Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nine ways to use language skills to get a job and boost your career

The Guardian – Georgie Bradley

“If you want to be able to use a language within a specific field, it’s essential to combine subjects, as a straight language degree may not command a big enough premium on the job market. Adam Marshall, executive director, policy and external affairs, British Chamber of Commerce, London says: “Companies look at language as part of a wider skills base – very few recruit on this alone. Pure language degrees are often seen as less valuable by prospective employers than degrees that combine other core skills.'”(more)

Science Is Essentially Human; Or Why Better STEM Education Isn’t A Threat

Forbes – Chad Orzel

“In the short bio that serves as a tagline here, I promise to write not only about physics, but science and academia as well. Fareed Zakaria has conveniently provided me with a hook to do just that, with a much-shared Washington Post piece headlined “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous.” (“STEM” of course is the trendy acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”) Zakaria’s piece is promoting his new book In Defense of a Liberal Education, and working where I do, I see a lot of these. Zakaria’s particular “defense” isn’t especially good or bad, as such things go, just a little more well-connected than most. As is very common with such things, he engages in a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu, giving examples of politicians disparaging the idea of majoring in arts or anthropology then decrying “this dismissal of broad-based learning,” as if suggesting students major in “practical” subjects was equivalent to saying they should never take even a single class in “impractical” subjects. In fact, what’s being questioned by calls for more and better STEM education is not the idea of broad-based education, but a different kind of narrowness, in which most students who go on to work in business and public policy do everything they can to avoid science classes.”(more)

Social studies education facing ‘crisis’ as class time is slashed, departments closed

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“It’s no secret that for years Social Studies (as well as the arts, science and physical education) have been given short shrift in many public schools around the country as academic emphasis has been placed on math and English Language Arts, the subjects for which there are high-stakes standardized tests. Now, Gorman Lee, president of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, is warning that social studies education is facing a “serious civic crisis.” The state council is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit educational organization that advocates for social studies education. It is an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies, which serves as an umbrella organization for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of history, civics, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education.”(more)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Academic dishonesty at Stanford: What compels elite students to cheat?

The Christian Science Monitor – Rowena Lindsay

“Stanford University is the latest in a series of top American universities to admit it has a cheating problem. With nearly 16,000 students enrolled at Stanford, a few incidences of cheating and plagiarism are expected each quarter. But in a letter sent Tuesday by University Provost John Etchemendy, the school is investigating “an unusually high number of troubling allegations of academic dishonesty,” during the winter quarter. The school is concerned over incidents in a number of courses, particularly one of the school’s largest introductory courses where one in five students are suspected of having cheated. The University is currently in the process of contacting those students, Dr. Etchemendy wrote.”(more)

How much does college really cost? Less than you might think

The Seattle Times – Katherine Long

“Hardly a week passes without the release of some new report that discusses the extraordinary growth in the cost of higher education. Lost in the debate is one caveat: A majority of students get some sort of financial aid, which makes the cost of going to college less than many think. That’s one of the takeaways from a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a federal agency that compiles education data. Most reports about escalating college costs focus on the so-called “sticker price.” But as the published prices have skyrocketed, so has the amount of aid available to low-income students. The study reports that many Americans believe college is too expensive, and some see it as prohibitively so. But for a more realistic look at the cost, it’s important to factor in financial aid (which can dramatically lower the price for some families) and the total cost of living expenses (not just tuition).”(more)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boys More Likely Than Girls to Underperform Academically

The U.S. News – Allie Bidwell

“There’s an education gap in academic performance, but it’s not the one you’re probably thinking about. Male students are significantly more likely than female students to be less engaged with school, to have low skills and poor academic achievement, to leave school early and to be overall low achievers in reading, math and science, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, or OECD. The report analyzes the scores of 15-year-old students on the Programme for International Student Assessment exam over time to determine why boys are more likely to fail to meet baseline requirements for proficiency in those three core subjects. Across more than 30 OECD countries in 2012, 14 percent of boys and 9 percent of girls did not meet baseline-level proficiency in any of the three core subjects, the report found.”(more)

Excellence v equity

The Economist – Staff Writer

“Those who become proficient in a second language typically produce higher scores and have greater cognitive development, a sense of cultural pluralism and an improved self-concept, according to The Global Language Project website. However, being bilingual and having language proficiency are different. Stephen Canfield, the chair of the foreign languages department, said those who are bilingual are usually comfortable and have an ease of switching back and forth between two languages, while having proficiency is being highly skilled in a language. Aside from English, Chinese is the most used language in 2015; English is also one of the primary languages for business and science…Canfield said having language proficiency is like having any other skill, and through learning a new language, it is possible to know about other cultures. He said it is also a primary skill to get certain jobs.”(more)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Simple Mistakes That Can Hurt Financial Aid Prospects

Forbes – Robert Farrington

“Now is the time to find the most financial aid possible to help with the costs of school. It can be a challenge, though, to find financial aid, especially given the fierce competition and limited amount available. It all starts with the FAFSA, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. Then it includes the hunt for scholarships and grants. Finally, it ends with potentially taking out student loans. But what if none of these were options? What if a simple mistake made it impossible to get financial aid? It happens, and it can make financing college difficult. Here are the top mistakes families make when it comes to preparing and applying for financial aid.”(more)

How much should you pay for a degree?

The Hechinger Report – JOANNE JACOBS

“Does it pay to go to college? That largely depends on the student, said Robert Shireman, executive director of California Competes, a nonprofit focused on higher education. Students should ask themselves tough questions, he said. You’re not the average student. You’re you. What do you want from college? Do you have the academic skills and motivation to achieve your goals? With funding from the Lumina Foundation (which also funds The Hechinger Report), California Competes has proposed a “College Considerator” to help students think through these kinds of questions. Still in the alpha prototype version, the online tool focuses on the individual. It asks students about the rigor of their high school courses, their grades and their ACT or SAT scores, plus their approach to schoolwork, enjoyment of school and excitement about college.”(more)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Four Skills Every College Student Should Pursue

Courier Times – College Transitions Team

“A simplistic view of higher education is that people emerge from four years of college with a specific skill related to their primary area of study: Education majors learn how to teach, accounting majors learn how to crunch numbers, allied health majors learn skills particular to the healthcare profession, and so on down line. Yet, no matter your primary field of study, there are certain generalized skills that will serve you well in the modern economy where the average worker will change jobs an astonishing 11 times. Abilities in the areas of written expression, public speaking, foreign language, and quantitative analysis can and should be honed while pursuing a degree in any field…we now reside in a globalized marketplace where knowledge, trade, and investments know no borders. For anyone entering fields such as business, finance, information technology, software development, government, law enforcement, or healthcare (just to name a handful), fluency in a foreign language has never been more advantageous…Bi-lingual college grads entering the private sector right now can expect a 10-15% pay increase right off the bat; those conversant in Mandarin Chinese, German, Japanese, and Arabic may demand even higher compensation.”(more)