Recently found … 03/05/2015

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Recently found … 03/03/2015

  • from David L. Kirp in the NY Times

    tags: educational reform assessment teaching learning

    • During the past four decades, this school — and thousands like it — have adopted what’s called the Escuela Nueva (New School) model.

      A 1992 World Bank evaluation of Colombia’s schools concluded that poor youngsters educated this way — learning by doing, rather than being endlessly drilled for national exams — generally outperformed their better-off peers in traditional schools. A 2000 Unesco study found that, next to Cuba, Colombia did the best job in Latin America of educating children in rural areas, where most of the schools operate with this model.

    • this is how children — not just poor children — ought to be educated.
    • Escuela Nueva turns the schoolhouse into a laboratory for democracy. Rather than being run as a mini-dictatorship, with the principal as its unquestioned leader, the school operates as a self-governing community, where teachers, parents and students have a real say in how it is run. When teachers unfamiliar with this approach are assigned to these schools, it’s often the students themselves who teach them how to apply the method. “In these schools, citizenship isn’t abstract theory,” Ms. Colbert told me. “It’s daily practice.”
    • Decades ago, John Dewey, America’s foremost education philosopher, asserted that students learned best through experience and that democracy “cannot go forward unless the intelligence of the mass of people is educated to understand the social realities of their own time.” Escuela Nueva puts that belief into practice.
    • Rachel Lotan, a professor emeritus at Stanford, added, “Doing well on the high-stakes test scores is what drives the public schools, and administrators fear that giving students more control of their own education will bring down those scores.” Officials, and those who set the policies they follow, would do well to visit Colombia, where Escuela Nueva has much to teach us about how best to educate our children.

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Recently found … 02/25/2015

  • See Stephen Krashen’s response: 

    Many college professors are now independent contractors, known as “adjuncts.” They are paid separately for each course they teach, and are not paid very much, and get no benefits. As budgets at universities get tighter, departments are gradually moving toward adjuncts.

    Will public school teachers become independent contractors? This is, I think, one of the goals of school “reformers,” whose reforms are all dedicated to more profit for the .01%. Eliminating retirement and benefits, and making teaching a part-time profession would release billions for more unnecessary technology in the schools (of course some technology is great, but much of it is being imposed on schools in a great hurry without proper testing).

    tags: leadership teaching

    • The rise of “independent contractors” is the most significant legal trend in the American workforce – contributing directly to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity.


      What makes them “independent contractors” is mainly that the companies they work for say they are. So those companies don’t have to pick up the costs of having full-time employees.

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Recently found … 02/21/2015

  • A thinking mindset vs a doing mindset

    tags: listening coaching leadership conversation

    • Listening is a skill that can make you a better colleague and a more effective leader. When people feel as though they have been heard, they trust you more. In addition, there are a lot of problems that arise through miscommunication. A lot of miscommunication isn’t because someone fails to express themselves clearly, it happens because the other person doesn’t listen carefully.
    • When you listen, you put yourself in a thinking mindset. It gives you a chance to really try to understand what is going on around you. When you focus on planning your next contribution to the conversation, you enter a doing mindset, and you don’t think through the events carefully. Give yourself that chance to think.
  • Studies suggest that handwriting supports cognition in a way that keyboarding does not.

    tags: cognition handwriting learning brain

    • Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.
    • printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain patterns — and each results in a distinct end product. When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.
    • connection between writing and idea generation went even further. When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.
    • For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.
    • both laboratory settings and real-world classrooms, students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard. Contrary to earlier studies attributing the difference to the distracting effects of computers, the new research suggests that writing by hand allows the student to process a lecture’s contents and reframe it — a process of reflection and manipulation that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding.

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Recently found … 02/08/2015

  • tags: bias gender education

    • This interactive chart lets you explore the words used to  describe male and female teachers in about 14 million reviews  from
    • Not all words have gender splits, but a surprising number do. Even things like pronouns are used quite differently by gender.

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Recently found … 02/02/2015

  • While Americans believe scientists do important work … they do not trust scientific findings. A cause for concern?

    tags: learning science scientists

    • Science holds an esteemed place among citizens and professionals. Americans recognize the accomplishments of scientists in key fields and, despite considerable dispute about the role of government in other realms, there is broad public support for government investment in scientific research.
    • Despite broadly similar views about the overall place of science in America, citizens and scientists often see science-related issues through different sets of eyes. There are large differences in their views across a host of issues.

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Recently found … 01/20/2015

  • tags: learning museum art

    • There is no right way to experience a museum, of course. Some travelers enjoy touring at a clip or snapping photos of timeless masterpieces. But psychologists and philosophers such as Professor Pawelski say that if you do choose to slow down — to find a piece of art that speaks to you and observe it for minutes rather than seconds — you are more likely to connect with the art, the person with whom you’re touring the galleries, maybe even yourself, he said. Why, you just might emerge feeling refreshed and inspired rather than depleted.
  • tags: studying learning mindset

    • The way most students study makes no sense.


      That’s the conclusion of Washington University in St. Louis psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel — who’ve spent a combined 80 years studying learning and memory, and recently distilled their findings with novelist Peter Brown in the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

    • 1) Don’t just re-read your notes and readings
    • 2) Ask yourself lots of questions
    • 3) Connect new information to something you already know
    • 4) Draw out the information in a visual form
    • 5) Use flashcards
    • 6) Don’t cram — space out your studying
    • 7) Teachers should space out and mix up their lessons too
    • 8) There’s no such thing as a “math person”

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Recently found … 09/03/2014

    • most of the countries with the best educational results used the same set of techniques to get there. And, second, that the American reform methods were used nowhere else in the world.
    • “We are entirely on the wrong track.”
    • The main thing that works is treating teaching as a profession, and teachers as professionals. That means that teachers are as well paid as other professionals, that they have a career ladder, that they go to elite schools where they learn their craft, and that they are among the top quartile of college graduates instead of the bottom quartile.
    • the cost per pupil in
    • the places with the best educational systems is less than the American system, even though their teachers are far better paid. “They are not spending more money; they are spending money differently,”

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Recently found … 08/08/2014

  • tags: team building planning

      • Do:



      • Create regular opportunities to expose your team members to new ideas and perspectives

      • Cultivate a culture where your team feels confident sharing their rough ideas without fear of failure

      • Develop a plan for action by setting aside a modest budget for experimenting with new ideas





      • Host vague brainstorming sessions with grandiose goals; rather, focus your team’s attention toward solving a particular problem

      • Hold up unattainable examples of innovation success; find models that are relatable

      • Persist in using tired business-speak; frame ideas using language that will resonate with your team

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Recently found … 08/07/2014

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