Uni High tapped into the pop-psych teachings of the ’70s to create one of the most bizarre curriculums of the era: Sex, Drugs, and Textbooks: Inside L.A.’s Most Controversial Educational Experiment by David Kukoff, L.A. Magazine
"Progressive societies cared for their children by emphasising play and schooling; parents were expected to shelter and protect their children’s innocence by keeping them from paid work and the wrong kinds of knowledge ... adolescence soon became a vision of normal development that was applicable to all youth – its bridging character (connecting childhood and adulthood) giving young Americans a structured way to prepare for mating and work. In the 21st century, the bridge is sagging at both ends as the innocence of childhood has become more difficult to protect, and adulthood is long delayed." [more inside]
Nearly one in 10 New York City schoolkids was homeless during the school year that ended last June, representing a 22% jump in homelessness over the year before. [more inside]
The 50 Most Segregating School Borders In America [NPR.org] “The grass is greener ... if you're a student in Detroit, looking across your school district's boundary with the neighboring Grosse Pointe public schools. Nearly half of Detroit's students live in poverty; that means a family of four lives on roughly $24,000 a year — or less. In Grosse Pointe, a narrow stretch of real estate nestled between Detroit and Lake St. Clair, just 7 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. To recap, that's 49 percent vs. 7 percent. Neighbors. Which is why a new report from the nonprofit EdBuild [Fault Lines] [.pdf] ranks the Detroit-Grosse Pointe boundary as "the most segregating school district border in the country."”
In the ISS there are two Astro Pi computers, Ed and Izzy, equipped with Sense HATs, two different camera modules (visual and IR), and stored in rather special cases. They are now running code written by UK school children - the winners of a competition. The data will be feeding back soon! [more inside]
Given that it's no longer widely taught in even the most prestigious high schools in the US and UK, and given the current economic climate, Why should Millennials Study the Classics?
In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
On August 25, a group of 100 men of color lined up outside Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, in Hartford to greet and cheer for the children on their first day of school. “In an urban community, people say that black men [aren’t] valued or there aren’t enough black men doing something,” Pastor AJ Johnson explained. “I wanted to prove everyone wrong.”
Mrs. Nguyen’s Prestidigitation From a set of 1 through 9 playing cards, I draw five cards and get cards showing 8, 4, 2, 7, and 5. I ask my 6th graders to make a 3-digit number and a 2-digit number that would yield the greatest product... and somehow we end up with lacing diagrams and Python. (The original post on Fawn Nguyen's blog)
When I look back over my notebooks and journals from the past 21 years there are plenty of things I regret. What I do not regret were the times we educators chose to be kind to a kid. The times when we gave a child a second–and then third and fourth chance. The times we decided to let a kid go on a field trip, ignoring some misdeed that might have excluded him from the trip so that a child who had never been further than the county line could see the world writ large. You know the drill."School should be a place for all sorts of kindnesses." Retiring school principal George Wood talks about what should be the most important part of school and why it has become difficult to achieve.
Two enjoyable chapters [PDF, 33 pages] from the book Math from Three to Seven: The Story of a Mathematical Circle for Preschoolers. "This book does not purport to show you how to create precocious high achievers. It is just one person's story about things he tried with a half-dozen young children."
The Minister Who Went to Jail for Financial-Aid Fraud
Ozel Clifford Brazil was a respected clergyman who helped thousands of African American teens get into college. What drove him to break the law?
Misguided Altruism Trailer
Ozel Clifford Brazil was a respected clergyman who helped thousands of African American teens get into college. What drove him to break the law?
Misguided Altruism Trailer
"Today, most American adults can call up some memory of sex ed in their school, whether it was watching corny menstruation movies or seeing their school nurse demonstrate putting a condom on a banana. The movies, in particular, tend to stick in our minds. Screening films at school to teach kids how babies are made has always been a touchy issue, particularly for people who fear such knowledge will steer their children toward sexual behavior. But sex education actually has its roots in moralizing: American sex-ed films emerged from concerns that social morals and the family structure were breaking down." — Slut-Shaming, Eugenics, and Donald Duck: The Scandalous History of Sex-Ed Movies
M. tells her friends. Marlo, aka gendermom, over a series of blog posts, talks about her first grade daughter's decision to tell her friends that she is transgender. (Trans Youth 101)
The school in Auckland with a radical 'no rules' policy (12:00; 2014) [via] has a little in common with the school in Framingham with a radical 'no curriculum' policy (9:13; 2009) [previously], which has a little in common with the self-directed IT school in Paris for ages 18 to 30 (2:13; 2014), which takes some inspiration from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (excerpt, 12:24; 1981).
In an unmarked grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx lies the five-foot-seven-inch body of a man responsible for bringing untold amounts of sunshine to New York City’s youth. During his eighteen-year tenure as Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, Snyder built public schools with windows that made up nearly sixty percent of the buildings’ facades, much of the remaining space covered in lavish ornamentation. “There is not a dark corner in the whole structure,” social reformer Jacob Riis wrote of Snyder’s design in his seminal 1902 text "The Battle With the Slum." “Literally, he found barracks where he is leaving palaces to the people...I cannot see how it is possible to come nearer perfection in the building of a public school.”
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
American Promise is a PBS documentary (live streaming through March 6) that follows two middle class African-American boys, Idris and Seun, who enter The Dalton School as young children, and follows them for 13 years. [more inside]
No longer swearing by cursive writing Cursive handwriting: Seven states fight for cursive writing in school Learning Cursive Is a Basic Right Cursive writing could become part of Common Core
Sudbury Valley School - "It upends your views about what school is for, why it has to cost as much as it does, and whether our current model makes any sense at all. But what's most amazing about the school, a claim the founders make which was backed up by my brief observations, my conversations with students, and the written recollections of alumni, is that the school has taken the angst out of education. Students like going there, and they like their teachers. Because they are never made to take a class they don't like, they don't rue learning. They don't hate homework because they don't have homework. School causes no fights with their parents." (previously-er) [more inside]
"Psychologists Lisa Blackwell, Kali Trzesniewski, and Carol Dweck [found that] convincing students that they could make themselves smarter by hard work led them to work harder and get higher grades. The intervention had the biggest effect for students who started out believing intelligence was genetic."
The Course of Their Lives. While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.) [more inside]
An estimated 8.6 percent of parents now wait until their child is six to send them to kindergarten, hoping that their maturity and increased physical size will give them advantages in the classroom and on the sports field. However, the trend, called "academic redshirting" may actually be extremely harmful, according to recent studies.
Karl Taro Greenfeld wondered if his daughter had too much homework to do... so, for a week, he did all of it with her, for hours each night. "The school year hasn't been extended. Student-teacher ratios don’t seem to have changed much. No, our children are going to catch up with those East Asian kids on their own damn time."
As the United States moves toward a knowledge-based economy, school achievement has become the cornerstone of lifelong success. Women are adapting; men are not. Yet the education establishment and federal government are, with some notable exceptions, looking the other way.
School is a prison - and damaging our kids - We’re not surprised that learning is unpleasant. We think of it as bad-tasting medicine, tough to swallow but good for children in the long run. Some people even think that the very unpleasantness of school is good for children, so they will learn to tolerate unpleasantness, because life after school is unpleasant. Perhaps this sad view of life derives from schooling.
Buffalo News theater critic reviews a recent school board meeting.
Don't go to art school. Why it's a bad idea and what you can do with the money instead.
Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
In seventh grade, after school let out, Humaira Mohammed Bachal opened her home in Thatta (Pakistan) to 10-12 friends who weren't allowed to go to school, and taught them what she was learning. By the time she was 16 and ready to take her 9th grade exams, (over her father's objections,) she and four other girls were teaching more than 100 students. Now, her sister Tahira, (age 18,) is principal of the school Humaira founded: with 22 teachers serving more than 1,000 kids in a Karachi slum (yt). All in a country where if you are a young girl in a rural area, you are unlikely ever to see the inside of a classroom, and advocating education for young girls can be life-threatening. [more inside]
Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) has rejected a policy proposal that called for the protection of gay students and staff from bullying and discrimination. The policy was proposed by the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB), which adopted a similar policy in 2011. [more inside]
In the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs.Napster, Udacity, and the Academy - about how online education startups are changing the notion and practice of higher education - by Clay Shirky (previously)
British Education Secretary Michael Gove was a dick to his French teacher 30 years ago, so he apologized. The Guardian goes a step further and asks a bunch of writers if they'd like to apologize to their former teachers. To wit: "I was, in fact, incredibly high. So was Pete. Now I can't even remember what happens in The House of Seven Gables, but I learned a lesson that day, just the same. Sorry again, Tim Dowling"
Blackboard Sketching by Frederick Whitney, Director of Art, State Normal School, Salem, MA, 1908. [more inside]
Schools in Missouri, Maryland, and other states are using fingerprint scans and RFID chips to track students as a means to speed up service in the cafeteria and to track student whereabouts in and around school. [more inside]
Blast from the past: scans of posters from schools in India. That's all.
Quiet at the back: classrooms around the world – in pictures From the Russian pupils in Prada to the Nigerian children who sit four to a desk, photographer Julian Germain takes us on a journey around the world's classrooms
On a recent Monday night, a gaggle of 20-somethings crammed into a former Curves fitness center along the industrial edge of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. The storefront gym had been carved into two classrooms... It was just another school night at [Metafilter's* own] Brooklyn Brainery, a hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths, where students can learn abstruse subjects like the secret lives of bacteria, taught by teachers with few teaching credentials. Tuition is $5 to $30, enrollment takes place online and PayPal is accepted. [more inside]
Touted as the cure for what ails public education, charter schools have historical roots that are rarely discussed. [more inside]
The Failure of Corporate School Reform: schools and school systems desperate for funding often turn to businesses for help. According to some critics, the U.S. educational system has also adopted a corporate philosophy that is at odds with the historical notion of the "common school." Next up: "virtual education reform." A critic's claim: "controlled, rigid, anti-critical teaching results not in subjects with a greater capacity for economic productivity, but the opposite."
A radical new idea is turning schools upside down. 'Flip the Classroom' is based on a simple concept: kids watch podcast video presentations of lecture material on their own time - at home. They then do the 'homework' at school, in an environment where the teachers can guide and support them, instructing on specific points as required. Colorado teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams have been pioneering the technique, and their Learning4Mastery website is a fount of information on it. [more inside]
Science! (autoplaying video) The 42nd season of "Sesame Street," which premiered today, will be including a few new educational categories for preschoolers in its usual mix of lessons and parodies: STEM skills — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In addition to more scientifically accurate slapstick, characters will try experiments, build bridges and boats, launch rockets and think through problems that require trial and error, observation and data -- all problem areas for America's students. [more inside]
Move Your Kids to Russia and Toss Them Into School Clifford Levy and Julie Dressner moved their 3 kids from Park Slope to Russia. Instead of putting their kids in an international school, they decided to let the kids learn Russian in a Russian school. [more inside]