Education

Short Circuit

Teachers can learn something from electricians.  For example, taking the path of least resistance isn’t always the best way to go.  If we want the lights to go on, the current needs to flow through the full circuit, and a short cut, like a nail lying across the wire, usually results in darkness. English teachers,…

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At Winsor School, the Student-Teacher Relationship Drives Academic Support

Laura Vantine Academic support is a significant concern for independent schools — more so today than in the past. On the surface, the trends seem worrisome: A number of schools say more students are struggling, while others report that more parents are pushing for individual support and accommodations, specifically so their children can gain extended time…

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Motivation

It was cold, a November evening, and I was the administrator on duty, so I was walking around the campus shortly after dinner on my way to the athletic center to lock the building. The last coach to leave after practice was supposed to lock up but never did. My mood was not good. The…

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The Costs of Paying Attention, The Value of Reflection

Recent studies done by neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (University of Southern California) and her colleague Joanna Christodoulou (Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT) suggest that educators need to consider much more carefully the role of reflection in learning.1 They cite new theories of two brain systems that control our attention. One is activated when we engage with…

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Learning Disabled or School Disabled?

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, my grandson is one of about 6.4 million children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness in school, distractibility, inability to sustain attention, difficulty finishing school work, difficulty shifting from task to task, procrastination, and fidgeting when seated. In other words, if you…

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Assessments That Provide Real Insight into Learning

A math teacher described a problem he was having with his 2nd graders: “One of the goals of our math curriculum is to enable the students to articulate their mathematical reasoning. We would like them to explain, ‘The problem said two more came, so I knew I needed to add,’ but instead we get, ‘I…

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