Renascence School Education News - private school

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kenya: Without Creativity, Success in School Is Not Possible

All Africa – Alla Tkachuk, MSc

“Creativity drives progress. It is vital to our success and well-being. It guarantees our very survival. Without human ingenuity, the advancement of human condition is not possible. Yet, the value of creativity is often not recognised…What is creativity?…Creativity is the ability to think. It is our capacity to generate new ideas, ideas that bring change and improvement. Albert Einstein called creativity ‘true intelligence’. Creativity can be referred to as innovation, resourcefulness, or thinking ‘outside the box’. Significantly, it is a skill that can be taught and learned….The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a world’s leading business/education collaboration, says that creativity a key skill young people need in order to succeed in the 21st century…Creativity must be at the center of education. The Industrial Revolution model of schooling – that prepared workers rather than thinkers – is outdated. Technology has radically changed the rules. In the ‘innovation’ economy of the 21st century, the ability to think creatively is essential.”(more)

Hooked on books, why reading to a baby is a must

Daily Herald – Staff Writer

“Early literacy skills begin in infancy. Reading to your baby is critical to setting your child on the path to strong reading skills, a better vocabulary and success in school and life…Whether it’s the gardening tips from the morning paper or Goodnight Moon, reading with a baby will positively impact learning, social and emotional development and form the foundation of literacy for years to come…Here are five reasons reading to a baby is a must…”(more)

Restraint and Seclusion, Gifted Education Among Amendments to ESEA Bill

Education Week – Christina Samuels

“States would be required to adopt policies to prevent unnecessary use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and a federal gifted education grant program would be reauthorized for six years, under amendments that were added this week to the proposed rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act…The restraint and seclusion bill was brought forward by Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut. It would require state departments of education to develop plans to protect students from abuse, aversive interventions that compromise their safety, or any “physical restraint for seclusion imposed solely for purposes of discipline or convenience.” The gifted education amendment came from retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland…”Serving students who are low-achieving is important, but so is nurturing students who have high ability and enormous potential. I believe we need to know more about these kids, and our teachers need to know how to help these children achieve and succeed,” Mikulski said in a statement introducing her amendment.”(more)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Honored for Promoting Civics Education

Education Week – Mark Walsh

“Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was honored Wednesday night for causes she has advanced during her very active retirement, especially her work to improve civics education in the nation’s schools…After O’Connor stepped down from the Supreme Court in 2006, she founded iCivics, a non-profit that promotes learning about government through online games such as “We the Jury” and “Do I Have a Right?”…”We don’t learn civics and how to be involved genetically,” O’Connor says…”We have to learn it every generation. I wanted to teach young people in America how they can be part of the governmental structure so they can help decide what problems to tackle and how to solve them…We need to teach young people that they’re going to grow up and be in charge.””(more)

Investing in education: A smart strategy to improve health and curb the costs of care

The Hill – Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

“As Congress irons out spending priorities for the coming year, education funding is sure to be on the table. Budget talks around education will understandably center on how a better educated citizenry can fuel our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. What’s likely to be less talked about among our lawmakers – but critically important to the conversation – is how investing in education a smart strategy to improve our nation’s health and curb the rising costs of medical care. We know that education plays a key role in shaping health outcomes, and the price paid for a lost education—in terms of life expectancy and disease rates—has never been greater. Research finds that Americans with less education live shorter lives and are prone to higher rates of disease, and those without a high school diploma are living sicker, shorter lives than they did in the 1990s. That’s why our leaders in Congress must approach budget conversations with a comprehensive understanding of education – from early learning to improved access to college and job training – as a means to not only better our nation’s economic standing and the next generation’s job prospects, but also to make a lasting impact on public health and help control the spiraling costs of health care.”(more)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

21st Century Skills: Case Studies From Asia

Education Week – Vanessa Shadoian-Gersing

“Innovation is high on the agenda of education systems in the Asia-Pacific region, and the million-dollar question is how schools should change to foster 21st century skills. Education policies and curricula increasingly reflect a broad understanding of the competencies students need to prosper in the global knowledge economy, including critical thinking, creative-mindedness, global competence, as well as character. While there is a shared understanding in Asia of the need for 21st century skills frameworks that combine technical, social, behavioral, and higher-order thinking skills, countries are pursuing this agenda in various ways.”(more)

Lifelong Learners in a Rapidly Changing World

The Huffington Post – Jonathan Lash

“Whether college, high school, elementary school, or preschool age, today’s students are going to face challenges heretofore unknown. The pace of change is accelerating, and it’s estimated that 70 percent of them will end up in jobs not yet invented. They will collaborate with people on multiple continents, struggling to solve problems we don’t yet recognize. How do we educate students to thrive in this rapidly changing world? Community, collaboration, and diversity are vitally important. Few work in isolation anymore. The world faces complex challenges far too large to be solved without the cooperative skills necessary to work in groups and across boundaries. In a global marketplace of ideas, students will need to take up different perspectives and forge an ethical stance that is sensitive to cultural difference, while guided by fairness and justice.”(more)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Deal with it

The Economist – Staff Writer

“LANGUAGE-learners like to swap war-stories about their struggles, whether with Chinese tones, Japanese honorifics, German articles, Russian cases or Danish pronunciation. Each language challenges the learner with something unique. After twenty years of knowing passable French, Johnson learned today that two French words are masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural: amour (love) and orgue (organ, the musical kind). It is un amour fou, but des amours folles. This kind of thing can only make the learner shake his head: isn’t French grammar complicated enough already, to say nothing of French amours? It is easy to spend an entire lifetime learning the quirks of one’s native language, without having to boggle the mind with a foreign one. All this diversity, when not a headache, is something to admire. But one quirk unites the world’s languages rather than dividing them: the weirdness of prepositions. Not all languages have prepositions as such: some languages use word endings instead of prepositions. But whether standalone or as endings, they are odd all around. Prepositions seem simple enough. A child learns them as spatial relations, perhaps in a book with deceptively simple pictures. The box is on the table. Now it is under the table. The ball is in the box. Now it is next to the box.”(more)

Building a Solid Foundation

U.S. News and World Report – Sara Mead

“In debates about education, early childhood often comes across as K-12’s overlooked little sibling. With no guaranteed access for children and families, lower resource levels and lower quality standards for many programs, the early childhood field lacks many things that the K-12 system takes for granted. It can be tempting to think the solution is to make early childhood – or at least pre-K – look more like the K-12 system. But that would be wrong. Young children have unique early learning needs, and the educational approaches – to instruction, curriculum and assessment – that work best for young children are different from those commonly used in K-12 schools. In fact, not only do good early childhood programs look different from K-12 schools, the K-12 system – particularly the early elementary grades – could learn some things from early childhood. Although our public education system arbitrarily starts at age 5, child development experts define early childhood as the period from birth through age 8. This means that roughly a quarter of the children in our public education system – those in grades K-3 – are still in early childhood and could benefit from educational approaches that are common in pre-K, but rare in K-12 schools.”(more)

American Teens Are Stressed and Bored. It’s Time To Talk About Feelings.

Time – Diana Divecha and Robin Stern

“Every night, at dinner tables around the country, parents ask their kids the same question: “How was school?” We’re about to find out how millions of American youth feel about their school day. On April 9, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Born This Way Foundation invited high school students across the United States to go online to declare how they feel while they’re in school. And how they’d like to feel. Why does it matter how kids feel during the school day? A child’s day is a roller coaster of emotions. And sadly, many of the feelings are unpleasant. A growing body of research highlights the importance of how kids feel and how they manage those feelings, or not. Emotions drive attention, learning, memory, and decision-making. They affect relationships and psychological well-being. Learning to handle emotions well is especially important in adolescence, a time when neural networks are being sculpted that will influence behavior patterns for life.”(more)