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Parents can improve their child’s literacy and numeracy skills by influencing the games they play

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

New Macquarie University research shows parents can help improve their children’s literacy and numeracy skills by having a greater influence on the type of games they play in their free time. With the summer holidays around the corner, the study indicates that the type of toys or activities adults present to children can influence what they want to learn about – and that children are influenced by what adults are doing in the background while we think they’re not watching.”(more)

Thinking differently in education to deliver breadth of skills

Brookings – Rebecca Winthrop, Eileen McGivney and Timothy P. Williams

“Schools, teachers, parents, and students in rich and poor countries alike must transform the teaching and learning environment to catch up and keep pace with rapid advances in technology, major changes to the world of work, and to solve complex global challenges. This means mastering literacy, numeracy, and content in traditional academic subjects, but also requires young people who can think critically, solve problems and collaborate with diverse groups of people. Rather than a narrow set of competencies, education must deliver the breadth of skills urgently needed not only in the labor market but also for helping solve some of the most world’s most pressing social problems…The good news is that there is renewed global consensus to do just this.”(more)

The U.S. workforce lags behind its international counterparts

Thomas B. Fordham Institute – Darien Wynn

“A recent study released by NCES compares the competencies and skill levels of U.S. adults to their counterparts in foreign countries. The study relies heavily on the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), which tests three “domains”: literacy, numeracy, and problem solving…Analysts found that, compared to people in other participating countries, U.S. adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have lower average PIAAC scale scores in numeracy and problem solving. American young people are less ready for college and career, and larger percentages of them scored in PIAAC’s lowest level in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. Moreover, compared to the international average, U.S. students who graduate high school typically only possess reading, math, and problem solving skills needed to complete brief and simple tasks in the workplace…their findings do reaffirm the importance of closing America’s achievement gap and strengthening our K–12 system so that high school graduates can be internationally competitive. Rigorous standards, along with state- and district-level expansion of CTE programs, can help accomplish this only if states remain committed to these changes for the long haul.”(more)

Which works teaching math: drill it in or get creative?

The Star – Liam Casey

“Don’t get math teachers started on best teaching practices. The discussions are emotional, heated and they don’t agree on much — except that Canadian kids are falling behind their peers in other countries, and there’s no clear solution. There are generally two camps: those in favour of the old-school method to lecture kids with a “drill-and-kill” format that preaches practice, and another, ever-growing group that believes a more creative approach is needed to engage students. At a recent event in Toronto, dozens of teachers waited in line to take selfies with math-teaching celebrity Dan Meyer, delaying his keynote talk at the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education conference. He is part of the new-school camp. His approach is simple, Meyer says on the phone from California, where he’s a math education researcher at Stanford University.”(more)

The Gap Between School And Work Is Becoming A Chasm

Forbes – Nick Morrison

“It has always been tricky to negotiate the leap from education to employment, but a new report suggests the gap between school and work is becoming a chasm. According to the organization representing the leading western economies, more young people are leaving education without basic literacy and numeracy skills, and with little or no experience of the world of work. And the result is the creation of a generation of young people excluded from the opportunities life has to offer, and whose prospects are at best limited to a succession of low-paid jobs…The U.S. fares badly in this report. With 15% of graduates with low literacy it features near the bottom of the chart, while a near 30% figure for poor numeracy makes it the worst performing O.E.C.D. country…Education is about more than just preparing people for work…But it should also equip young people for the skills they will need to live fulfilling and productive lives…”(more)

Making Math Fun For Children Can Lead To College And Career Success

El Dorado Springs Sun – Staff Writer

“Getting a child interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can have positive life impacts. It can even lead to college and career success according to Janice Emery, 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension…The top 20 jobs on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current list of highest-paying occupations value numerical literacy. “By the time our children enter the workforce, professions related to STEM are predicted to be even more predominant,” said Emery. Unfortunately, too many children struggle with STEM concepts…Emery says there are several ways to help make STEM subjects more exciting for children.”(more)