The distracted student mind — enhancing its focus and attention

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Due to the constant temptation to check their smartphones, today’s students are spending less time focused on their schoolwork, taking longer to complete assignments, and feeling more stressed in the process. Just how big of a problem is digital distraction, and how can educators respond? By Larry D. Rosen For more than three decades, I’ve [...]

Student discipline: The shame of shaming

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A review of policy documents from nine leading charter management organizations reveals support for disciplinary practices that entail the shaming of students. By Joan F. Goodman  The ancient practice of shaming in school — remember dunce caps? — has recently resurfaced in the press. According to the New York Times, students who owe money to [...]

For teachers, a better kind of pension plan

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Public school teachers deserve a compensation system that puts them on a secure path toward retirement. Right now, that’s not what they have. By Marcus A. Winters Teachers unions often defend defined benefit (DB) retirement plans on the grounds that they ensure retirement security. For teachers, it might be comforting to know that upon retirement [...]

Moving readers from struggling to proficient 

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Changing teacher practices can help children build new relationships with books and improve their reading ability. By Deborah Wolter Too often, when children struggle to read, educators assume the problem lies within the children themselves. But, in fact, decades of research have shown that whatever children’s innate skills, strengths, and abilities may be, what really [...]

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What does it take to sustain a productive partnership in education?

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Since 2004, eight of New York City’s leading cultural institutions — including museums, zoos, and botanical gardens — have worked with the New York City Department of Education to support effective science instruction in the city’s middle schools. By Karen Hammerness, Anna MacPherson, Maritza Macdonald, Hudson Roditi, and Linda Curtis-Bey In 2002, the American Museum [...]

R&D: Using data wisely at the system level

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District-level administrators carefully analyze their own performance data, practicing what they preach to local educators. By Meghan Lockwood, Mary Dillman, and Kathryn Parker Boudett A little more than a decade ago, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Boston Public Schools joined forces to create the Data Wise Improvement Process, a step-by-step approach to [...]

Testing: For better and worse

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Our testing culture may be making us smarter but at the expense of the wisdom and creativity we’ll need to flourish in our world. By Robert J. Sternberg The 20th century saw an enormous, almost unbelievable, increase in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores around the world. IQs rose 30 points. Such a long-sustained increase in intelligence [...]

Later start time for teens improves grades, mood, and safety

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New research shows that high school students benefit in many ways from later start times. By Kyla L. Wahlstrom It all began with a phone call 20 years ago to the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota in August 1996. The superintendent of Minnesota’s Edina School District was [...]

The revitalized tutoring center

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An embedded tutoring center closes achievement gaps by harnessing the power of peer tutors and collaborative teacher teams. By Jeremy Koselak If we really wanted schools to be the great equalizer, much would need to change. The challenges are endless, everything from changing funding mechanisms and recruitment strategies to addressing the needs of educators caught [...]

Less is more: The limitations of making judgments

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Teacher misperceptions about students’ ability to learn may play a role in the underrepresentation of black students in advanced mathematics classes. By Valerie Faulkner, Patricia L. Marshall,  Lee V. Stiff, and Cathy L. Crossland For two decades, at least, students’ scores on standardized reading and math assessments have been cited as evidence of persistent achievement [...]

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