For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, Presidential Fitness Test and Bunsen burner.
This week marked National Adjunct Walkout Day, a protest to gain better working conditions for part-time college instructors. Why are college professors from San Jose State University to the City University of New York taking to the streets like fast-food workers?
Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 2:30 pm
Studies, research papers, doctoral dissertations, conference presentations — each year academia churns out thousands of pieces of research on education. And for many of them, that's the end of it. They gather dust in the university library or languish in some forgotten corner of the Internet.
A few, though, find their way into the hands of teachers, principals and policymakers. Each year the American Educational Research Association — a 99-year-old national research society — puts out a list of its 10 most-read articles.
Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:59 am
Were you ever the teacher's pet? Or did you just sit behind the teacher's pet and roll your eyes from time to time?
A newly published paper suggests that personality similarity affects teachers' estimation of student achievement. That is, how much you are like your teacher contributes to his or her feelings about you — and your abilities.
Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 2:26 pm
Chris Reynolds will never forget his first day at the University of Michigan. He and his dad got up superearly and drove nine and a half hours from Sellersville, a blue-collar factory town in Pennsylvania, to Ann Arbor.
"My father literally just dropped me off and then left," Reynolds says.
His dad couldn't afford a hotel, so they took about an hour to unpack the car, said their goodbyes, and his dad drove off.
Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 5:05 pm
News surrounding a confrontation in a Baltimore school is raising new questions about the role race plays in discipline for black girls. Baltimore television station WBAL has been reporting on an October incident that led to three students at the city's Vanguard Middle School being injured, and later arrested and suspended, after an altercation with a school security officer.
Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 12:03 pm
Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.
Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 4:26 pm
Attending state-funded prekindergarten substantially reduces the likelihood that students will end up in special education programs later on, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University.
The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Cartoonist? Carpenter? Dolphin trainer? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.
Most teachers will watch the Super Bowl at home, cracking open a beer maybe, or yelling at their flat-screen TVs. Lauren Schneider will be right there on the sidelines, cheering on Tom Brady and her team just feet from the action.
Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 3:14 pm
After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.
This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:19 am
The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.
It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:02 am
Deborah Oster Pannell's husband died when her son, Josiah, was 6 years old. That week, Pannell visited Josiah's school and, with his teacher and guidance counselor, explained to his first-grade class what had happened.
"I'll never forget the three of us sitting up there — and all these little shining faces looking up at us — talking about how Josiah lost his dad and he might be sad for a while," Pannell says.
Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 1:17 pm
The classroom of the future probably won't be led by a robot with arms and legs, but it may be guided by a digital brain.
It may look like this: one room, about the size of a basketball court; more than 100 students, all plugged into a laptop; and 15 teachers and teaching assistants.
This isn't just the future, it's the sixth grade math class at David Boody Jr. High School in Brooklyn, near Coney Island. Beneath all the human buzz, something other than humans is running the show: algorithms.