There’s a lot happening in education right now. (Isn’t there always?) It can be hard to keep up with the latest news, insights, and ideas when you have a lot going on too. So, we compiled a list of a few recent stories we think educators might want to hear about. Even though school’s out, July was pretty busy. Check it out.
We’ve been having the debate over books and e-readers since the dawn of e-books. This report found that the best format for reading is … whatever works best for the reader. Also, e-books can help readers with poor eyesight or reading disorders, since these devices provide options for changing the text size and the spacing of lines. But reading on paper gives you a sensory experience: you touch the pages as you read. You can literally feel your progress as you turn each page, feeling how many pages you’ve read and how many you have left to read (which important to some).
UH Study Suggests School Uniforms Reduce Student Absences, Disciplinary Problems (University of Houston)
This study suggests that uniforms can reduce disciplinary issues and absences. Using administrative data from 160 public schools in an urban school district, UH found that more improvement in absence reduction was seen when analyzing girls, noting that after uniforms were adopted, middle and high school girls missed approximately one day less of school annually. Though that one day per year improvement seems small, UH economics professor Scott Imberman (who conducted the study), said the improvement grew in subsequent years.
Students deal with a variety of issues from peer pressure to feeling excluded. Providing them with resources and tools to articulate their thoughts and feelings can help them become more independent, communicative, self aware, and empathetic. One option is to use dialogue circles, in which students get the chance to check in with teachers on a personal level, building trust and providing a safe space to share.
How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms (New York Times)
In a few short years, Code.org has raised more than $60 million from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Salesforce, along with individual tech executives and foundations, to help persuade two dozen states to change their education policies and laws in include coding in American curricula. They’ve also underwritten free introductory coding lessons, called Hour of Code, which more than 100 million students worldwide have tried.
A ‘Beacon’ for Hagerstown (Herald Mail Media)
Concordia University-Portland doctorate student Anthony Williams has launched an organization, called BEACON, for students in low-income households. BEACON, which stands for Building Equity in Achievement through Community Outreach Networks, works with these students to increase their access to STEAM—aka science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
As more native English speakers jockey to get their kids enrolled in dual-language classrooms and programs, the Latino community, and native Spanish speakers, are finding themselves pushed out. But funding for—and staffing of—new programs is hard to come by.
Staying current with the world of education is a top priority for us at Concordia University-Portland, which is why we’re constantly examining our curricula and why our faculty of practitioners—for both our MEd and EdD programs—is always on top of their game. Click below to find out more.