Friday, August 1, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Innovative educator urges grads: ‘Keep it simple’

By
From page A3 | June 14, 2013 |

Educator Larry Rosenstock — whose multi-faceted background includes stints as a carpenter, a high school principal, an attorney, a director of documentary films and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education — has some advice for the 2013 graduates of the UC Davis School of Education:

Don’t reach too many hasty conclusions about which students they work with will go far.

“I feel that as a country, we mispredict who can and can’t do what, based on ethnicity, gender, language ability and over-reliance on standardized tests,” Rosenstock said at Wednesday afternoon’s ceremony at the Mondavi Center.

His mention of “over-reliance on standardized tests” drew a spontaneous cheer from the audience of upwards of 1,000 people.

Rosenstock recalled that when he began his career as an educator in the 1970s and 1980s, he taught carpentry at urban high schools in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., while working on a law degree at Boston University.

“And some of those working-class carpentry kids (in the high school classes) were just as bright as the law school kids,” he said.

Rosenstock also reflected on how education can become institutionalized, mentioning that he served as principal of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, which traces its roots back to 1648.

“Having been the principal at the oldest high school in the United States, I found that every time someone did something foolish, another rule was made,” he said, urging them to consider a more flexible and less codified approach.

Rosenstock recalled the words of jazz legend Charles Mingus: “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

“Keep it simple,” Rosenstock added for emphasis.

“People overemphasize stability,” he continued. “There needs to be churning, too.”

But he also urged the graduates to “challenge ideas, don’t challenge people. Schools must be founded on fairness and respect.”

He added that “You need a narrative for your work in education. Develop that narrative well. There is a role for storytelling, but it shouldn’t be overused. You shouldn’t just have the adults talking and the students listening, you should have the adults listening and the students talking” at least part of the time as well.

Good teaching, he said, involves “developing young people’s heads and hands” — a concept that Rosenstock has pursued in recent years as CEO and founding principal at High Tech High, a San Diego-based charter school that uses a project-based learning approach. The school was launched in 2000 and now has 11 campuses.

High Tech High simultaneously serves students in grades K-12, and also includes a comprehensive teacher certification program and a graduate school of education.

Rosenstock also suggested that the graduates not be overly fearful of making mistakes. “In terms of innovation, there is no innovation without error. Great architects, great artists and musicians — and educators — are all obsessed with the question ‘How can I do it better the next time?’ ”

And he noted that the current focus on “education reform” — a buzz word in political circles nowadays — is not exactly a new trend.

“I taught carpentry in the 1970s at the height of the desegregation of the Boston schools. Since the first day I taught … the narrative has been about school reform.”

And through the many phases of his career over the past four decades — which has included profiles in Forbes Magazine, an appearance on “Oprah” and other high-profile recognitions — Rosenstock said his focus has remained rooted in much the same place.

“School formation and reformation has always been interesting to me,” he said.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    What’s the buzz?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Davis Reads book project focuses on veterans

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Carbahal and Company celebrates 30 years

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    UCD chancellor is coming up for 5-year review

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Businesses can learn about PR strategies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Enjoy films, beer at benefit Friday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Target hosts National Night Out celebration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    10 essential herbs are focus of Davisite’s talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Parents can learn all about IEPs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Bee beard photo wins award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
     
    City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Seniors share homes for savings, companionship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Farmers Market shoppers can pick up free reusable produce bags

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Railroads, listen up and respond

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

     
    Treat children as refugees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Protect and expand Medicare

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    It’s insurance against extremes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Political cartoon was offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Let’s gas up for TAPS

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    Stuart named to outstanding placekicker watch list

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Going, going, gone: A’s trade Cespedes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Swimley recalls a budding star in Giants’ Susac

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    UCD women’s golf tees up tough schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Droll sci-fi hijinks

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Barnyard Theatre adds ‘Pinky’ performance after sold-out opening night.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    WOH to hold auditions for ‘Zuccotti Park’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Tunes on Tuesdays’ come to Freeman Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Grand Cherokee: A grand, and long, ride

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Don Fife

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Nancy Jane Fife

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Clara Meyerhoff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Patricia Eileen Hershberger

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    John Vernon McLane Wayland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 1, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A6