The Stubborn Myth of “Learning Styles”

Education, Policies

The Stubborn Myth of “Learning Styles”

Reasonable people may disagree about whether teachers should have to pass licensing tests of instructional knowledge before getting a job in a classroom. But it’s hard to dispute the idea that, if there is going to be such a test, then the questions should be based on the best evidence we have about how children learn. Right?

Actually, my research shows that in 29 states, government-distributed test-preparation materials on high-stakes certification exams include the debunked theory of “learning styles,” which holds that matching instruction to students’ preferred mode of learning—seeing, listening, or physically engaging in content-aligned activities, for example—is beneficial. My work builds on earlier research showing the prevalence of the idea in textbooks and teacher trainings across the United States. The presence of such content promotes an incorrect theory.

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How is Covid-19 affecting student learning?

Education, Policies

How is Covid-19 affecting student learning?

The COVID-19 pandemic’s suddenness shocked the entire education system to the core. Without any preparations, academic institutions had to halt all learning activities to preserve students’ safety. At the same time, teachers also had to readjust teaching practices to meet new health regulations.

Looking back at the past 400 days of the pandemic, it is clear that a lot has changed in academia. One of these changes is the widespread implementation of digital learning at all academic levels.

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Safe speech vs free speech: higher education’s false dilemma

Education, Policies

Safe speech vs free speech: higher education’s false dilemma

In the ‘cancel culture’ era, universities should remember that the original purpose of free speech was to empower the weak, not to shelter them

Universities in the US and the UK have become a battleground in the war between safe speech and free speech. I believe that this is a false dilemma – and understanding its falsity can enable us to detect the social forces imposing it on us.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” wrote George Orwell in 1945 in an introduction to Animal Farm. The introduction was so controversial that it was not made public until 1972.

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Can Teaching Be Improved by Law?

Education, Policies

Can Teaching Be Improved by Law?

If there’s one lesson education policymakers might have learned in the last twenty-five years, it’s that it’s not hard to make schools and districts do something, but it’s extremely hard to make them do it well. There has always been at least a tacit assumption among policy wonks that schools and teachers are sitting on vast reserves of untapped potential that must either to be set free from bureaucratic constraints or shaken out of its complacency. Those of us who have spent lots of time in classrooms watching teachers trying their best and failing (or trying hard and failing ourselves) often find those assumptions curious. Compliance is easy. It’s competence that’s the rub.

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Covid-19 changed education in America — permanently

Education, Policies

Covid-19 changed education in America — permanently

It’s been a school year like no other. Here’s what we learned.

There was a moment last spring when every parent and employer in America suddenly realized how deeply their lives and livelihoods depended on an institution too often in the background and taken for granted: the nation’s schools.

With almost no notice, adults and children found themselves in the middle of a massive national experiment in new ways of teaching and learning, and new ways of dividing responsibilities between home, school and work.

A year later, it’s clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed education in America in lasting ways, and glimpses of that transformed system are already emerging.

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America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

Education, Policies

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

America’s latest war, according to renowned social critic Henry Giroux, is a war on youth. While this may seem counterintuitive in our youth-obsessed culture, Giroux lays bare the grim reality of how our educational, social, and economic institutions continually fail young people. Their systemic failure is the result of what Giroux identifies as “four fundamentalisms”: market deregulation, patriotic and religious fervor, the instrumentalization of education, and the militarization of society. We see the consequences most plainly in the decaying education system: schools are increasingly designed to churn out drone-like future employees, imbued with authoritarian values, inured to violence, and destined to serve the market.

And those are the lucky ones. Young people who don’t conform to cultural and economic discipline are left to navigate the neoliberal landscape on their own; if they are black or brown, they are likely to become ensnared by a harsh penal system.

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Easy Pandemic Career and Economic Survival Tools for High School Teachers

Education, Policies

Easy Pandemic Career and Economic Survival Tools for High School Teachers

Teachers worldwide need to help prepare teens for certain economic shifts that have already started to occur as a result of the pandemic. Most of these lessons are learned in college. However, more and more student have either postponed or dropped out of college altogether due to economic uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

SoRichIam Media is not new to preparing high school teens for the real world. The boutique media company CEO, LeTicia Lee, is a former Wall Street Language Executive Instructor. Her job was to help foreign executives of Fortune 500 Companies make quality shifts within the company during times of economic uncertainty. So who better to help teens and teachers during a pandemic than she? Her “Dynamic Duo Package” designed for high school students does just that.

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The Politics of Post-Pandemic Education

Education, Policies

The Politics of Post-Pandemic Education

Spring break usually means a giddy escape from the classroom for children across America. This year, however, the millions of students who have not set foot in a classroom since last spring are celebrating by closing their laptops for a few days. Many of these students have no prospect of returning to class anytime soon — and their pandemic-shuttered schools have become the focus of an ugly battle among teachers’ unions, school boards, parents, and elected officials about how, and when, they should reopen.

As the politics of reopening have grown increasingly antagonistic and personal,[1] the pandemic is blurring partisan and racial cleavages around public education and creating new coalitions that could remain powerful players in local education politics. At stake is the fate of our public education system itself.

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Giving kids an early financial education pays off in the future

Education, Policies

Giving kids an early financial education pays off in the future

State of financial education: Many money problems Americans face could have been avoided if financial literacy was taught earlier in school. That knowledge helps create a foundation for students to build strong money habits early and avoid many mistakes that lead to a lifelong of money struggles. This story is part of a series looking at the current financial education landscape in this country

As a child growing up in a Latino community in East Palo Alto, California, “the only thing we knew about money was that it’s always tough being low-income,” said Karina Macias, 26.

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Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

Education, Policies

Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

A UNESCO statement said in 2020, instead of 460 million children experiencing reading difficulties, that number jumped to 584 million.

A new study, released on Friday by the UN cultural agency, has revealed that more than 100 million more children, than expected, are falling behind the minimum proficiency level in reading, due to COVID-related school closures.

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