“Our research shows that time spent supporting children’s social and emotional abilities can be a very wise investment,” said Rimm-Kaufman, who was joined by researchers from Virginia, George Mason and Arizona State universities. “When teachers receive adequate levels of training and support, using practices that support students’ social and emotional growth actually boosts achievement.”
Technology has made teens obsessed with the present moment. With feverish intensity, they post the latest happening on Instagram or Tumblr, marching around like paparazzi, holding up their phones to flash and capture every little detail of their lives unfolding.Ironically, the commitment to the present moment is at the core of mindfulness practice. Noted mindfulness guru Jon Kabbat Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”In a humorous yet poignant way, Kabbat Zinn often asks, “What time is it?” And his response is, “Now.”The New “Now”Teens are highly tuned in to the “now,” just not in the way Kabbat Zinn imagines or defines.Any parent with a teen will share a story of how time disappears when teens are engaged in Xbox or other video games like Minecraft. The teen engrossed in the game loses all conception of time, blocks out the rest of the world, and gives undivided attention and focus to the game, so much so that it might take a parent four or five attempts to garner his or her attention. Or the teen might be fully absorbed in a stream of group and individual texts.
“I’m An Alien!”: Pixar Alums’ Pioneering iPad Show Lets Kids Engage In Interactive Make Believe | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Toy Talk CEO Oren Jacob says that when they tested a new story that invites kids to play the part of an alien attacking Winston’s spaceship, “there was a seven-year-old boy who says back to us ‘Oogy oogy! click click click!’ We said ‘What is he doing?’ and someone said ‘I think he’s speaking Martian?’ And it turned out that’s what he was doing–he spoke Martian to us for a good 10-minute run, with intonation and gestures–it was language, even though it made no sense.” Afterwards, Jacob learned that the kid often speaks Martian at home with his parents. “So we asked him, on a scale of one to 10, how well do you think Winston understood you?’ And he said ’10′ So he was totally convinced he was getting the responses he should have been.”
Culture change for risk-taking requires a high level of trust among all the professionals in the district and building, as well as with the stakeholders in the community. This requisite trust can only be engendered by ongoing, frank communication and a relentless focus on the challenges as well as the opportunities of broadband connections; laptop, tablet, and handheld devices; and digital content. For example, several superintendents and education leaders mentioned the ongoing challenge of equity of access for low-income students and potential strategies for meeting that challenge.
Profit-seeking in the banking and health care industries has victimized Americans. Now it’s beginning to happen in education, with our children as the products.There are good reasons – powerful reasons – to stop the privatization efforts before the winner-take-all free market creates a new vehicle for inequality. At the very least we need the good sense to slow it down while we examine the evidence about charters and vouchers.
Yes, it is reasonable that we might experiment with public subsidies to private providers, be it through direct private management under district contract, or via upstarts like charters by their original intent. And yes, it is reasonable to test out alternative pathways to teaching. But when we start forcibly shuttering the public system, under the facade of federally promulgated state policies, and replacing the only true public option with private providers who then establish exclusive arrangements for alternatively prepared short-term staff, we’ve gone too far.When we start claiming that these shifts are happening due to free market forces and public demand, well… then we’re just full of crap.It’s time to put a stop to this and rethink where we’re headed before even more damage is done!
“Historians often mention World War II as a time when expectations for schooling and literacy really took off,” explains Deborah Brandt, “when what was considered an adequate level of education moved from fourth grade to twelfth grade in a matter of a few years” p. 485.
National concerns about literacy can be traced to literacy tests for soldiers in WWI, when 25% of recruits were deemed illiterate. While this data appear to have prompted a greater focus on literacy in U.S. public schools, WWII data on literacy again suggested far too many people in the U.S. struggled with basic literacy. As Brandt notes:
Even more profoundly, though, World War II changed the rationale for mass literacy. Literacy was irrevocably transformed from a nineteenth-century moral imperative into a twentieth-century production imperative—transformed from an attribute of a “good” individual into an individual “good,” a resource or raw material vital to national security and global competition. In the process, literacy was turned into something extractable, something measurable, some-thing rentable, and thereby something worthy of rational investment. p. 485
From the early to mid-twentieth century, then, a powerful dynamic was created among racial integration, military-based measurement of IQ and literacy, and changing expectations for public education.
An Index Of Teaching & Learning Strategies: 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order
by Dana Schon, sai-iowa.org
Effect Size DefinedStatistically speaking, the strength of the relationship between two variables. John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning?’
Students Can Do Well On Tests & Still Not Understand
However, this research underscores many other findings, summarized in the National Academy of Sciences seminal text How People Learn. This latest finding helps explain why transfer is far rarer than we want it to be and expect it to be given all the teaching. It helps explain the science and mathematics misconception literature which highlights the non-fluent rigidity of naïve concepts and knowledge.And, as the authors note, it raises troubling questions about the validity of all typical tests of achievement used to evaluate student achievement and school effectiveness. Because if the tests reward content knowledge but not powerful thinking–yet, all Standards highlight important thinking–then the tests may be yielding invalid inferences and thus very harmful consequences.Which won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention to the reform agenda of the last 50 years. But it should make a whole lot of traditionalists–in psychometrics as well as in classrooms–do some re-thinking.
And thus, education remains mired among some in a constant tension between so-called traditional and progressive commitments; as Webb explains, that tension is itself reductive and misleading:
The differences between educational progressives and traditionalists, although often defined in terms of how they go about teaching, are really more fundamental even than that. Progressives and traditionalists actually have different goals. They are trying to achieve different ends. To progressives, traditionalists are trying to fill children’s heads up with rote, disconnected facts. To traditionalists, progressives are trying to ‘facilitate’ the development of nebulous skills; skills that often cannot be defined and certainly not assessed. Of course, there are always those who are quick to cry, ‘False choice! You can have both nebulous skills and rote, disconnected facts.’ Of course there are.
There is a continuum here: on the far right, rote memorization, and on the left, touchy-feely “do your own thing” playtime. While as a critical educator I have serious problems with positivism, behaviorism, and the cultural knowledge concepts promoted by E.D. Hirsch, I agree with Webb, a traditionalist, that both extremes fall well short of what most thoughtful educators are pursuing regardless of their pedagogical commitments or educational philosophies.