In the New York Daily News:
The city has created 22 new technical education high schools, with seven more coming next year. There are hundreds of new STEM programs in public schools across the city at all levels.
Construction is about to start on a $2 billion Cornell genius school graduate program that’s designed to churn out the next generation of tech entrepreneurs, and the City University of New York has rolled out dozens of new STEM programs since 2005.
Photo: NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. Credit: Kevin Hagen for New York Daily News
Silhouette Man Wonders WTF is Wrong with Americans
This comic uses some text from the Letter of Support for Quebec Students from Nordic Students. The letter is written by a coalition of student unions from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
UPDATE: The original version of this poster cited the above mentioned letter, and the Student Union in Finland was not included among the letter’s authors. That caused some confusion. The poster has been updated to include Finland, because it does have essentially the same higher education policy as its Nordic neighbors.
In 89 segments between September 10 and 16, Fox News reported on the Chicago Teachers Union’s strike without disclosing its financial ties to the educational technology company administering the standardized tests with which the union takes issue.
Fox News parent company News Corp. acquired a 90-percent stake in Wireless Generation in 2010. Last May, the company agreed to provide Early Mathematics Assessment Services and Early Literacy Assessment Services to Chicago Public Schools. These contracts total $4.7 million.
A central reason the Chicago Teachers Union decided to strike is their objection to the school district’s call for heavily weighing such standardized testing to ultimately determine teacher pay and layoffs.
I feel like the Freakonomics section on standardized test cheating is all too relevant here.
When people talk about “higher education”, they are not talking about intense learning in a field of your desire. They’re not talking about developing yourself into an intellectual. They are talking about preparing yourself for corporate slavery.
The various Bachelors, PhD,…
These two were my favorites, because they’ve had the biggest impact on my style of presenting.
4. White space trumps information dumps.
Many presenters try to cram as much information and data into their presentation as the time permits. We’ve assumed that content covered means content learned. We’ve also assumed that if we cover more content, the listener learns more.
Wrong! The amount of learning directly aligns to the amount of thinking and reflection. We need to create more white space (time for the learner to think) and less pushing of content. The more the learner is allowed to reflect, the more they learn.
5. Images trump words.
We remember images. We forget words. Why? 50%-80% of our brain’s natural processing power is devoted to processing sight. That’s more than all of our other senses. We actually see with our brains, not our eyes. Likewise, when we hear a word, our brain translates it into an image.
‘The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence.’
“Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.”
Some things from the article I found worthy to note..
Compared with the stereotype of the East Asian model — long hours of exhaustive cramming and rote memorization — Finland’s success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play.
For starters, Finland has no standardized tests. The only exception is what’s called the National Matriculation Exam, which everyone takes at the end of a voluntary upper-secondary school, roughly the equivalent of American high school.
Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.
A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.
Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.
In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.
It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important — as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform — Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.
The problem facing education in America isn’t the ethnic diversity of the population but the economic inequality of society, and this is precisely the problem that Finnish education reform addressed. More equity at home might just be what America needs to be more competitive abroad.
RSA Animate/TED Videos
I am a big fan of Ted Talks and RSA Animate videos. I think they are incredibly educational; and the RSA Animates, specifically, are very easy to digest as the drawings help to engage all parts of the brain.
Here are a few that speak, in my opinion, directly to the movement and are definitely worth watching:
Crisis of CapitalismI have compiled the list under my links page should you wish to revisit these videos.
Changing Education Paradigms
The Empathic Civilization
What Actually Motivates Us
Where Good Ideas Come From
21st Century Enlightenment
The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?
Anxiety and Dissatisfaction Surrounding Limitless Choice
How Economic Inequality Harms Societies
Asking Why: Societal Problems We Know How to Solve, But Don’t
Are We in Control of Our Decisions?
Economics of Terrorism
Bottom Billion: Closing the Gap
Pictured above: The Moon and Venus shine in the skies of Cerro Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Below them, the Milky Way glows crimson.
Here’s a nifty little guide courtesy of SPACE, detailing how you can spot planet Venus any time in night sky. It also specifies how it will look to the unaided eye or a telescope and why. Here’s an excerpt from the article I particularly liked;
When Venus is on the opposite side of the sun from us, it appears full (or nearly so) and rather small because it is far from us. But because Venus moves with a greater velocity around the sun than Earth, it gradually gets closer and looms progressively larger in apparent size; the angle of sunlight striking it as seen from our Earthly vantage point also appears to change as well.
Ultimately, as Venus prepares to pass between the Earth and the sun, it appears as a thinning crescent. And since, at this point in its orbit, it is nearly six times closer to us compared to when it was on the opposite side of the sun, Venus appears much larger to us as well.
They also provide a schedule of how Venus’ appearance will change during the coming months. Be sure to check out the guide in full details and don’t be shy to put it to use tonight or any other night!