Putting the Focus on the Profession, Not the Teachers

The majority of current education reform discussions have focused on teachers, as opposed to the teaching profession. What is the difference? By nature, reforms that focus on individuals such as teachers are reactionary and enact measures that tend to be punitive or denigrate the profession. Those that focus on the profession are measures that invest in, support, and build autonomy in teachers.

Framing the Eastern Vs. Western Parenting Debate

Though the provocative stories in Amy Chua’s new best-selling book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother have incensed many American parents and educators, the spirit of her memoir should not. In recounting how she raised her two daughters in an exaggerated and authoritarian manner, Chua assertively denounced the laissez-faire approach characterized by western parents.

What is the Best Way to Learn – in Life?

A controversial new study has suggested that the best way to learn in school is to take tests. Compared with repeatedly studying materials and concept mapping (drawing detailed diagrams of what one has learned), testing students seemed to have had the most positive impact on learning and remembering. There has always been a constant battle between the best ways to learn, usually pitting advocates of reasoning versus memorization. In education, we have seen a steady progression towards the latter. But how about it life? Which works more?

Can Schools Overcome Poverty?

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote an article in today’s Washington Post, School Reform: A Chance for Bipartisan Governing, emphasizing the important role both Democrats and Republicans have in rewriting NCLB to address its “one-size-fits-all mandates, its teach-to-the-test mentality, and its lack of teacher investment. Can those bold steps for schools really overcome poverty?

Willing Ourselves to Change Won’t Work

We know new years resolutions never work. It just relies too much on willpower, which sad to say we have little of…Willpower alone, it seems, is not enough. What do most people do? They settle for passive decision-making, which essentially means they do nothing. If people can’t seem to turn beliefs into action, then what works?

Why “The Educated Society”?

Right now, an educated society is the only kind that can help America thrive with the world. Without this cultivated public, we lack the wisdom, the benevolence, and the moral and ethical character to build a flourishing society. Without it, we fall prey to petty partisan infighting. Without it, we tend to glorify popular culture […]