Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Boys ‘held back by reluctance to write at home’

BBC News – Hannah Richardson

“Boys’ reluctance to write outside school could be hampering their chances of fulfilling their potential, a National Literacy Trust study says…It cites evidence that those who write for fun outside school are four times more likely to be writing above the expected level at the end of primary school than those who do not. At the other end, nine times as many children and young people who do not enjoy writing at all, write below the expected level compared with those who enjoy writing very much.”(more)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Arizona schools launch Mandarin learning programs

The Arizona Central – Mark Olalde

“In the face of shifting geopolitics, Arizona schools have begun adapting academic programs to better prepare students for a competitive global workforce. The newest additions to Valley schools are Mandarin language immersion programs. At least five schools already have programs, and more are in talks to do the same.”(more)

Why language skills are great for business

The Guardian – Lucy Jolin

“Don’t know your bonjours from your buongiornos? You’re not alone: three-quarters of British adults can’t speak a foreign language competently[PDF]. But the benefits of being able to communicate with overseas clients, suppliers and buyers are huge – as are the costs of lacking that facility.”(more)

Baby Brains

The National Geographic – Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

“In the late 1980s, when the crack cocaine epidemic was ravaging America’s cities, Hallam Hurt, a neonatologist in Philadelphia, worried about the damage being done to children born to addicted mothers. She and her colleagues, studying children from low-income families, compared four-year-olds who’d been exposed to the drug with those who hadn’t. They couldn’t find any significant differences. Instead, what they discovered was that in both groups the children’s IQs were much lower than average. “These little children were coming in cute as buttons, and yet their IQs were like 82 and 83,” Hurt says. ‘Average IQ is 100. It was shocking.'”(more)

Iowa’s Commitment To Math And Science Gives Business A Boost

Forbes – Staff Writer

“According to a Georgetown University study, the United States will be five million short on post-secondary educated workers by 2020. But most industry leaders will tell you that they’re already feeling the workforce crunch. In 2009 when the nation’s growing skills gap came to the forefront at the federal level, Iowa’s industry and education leaders quickly mobilized to reverse the trend. Through public/private partnerships, several workforce retraining and STEM education initiatives have been implemented. And Iowa companies are already seeing positive results.”(more)

Report on Ohio charter schools provides insights into what works and what doesn’t

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“The Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University — the nation’s leading evaluator of charter schools – released an updated report on the performance of Ohio charter schools. Ohio has broad laws on who can authorize a charter school, generating nearly 400 charters serving 120,000 students. So, the state provides a good vantage point to see what works and what doesn’t.”(more)

Using discipline to help kids feel better about school, not worse

The Seattle Times – Claudia Rowe

“Schools nationwide are facing the hard-to-refute fact that using suspension to discipline students doesn’t do much to improve their behavior — and may make it worse.”(more)

Nicky Morgan: lessons in character ‘just as important’ as academic grades

The Telegraph – Graeme Paton

” Lessons to build pupils’ “character” are being put on par with academic subjects under government plans to ensure children are properly prepared for life in modern Britain.”(more)

Monday, December 15, 2014

We learn grammar before we start talking

Basque Research – Javier Urtasun

“Months before enunciating their first words, babies focus on acquiring language. Moreover, the process is different depending whether the infant is part of a bilingual environment or is immersed in a single-tongue one. These are some of the conclusions that have been drawn from two research studies on the effects of context on language perception and production carried out at the BabyLab of the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), in the city of Donostia-San Sebastian.”(more)

The Language of Life: The gift of language

The News and Observer – Angela Jackson

“I was recently at a holiday party sharing my work with Global Language Project. As I explained our mission – to equip students with a second language in order to open the world to them and prepare them for the global workforce – the host, who is a mother of three, said, “I get it, I’m from Europe.” I gave her a look of knowing because 56 percent of Europeans consider themselves bilingual, versus only 15 percent of Americans. Speaking a second language in Europe allows people much needed mobility.”(more)