Selected Writings, Interviews, and Presentations by Diana Senechal


Diana Senechal, Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011).

Tomas Venclova, The Junction: Selected Poems, ed. Ellen Hinsey, translated by Ellen Hinsey, Constantine Rusanov, and Diana Senechal (Highgreen, UK: Bloodaxe, 2008).

Tomas Venclova, Winter Dialogue: Poems, translated from the Lithuanian by Diana Senechal, with a foreword by Joseph Brodsky and a dialogue between the author and Czesław Miłosz (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1997).

Articles and op-eds

"You Are Embarked: How A Philosophy Curriculum Took Shape and Took Off," American Educator, Spring 2015.

"Strong Teachers Are Crucial," in the forum "The Right Approach to Reading Instruction," Room for Debate (New York Times), July 2, 2014. With E. D. Hirsch, Pedro Noguera, Claire Needell, Lucy Calkins, Mark Federman, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.

"The Folly of the Big Idea: How a Liberal Arts Education Puts Fads in Perspective," American Educator, Winter 2012–2013.

"Should We Educate to Meet the Demands of the Age?" FORUM: A Publication of the ALSCW, no. 5 (What Is Education? A Response to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "U.S. Education Reform and National Security"), Autumn 2012.

"The Cult of Success" (excerpts from Republic of Noise), American Educator, Winter 2011–2012.

"In Defense of Diane Ravitch," The New Republic (online only), December 12, 2011.

"Let Us Not Abandon Listening," Education Week, August 31, 2011.

"Let Strategies Serve Literature," Educational Leadership, March 2011.

"The Spark of Specifics: How a Strong Curriculum Enlivens Classroom and School Culture," American Educator, Winter 2010–2011.

"Why Do We Need a Philosophy of Education? The Forgotten Insights of Michael John Demiashkevich," American Educational History Journal 37, no. 1 (2010).

"The Most Daring Education Reform of All," American Educator, Spring 2010.

"Solitude: A Flashlight Under the Covers," Education Week, May 27, 2009 (online only).

Interviews and presentations

A video by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture—about the future of the humanities—features interviews with three Hiett Prize winners—and a special appearance by CONTRARIWISE!

On September 13, 2014, in Snowbird, Utah, I delivered the keynote address at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

On April 16, 2014, I spoke at SUNY Cobleskill about solitude and my book.

On February 19, 2014, I delivered a lecture titled "The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education." This event was part of the lecture series "'Civil' Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue," hosted by the University of Florida's Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. An article about the lecture appeared in the Gainesville Sun.

On October 11, 2013, in St. Louis, I spoke (and took part in a panel discussion with Franklin "Buzz" Spector and Hugh Dubberly) at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Read the text of the speech.

I was interviewed by Judith Regan (SiriusXM Stars) on Saturday, April 27, at 11:30 a.m. (Podcast available by subscription or free trial.)

On Friday, February 22, 2013, I was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Download the podcast.

I gave the principal address, "Measure Against Measure: Responsibility Versus Accountability in Education," at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music, San Diego, November 19, 2012.

On August 22, 2012, I spoke to faculty at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. These teachers read Republic of Noise for a summer seminar, led by English teacher Stella Schindler, on "Silence and Solitude in the 21st Century." After the talk, each seminar participant gave a presentation on something related to the book; topics ranged from mathematics to icon-painting to gardening.

I was interviewed by Bill Newman on WHMP (Northampton, MA), March 1, 2012. With Reverend Peter Ives and Rabbi Justin David. (Interview begins at 37:40 in the podcast.)

I spoke about my book and about the purpose of education at the Education Forum of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture on February 17, 2012.

I talked about my book on the Veronica Rueckert Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, on Friday, January 13, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST (10–11 a.m. CST). Listen to the podcast.

I talked about my book on the David Sirota Show (AM 760 Colorado) on Friday, January 6, at 10:05 a.m. EST (8:05 a.m. MST). Listen to the podcast.

In December 2011, I was interviewed by Alice Karekezi at Salon about my new book, Republic of Noise.

I delivered two Hiett Prize lectures on October 26. Listen to the luncheon lecture, "Inside the Tricky Topic of Solitude."

I was interviewed by Krys Boyd on the KERA talk show "Think" on Tuesday, October 25. Listen to the podcast.

I discussed my book in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2011.

On May 26, 2011, I gave presentations to principals and teachers in a network of public schools in New York City. Lively discussions followed.

Selected satirical blogs (click here for full blog list)

"College Embraces Microtenure," The Cronk of Higher Education, September 17, 2014.

"The School of Deep Understanding," Diana Senechal, July 31, 2014.

"Standards Count as Complex Informational Text, Says Leader," Diana Senechal, June 11, 2014.

"District Mandates Innovation in All Schools," Diana Senechal, April 27, 2014.

"Colleges Purchase Second-Best Practices," The Cronk of Higher Education, March 25, 2014.

"District Leader Calls for Inhumanities," Diana Senechal, March 21, 2014.

"Students Craft Their Own Virtual Colleges," The Cronk of Higher Education, February 24, 2014.

"Nation's Colleges Eliminate Content Study, Embrace Strategy Instruction," The Cronk of Higher Education, December 5, 2013.

"College Seizes 'Thumbs-Up' Brand," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 13, 2013.

"Faculty Shows Restraint During New President's Speech," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 4, 2013.

"District Purchases New Goal Package," Diana Senechal, October 12, 2013.

"Proponent of Teacher Obsolescence Theory Becomes Obsolete," Diana Senechal, September 15, 2013.

"'Measure Every Teacher Now!' Shouts District," Diana Senechal, September 2, 2013.

"To Promote College Readiness, Congress Abolishes Speeches," Diana Senechal, August 17, 2013.

"Grand Opening: Common Core Hardware Store!" Diana Senechal, August 14, 2013.

"No More Seasons, Says College," The Cronk of Higher Education, August 1, 2013.

"Unthinking Beauty," Diana Senechal, July 28, 2013.

"The Low-Inference Room," Diana Senechal, June 15, 2013.

"College Denies Allegations of Teaching," The Cronk of Higher Education, May 23, 2013.

"Superintendent Tells Principals What to Think," Diana Senechal, May 19, 2013.

"College Library De-Offensifizes All Holdings," The Cronk of Higher Education," May 7, 2013.

"'It's All About the Brute Struggle,' Says Schools Deputy," Diana Senechal, May 3, 2013.

"Teach Us How to Teach, Pleads Faculty," The Cronk of Higher Education," April 24, 2013.

"Task Force to Universalize Multiple-Choice Questions," Diana Senechal, April 8, 2013.

"College Expels Bookish Students," The Cronk of Higher Education," March 26, 2013.

"Teacher Reprimanded for Assigning Book," Diana Senechal, February 18, 2013.

"Pangloss University Eliminates All Teacher/Learner Distinctions," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 22, 2013.

"College Drops Kant, Purchases Clickers," The Cronk of Higher Education, December 4, 2012.

"To Boost College Readiness, Colleges Become Student-Ready," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 15, 2012.

"Student Shows 23 Percent Growth in Finding Central Idea," Diana Senechal, November 10, 2012.

"To Save Kids, District Adopts No-Sitdown Policy," Diana Senechal, October 13, 2012.

"Faculty Denied Tenure Are Branded 'Thoughtful,'" The Cronk of Higher Education, October 9, 2012.

"College Bans Words 'Intellect' and 'Culture,'" The Cronk of Higher Education, September 17, 2012.

"Equals Sign Creates Jobs and Confusion," Diana Senechal, September 3, 2012.

"Breakthrough Research Shows Role of Study in Learning," Diana Senechal, September 2, 2012.

"University Inaugurates Pre-Orientation Orientation," The Cronk of Higher Education, August 23, 2012.

"College Composition Embraces Obfuscation," The Cronk of Higher Education, August 9, 2012.

"Philanthropist Funds Misfit Database for Kindergarten," Diana Senechal, July 21, 2012.

"University Celebrates Annual Paradigm Shift," The Cronk of Higher Education, July 2, 2012.

"District Announces Value-Added Bazaar," Diana Senechal, July 2, 2012.

"My Galvanic Afternoon," Diana Senechal, June 19, 2012.

"To Boost Results, College Bans Literature," The Cronk of Higher Education, April 23, 2012.

"Mathematician Discovers He Is Valid, Too," The Cronk of Higher Education, February 29, 2012.

"Scholars Discover New Personality Type: Nice," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 26, 2012.

"College Pledges to Be Research-Based by 2014," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 17, 2012.

"University Offers New Major in Self," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 12, 2012.

"New Software Boosts Student Marketability," The Cronk of Higher Education, December 15, 2011.

"University Library Enlists Collaborative Cheerleaders," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 30, 2011.

"How Socrates Would Fare on New Teacher Evaluation Plan," The Answer Sheet (blog), June 14, 2011.

"Study Finds Lectures Worth Insulting," The Core Knowledge Blog, June 2, 2011.

"An Immodest Proposal—Or, Rather, a Done Deal," The Core Knowledge Blog, October 16, 2010.

"Group Brainstorming: An Educational Nutshell," The Core Knowledge Blog, July 16, 2010.

"No Time to Lose: The Need for 21st Century Skills" (unpublished).

"Class Discussion for Sale," The Core Knowledge Blog, January 4, 2009.

Selected non-satirical blogs (click here for full blog list)

"Have We Given Up on Conversation?" Diana Senechal, May 10, 2015.

"The Dialogue of Thought with Others," Diana Senechal, May 4, 2015.

"Giving Opinion Its Due," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), March 29, 2015.

"The Ubiquitous Team," Diana Senechal, March 22, 2015.

"A Legal Metaphor in Sonnet 30?" Diana Senechal, March 1, 2015.

"The Remedy Is the Poem Itself," Diana Senechal, January 1, 2015.

"The All and Nothing of Teaching," Diana Senechal, December 31, 2014.

"A Sounder Conception of Change," Diana Senechal, December 18, 2014.

"Dylan Thomas and Deuteronomy," Diana Senechal, November 16, 2014.

"I Contemplate a Tree," Diana Senechal, November 16, 2014.

"The Privacy of Teaching and the So-Called Status Quo," Diana Senechal, November 11, 2014.

"Our Unwitting Teachers," Diana Senechal, October 17, 2014.

"On Teacher Scandals and Boundaries," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), October 5, 2014.

"CONTRARIWISE Contests Galore," Diana Senechal, October 3, 2014.

"What Does This Framework Mean?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), October 3, 2014.

"Is Traditional Instruction That Boring?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), October 3, 2014.

"Questions of Community," Diana Senechal, September 21, 2014.

"What Should Teacher Education Be?" Diana Senechal, August 31, 2014.

"The Role of Love in Teaching," Diana Senechal, August 28, 2014.

"Building a Better Definition," Diana Senechal, August 25, 2014.

"Mourning: Together or Alone?" Diana Senechal, August 18, 2014.

"Don't Criticize—Retire!" Diana Senechal, August 13, 2014.

"Homophonia and Parekbasiphobia," Diana Senechal, August 3, 2014.

"The Elephant in the Reform," Diana Senechal, July 31, 2014.

"The Blessing of Slight Neglect," Diana Senechal, July 20, 2014.

"Group Work Does Not Equal Collaboration," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), July 6, 2014.

"Unpacking Epiphany," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), July 2, 2014.

"Cognitive Humility," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), June 29, 2014.

"Back to Balanced Literacy in NYC?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), June 27, 2014.

"On Journals and Joy," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), June 25, 2014.

"A Desk of One's Own," Joanne Jacobs, June 25, 2014.

"Pairing Serious Inquiry with Play," Chalkbeat, June 24, 2014.

"A 'Good' Common Core Lesson?" Diana Senechal, June 18, 2014.

"Education Without 'Stuff,'" Diana Senechal, May 9, 2014.

"The Privacy of Speaking One on One," Diana Senechal, April 25, 2014.

"Solitude of Time," Diana Senechal, April 17, 2014.

"What Would Become of Walter Mitty and Fern?" Diana Senechal, April 17, 2014.

"Noise and Its Discontents," Diana Senechal, April 11, 2014.

"What Is Joy, and What Is Joy in Learning?" Diana Senechal, March 31, 2014.

"A Dream of Uncertainty," Diana Senechal, March 23, 2014.

"CONTRARIWISE Is Here!" Diana Senechal, March 2, 2014.

"A Common Core Lesson Gone Wrong," Diana Senechal, January 3, 2014.

"Why 'Turn and Talk' Instead of 'Pause and Think'?" Diana Senechal, December 23, 2013.

"The Great Sin of Introducing a Text," Diana Senechal, December 13, 2013.

"Teaching in Vastness," Diana Senechal, December 8, 2013.

"Turning Our Attention Toward Interesting Things," Diana Senechal, November 15, 2013.

"And comes that other fall we name the fall," Diana Senechal, August 19, 2013.

"Literature Class Is Not Reading Class," Diana Senechal, August 12, 2013.

"Free Will and Education Reform," Diana Senechal, August 8, 2013.

"The 'Old Verities' and the Lamentation Sprawl," Diana Senechal, August 4, 2013.

"The Key to Creativity?" Diana Senechal, July 28, 2013.

"A Different Way of Being with Others," Diana Senechal, July 12, 2013.

"Teaching, Reserve, and Listening," Diana Senechal, July 7, 2013.

"Curriculum: A Springboard to Creativity," The Core Knowledge Blog, June 20, 2013.

"Teaching the Underground," Diana Senechal, April 21, 2013.

"How Student Work Can Illuminate Teaching," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat), April 12, 2013.

"Professionalism Without Protection: The Danielson Framework," Diana Senechal, March 31, 2013.

"Breaking the Tablets," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), March 24, 2013.

"The Listening Deficit," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), March 20, 2013.

"The Precipice of Teaching," Diana Senechal, February 9, 2013.

"Delving into John Stuart Mill with My Students," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat), January 25, 2013.

"Belonging and Apartness in Intellectual Pursuit," Diana Senechal, January 21, 2013.

"Goe, and catche a falling starre...." Diana Senechal, January 17, 2013.

"Teaching and Physical Presence," Diana Senechal, December 28, 2012.

"They Guided Me in My Sense of What Is Significant," Diana Senechal, December 23, 2012.

"Accuracy of Imagination: Part 1," Diana Senechal, December 22, 2012.

"Locke and Beads," Diana Senechal, December 11, 2012.

"Daydreams, Lectures, and Helices," Diana Senechal, December 7, 2012.

"A Few Thoughts About Thomas Hardy's 'The Going,'" Diana Senechal, December 1, 2012.

"The Eensy, Weensy Spider in the Universal Crisis," Diana Senechal, November 27, 2012.

"Self-Doubt in a Culture of Certainty," Diana Senechal, November 25, 2012.

"A Way to Think for Myself As If Under Their Eyes," Diana Senechal, November 17, 2012.

"More Pushkin: 'The day's luminary has died out....'" Diana Senechal, November 3, 2012.

"Poet! do not cherish the love of the people...." Diana Senechal, November 2, 2012.

"Is Teaching a Calling?" Diana Senechal, November 1, 2012.

"David Bromwich's Politics by Other Means," Diana Senechal, October 27, 2012.

"Puttering, Responsibility, and Beauty," Diana Senechal, October 19, 2012.

"Enter This Landscape," Diana Senechal, October 8, 2012.

"A Sense of Tuning and Timing," Diana Senechal, September 26, 2012.

"On the Meaning of High School Philosophy Instruction," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat), September 19, 2012.

"Tobias Wolff's Old School: Truth, Tangent, and Return," Diana Senechal, September 16, 2012.

"Yearning and Return in Education," Diana Senechal, September 15, 2012.

"The Deep Problem with the School of One," Diana Senechal, September 5, 2012.

"Why the Lecture Isn't Obsolete," Diana Senechal, August 7, 2012.

"The Biometric Bracelet and the End of Daydreaming," Diana Senechal, June 17, 2012.

"Is Personalized Learning a Good in Itself?" Diana Senechal, June 12, 2012.

"The TED Bubble," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 27, 2012.

"More on the Russian Math Textbook," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 24, 2012.

"Solitude of Time," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 21, 2012.

"The Danielson Framework: What Is Engagement?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 15, 2012.

"Why Do Teachers Stay?" Diana Senechal, May 11, 2012.

"Fiction Is Not Fluff," Diana Senechal, March 23, 2012.

"The Loss of Solitude in Schools," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, February 10, 2012.

"Research Has Shown—Just What, Exactly?" Diana Senechal, January 27, 2012.

"The Importance of Saying Nothing," Diana Senechal, December 18, 2011.

"It's a Video Library, Not a Revolution," The Core Knowledge Blog, November 17, 2011.

"Evidence Isn't Everything or Everywhere," The Core Knowledge Blog, October 5, 2011.

"Putting Group Work in Its Place," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 16, 2011.

"Kundera, Rhinoceros, and Group Work," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 15, 2011.

"Evans-Marshall and the Canons of the Profession," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 12, 2011.

"What Do Teachers 'Produce'?" The Core Knowledge Blog, April 12, 2011.

"The Thinking Gap (and Why Teachers Shouldn't Keep Kids Busy Every Second)," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, January 31, 2011.

"Whatever It Takes? Maybe Not," The Core Knowledge Blog, December 7, 2010.

"What's Wrong with Releasing Names and Scores?" The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, November 12, 2010.

"A Model for Excellent Teaching?" The Core Knowledge Blog, August 19, 2010.

"The Problem with Race to the Top Is the Race," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, August 11, 2010.

"Sorry Geoffrey Canada, but Failure IS an Option, a Reality, and Even a Boon," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, April 9, 2010.

"Diane Ravitch Didn't Make a U-Turn," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, March 25, 2010.

"Tell Us, Six-Year-Olds, What's the Author's Purpose?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), January 29, 2010.

"There's No Such Thing as 'Teaching,'" The Core Knowledge Blog, January 7, 2010.

"What's With Those Clickers in Physics Class?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), September 9, 2009.

"Guessing My Way to Promotion," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat, August 17, 2009.

"How Innovative Are You, Teacher?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 22, 2009.

"Show Me Your Goals, Sir," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 21, 2009.

"A Measure of Privacy," The Core Knowledge Blog, February 11, 2009.


"Making Schools Work for Our Kids," letter to the editor, New York Times, February 5, 2007.

"Reading, Rehashing, 'Rithmetic," letter to the editor, New York Times, March 28, 2006.



Played cello (both the plucked and bowed parts) on the song "Though the Light Seem Small" by Art of Flying.

Self-released an album of songs in 2000.

Recorded a six-song EP, O Octopus, at Tiny Telephone in 2001. John Croslin engineered it.

About the author
Republic of Noise
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