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How Schools Can Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables

The Wall Street Journal – Bonnie Miller Rubin

“We try haranguing. We try pleading. We try bribing. But we still can’t get children to eat their vegetables. Now schools, nutritionists and behavioral scientists are putting science to work to figure out how to get children to reach for a carrot instead of a candy bar. And they’re seeing gains from strategies such as changing the placement of vegetables on the food line, giving vegetable dishes names that sound more appealing and hiring chefs to redesign cafeteria meals. There’s urgency behind these efforts. The nation’s childhood-obesity rates have tripled since the 1970s, and legislators are clashing over the effectiveness of recent federal rules mandating healthier fare in schools. While it seems the regulations are getting more children to make better choices, there hasn’t been a measurable health impact just yet.”(more)

Encouraging Today’s Hidden Figures In STEM

Forbes – Staff Writer

“Hidden Figures has taken not only the box office by storm, but the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education world as well. As a leading Oscar contender, it is helping to elevate the ongoing conversation surrounding women in STEM. By increasing awareness of past gender and racial inequity, Hidden Figures has sparked interest in addressing the inequities that are still present today. Studies show that female and male students actually perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests, but larger gaps exist between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds or family income.”(more)

In Finland, Kids Learn Computer Science Without Computers

The Atlantic – Emily DeRuy

“The Finns are pretty bemused by Americans’ preoccupation with whether to put iPads in every classroom. If a tablet would enhance learning, great. If it wouldn’t, skip it. Move on. The whole thing is a little tilting-at-windmills, anyway. That was the gist of the conversation one recent morning at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where diplomats and experts gathered to celebrate the country’s education accomplishments as Finland turns 100. And Americans could stand to take notes. (Yes, from Finland—again.) Coding and programming are now part of the curriculum in the Scandinavian country, and they’re subjects kids tackle from a young age. But unlike in some parts of the United States where learning to code is an isolated skill, Finnish children are taught to think of coding and programming more as tools to be explored and utilized across multiple subjects.”(more)

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Ed Utopia – Andrew Miller

“Professional development. The phrase has a lot of connotations: Some may think of a trainer talking at them for a full day while others remember a fantastic and practical workshop or a meaningful conversation with a student or colleague. I see a clear parallel to the term project. Say “project” to someone, and they might recall a truly valuable experience or perhaps a complete waste of time. However, we know that when we adopt the mindset and essentials of project-based learning with students, we can improve upon existing projects or create new and better ones. Can we use PBL to improve professional development?.”(more)

Students more likely to succeed if teachers have positive perceptions of parents

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Parental involvement is commonly viewed as vital to student academic success by most education experts and researchers; however, the quality of research on how to measure and improve parental involvement is lacking. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that teacher ratings of parental involvement early in a child’s academic career can accurately predict the child’s academic and social success. Additionally, they found that a teacher training program can help improve the quantity and quality of teacher-parent interactions. Keith Herman, a professor in the MU College of Education and co-director of the Missouri Prevention Center, says these findings show the importance of teacher-parent connections and also the need for training teachers on how to create effective relationships with all parents.”(more)