- an op-ed about asking students what THEY want in a high school. The author, Susan Engel, followed a group of 8 high school students as they "designed and ran their own school within a school." Interesting reading. Here's a connecting lesson plan. A couple of thoughtful parts:
The students in the Independent Project are remarkable but not because they are exceptionally motivated or unusually talented. They are remarkable because they demonstrate the kinds of learning and personal growth that are possible when teenagers feel ownership of their high school experience, when they learn things that matter to them and when they learn together. In such a setting, school capitalizes on rather than thwarts the intensity and engagement that teenagers usually reserve for sports, protest or friendship.
I'm wondering if this kind of learning mirrors what happens at Nova High School.
- an article about the status of teachers in the United States. It's talking about issues such as "recruiting more qualified candidates, training them better and paying them more." Once again, the discussion is around how teachers in high-achieving countries like Singapore, Korea and Finland treat their teachers. In South Korea, teachers are thought of as "nation builders." There's a thought - education as building the foundation for everything that follows.
What is also interesting here is that it isn't about how much we spend on education, it's what we spend it on. The U.S. spends disproportionately on bus transportation and sports in schools.
From radio station KPLU:
A UW research study shows that girls start thinking math is a subject for boys as young as 7 or 8. The study appears in the March/April issue of Child Development and involved 247 SPS elementary school students. The crux of the study:
The UW researchers adapted the adult Implicit Association Test for children and used it to examine three concepts:
- Gender identity, or the association of “me” with male or female.
- Math-gender stereotype, or the association of math with male or female.
- Math self-concept, or the association of “me” with math or reading.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, an op-ed by writer (and former teacher), Dave Eggers. He also co-produced a documentary that is premiering May 3rd at the San Francisco Film Festival, "American Teacher." (I'll have to see if that comes to the Seattle Film Festival in mid-May.) The title of his op-ed is "Teacher Layoffs - a destructive annual event." From his piece:
In the next 10 years, 1.8 million teachers will be eligible for retirement. Who will take their place? Who will accept conditions as they are? Teacher turnover is startling high, and its costs are unconscionable: Fully 46 percent of teachers leave the profession before their fifth year. Nationally, teacher turnover costs the United States $5 billion. And the costs to students attending urban schools, who most absorb the consequences of this chaos? Incalculable.