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Experts, Educators Say Benefits of Bilingualism Are Brushed Aside in U.S. Schools

The Washington Diplomat – Teri West

“Imagine if students didn’t learn math until late middle school. They’d be starting from scratch, pre-times tables and long division. The majority would probably never make it past algebra, let alone pre-calculus or geometry. Greek mathematician Pythagoras might roll over in his grave knowing that his triangle theorem was being lost. In most states, that’s the case for foreign language education. “I think we’d have a revolution on our hands,” said Martha Abbott, executive director for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), referring to how parents might respond if schools treated math the way they treat languages.”(more)

How a school garden has transformed the way we teach

The Guardian – Tim Baker

“It was in 2004 that I decided to install a garden at Charlton Manor Primary School. I’d just taken up the role of headteacher, and there was some derelict land on the school site. I’d seen the news reports about children lacking knowledge of where their food came from and felt that we as a society had become very detached about food. The reason for this was clear to me: we were no longer educating our children about food in schools.”(more)

How can teachers support vulnerable children at school?

The Guardian – Sheila Mulvenney

“In almost every class, there will also be those who find learning a challenge – the children who perhaps cause teachers to wake in the night, or to feel that they are having to manage certain behaviours beyond their usual areas of expertise. In my role working to improve the educational outcomes of vulnerable children and young people – specifically those in care and looked-after by the local authority – I have become aware that many will not be in a good place, emotionally, socially or developmentally, to learn. Although the children I work with represent the tip of the “vulnerable” iceberg, there are numerous other children who are on protection plans or identified as children in need. There will be those, too, who are not known to any service but come to school every day having faced significant hardships.”(more)

How do children construct views of themselves?

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“How do children construct views of themselves and their place in the world? Children’s social relationships turn out to be critical. For example, children develop higher self-esteem when their parents treat them warmly. But they develop lower self-esteem when their parents lavish them with inflated praise. These and other findings are included in a special section edited by Eddie Brummelman (University of Amsterdam) and Sander Thomaes (Utrecht University) and soon-to-be published in the journal Child Development. In a series of articles, now available online, the researchers share the results of research on the origins of the self-concept in children.”(more)

Refocusing professional development to make good teachers great

Education Dive – Dr. Brent Raby

“Research shows that an effective teacher can have a tremendous impact on a child’s learning. Therefore, to truly improve education, it is vital to focus on the classroom teacher. In West Aurora School District 129, we knew we needed to improve our professional learning program. In student achievement, our district ranked in the bottom 25% of Illinois districts. Sixty-seven percent of our students are economically disadvantaged, and many require additional programs, resources, and support. Our community had experienced a large influx of immigrants, and many of these children had no formal education. Our schools were serving a growing number of English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities. At the same time, we were losing teachers certified to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and special education. In addition, statewide curriculum changes demanded that teachers have more specific certifications, exacerbating the teacher shortage.”(more)