The Answer Sheet: Learning


Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011

'Brain-based' education: Run from it

A veteran educator explains why teachers should run from any curriculum that says it is "brain-based."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban, Learning, Research | Tags:  brain research, brain-based education, daniel willingham, education and brain, larry cuban

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 12/17/2010

The carrot, the stick ... or something else?

We keep trying to get kids to go to school and study with carrots and sticks -- but maybe both approaches are wrong.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 12/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  chronic truancy, paying for grades, sean slade, student truancy, truancy

Posted at 01:24 PM ET, 10/21/2010

Afterschool programs in funding jeopardy

Thousands of afterschool programs are in danger of losing their funding because of a proposal that would allow federal money now used to support these programs to instead pay for longer school days. That may sound like it makes sense, but it doesn't.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:24 PM ET, 10/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning | Tags:  afterschool alliance, afterschool funds, afterschool programs, arne duncan, extending school day, lights on afterschool, longer school day, president obama, quality afterschool, school reform, student achievement

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/21/2010

English teacher: Data can drive us down wrong road

An English teacher writes: "Strict adherence to data-driven instruction can lead schools to push aside science and social studies to drill students on isolated reading benchmarks.... It is difficult to teach kids to read well if they don’t learn to enjoy reading. It is impossible to teach kids to read well while denying them the knowledge they need to make sense of complex material. Following the data often forces teachers to do just that."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  compare and contrast, fcat, florida comprehensive assessment test, standardized tests, teachers, teaching, test questions

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/08/2010

Poll: Americans misunderstand learning disabilities

A new poll shows that a majority of Americans have severe misperceptions of learning disabilities, the causes and even the definition. This can affect when children are diagnosed and given help that they need.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities | Tags:  autism, learning disabilities, mental retardation, research, roper

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/17/2010

Harvard profs dropping final exams

Hundreds of Harvard professors have stopped giving final exams and there is some thought that they have been “going the way of the dodo” for years. Are final exams necessary?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  FAS and harvard, final exams, final papers, harvard college, harvard drops final exams, harvard university

Posted at 01:07 PM ET, 06/21/2010

Understanding ADHD -- Willingham

Yes, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a very real disorder, and cognitive scientist explains what parents and teachers should know about the condition.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:07 PM ET, 06/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities | Tags:  add, add medication, adhd, adhd and school, adhd and symptoms, adhd medication, all about adhd, all about attention deficit disorder, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, children and adhd and dignosis, daniel willingham, diagnosing adhd, is adhd real?, kids with adhd, symptoms of adhd, treatment for adhd, understanding adhd

Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 06/21/2010

Preventing summer learning loss

Summer learning loss is real, but there are ways to prevent it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:51 AM ET, 06/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  how to prevent summer learning loss, michelle obama, preventing summer learning loss, summer learning, summer reading

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 06/10/2010

Reformers: Stop doing these 4 things

An expert on classroom instruction explains the four things school leaders have to stop doing immediately to improve teaching and student achievement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 06/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  block scheduling, great instruction, improving classroom instructions, john o'connor, mistakes in education reform, school reformers

Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 06/04/2010

Why fun is important in learning

By Sean Slade. Why do we assume that learning only occurs when kids are serious and quiet? This anti-fun vein is evident in education editorials and discussion boards, but brain research suggests that fun is not just beneficial to learning but required for long-term memory and authentic learning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:19 AM ET, 06/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  ascd, engaging students, fun in education, healthy classrooms, healthy school communitiesy, learning, theory of learning

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 05/27/2010

How Arizona is checking teachers’ accents

More than 1,500 teachers in Arizona have already been evaluated to see if they can speak English fluently, and some have been found to have problems, a Department of Education official said.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 05/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  arizona and teachers, arizona and teachers with accents, arizona monitors teachers with accents, arizona schools, arizona teachers, teachers and accents, teachers and accents and arizona

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/25/2010

Concern over accented teachers not original to Arizona

The state of Arizona has gotten a lot of attention lately for its decision to remove teachers who speak with pronounced foreign accent and/or whose speech is ungrammatical from classrooms with students learning to speak English. But the idea wasn’t original to the Arizona Board of Education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  arizona and accents, arizona remove teachers with accents, foreign accents and teachers, research on teachers with accents, teachers with accents

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 05/07/2010

Learning Stories: Tell your own

school systems: What do these actually look like. To find out, Rethink Learning Now asked people from various walks of life to talk about their most powerful learning experiences. You can share your own.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 05/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  great teachers, learning stories, teaching, what makes a great teacher

Posted at 05:08 PM ET, 05/05/2010

Accented teachers may be better for English language learners: study

Arizona may be making a mistake by trying to remove heavily accented Hispanic teachers from classrooms filled with Hispanic English-language learners. A new study on how well students learn second languages from teachers with accents suggests that tudents can learn a second language better from a teacher who speaks in the same accent as the student.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:08 PM ET, 05/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  Arizona, Arizona and accented teachers, Arizona and teachers, Arizona orders teachers with accents out of class, Arizona schools, English language learners, accented teachers, how accents affect learning, language research, research, research on accents, research study on accents, teachers with accents, the answer sheet and arizona

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 02/03/2010

'Why Boys Fail’ in school

A new book called “Why Boys Fail” makes the argument that boys are falling behind girls in American schools because kids are now forced to use literacy skills at ever younger grades and boys take longer to develop them. The author, Richard Whitmire, says the solution will take a “politically incorrect” decision by Education Secretary Arne Duncan that requires the federal government to admit the problem for the first time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:55 PM ET, 02/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  boys in school, gender gap

Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 02/02/2010

Special ed arts teacher walks in students' shoes

Pamela Michaels worked for 28 years in four schools with at-risk special education students in the arts. She developed two art programs in schools for students with learning disabilities and taught numerous subjects. After years working with learning disabled students, Michaels suffered her own disability--severe hearing loss--that helped her gain a new understanding of the challenges her students had faced throughout the years. Here is her story.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:45 PM ET, 02/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities | Tags:  learning disabilities

Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 01/22/2010

Teaching without gimmicks

By Diana Senechal. In discussions of “effective” teaching, we often hear about the “objectives” that teachers should spell out and repeat, the “learning styles” they should target, the “engagement” they should guarantee at every moment, and the constant encouragement and praise they should provide—all in the interest of raising test scores. DCPS IMPACT (the teacher assessment system for D.C. public schools) awards points to teachers who implement such practices; Teach for America addresses some of them in its forthcoming book. Except for the misguided notion of targeting learning styles, none of these techniques is wrong in itself. But together they raise a barrier.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:19 AM ET, 01/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning, Learning, Learning | Tags:  effective teaching

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/20/2010

Does this sound fair?

The National Board of Medical Examiners denied a request by medical student Frederick Romberg to have extra time to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination. Romberg is a 41-year-old student at Yale Medical School who has been diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. He is appealing the decision. Here is what Romberg told the board, and what the board told him. How would you decide the case? ... It wasn't until he was an adult that he finally learned what was causing his academic difficulties. A professor asked him why he was taking so much longer than anyone else to finish a 10-question quiz.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities | Tags:  learning disabilities, test accommodations

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/19/2010

New study on dyslexia and IQ

A lot of people instinctively believe--without really knowing--that poor readers are not especially smart. It’s often not true. A new study by researchers explains how it is that exceedingly bright and accomplished people can have great difficulty reading. What gets in the way of many people’s ability to read is dyslexia, the most common learning disability, an unexpected difficulty in reading in people who have the intelligence and motivation thought to be necessary to be fluent readers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities | Tags:  dyslexia

Posted at 10:21 AM ET, 01/05/2010

Teaching philosophy in school

If educators/politicians who dictate education policy were serious about teaching young people how to be analytical and think beyond the obvious, then philosophy would not be relegated to an extracurricular club that meets at lunchtime. Where, you ask, would it be squeezed into a school day that is jam-packed with math and reading and science and history? How about dropping the hours too many kids take getting teacher-led standardized test prep?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:21 AM ET, 01/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  philosophy

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/02/2009

SPOTLIGHT: The Philosopher Who Wants to Bring Back Shop Class

If Dr. Matthew B. Crawford were introduced to you as a political philosopher with a PhD from the University of Chicago, you might think, “The guy’s a brain.” Your assessment would likely be cemented when you learned that he is...

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  Matthew Crawford, shop class, the trades