Blogs on Education Reform

Blogs on Education ReformRSS
John MaedaOctober 2, 2012

As the nation embarks on a new school year, education leaders from President Obama on down are facing a renewed commitment to the STEM subjects -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- as a driver of innovation. And what better advertisement of the power of STEM education than the recent landing of the Mars Rover? Like the original Apollo missions to the Moon, they powerfully reveal the magic of science and engineering. Just this summer, the Obama administration announced a laudable new "teacher corps" dedicated to excellence in the STEM subjects, and as far and wide as Estonia, a new policy is spurring debate about the value of teaching programming to elementary school students.

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Mark PhillipsSeptember 26, 2012

The film Won't Back Down is scheduled to open in wide release on September 28. Yet, weeks in advance of this date, there has been a veritable deluge of extremely strong emotional and critical responses. Both the film and the responses deserve our attention, because they are each symptomatic of the polarization that is plaguing both public education and national politics in this country. Every teacher and parent should see the film, but should also be fully prepared to view it critically.

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Matt DavisSeptember 24, 2012

Last week, several thought-provoking studies made the news. Here's a look at a few studies and other interesting stories -- including a school district that pays for college, a case for why Wikipedia should be used in the classroom, and a look at how high-stakes testing can encourage cheating.

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Anne OBrienSeptember 24, 2012

Parent trigger laws have been attracting a lot of attention of lately. At least 18 states (some say 20) have considered legislation including parent trigger language over the past two years, with seven states enacting some version of a parent trigger. And a major motion picture set to release on September 28 chronicles a fictional account of a parent and teacher "pulling the trigger" to improve an elementary school.

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Matt DavisSeptember 14, 2012

It was a fascinating week in education news, with, of course, the Chicago teachers strike taking center stage.

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George CourosSeptember 12, 2012

Just let me start off by saying that the term "21st Century Learning" still drives me crazy. If you think about it, in the last ten years have we progressed in our thoughts about what learning should look like and could be? What about in the next 50 years? Will "21st Century Learning" be the same, or will we still promote the same skills? Who knows? But I am sure that our world will continue to change significantly.

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Matt DavisAugust 31, 2012

It's hard to keep up with the endless stream of education news and research that hits the Web every day.

To help you stay in the know, Edutopia is launching a weekly roundup of blogs, news, and other useful resources that come across our desks. Each week, we'll be on the lookout for recent stories that are interesting, inspiring, and have people talking. We'll also let you know about important policy decisions that might affect you, practical ideas for your classroom, and hopefully we'll have a few funny surprises along the way.

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Though I've long been intrigued by the idea of design thinking, it was the recent launch of a "Design Thinking for Educators" workshop here at Edutopia that compelled me to learn more about it. What I found is that design thinking can be a powerful tool for problem-solving in any discipline -- and what's more, it's hands-on, creative, collaborative, optimistic, and fun.

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Maurice EliasAugust 2, 2012

For decades, James Comer has been a forceful advocate for the rights of children, particularly African-American and Latino children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Foremost among those rights are what some have called, "developmental rights." These are the rights for all children to benefit from what we know and to have the resources and opportunities to grow up in a positive and productive way.

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Dr. Richard CurwinJuly 31, 2012

The word "foolproof" means that even a fool can do it. So what do we make of programs that claim to be "teacher proof?" The growing trend to incorporate programs that are devoid of teachers deciding what to teach, when to teach it and how to teach it, is a disgrace not only to teachers but to all educators, and even to children. I first encountered a teacher proof program decades ago with the Assertive Discipline program. I railed against it, often being criticized for my intensity. I was once asked not to return to St. Joseph University in Philadelphia for the second session of a two-weekend course on discipline because of student complaints over my unwillingness to endorse the program. Fortunately Assertive Discipline has died from its own weight. But now the concept has spread to curriculum, teaching methodology and classroom management. I still rail against this demeaning and useless approach to education.

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