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How A Stereotype Threat Intervention Can Help Students in STEM Fields

KQED News Mind/Shift – Esther Landhuis

“The results indicate that directly discussing the phenomena of stereotype threat appears to help students of ethnic groups underrepresented in science as well, if not better, than traditional approaches that bolster students without specifically talking about stereotypes. Past research shows minority students can be helped by being prompted to think about things they care about like sports, friends, or religion. It’s called affirmation training. Asking students to recall these values nurtures a broader sense of self and makes individual threats, such as a math test, seem less daunting, says Stanford psychologist Greg Walton. Indeed, a study by Walton and colleagues showed that so-called affirmation training can improve women’s attitudes about school and raise their science GPAs.”(more)

3 critical things to know about boosting student engagement

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Engaging high school students in learning and breaking away from the typical boredom that seems to plague so many students is a challenge–one that could be addressed differently depending on a student’s dominant mode of engagement. To figure out the best ways to engage different groups of students, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute worked with a research team headed by Crux Research president and founder John Geraci. The result is What Teens Want From Their Schools: A National Survey of High School Student Engagement. The research team surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 students in grades 10-12 to gather information for the report.”(more)

Can a simple classroom redesign inspire student achievement?

E-School News – Dr. Juli Marshall

“Imagine a 5th grade classroom in the middle of a lesson. What do you see: charts, letters, and drawings on the wall? A teacher writing notes on a large chalk or white board at the front of the room? Rows of desks and chairs, which face a single direction? Maybe you imagined small bookshelves, an American flag, or other supplies. It’s likely we formed the same, all too familiar image in our mind. This has been the traditional classroom for decades. Any generation could walk into a room and immediately identify it as a classroom. At South Carolina’s Saluda Trail Middle School, my room has evolved from this stagnant design to one of innovation. It’s flexible. It’s colorful. It’s engaging.”(more)

What Teens Want From Their Schools

Education Next – Amber M. Northern and Michael J. Petrilli

“Boredom may exist in elementary or middle school, but it is endemic to high school. Indeed, it’s practically a rite of adolescent passage to profess one’s perennial state of ennui—as if no one or nothing is cool enough to sustain the interest of a sixteen-year-old. What educators need to take seriously is the distinction between typical teenage whining and signs that students are actually disengaging from their formal education. Such disengagement is a portent of trouble, and not just because student engagement is closely linked to academic achievement. [i] Among high school students who consider dropping out, half cite lack of engagement with the school as a primary reason, and 42 percent report that they don’t see value in the schoolwork they are asked to do.”(more)

Teachers: Should you use business tactics for happier classrooms?

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“In recent years, school leaders have debated what, if anything, schools can glean from the way businesses are run. Should schools be managed like business organizations? And to what extent? Now, three educator-researchers are sharing their findings on the topic as they wonder if classroom teachers can use successful, proven business strategies to run their classrooms better and increase both student happiness and engagement.”(more)

How To Ensure Students Are Actively Engaged and Not Just Compliant

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Engagement is a crucial part of learning, but ensuring students are actively engaged is more complex than whether a student is paying attention or not. As technology has made its way into the classroom many educators describe how attentive students are when on devices, but a quiet, outwardly behaved student is not the same thing as one that is truly engaged. The kind of engagement that leads to learning is three dimensional.”(more)