RSI Corporate - Licensing

Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school kids?

The Guardian – Leo Benedictus

“According to a recent survey, 57% of parents with children at primary school say their sports day is “non-competitive”. This means an event in which “everyone joins in via a team-focused event where individuals are not singled out”, says Families Online, which conducted the survey. In practice, this often results in schools dividing the children into groups that do compete, while parents yell encouragement from the sidelines. There are no school records to be broken and no tears on podiums. The survey found that 86% of its responders do not approve.”(more)

Rate of increase in degree-holders continues to lag behind national goal

The Hechinger Report – Jon Marcus

“The rate by which Americans are earning two-and-four year degrees continues to lag stubbornly behind what’s needed to meet national goals, and declining college and university enrollments threaten to make things worse, according to a new report…Why it matters: The country is behind schedule in its goal of increasing the proportion of people with degrees to 60 percent by 2025…increasing the percentage of degree-holders is essential for the nation to compete.”(more)

Why Science Fairs Matter More Than Ever

The Huffington Post – David D. Etzwiler

“Science fairs had a rough 2015…Critics were saying that science fairs were not achieving what they were supposed to. Instead of generating more interest in science, technology, engineering, and math — the STEM fields — they were inspiring races to the bottom, a constant reheating of unimaginative projects proven to get a good grade…That said, we would encourage parents and educators alike to embrace their science fairs more, not hate them. STEM, after all, is nothing less than the language of our new and still-rapidly changing digital economy. Jobs in these fields are growing three times faster than any other sector of our economy, and yet only 16 percent of American high school seniors, according to the U.S. Department of Education, are proficient in math and even interested in STEM. Science fairs and competitions are helping to close this skills gap…Science fairs, when done right, focus students on solving problems, not just acing tests…they continue to nurture the spirit of innovation that guides success in our global economy.”(more)

Innovation and creativity: Australia needs an innovation ‘skunkworks’

The Conversation- Marcus Foth from Queensland University of Technology

“Malcolm Turnbull has been heralded as the new “innovation PM”. Expectations are high that he must now translate his rhetoric around agility, disruption, entrepreneurship into concrete economic policies.Both Glenn Withers, Professor of Economics at Australian National University, and myself have argued that we need not just STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but also researchers from the social sciences, arts, design and the humanities contributing to innovation.Several commentators have called for better support of innovation, such as Mark Dodgson, Director, Technology and Innovation Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Tony Peacock, Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centres Association, Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and Jenny Stewart, Professor of Public Policy, UNSW Australia.”(more)

Child education expert Professor Carla Rinaldi warns apps can kill creativity

News.com.au Editor

“HOMEWORK overload and classroom rivalry are “ruining” Australian children, an international education leader warned yesterday. Professor Carla Rinaldi – president of the global Reggio Children movement, based in Italy – said children were relying too much on technological “apps” instead of their own ingenuity and imagination.And she urged parents and teachers to give children the “greatest gift” – time.”There is this obsession to pass from one activity to another,” she said during a visit to Australia sponsored by the nation’s biggest childcare chain, Goodstart Early Learning.”(more)

What’s wrong with education for education’s sake?

The Telegraph – Kieran McLaughlin, Michael Mercieca

“In the last few years, much has been said about preparing young people and children for the world of work. With various business groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce, calling on schools and employers to work together to make sure pupils understand and are prepared for what awaits them after education, the purpose of schooling has increasingly become a point of debate. Are schools and universities meant to be making sure their students have the skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive jobs market, or is the purpose of schooling slightly more open ended? Does it need to have a purpose at all, beyond instilling knowledge – and a passion to keep learning – into pupils? Should learning be about education for education’s sake? Or should the focus be employability? Maybe you think it should be a mix of both? Read the arguments…”(more)