Education

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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Adolescents Struggle to Identify Fake News

Given the multitude of phony news stories spawned during the 2016 election, culminating in the shooting at a D.C. pizza restaurant, the Stanford History Education Group’s study of adolescents’ ability to judge the credibility of all the information vying for their attention in cyberspace is amazingly timely. The study focused on over 7,800 middle school,…

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My School, My Self

“I just needed a place where I could be myself.” That was Teri’s assessment of what was missing from her life in school, and my experience suggests that she speaks for hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of students. School is not typically a place for the self, at least not the self of students. A…

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What Happens to Empathy Deferred?

As an alumnus of an independent school, I have enjoyed reading about the increasing emphasis on teaching cooperation, teamwork, mindfulness, and empathy. As independent schools become more globally and racially diverse, the need for greater reflection, for awareness of one’s own thinking and biases, and for curiosity about the perspectives of others also grows.  The…

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Civics in Uncivil Times

Facing down the challenges of teaching the 2016 election, with resources for preparing engaged citizens     In a chaotic and hostile election season — rupturing political parties, incessant name-calling, and growing dissension along racial and class lines — it may be tempting for educators to discourage political talk at school. But as the school…

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Arab American Students in Public Schools

Arab Americans in U.S. schools represent more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They share many similarities with other immigrant groups seeking to establish an ethnic identity in a heterogeneous country, but they also face additional challenges. These result especially from negative stereotyping; racism and discrimination; widespread misinformation about their history…

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The Public Purpose of Private Schools

Independent schools are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the public domain. Given the societal turf independent schools occupy, the considerable resources they command, and the powerful network of caring and influential people they attract, independent schools have the opportunity – and, I believe, the obligation – to do more than educate 1.5 percent…

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What Should Parents and Teachers Know About Bullying

Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that can have negative effects on the general school climate and on the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear. Bullying can also have negative lifelong consequences—both for students who bully and for their victims. This brochure characterizes bullies and their victims, offers advice…

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The Trouble with the Standards Movement

With the best of intentions, President George Bush and the nation’s governors met in 1989 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to make the schools of the United States into world-class institutions, competitive with the best schools among industrialized countries. By calling for the creation of high standards with tests to measure student achievement and to hold teachers…

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