Renascence School Education News - private school

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Smartphones making children borderline autistic, warns expert

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

” Children struggle to read emotions and are less empathetic than a generation ago because they spend too much time using tablets and smartphones, a leading psychiatrist has warned. Iain McGilchrist said children as young as five were less able to read facial expressions because of too much interaction with technology. He added that he had evidence that more pupils were displaying borderline “autistic” behaviour. Dr McGilchrist, a former Oxford literary scholar who retrained in medicine, said he had heard of increasing numbers of teachers who had to explain to their pupils how to make sense of human faces. However, experts have said children’s lack of ability to read emotions may be down to cultural or language barriers and not just technology. Mr McGilchrist said he’d heard from teachers who said they now have to explain to their pupils how to make sense of the human face more than a few years ago. Mr McGilchrist said he has been contacted by teachers of five to seven year olds who have estimated that roughly a third of their pupils find it difficult to keep attention, read faces and show empathy.”(more)

A very British business

The Economist – Staff Writer

“THEY are known, quaintly, as “public schools”, though they are certainly not open to just anyone. Their names—Eton, Winchester, Harrow, Fettes—conjure up images of striped blazers and straw boaters, speech days and rugger matches. Be not deceived: for all their whimsiness, these are some of the world’s most ruthless businesses. Britain’s elite private schools are service-industry superpowers. They have increased their fees threefold in real terms since 1980 but still have parents beating at their doors. They have become thoroughly global: more than a third of their boarding pupils are foreign and the schools have established campuses in far-flung places such as Almaty, Kazakhstan (Haileybury) and Bangkok (Harrow) as well as more obvious ones like Singapore and Beijing. The secret of their success is simple: they provide a first-class academic education, and a ticket to the best universities, in an age when the rewards for academic success are rising. Their exam results far outstrip those of state schools (though there is a debate over how much this is because of the selectivity of their intake). They bag two-fifths of the undergraduate places at Oxford and Cambridge, despite educating just 7% of children in Britain.”(more)

The College Education Game Just Got Changed

Time – Sabrina Toppa

“Arizona State now offers online pay-as-you-pass freshman years with no required SAT. Arizona State University (ASU) is partnering with the education nonprofit edX to offer students around the world the opportunity to take freshman year courses online — without a required SAT score or high school transcripts. The earned credits enable students to finish their degrees at Arizona’s campus or that of any university campus accepting the courses.”(more)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Biggest Mistakes People Make Saving For College

Forbes – Robert Farrington

“Saving for college can be a challenging. These are a lot of different ways to save and a lot of different suggestions about how much to save. And parents are worried about this – according to a recent T. Rowe Price survey, 52% of parents felt it was more important to save for their kids’ college education than their own retirement. What makes matters ever worse, though, is that parents are still making a lot of mistakes when it comes to saving for college. Here are the biggest ones:”(more)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Millennials Are Failing Because We Are Failing Them: The STEM Gap

Forbes – Neale Godfrey

“Many of today’s Millennial students lack the skills necessary to fill the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) positions of tomorrow. Furthermore, a majority of U.S. students from low-income and minority households have an even greater gap when it comes to STEM knowledge. These shortages in STEM talent have broad implications, not only for our current and future workforce, but also for the burgeoning middle class we hope to foster. Why is this important? According to the United States Department of Commerce Economics & Statistics Administration, STEM creates a nation of innovation and global competitiveness because it drives the generation of ideas and propels the creation of new industries. Moreover, growth in STEM jobs is three times faster than in other jobs; STEM occupations are projected to grow by more than 17 percent. As such, we should not sit idly as the U.S. unemployment numbers start to decline. There are some great opportunities lurking in a variety of STEM fields and we can almost be assured of another “downturn” if the right talent is not prepared to take those job opportunities.”(more)

Why Getting a Liberal Education Matters

The Huffington Post – Taylor Dibbert

“In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria is a short and smart book. Zakaria notes that in the United States, “a liberal education is out of favor.” He then tells us that “An open-ended exploration of knowledge is seen as a road to nowhere.” The reality is that earning a degree in a subject such as English literature is no longer viewed in an overwhelmingly positive light and far fewer students are pursuing liberal arts degrees than they were decades ago. Currently, students are more interested in pursuing degrees in subjects that they believe will lead directly to employment, such as business or accounting. Zakaria views this trend as problematic and persuasively explains why. Crucially, getting a liberal education fosters critical thinking and writing skills. “Whatever you do in life, the ability to write clearly, cleanly and reasonably well will prove to be an invaluable skill.” The second key benefit is that it “teaches you how to speak.” Third, students are taught “how to learn” and pursue knowledge independently, long after their college careers.”(more)

Two-year degrees can really pay off

Reuters – Liz Weston

“Steven Polasck of Corpus Christi, Texas, liked math and science in high school. He considered attending a four-year college but ultimately decided to use his strengths to get a two-year degree in instrumentation from Texas State Technical College. He has not looked back. “I went to work on the Monday after graduation,” said Polasck, 27, who monitors and fixes systems at a Valero Energy Corp refinery. “The first year I made almost $80,000.” An associate’s degree has long been considered an inferior alternative to a bachelor’s degree. Now that more states are tracking their graduates’ incomes, however, it is becoming apparent that some two-year degrees offer much higher earnings than the typical four-year degree – at a fraction of the cost. Making more students and parents aware of these better-paying options could help ease the college affordability crisis, which has so far led to more than $1 trillion in student loan debt.”(more)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lloyd Bentsen IV: Focus on STEM education a no-brainer

The Dallas Morning News – Lloyd Bentsen IV

“If Fareed Zakaria has his way, the United States education system will continue to fail our children. In 2012, on the standard international education test, American students ranked 36th among developed countries in mathematics, with a score of 481 out of a possible 1,000 and below the average score of 494. In science, U.S. students scored 497 out of a possible 1,000 and below the average score of 501. By contrast, students in Singapore scored 573 in mathematics and 551 in science; Japan, Korea and parts of China scored at the top with Singapore. Education reformers have recently turned their attention to STEM — the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — because of a lack of workers and a mismatch between STEM degree-holders and STEM fields.”(more)

When students become entrepreneurs, real learning happens

E-School News – Jason Braddock

“Here in eastern Ohio, some of our students are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit right at school, engaging in a style of learning that helps make lessons come alive. The students, spread throughout nine districts, are working with my organization, the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, which provides educational opportunities—including this foray into project-based learning—to thousands of regional students.”(more)

How Colleges are Squeezing Students on Financial Aid

Time – Timothy Pratt

“Dalia Garcia breathed a sigh of relief when she found out that she had been given enough financial aid to nearly cover the cost of tuition for her first year at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. Because her father earned less than $20,000 a year as a janitor, college would have been out of reach without the help. The aid meant “having a sense of security,” she recalled. And as a high school valedictorian with a high grade-point average, Garcia was able to add several scholarships to her bounty.”(more)