Recently in Education Category

Tillman County Chronicles: "The Wave" at Pioneer Townsite

A historic Fun-Ful Ocean Wave merry-go-round, a spinning and rocking staple of school playgrounds in the first half of the 20th century, has been reconstructed on the grounds of the Pioneer Townsite museum in Frederick, OK, but it's been frozen in position -- too dangerous in the modern view.

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape - The Atlantic

It's not the main point of the article, but it's all the more powerful for that: Financial aid and student loans are helping colleges avoid financial pressure to reform and slim down.

"With government chipping in more than three dollars for every dollar a student pays in tuition at public schools, and underwriting private ones as well, the real consumers of higher education aren't students at all. The real consumers are Congress and state legislatures--and so far they have exerted little cost pressure on higher-education institutions.

"Further confusing the education cost-and-demand market is the fact that most students don't actually pay their college costs at the time of purchase. According to the Project on Student Debt, more than seven in 10 U.S. college students take loans to pay for college. If purchase-price considerations significantly affected higher-education consumption, at least some intuitions would be lowering costs to attract students. Instead, costs continue to escalate and the most expensive schools have the most buyers."

The article also indirectly makes the point that students, parents, and guidance counselors are still mired in the traditional way of choosing one's higher education path.

A Better Way to Say Sorry | cuppacocoa

A meaningful apology must be more than a mumbled "Sorry." This four-point pattern leads the apologizer to understand and express specifically what they did that was wrong, how it hurt other people, and what positive action he will take in the future to avoid repeating the wrong, and then it leads the offender to express humility to the person offended and invites a response, opening the door to reconciliation.

I'm sorry for...
This is wrong because...
In the future, I will...
Will you forgive me?

A fourth-grade teacher explains how she taught this pattern to her class (her use of role-play and peer critique is interesting), and the impressive results it produced.

Windows audio patch for Dorling Kindersley DK software

If you're trying to run an old educational CD-ROM game by Dorling Kindersley (DK) on Windows XP, you'll probably see an error message like this:

"Sound Software is not installed properly or has been disabled" or "1058 Sound Decompression Software not installed properly".

There's a patch to fix the problem. It's available through Global Software Publishing's support website. (GSP bought the DK Interactive Learning back catalog.) Here is a direct link to the DK audio patch file.

Bradley's Arnold: A practical guide to Latin prose composition: openlibrary.org

When in Rome, write as the Romans do. This is George Granville Bradley's original revision of Thomas Kerchever Arnold's earlier work. Newer editions are still used as the standard text for teaching how to write Latin in the style of Cicero. Why would anyone want to do that? You don't really know a language or appreciate the nuances of its literature until you learn to express ideas in that language as a native speaker would. It's also a useful tool for resolving ambiguities in English-to-Latin translation exercises.

Math wars: Rote memorization plays crucial role in teaching students how to solve complex calculations, study says - National Post

"In effect, as young math students memorize the basics, their brains reorganize to accommodate the greater demands of more complex math. It is a gradual process, like 'overlapping waves,' the researchers write, but it clearly shows that, for the growing child's brain, rote memorization is a key step along the way to efficient mathematical reasoning...."

"One critic of the government's adoption of 'discovery-based learning,' Ken Porteous, a retired engineering professor, put it bluntly: "There is nothing to discover. The tried and true methods of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division work just fine as they have for centuries. There is no benefit and in fact a huge downside to students being asked to discover other methods of performing these operations and picking the one which they like. This just leads to confusion which ultimately translates into frustration, a strong dislike for mathematics and a desire to drop out of any form of mathematics course at the earliest opportunity.'"

Via Ace of Spades, who writes: "I think Common Core will fail in teaching kids actual mathematical insight, while simultaneously failing to teach them the memorized facts required to achieve that insight on their own." He also asks, "Why Is It... that everyone recognizes the absurdity of the Music Man's 'think method' of learning how to play instruments, but then decides that such a system ought to work with math and reading?"

Davidson Institute: Existential depression in gifted individuals

"Because gifted children are able to consider the possibilities of how things might be, they tend to be idealists. However, they are simultaneously able to see that the world is falling short of how it might be. Because they are intense, gifted children feel keenly the disappointment and frustration which occurs when ideals are not reached. Similarly, these youngsters quickly spot the inconsistencies, arbitrariness and absurdities in society and in the behaviors of those around them. Traditions are questioned or challenged. For example, why do we put such tight sex-role or age-role restrictions on people? Why do people engage in hypocritical behaviors in which they say one thing and then do another? Why do people say things they really do not mean at all? Why are so many people so unthinking and uncaring in their dealings with others? How much difference in the world can one person's life make?

"When gifted children try to share these concerns with others, they are usually met with reactions ranging from puzzlement to hostility. They discover that others, particularly of their age, clearly do not share these concerns, but instead are focused on more concrete issues and on fitting in with others' expectations. Often by even first grade, these youngsters, particularly the more highly gifted ones, feel isolated from their peers and perhaps from their families as they find that others are not prepared to discuss such weighty concerns.

"When their intensity is combined with multi-potentiality, these youngsters become particularly frustrated with the existential limitations of space and time. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to develop all of the talents that many of these children have. Making choices among the possibilities is indeed arbitrary; there is no "ultimately right" choice. Even choosing a vocation can be difficult if one is trying to make a career decision between essentially equal passion, talents and potential in violin, neurology, theoretical mathematics and international relations.

"The reaction of gifted youngsters (again with intensity) to these frustrations is often one of anger. But they quickly discover that their anger is futile, for it is really directed at "fate" or at other matters which they are not able to control. Anger that is powerless evolves quickly into depression. "

What Characterizes the Modern Totalitarian, Corporatized University?

"In Savannah, Georgia, an ambitious experiment in higher education is under way. Ralston College aims to offer a back-to-basics liberal arts experience , stripped of the amenities and assumptions of the modern university. Though just now getting off the ground--it has yet to accept student applications--its stated mission is clear. Students will experience rigorous coursework year-round and focus on 'reading books, thinking about them, and talking about them,' according to the college's brochure.

"Perhaps more noteworthy is what Ralston College intends not to have: armies of administrators micromanaging student life, cloistered academic departments unwelcoming to interdisciplinary studies, and coddled students whose sentiments and comforts, as supposed 'customers,' are paramount."

Back to School | The Weekly Standard

Yale computer science professor David Gelernter calls on his fellow conservatives to lead the reinvention of higher education: "This is the future: The Internet can be an international gossip machine, or it can be a switchboard for connecting pairs or groups who could never otherwise have come together. The most important aspect of the university of the near future is not the Internet per se; it's the distribution of university functions throughout the educated population. Engineers and industrial scientists, retired schoolteachers, journalists, combat veterans, economists, housewives, MDs, diplomats, businessmen, musicians, and many thousands of others across the globe are potential teachers or (just as important) one-on-one tutors in science, mathematics and engineering, music and the arts, and​--​the university's most important mission​--​in how to read and write like a grown-up. Some humanities fields will continue to require heavy assistance from academia. Some areas in the social sciences will disappear. And easily 90 percent (maybe 95) of existing U.S. colleges and universities could be gone within 15 years. "

The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids -- New York Magazine

"For a few decades, it's been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students (those who score in the top 10 percent on aptitude tests) severely underestimate their own abilities. Those afflicted with this lack of perceived competence adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent....

"Psychologist Wulf-Uwe Meyer, a pioneer in the field, conducted a series of studies where children watched other students receive praise. According to Meyer's findings, by the age of 12, children believe that earning praise from a teacher is not a sign you did well--it's actually a sign you lack ability and the teacher thinks you need extra encouragement. And teens, Meyer found, discounted praise to such an extent that they believed it's a teacher's criticism--not praise at all--that really conveys a positive belief in a student's aptitude....

"But it turns out that the ability to repeatedly respond to failure by exerting more effort--instead of simply giving up--is a trait well studied in psychology. People with this trait, persistence, rebound well and can sustain their motivation through long periods of delayed gratification. Delving into this research, I learned that persistence turns out to be more than a conscious act of will; it's also an unconscious response, governed by a circuit in the brain. Dr. Robert Cloninger at Washington University in St. Louis located the circuit in a part of the brain called the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. It monitors the reward center of the brain, and like a switch, it intervenes when there's a lack of immediate reward. When it switches on, it's telling the rest of the brain, "Don't stop trying. There's dopa [the brain's chemical reward for success] on the horizon." While putting people through MRI scans, Cloninger could see this switch lighting up regularly in some. In others, barely at all...."