Is Lecturing Culturally Biased? For years, politicians and policy makers have cried out for more students to complete STEM degrees to improve the nation's workforce. According to a Department of Education statistical analysis report (PDF, 1.6MB), nearly half (48 percent) of the undergraduates pursuing STEM degrees between 2003 and 2009 dropped that major -- and there are whole white papers trying to figure out why (PDF, 3.1MB). Some of the hypotheses proposed are an unwelcoming science culture and uninspired introductory classes. A recent study in the journal of CBE Life Sciences Education adds one more: lecture halls aren't the way to get minority students to keep taking science courses. Lecture halls of hundreds of students are as much a feature of undergraduate education as an achievement gap between different races and socioeconomic backgrounds (PDF, 1.2MB). The Power of Active Learning Figure 1. ("Exam Performance" values are acquired from a regression model from the study and are not actual raw data.) Figure 1.
STEM Challenges | Preschool Matters... Today! From the National Journal: ” . . . And let’s not forget the optics. Science is still for nerds, Bill Gates’ fame aside. These are teenagers we’re talking about, after all. To the average girl on the street, meeting the Seattle Seahawks is still way cooler than meeting a superstar rocket scientist. If that girl’s in preschool, though, she doesn’t yet think that the Seattle Seahawks are cooler than Sid the Science Kid. How can we ensure that she never does learn these lessons about STEM? Yet, many of the challenges for upper grades teaching plague earlier grades, too. Consider this a plea for putting a fair amount of these newly committed teacher training dollars into early education. –Kimberly Brenneman, Assistant Research Professor, NIEER
Teen Help: Parenting Troubled Teens with Dr. John Huie, Educational Consultant Unexpected Tools That are Influencing the Future of Education Mia Christopher Some big education issues have been making headlines, including how many and what kind of standardized tests should be used in education, implementation of Common Core State Standards and the Vergara ruling in California challenging teacher tenure. But many educators continue to focus on the more personal issues behind these headlines: how to improve their craft, serve students better, nurture well-rounded, emotionally intelligent students and make educational change in more fundamental ways. Teachers have long known that struggles in the classroom are often a reflection of society as much as of academic ability. And beyond the many challenges related to rising poverty rates, there is the uniquely confusing moment in which society finds itself. Around the globe, economies are shifting away from machine-focused industries and toward human-powered creative industries. Saying students should drive their own learning is much easier than helping them do it.
John Dewey on the True Purpose of Education and How to Harness the Power of Our Natural Curiosity by Maria Popova “While it is not the business of education … to teach every possible item of information, it is its business to cultivate deep-seated and effective habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses, and opinions.” “Do not feel absolutely certain of anything,” philosopher Bertrand Russell instructed in the first of his ten timeless commandments of teaching and learning in 1951. In How We Think (free download; public library) — his timelessly stimulating 1910 treatise on the art of reflection and fruitful curiosity — John Dewey, one of the most influential minds of the twentieth century, distills the purpose and ideals of education with remarkable clarity and conviction. Dewey champions the role of education in equipping us with the sort of critical thinking necessary for questioning authority, deconditioning our “mental bad habits,” and dispelling false beliefs and illusory ideas bequeathed to us by society: He later adds: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr
Military parents embrace homeschooling ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. — A growing number of military parents want to end the age-old tradition of switching schools for their kids. They’ve embraced homeschooling, and are finding support on bases, which are providing resources for families and opening their doors for home schooling cooperatives and other events. PHOTOS: A salute to America's warriors on the front lines of the war on terror “If there’s a military installation, there’s very likely home-schoolers there if you look,” said Nicole McGhee, 31, of Cameron, N.C., a mother of three with a husband stationed at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg who runs a Facebook site on military home schooling. At Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, the library sported special presentations for home-schoolers on Benjamin Franklin and static electricity. Fort Bragg offers daytime taekwondo classes. There are also events outside the co-op, such as a planned camping trip for kids reading Jean Craighead’s “My Side of the Mountain.”
Piaget's theory of cognitive development Piaget's theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence, first developed by Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980). It is primarily known as a developmental stage theory but, in fact, it deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans come gradually to acquire, construct, and use it. To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience. Nature of intelligence: operative and figurative Piaget noted reality in the sense of as a dynamic system of continuous change and, as such, is defined in reference to the two conditions that define dynamic systems. Operative intelligence is the active aspect of intelligence. At any time, operative intelligence frames how the world is understood and it changes if understanding is not successful. Assimilation and accommodation Sensorimotor stage
The Ultimate Education Reform: Messy Learning & Problem Solving Have you ever gone to the doctor with a rather vague problem? The kind of problem that has no obvious solution? “Doctor, my elbow hurts.” “Doctor, I have a runny nose.” “Doctor, look at this rash.” From that ambiguity, we expect our physicians to narrow down something that could have a thousand origins to the one specific cause, then make it all better with one specific treatment. We tell the mechanic: “My car is making a funny noise, can you fix it?” A quarterback asks: “What’s the best play to run, coach?” We might ask a decorator: “I need help redoing this room. We might ask friends: “What do you think is the best car for me to buy?” Some of our ambiguous problems are mundane: “What toothpaste should I use?” From our first activity in the morning until the last thing we do before we visit dreamland each night, we are constantly engaged in a series of problems to solve — some easy, some hard. So what’s this got to do with school? I love ill-structured problems. In pursuit of the messy answer
ABCs of home schooling Jennifer Nuntavong is out in the rain with her two young boys, jumping in puddles at Fort Belvoir, Va. The family of a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, they're on their way home to make lunch and then head to the bowling alley for the afternoon. On the opposite coast, Army Lt. Col. James Rexford is home early from his job as a logistics officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. It's a beautiful day, so he and his wife, Ame, take their four kids to a nearby beach, where they collect shells and then gather on a blanket as Ame reads "Island of the Blue Dolphins" aloud. For both families, it's just another day in the fastest-growing classroom in the U.S. — the one at home. Experts estimate there are 2 million home-schoolers, with their numbers growing as much as 12 percent annually in recent years. That doesn't surprise the Rexfords, who have been home schooling for 10 years. "Now, the response is usually, ‘Oh, that's awesome. Assess So the Rexfords decided to take the plunge. Build Continue
Learner-Centered Teaching Learner-Centered Teaching Phyllis Blumberg, Ph.D. Director of the Teaching and Learning Center University of the Sciences in Philadelphia 1. Most of this material comes from Blumberg, P. (2008) Developing Learner-Centered Teachers: A Practical Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This site contains links to presentation or workshops I have done at various places over the past few years. Versions of most of these workshops have been offered repeatedly to new faculty at the University of the Sciences, at the Lilly Conference, The Teaching Professor Conference, the POD Network conference and to faculty at various colleges and universities in the USA and around the world and trainers for the United States Army. • Implementing Learner-centered approaches in your teaching • The purposes and processes of assessment: How you assess your students will impact how and what they learn. 2. Traditionally instructors focused on what they did, and not on what the students are learning. 3. 1. 2.