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Archive for the ‘Education Best Practices’ Category

Harold Jarche » Homework, the tip of the iceberg

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“There is no correlation between homework and learning. If succeeding at school is your objective then homework is not necessary to achieve this. As I’ve asked before in this forum, do reasonable amounts of homework contribute to learning? The authors of The Homework Myth, The Case Against Homework and The End of Homework, strongly disagree, and cite several studies to support this position.

I believe that we have arrived at a point in the development of our industrial education system that many of us realise that it is not helping to prepare our children for productive lives, no matter which measure you use. Bill Gates has called for the abolition of schooling as has renowned author Alvin Toffler, who says that we should “Shut down the public education system” now.”

via Harold Jarche » Homework, the tip of the iceberg.


Written by Meri

September 12, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Take Back Your Education by John Taylor Gatto — YES! Magazine

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“Take Back Your EducationMore and more people across America are waking up to the mismatch between what is taught in schools and what common sense tells us we need to know. What can you do about it?”

What Can You Do About All This? A lot.

You can make the system an offer it can’t refuse by doing small things, individually.

You can publicly oppose—in writing, in speech, in actions—anything that will perpetuate the institution as it is. The accumulated weight of your resistance and disapproval, together with that of thousands more, will erode the energy of any bureaucracy.

You can calmly refuse to take standardized tests. Follow the lead of Melville’s moral genius in Bartleby, the Scrivener, and ask everyone, politely, to write: “I prefer not to take this test” on the face of the test packet.

You can, of course, homeschool or unschool. You can inform your kids that bad grades won’t hurt them at all in life, if they actually learn to master valuable skills and put them on offer to the world at large. And you can begin to free yourself from the conditioned fear that not being accepted at a “good” college will preclude you from a comfortable life. If the lack of a college degree didn’t stop Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Michael Dell (Dell Computer), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), Warren Avis (Avis Rent-a-Car), Ted Turner (CNN), and so many others, then it shouldn’t be too hard for you to see that you’ve been bam­boozled, flummoxed, played for a sap by the propaganda mills of schooling. Get rid of your assumptions.”

Written by Meri

September 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm

How to Make the Classroom as Exciting as a Video Game – Tom Davenport –

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“Children in the Northern Hemisphere are headed back to school this time of year. The great majority of them will go back to the traditional classroom, in which every student studies the same subjects in the same way at the same time. The fact that this approach doesn’t work very well doesn’t seem to hinder its popularity. We know that students are interested in different things, learn in different ways, and proceed at different paces. So why the “forced march” approach to education?”

via How to Make the Classroom as Exciting as a Video Game – Tom Davenport –

Written by Meri

September 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

School Schedules and Sleep – Motherlode Blog –

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Some excellent comments to this article

“As a middle school teacher, I face classes of exhausted students every day. Research has shown that adolescents body clocks are wired for them to naturally want to sleep late and stay up late. I believe that middle and high schools should start later in the day–say 9:30 rather than 8 or 8:15 at the two schools I have worked at.”

“My high school pushed classes back 20 minutes without any problems except more awake students- with some of the coaches even advocating the change!”

“The start times of school days are a national disgrace. I slept through most of high school, simply because it started two hours earlier than my body clock could handle. Parents should actively demand that school days sync better both with their children’s body clocks and their own work schedules. How many parents, who don’t have to get to work until 9:00 or even 10:00 AM, are exhausted by the commotion of getting children out the door by 7:00 AM? Not to mention the fights to get children to go to sleep far earlier than their bodies are ready to.”

via School Schedules and Sleep – Motherlode Blog –

Written by Meri

August 31, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Silver Lake Regional School Committee Recommends Healthier School Start Times

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“The committee will, after months of data gathering and careful consideration, and by a unanimous vote, be making a recommendation to the Silver Lake Regional School Committee for a delay in the start time of school by 45 minutes at their next meeting to be implemented for the school year 2010-2011.”

From their Q&A:

Question: Can’t we just tell our teens to go to bed earlier? Parents need to be stricter.

Answer: No, it’s not that simple. In last week’s information, we described the difference between circadian rhythm and sleep hygiene. While parents can certainly help with good sleep hygiene they do not have any input over their child’s circadian rhythm that changes during adolescence.

Written by Meri

August 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Stop. Think. Act: Social & Emotional Learning: The Program | Learning Matters

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Here’s a great program doing what Ohlone Elementary has been doing for many years. Learning how to recognize feelings and how to handle them clears the way for learning.

“A small but growing number of schools recognizes this and, starting from a young age, teach what’s called Social and Emotional learning.In this program, we visit a school where learning to recognize feelings one’s own and others’ and how to handle them before they get in the way are just as important as traditional acad

Written by Meri

July 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

My Favorite Mathematician on Math Education – Stats not Calc!

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TED: Arthur Benjamin’s formula for changing math education

Written by Meri

June 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm