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Middle school is the pivotal point for girls in STEM

Education Dive – Stephen Noonoo

“Greater efforts are now being made by schools to encourage girls into STEM fields while their interest and comprehension is still level with boys. Some researchers believe that the best way to boost girls’ interest is by starting at home, encouraging parents to take up the charge. Other schools have begun special mentorship programs, pairing students with mentors in their community, or joining national programs such as Girls Who Code, an organization that works with thousands of girls across the country to promote computer science education.”(more)

More children in the West are being taught math using China’s fabled, slightly brutal “mastery” method

Quartz – Neha Thirani Bagri

“There has been a growing feeling in the UK, a country with some of the most elite schools (paywall) and revered universities in the world, that their students are lagging behind students in other countries. This is particularly true in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, where the country is facing a severe shortage of skilled graduates. In fact, when compared to students from Asia, British students are underperforming in STEM subjects from an early age. According to a recent ranking of how 15-year-olds from different countries (pdf) score in math, mainland China comes in at #5; the UK is at #27. And now, to bring their students up to speed, the British government is planning to use Chinese textbooks in UK schools. Following a deal signed between HarperCollins and the Shanghai Century Publishing Group, textbooks used to teach mathematics in Chinese primary schools will be translated for use in Britain.”(more)

The big 3: How access, achievement and advancement can close gaps

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“When it comes to learning, giving students access to a magical mix of high-quality teachers, technology, and the opportunity to develop skills such as collaboration sets them on the right path. But educational gaps remain–gaps in technology access, in achievement, and in opportunity. The right blend of pedagogy and technology, however, can help close those gaps. During a session at CUE’s 2017 National Conference, Toni Robinson, director of professional development for Discovery Education, explored some of the ways technology can give students equal learning opportunities. Closing educational gaps comes down to access, achievement and advancement.”(more)

This tech academy is using project-based learning to close the STEM gap

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Across the country, more and more schools are implementing project-based learning and forging partnerships with businesses to help students build real-world skills to succeed in college and the workforce. Take Chicago’s Chicago Tech Academy High School for example. While ChiTech, as the school is known, aims to help students become leaders, it also seeks to increase the number of minority and low-income students pursuing STEM in college and the workforce. Since 2009, the school’s graduation and college enrollment rates have steadily increased. School leaders focus on closing the technology gender gap by teaching female students to code and build websites and apps.”(more)

5 ways to increase engagement and close the academic achievement gap

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“For years, most in education circles have been acutely aware of a “boy crisis” in education — though around the world, girls are less likely to enter school, boys are significantly more likely to be held back, suspended, fail or drop out than their female counterparts and are more likely to be labeled as special needs — a truth that has remained for decades. When the conversation is disaggregated by race, the outcomes are even more disparate for black and Latino young males. Lora A. Adams-King, superintendent of the Farrell Area School District in Farrell, PA, said the issue “is not that they dislike school or don’t have the ability to learn. The issue is that they [don’t] feel like school [is] relevant to them. They [don’t] feel like their teachers connected with them” or like they were connected to the school environment overall.”(more)

Why Your Child Has No Willpower

Lifzette – Jennifer Fallon

“Too many American children are lethargic. They lack what it takes to succeed — and they don’t seem to care. This dearth of motivation shows up in numerous ways — at school, in their television viewing habits, in their eating habits, and in their fitness (or lack thereof). More than 40 percent of our students are perpetually disengaged during school, according to a report from the National Research Council, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. More than a quarter of students never graduate high school. The average American child watches 35 hours of television a week (as much as a full-time job in France). And childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last 30 years, from 5 percent to 21 percent.”(more)