Education News » April 2016

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Education

How school leaders can address teacher workload issues

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Much is said in the media about schools being stressful places and, perhaps, education is nearing crisis point in terms of what is being asked of teachers. Workload is an issue that simmers on and, if not addressed, can have a significant impact on staff morale and school culture. It is, therefore, of little surprise to read that teaching is one of the most stressful professions to enter and be a part of.

While external agencies and government bodies play an obvious role in creating teacher workload and stress through their mandated requirements, school leaders also make decisions in either contributing to or alleviating the problem. We should not, however, ignore that teachers themselves may use practices that are neither effective nor efficient, making things harder than they should be, further compounding the problem.

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Education

How Adults Can Encourage Kids To Be Original Thinkers

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When I first read Originals I couldn’t help but take notes. What I jotted down was essentially a to-do list for how I could be more creative, how I could think up and then communicate new ideas.

But the book — written by Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — is not just a guide for adults.

Its pages are littered with interesting advice on how teachers and parents can encourage and cultivate their kids to be original, too.

Grant writes about the importance of getting kids to take risks, to embrace their own curiosity and to be confident in where their minds wander. So how can adults create spaces and cultures of originality to breed these new ideas?

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Education

A College Education Costs Even More Than You Thought It Did

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We all know that American college education isn’t cheap. But it turns out that it’s even less cheap if you look at the numbers more closely.

That’s what the Wisconsin HOPE Lab did. The lab, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted four studies to figure out the true price of college.

To get a sense of student realities, researchers interviewed students on college campuses across the state of Wisconsin. But they also examined 6,604 colleges nationally and compared their costs with regional cost-of-living data from the government.

The researchers found that college life is more expensive than sticker prices might suggest, and that financial aid doesn’t help students as effectively as it could, especially after the first year. All these findings are summarized in a report from The Century Foundation.

Colleges want to keep their sticker price low because it helps with rankings and attracts more students, the report says. But students might be less likely to drop out or take time off of college if they could better plan their college finances.

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Education

Youngest Kids In Class At Higher Risk Of ADHD Diagnosis

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Lack of focus at school might be ADHD. Or it might be a function of being young for that grade.

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By the time they’re in elementary school, some kids prove to be more troublesome than others. They can’t sit still or they’re not socializing or they can’t focus enough to complete tasks that the other kids are handling well. Sounds like ADHD. But it might be that they’re just a little young for their grade.

Studies done in several countries including Iceland, Canada, Israel, Sweden and Taiwan show children who are at the young end of their grade cohort are more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than their older classmates.

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Education

America’s High School Graduates Look Like Other Countries’ High School Dropouts

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A new study confirms what many Americans already knew deep in their hearts: We’re not good at math.

Not only that, but when it comes to technology skills, we’re dead last compared with other developed countries.

The PIAAC study — the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies — looks at the skills adults need to do everyday tasks, whether it’s at work or in their social lives.

“Clearly, we have some work to do in this country,” says Peggy Carr, the acting commissioner of the government’s National Center for Education Statistics. The study compared countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Japan and Finland led the group in literacy, math and technology skills, while the United States’ performance was average or well below average in each category.

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Education

On praise

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Over the next few months, Robert Ahdoot, a high-school math teacher and founder of YayMath.org, will be sharing singular, bite-sized morsels of inspired education strategies. These aim to be juicy, yet easily digestible pieces of teaching wisdom. Enjoy.

For some educational and parental context, please first view this hilarious video on how the analysis of praise can get out of hand. It’s two minutes well spent. And now, my analysis.

On a daily basis, teachers grapple with what appear to be opposing forces. On one hand, we wish to praise student performance and offer them positive reinforcement, and on the other, we don’t want to over-condition them to seek external rewards for the timeless and sacred act of learning. Everywhere we turn, we hear anecdotes of younger generations being over-coddled, e.g. recreational sports leagues giving trophies to all participants, even if their team finished last.

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