the New York Times featured “the mayor's geek squad.”

11:25 am edt 

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