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Multicultural awareness boosts teaching competency, but is an uneven resource among future teachers

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Student teachers with more multicultural awareness foster more positive classroom environments for their students, finds a new study by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and published in the Journal of Teacher Education. However, multicultural awareness varies considerably among future teachers based on their own race or ethnicity and prior experience working with youth of color.”(more)

4 ways to improve STEM professional development

E-School News – Mary Leonard and Dominic Piscitelli

“In Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS), all 10 of our elementary schools have a STEM lab. As early as kindergarten, students begin engaging in hands-on learning and exploring STEM careers. Yet, even with regular visits to the STEM lab throughout elementary school, our fifth graders struggled on the Florida Statewide Science Assessment. Another challenge was that our teachers didn’t have a defined STEM curriculum that was uniformly applied to all elementary STEM labs.”(more)

Teaching Current Events in the Age of Social Media

Edutopia – By Heather Wolpert-Gawron

“With each click of the mouse or flip of the channel, our society is inundated with headlines focused on natural disasters, sexual harassment allegations, countries on the brink of war, and teen suicides. While none of this is anything new, the bombardment of these stories is unique to this generation of student. Social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and questionable media sources (or questionable reporting techniques) have become their own newsworthy headlines. As a result, life can appear dark, far darker than in pre–social media days.”(more)

Is A Solid Curriculum a Constraint on Teacher Creativity?

Education Next – Kathleen Porter-Magee

“In education we have been conditioned to believe that mandating curriculum is akin to micromanaging an artist. That’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous. And, as Robert Pondiscio has persuasively argued, it simply makes “an already hard job nearly impossible [for teachers] to do well.” Yet study after study has demonstrated that requiring teachers use a proven textbook or curriculum to guide their teaching is one of the surest ways to improve outcomes for students. In 2009, Cory Koedel and Morgan Polikoff published results from a study comparing the effects of mathematics textbook choices on student achievement in California. They found that “non-trivial gains in student achievement are attainable simply by choosing more effective curriculum materials.”(more)

Still? Most teachers feel unprepared to use technology in the classroom

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“An alarmingly large majority of U.S. teachers–78 percent–say they feel they haven’t received the training they need to teach with technology in the classroom, according to new research. The study from edtech and coding company SAM Labs, conducted online with independent research firm 72 Point, outlines the opportunities teachers see when it comes to technology in the classroom, as well as some of the biggest challenges the U.S. education system faces related to computer science and coding.”(more)

Making Teacher Reflection Meaningful

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Teacher reflection: You remember being forced to do it at university and in your teacher certification programs. You certainly take a moment or two daily, or innately throughout the day, to reflect upon your practice, make adjustments, and better prepare for the next day’s adventure. But how often do you earnestly sit with focused reflection and clearly prioritize and synthesize your thoughts in writing? Some of us have integrated it actively into our practice. Yet many of us struggle to find the time and energy.”(more)