Friday, October 04, 2013

Every teacher and parent should have this book . . .

Carol Dweck's Mindset: The New Psychology o Success.

The growth mindset is key for those of us in the 99%.  We can accomplish great things by effort.  Reward persistence and effort not "smartness."

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

In Honor of the 4th

Here is a video of Neil Diamond's America in honor of the 4th of July. 

Some of the comments following the link illustrate the problem of anonymous comments on the Internet.  However, listen to the song and celebrate America's birthday.

Next, listed to NPR's reading of Declaration of Independence.

Happy Fourth!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Only four education policies?

Kathleen Porter-Magee recently wrote about four policies that can significantly boost U.S. education.  Chief among them is set high, uniform standards.  The others are The Power to Lead, Tying accountability to results, and Teacher autonomy.
Of course she does not claim that they alone will make all the difference.   I would add parent involvement.  I don't think that it's an accident that most of the schools in wealthier neighborhoods in Honolulu are excellent.  Parental involvement may include PTA meetings and contacting public officials.  However the key as I see it is providing early reading, varied activities and defined study times and areas.  The TV goes off during study time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Inspiring Education Story's Social Side

60 Minutes continues to bring us stories that matter. Although the other two features Nov. 13 were significant, the one on the University of Maryland Baltimore County and its President, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, was truly inspiring.

To quote the lead-in:
"Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, has an unusual name - and an even more unusual approach to education. His "Meyerhoff Scholars," for instance, are expected to adhere to a rigorous schedule and strict rules designed to instill discipline and build community. As Byron Pitts reports, what was once a little known commuter school is now graduating outstanding scientists and engineers, many of whom are minorities."

The students are not only expected to work hard and set high expectations, but they learn to become each others' teachers. The form the best possible social networks right from the start, FTF.

Here is the link to read the transcript or watch the video. I think that you will be as impressed as I was. It's a model for success in America, and not just for the brilliant students.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sci Am Special Issue on Cities

As always the September issue of Scientific American is a treat. The dynamism and innovation of cities, including or especially shanty towns, is a marvel. The size of the informal, off the books economy was a surprise to me. Can we capture that spirit of survival and entrepreneurship to improve health and education?
The sale of phone cards is a significant component of the informal economy. To what extent have mobile phone enabled the 'underground' economy? In the past, the TV antennas in the shanty towns were striking. Today it's everybody on a cell/smart phone regardless of the economic status of the neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

David Brooks' Haimish Line

Seek out David Brooks' recent column on the Haimish line. 'South of the Haimish line' we are more connected to those around us as in the neighborhood pub or coffee shop compared to the fancy hotel. Reminds me of the time I was "thrown out" of first class on an airline (it was an alleged pass travel issue, not bad behavior) and went to the back where the other passengers told me to take of my tie and enjoy the journey. I did and it was a pleasant, relaxed trip with everybody having a non-rowdy good time.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Nisbett's Intelligence and How to Get It

What an inspiring book! It provides convincing evidence that great things are possible for students of all ages who work hard and for whom high, realistic expectations are set. Contrary to the hereditarians, genetics, while important, are not the determining factor for those of us in the normal range of intelligence. Supportive parents, teachers and culture dominate.
Intelligence and How to Get It
presents a lot of research in a very readable manner. In addition to reviews of effective school programs, the reference to the US Dept. of Education's What Works Clearinghouse provides links to new findings.