Educating Parents About Education | Edutopia

In too many classrooms in America, parents are often viewed as the adversaries of teachers. While this isn’t true for every school district, even one is too many. The parent-teacher relationship is just one of the many factors that complicate our educational system, and it’s a prime example. Why is this relationship such a variable? The parent’s personal experience with education probably tops the list, but how the culture of the school accepts and relates to parents is a close second. Of course, every parent’s number one concern will be: “Is my child getting a proper education to compete and thrive in our world?”

via Educating Parents About Education | Edutopia.

For Teenage Brains, the Importance of Continuing to Learn Deeply | MindShift

John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He’s also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.“I’m a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren’t the genes especially powerful?” Hewitt says.He knew intelligence has a strong biological component. If your parents are smart, you’ll probably be smart — even without a lot of fuss about the right schools and learning environments.But recently, Hewitt discovered something that surprised him.“Well, I may have been wrong,” he admits. “It may well be that the environmental boost you can get, or the detriment you can suffer through adversity, may indeed be a little more important at a critical period in adolescence than I had previously thought. And this may especially be true for parents of very bright children.”

via For Teenage Brains, the Importance of Continuing to Learn Deeply | MindShift.

John Dewey on the True Purpose of Education and How to Harness the Power of Our Natural Curiosity | Brain Pickings

“While it is not the business of education … to teach every possible item of information, it is its business to cultivate deep-seated and effective habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses, and opinions.”

“Do not feel absolutely certain of anything,” philosopher Bertrand Russell instructed in the first of his ten timeless commandments of teaching and learning in 1951. And yet formal education, today as much as then, is for the most part a toxic byproduct of industrialism based on the blind acquisition of certainty and the demolition of the “thoroughly conscious ignorance” that gives rise to real progress, both personal and cultural. To fuel the internal engine of learning is a lifelong journey we are left to steer on our own as the education

via John Dewey on the True Purpose of Education and How to Harness the Power of Our Natural Curiosity | Brain Pickings.

Course Remix: Design Thinking Leads to Aha Moments | Mediashift | PBS

Design thinking is a problem-solving method that grew out of the fields of urban planning, design and architecture and is now all the rage in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurship programs and startup accelerators like Citrix in Raleigh, NC; Amplify in Los Angeles; and Matter and Y Combinator in San Francisco are building their curricula around the people-focused, prototype-driven approach that’s at the heart of design thinking.

via Course Remix: Design Thinking Leads to Aha Moments | Mediashift | PBS.

Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes | Edutopia

Telling students they need to take advantage of the feedback they get isn’t just good advice — it’s established science. In the last few decades, researchers have discovered a lot about how people become experts. The main idea, made popular by everyone from author Malcolm Gladwell to rapper Macklemore, is the 10,000-hour rule. Ten thousand is the number of hours it takes to become an expert in almost any field. While it’s wonderful that people are starting to understand how work leads to expertise, the most important part of that research is not how much practice someone needs to perform, but what kind of practice. This latter category is called deliberate practice and involves isolating what’s not working and mastering the difficult area before moving on.

via Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes | Edutopia.

The Third Rail: Funding Reform for Early Learning Programs – EdCentral

With early childhood education taking a more prominent role on national and state policy agendas in recent years, it’s not surprising that enrollment in early childhood education and care ECE programs is increasing. According to Child Trends, 61 percent of children participated in some type of center-based care before entering kindergarten as of 2012—up six percentage points since 2007. But despite these promising developments, Child Trends also found that children from lower-income families remain less likely to enroll in those programs than their wealthier peers.

That’s a problem for low-income children, given that the impact of high-quality early learning experiences is often greatest on children living in poverty.  While overall participation in ECE programs is up, federal programs that specifically target low-income families, like the Child Care and Development Block Grant CCDBG and Head Start, have long waiting lists. Due in large part to the Great Recession, about one in five American children now lives in poverty—and enrollment in these programs has not kept pace with these recent increases. In fact, Child Trends reports, the share of 3- to 5-year-olds living in poverty and enrolled in Head Start has actually declined between 2007 and 2011, from 42 to 33 percent.

via The Third Rail: Funding Reform for Early Learning Programs – EdCentral.

Americans Say They Support Federal Dollars for Pre-K – EdCentral

A new Gallup poll released this morning brought good news for early education advocates: Seventy percent of Americans say they support using federal dollars to increase funding to provide universal, high-quality pre-K. That’s a startling number, given the fight early education programs have seen even to maintain funding from year to year in the face of federal belt-tightening and the sequester. But the survey could offer hope to supporters of early education programs–and to candidates in the field ahead of November’s midterm elections.

via Americans Say They Support Federal Dollars for Pre-K – EdCentral.

American Teachers Spend More Time In The Classroom Than World Peers, Says Report

American teachers work hard. Like, really hard.This year’s education report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development outlines the state of education in the world’s most developed countries. It finds that American elementary school teachers spend more hours actually teaching students than peers in any other surveyed country.The graph below details how much time elementary school teachers spend in front of the classroom:

via American Teachers Spend More Time In The Classroom Than World Peers, Says Report.

Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading? | MindShift

Yet those who study reading seem to understand that comprehending in the new medium may require some new training and practice to receive the full benefits. In a recent New Yorker article, Being a Better Online Reader, Maryanne Wolf, author of a history of reading called Proust and the Squid, said she’s developing digital apps to help train students to deep read digitally. She cites a new study that showed fifth-graders became better digital readers after learning how to use the digital annotation feature.“The same plasticity that allows us to form a reading circuit to begin with, and short-circuit the development of deep reading if we allow it, allows us to learn how to duplicate deep reading in a new environment,” Wolf said in the article.

via Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading? | MindShift.

Life of an Educator: Have ‘summative’ assessments become obsolete?

Formative assessments are a part of the learning process while summative assessments are an end to the learning process.So, if we are formatively assessing students frequently throughout the learning process and constantly getting temperature checks on where they are in the learning process, we will eventually have students all over the place in terms of their learning. We know students don’t learn at the same rate and pace and we know students need frequent and timely feedback to assist them in the learning process.We also know that if we are formatively assessing then we will always know where students are in terms of their learning.

via Life of an Educator: Have ‘summative’ assessments become obsolete?.

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