Town Square

Post a New Topic

First Person: A conversation with Esther Wojcicki, journalism/English teacher, education innovator and author

Original post made on Nov 15, 2015

Esther Wojcicki, also known as Woj, talks with Lisa Van Dusen from the new Palo Alto High School Media Arts Center (MAC) about writing for a real audience, blended learning and mastery learning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, November 15, 2015, 1:18 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Ester's example in innovative teaching is wonderful. Project based learning is one of the key pillars of secondary education in the 21st century, and she's been doing it for a while!

The question is, what causes Palo Alto to have so darn few of these types of innovative teachers? (I don't think this fact is even worth debating.)

Is it that teachers are culturally conservative? Or is there something about our 'system' in the school district that inhibits innovation like this? Too many layers of approval needed before a new idea-program-initiative can be implemented? Parents who want the traditional curriculum and don't want 'new'?

This is worth looking into by the school board.

Posted by District Teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:56 pm

@Barron Park dad, I agree with you and wish there were more like her, including myself. My gut response is that she doesn't have to worry about 1.) standardized test scores being scrutinized and 2.) state or Common Core standards to meet. Just a thought, not looking for a fight and not whining. Love my job.

Posted by QuestionNeverAsked
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 16, 2015 at 1:09 am

I wish the interviewer had asked Woj her role in the Verde Rape Culture articles. Did she act on student reports of sexual harrassment as a teacher? Investigate per title IX?

Or as a journalist and write stories as if from confidential a sources?

Were the facts she learned dealt with appropriately; or mined for journalistic gold?

Posted by James
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 16, 2015 at 9:55 am

Project-based learning has its generates student interest, involves research and has some role in future jobs. However, the local science fairs can attest to the fact that those project-based projects that win top prizes are done by students who have a firm base in the fundamentals. The much-maligned "tiger moms" should be looked to to provide some advice about why their highly drilled kids do so well in the project-based classes/competitions.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

New Palo Alto sushi spot highlights late-night hours and affordable prices
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 8,925 views

Farm Bill and the Organic Movement (part 5) Plus: Global Plant Forward Summit, April 18 – 20
By Laura Stec | 23 comments | 4,803 views

Sharing That Just Works
By Sherry Listgarten | 5 comments | 1,770 views

Robots, I am tired of talking to you!
By Diana Diamond | 0 comments | 54 views