education

Letting Kids Learn By Being Kids

Apr 5, 2016
Penguin Random House

Parents can agonize a bit over their children and their education. 

A lot of stock is placed in getting into good pre-schools, getting good teachers in school, getting into a good college. 

Erika Christakis advises parents to take a breath.  Kids are really excellent learners in many environments, a point she hammers home in the book The Importance of Being Little

Christakis says adults often confuse schooling with learning, often to the detriment of the children. 

Sugar And SPICE In Science Education

Mar 30, 2016
University of Oregon

"SPICE girls" is NOT the name of a singing group, at least at the University of Oregon. 

SPICE stands for Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence; it's a program to get middle- and high school girls excited about science and learning more about it. 

Program coordinator Brandy Todd even teaches how to win a science fair. 

NASA/Public Domain

  If we're counting on the next generation to come up with solutions for climate change, we might be expecting too much. 

Especially since schools may not be helping explain climate science adequately. 

Political scientist Eric Plutzer at Penn State just published an article in Science about issues with science teachers teaching about climate change in schools. 

Plutzer points out ways in which teachers' knowledge and values can hinder climate education. 

Pushing The Envelope In Private Education

Dec 16, 2015
Red Hen Press

The current emphasis on the STEM subjects in school--Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math--leaves a few educators cold.  Because there's more to creating a well-rounded individual than what's in books. 

Paul Cummins certainly thought so in his 32 years at the ground-breaking Crossroads School in California. 

The school challenged the notion that a quality private education is only for rich, white, and privileged kids.  His memoir, Confessions of a Headmaster, recounts his years as an educator, and considers where education is moving today.

Restorative Justice In School

Nov 23, 2015
Wikipedia Commons

"You go say you're sorry to Bobby."  Phrases like that have been heard for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. 

And what do kids actually learn from the experience?  That's a question being considered in the Phoenix-Talent School District, which wants to move beyond punishment and into "restorative justice." 

That is a concept embraced by Resolve (formerly Mediation Works), which teamed up with the district on a project to introduce restorative justice to Phoenix High School. 

An App For Safer Schools

Nov 18, 2015
Wikimedia

High school students may want safe schools free of bullying and violence, but they're often reluctant to take concerns directly to school authorities. 

But maybe if a smartphone app made the process easier, things would change. 

That's the general approach outlined in Project SOAR, Student Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility, now in development at Eugene-based Iris Educational Media

The project is backed by a federal grant, and includes plans for testing at high schools in Illinois and Springfield, Oregon. 

Delia Ephron Brings "Manners" Back

Nov 2, 2015

Just when people think manners may be in decline, along comes a helper.  A proven one, at that. 

25 years ago, author and screenwriter Delia Ephron published Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups

The charming, soft-but-firm approach of the book helps kids learn and gives adults a few chuckles and smiles. 

Time To Change Some School Names?

Sep 29, 2015
National Archives

Eugene School District is building a replacement for Roosevelt Middle School, and at least one of its teachers thinks the name could be replaced as well. 

Theodore Roosevelt is just one of many white men for whom schools are named. 

RMS history teacher Jenoge Khatter says plenty of women and people from minority groups are worthy of such recognition. 

He's even constructed an online petition to take input. 

"Thirty Million Words" For A Child's Brain

Sep 1, 2015
Penguin Books

Any parent waiting for a great teacher to come forward for their child is waiting too long. 

Parents are the first teachers, educators point out. 

And the Thirty Million Words initiative is meant to give parents the tools to help build good brains in their kids, through the frequent and judicious use of language. 

The approach is detailed in a new book. 

Increasing The Ranks Of Minority Teachers

Aug 26, 2015
Wikimedia

Lagging student performance in public schools often focuses on minority students. 

Often--not always--the darker the skin, the lower the grades.  More minority teachers could help, and that's where Kelly Ramirez comes in. 

The Grants Pass resident is a senior at Southern Oregon University, the first in her family to attend college. 

And she plans on teaching when she graduates. 

Oregon Flunking High School Graduations

Aug 12, 2015
Wikimedia

Depending on how you measure it, Oregon's high school graduation rate is either the worst in the country, or just near the bottom. 

Neither version provides any solace for educational leaders, who clearly have some work to do. 

Nancy Golden is Oregon's Chief Education Officer, responsible for a system now aimed at education from birth to career. 

weebly.com

Don Crossfield retired from teaching full-time three years ago. 

And people still can't stop thanking him for his work, and rewarding it. 

The former Roseburg High School math teacher (he still subs) recently picked up an award from the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics for his years of making his subject matter crystal-clear to students. 

Oregon Teacher Union Chief Speaks Out

Jun 29, 2015
OEA

We can't seem to go a week without some news about standardized testing.

It's the accepted way to measure the progress of students. 

But when student progress is extrapolated to measure teacher quality, that's when the National Education Association and its state affiliates get their backs up. 

The national Representative Assembly this week includes Oregon Education Association President Hanna Vaandering. 

VENTSday: Death Penalty + Testing Opt-Out

Jun 17, 2015

Nebraska's legislature ended the death penalty in the state three weeks ago, touching off another debate about the use and value of executing criminals. 

We want to know what you think about the subject, and about another subject: letting parents excuse their children from taking the standardized "smarter balanced" tests in school. 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts listeners front and center.

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics. Topics range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.

Sending Kids Outdoors To Learn

Jun 4, 2015
sou.edu

There's only so much anyone can learn in a classroom.  Learning about things like the environment get a lot easier IN the environment. 

That's the basic premise of the Fall in the Field program offered by Southern Oregon University. 

Graduate students in environmental education set up courses for kids in the 4th grade and up at several locations around the region. 

Outdoor Education OUT-of-Doors

May 19, 2015
Wikimedia

Oregon and California are both brimming with natural wonders.  And kids do learn about the many natural features in school, but often in classrooms. 

Outdoor School For All wants to fling open the classroom doors in Oregon, so students get education ABOUT the outdoors IN the outdoors. 

The movement got bills introduced in both houses of the Oregon legislature to provide a week of outdoor education or its equivalent for all fifth and sixth graders. 

Twisting The "Short Bus" Into A Positive

Apr 16, 2015
Wikimedia

Jonathan Mooney took a derogatory term and turned it on its head.

He rode "the short bus" to school once he was diagnosed with learning disabilities and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD).

After his graduation from an Ivy League university, he took a real short bus on the road, meeting people who defied the constraints of "normal."

Mooney is part of a conference on "reframing" LD/ADHD next week in Medford.

Teachers And Technology At Ed Tech Summit

Apr 15, 2015
Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

In theory, the process of learning is usually the same: teachers teach, and students learn. 

But then throw technology into the mix, and all bets are off, especially in a world where so many people carry powerful computers in their hands. 

The Ed Tech Summit this week (Friday, April 17th) at Southern Oregon University brings educators and gadgets together, so the former can get up to speed on the latter. 

Missing Out On Quality Preschool

Apr 9, 2015
Wikimedia

The federal Department of Education and the White House are big on "high-quality preschool"... pre-kindergarten programs that get kids ready for school.

And a recent DOE report shows that many American students are not enrolled in such programs.

The percentages are even higher in California and Oregon.

Celebrating Early College Programs

Mar 16, 2015
Wikimedia

The determined high school student can leave high school with a diploma in one hand, and college credits in the other. 

Early college programs abound, and in fact are celebrated during Early College Week, next week (March 22-28). 

Rogue Community College is one of the many institutions that offers early college. 

Pages