Explore Ecuador

Friday, October 17, 2014

Are curriculum changes enough to get young people hooked on languages?

The Guardian – Anna Codrea-Rado

“Curriculum changes, a new education secretary and policy reviews all spell good things for language education. But is enough being done to join up the dots?” (more)

Understanding the Impact of Small Schools of Choice

NYU Steinhardt – Staff Writer

“Over the last decade, the landscape of New York City high schools has changed dramatically…a new choice-based high school admissions system was implemented…smaller schools were purposefully designed with…high academic expectations, personalized learning environments…NYC’s small schools of choice (SSCs) have had a positive impact on students’ prospects for graduation…” (more)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Many Districts Lagging on Implementing Common Core, Survey Finds

Education Week – Catherine Gewertz

“With springtime testing for the common core only months away, nearly a third of district superintendents are still scrambling to put in place the curriculum and professional development necessary to teach the standards, according to survey results released Wednesday.” (more)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Parent says no mush for his first-grader

The Washington Post – Jay Mathews

“His complaint was not about the teacher but what was being taught. The first-grade social studies and science curriculum seemed to him “extremely weak.” The parents’ guide said history lessons would focus on “differences between past and present; people and objects of today and long ago.” Geography would be about how ‘people modify, protect, and adapt to their environment; geographic tools used to locate and describe places on Earth’.” (more)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Global Dimensions of Math

Education Week – Anthony Jackson

“Every curricular area has a global dimension that can be taught in the classroom, including math…math helps us understand the world—and we use the world to understand math. The world is interconnected and math shows these connections and possibilities…The global era will demand these skills of its citizens—the education system should provide students the wherewithal to be proficient in them.” (more)

Monday, September 22, 2014

More classroom technology isn’t the answer

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Over the past 35 years the world has changed radically. We moved from typewriters to computers, land lines to cell phones, handwritten communication to email and text messages, assembly line workers to robots, and libraries to the Internet.

 

With these technological changes came workplace changes. With the workplace changes came job changes. As jobs changed, employers’ expectations for workers changed.

 

For generations, high schools and universities prepared students for lifetime jobs. This meant schools offered hundreds of classes to provide students with specific skills. Since technology now changes about every 24 months, it is more important for employers to have workers who can quickly adapt than employees who know every nuance of Microsoft Word.

 

This means the entire education paradigm needs to shift away from specialization to a deep understanding of basic subjects – math, science, reading, writing, and speaking. In addition, we need to encourage our kids to be creative.

 

Education has been slow to meet the new workplace demands. There are several reasons for the sluggish response. First, education in the US is close to a monopoly. Monopolies are generally slow to respond to changes in market conditions. Second, many education leaders went to school when lifetime jobs were the norm. Third, only a few educators were encouraged to obtain a strong grounding in math and science, critical 21st Century skills.

 

So how do we move forward?

 

At first glimpse it seems like we need more options. Although it is counterintuitive, more class options will not solve the problem. Instead we need more depth in core subjects. This means we can reduce options, pay our teachers more to deliver the depth of understanding in basic subjects that employers demand, and refine our feedback systems so we can get students to higher academic levels.

 

Then, we need to allow students to move through the material at their own pace. Students should not be forced to take physical science if they are ready to take AP Physics or to take remedial writing if they are ready to analyze Greek literature.

 

Next, we need to think critically before we spend money on technology. By the time a technology is in the classroom it is already obsolete. For example, smart boards and iPads are nice, but without the necessary academic content they will not prepare our kids for 21st Century jobs.

 

In summary, we need to change our approach so our kids have the necessary skills for high quality jobs.

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pupils begin ‘tough’ new national curriculum

BBC – Hannah Richardson

“Millions of children in England will begin a “tough” new national curriculum when they return to school this week.” (more)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Common-Core Math Textbooks to Get Online Ratings

Education Week – Liana Heitin

“A new group billing itself as a “Consumer Reports for school materials” will soon begin posting free online reviews of major textbooks and curricula that purport to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards—an effort, some say, that has the potential to shake up the market.” (more)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nigeria: Stakeholder Lauds Introduction of New Curriculum in Nigerian Schools

All Africa – Ujunwa Atueyi

“THE Chairman, Board of Governors of the Jextoban Secondary School, Lagos, Pastor Emmanuel Adedayo Ojo, has described the introduction of a new curriculum in the nation’s secondary schools as one of the best efforts made towards transforming the sector in recent times.” (more)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Editorial: It’s vital we keep STEM at top of curriculum

The News-Journal – Editorial

“When people complain about the performance of our public school systems or how U.S. students compare with those from other countries, someone often will argue that schools fail to teach the right subjects.” (more)