"Finland long ago decided to professionalize its teaching force to the point where teaching is now viewed on a par with other highly respected, learned professions like medicine and law. Today, only the best and brightest can and do become teachers: Just one in every 10 applicants are accepted to teacher preparation programs, which culminate in both an undergraduate degree and subject-specific Master's degree."
Joel Klein argues that the US should follow Finland's lead and create, essentially, a bar exam for teachers
, which would serve to professionalize them in the eyes of society and raise their societal value.
posted by barnacles
on Jan 11, 2013 -
"Milgram and Bishop are opposed to reforms of mathematics teaching and support the continuation of a model in which students learn mathematics without engaging in realistic problems or discussing mathematical methods
. They are, of course, entitled to this opinion, and there has been an ongoing, spirited academic debate about mathematics learning for a number of years. But Milgram and Bishop have gone beyond the bounds of reasoned discourse in a campaign to systematically suppress empirical evidence that contradicts their stance. Academic disagreement is an inevitable consequence of academic freedom, and I welcome it. However, responsible disagreement and academic bullying are not the same thing. Milgram and Bishop have engaged in a range of tactics to discredit me and damage my work which I have now decided to make public." Jo Boaler
, professor of mathematics education at Stanford, accuses two mathematicians, one her colleague of Stanford, of unethical attempts to discredit her research
, which supports "active engagement" with mathematics (aka "reform math") over the more traditional "practicing procedures" approach. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Oct 18, 2012 -
The Flame Challenge:
The Center For Communicating Science asked scientists to answer the question, "What is a flame?," in a way that 11-year-olds would understand. Ben Ames won. In addition to his winning video
, you can see the runners-up.
posted by OmieWise
on Jun 8, 2012 -
The learning paradox
is at the heart of “productive failure." While the model adopted by many teachers and employers when introducing others to new knowledge — providing lots of structure and guidance early on, until the students or workers show that they can do it on their own — makes intuitive sense, it may not be the best way to promote learning. [more inside]
posted by unSane
on May 1, 2012 -
Man: A Course of Study
(MACOS) was a social sciences educational curriculum designed in the late 1960s. The course examined the commonalities between human behavior and that of several animal species, and culminated with a series of short films documenting the lives of the Netsilik Eskimo people. Although many school systems initially adopted MACOS
, it was largely abandoned
after a campaign of opposition from conservative Christians, who saw it as a Trojan horse for the indoctrination of secular humanism and cultural relativism in the public schools. The 2004 documentary Though These Eyes
looks at creation of MACOS and the controversy surrounding it.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Sep 25, 2011 -
The Challenge of Teaching 9/11
"The events of September 11th are being discussed, taught, and commemorated in high school classrooms throughout the nation this week. And in many of those classrooms, the students are increasingly too young to have many actual memories of their own of that day’s events. I visited two high school classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to see how teachers are approaching the topic, what the students know and don’t know, and how they feel about the events surrounding that day."
‘Who’s Osama bin Laden?’: Teaching 9/11 to Muslim youth
"In the ten years since Sept. 11, many Muslim Americans feel they’ve had to deal with rising discrimination. Those who remember 9/11 at least understand how this started. But there’s a new generation of Muslim Americans who don’t. They were too young in 2001, or they weren’t yet born. But these children aren’t too young to perceive discrimination. At least one local Islamic school is still working through how, exactly, to teach its young students about 9/11."
posted by nooneyouknow
on Sep 9, 2011 -
The Higher Education (Debt) Bubble
- "[H]igh and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it. If this sounds familiar, it probably should... [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 17, 2011 -
The Mindful Eye
is a photography community: "We are here to help and inspire each other in the pursuit of our passions, happiness and the unlimited potential of our dreams as photographers and as human beings. We believe that the simple act of sharing your joy with your camera can change the world for the better." It developed from its previous incarnation as Radiant Vista into a fuller, richer site including useful teaching tools such as the Daily Critique
, Photo of the Week
, Digital Darkroom
, Foundation Concepts
, and much more
. I visit the site daily for new content and recommend it to all my photography students as a positive support system as they develop their skills. [more inside]
posted by bwg
on Feb 10, 2011 -
In coming months, The [Los Angeles] Times will publish a series of articles and a database analyzing individual teachers' effectiveness in the nation's second-largest school district — the first time, experts say, such information has been made public anywhere in the country. This article examines the performance of more than 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers for whom reliable data were available. [more inside]
posted by Anything
on Aug 20, 2010 -
"Every pernicious practice of modern education originates from the goal of trying to segregate and control the mischievous."
A teacher tries to come to grips with the contrary advice of four prominent educators in an imagined dialog. Part I
, Part II
. [more inside]
posted by rouftop
on Aug 7, 2010 -
"Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors" by Scott Carrell and James West
is the title of an interesting new study in this month's Journal of Political Economy
, a leading journal in economics. (For a summary of the paper, see this review
. An ungated version
, too). The authors are interested in determining the role of "professor quality" in student learning. They do this by exploiting an unusual institutional feature of the Air Force Academy whereby all undergraduates are randomly assigned their professors, and all professors use the same syllabus. The authors also have the professor's student evaluations, as well each student's subsequent performance in the follow-up classes. To keep it simple, they focus only on Calculus I and the follow-up courses in Calculus (which are mandatory), though they note that an earlier study that looked at Chemistry and Physics found similar things. [more inside]
posted by scunning
on Jun 12, 2010 -
What makes a great teacher?
Analyzing more than twenty years of data, Teach for America
has found that great teachers had trained in their subject areas rather than in education, and had high "life satisfaction." They also demonstrated five tendencies: they
"constantly reevaluate what they are doing... they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."
This last trait is measured by the Grit Scale, which has been shown to predict good outcomes
in both teachers and West Point cadets
. (Do you have grit
?) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea
on Jan 31, 2010 -