CATEGORY: Featured Stories

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Our featured stories are an amalgamation of all things education—you’ll find articles on trends and challenges facing present-day educators, as well as resources that help educators successfully navigate through any demanding environment.

  • Skip the Scantron: Why Evidence-Centered Design is a Better Testing Option

    Posted October 17, 2016

    In an era of increased standardized testing and a focus on standards and competencies, teachers must use the best methods for measuring student learning. The rote memorization and multiple-choice tests of years past are increasingly incapable of assessing the complex tasks modern students perform. These old testing strategies are too narrow for the high-level benchmarks…

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  • Homework Helps High School Students Most — But it Must Be Purposeful

    Posted October 6, 2016

    Researchers make a strong case for the value of homework for high school students. While debates still rage over the effectiveness of homework in lower grades, there’s little question that well-designed homework boosts the achievement of high school students. During the high school years, many students participate in extracurricular activities or take on part-time jobs…

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  • Homework in Middle School: Building a Foundation for Study Skills

    Posted October 5, 2016

    In the middle school years, students begin to experience the benefits of homework, though it is difficult to determine how much good it does, particularly at a given age. And there is some debate on how much homework students need to receive that benefit. Duke University’s Harris Cooper, one of the leading researchers on homework,…

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  • Elementary Students and Homework: How Much Is Too Much?

    Posted October 4, 2016

    The debate over homework flared anew in the fall 2016 school year as a handful of elementary school teachers implemented drastically reduced homework policies that went viral as parents rose to applaud or condemned them. The policies that captured so much attention state that teachers would give students either no homework in the evenings, or…

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  • STEM for All: Working Together to Improve Access for Women and Minorities

    Posted October 3, 2016

    President Barack Obama’s Educate to Innovate program prioritizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). With a sharp focus on 21st-century skill sets, the program aims to expand STEM access to all students. Though many business leaders agree that workplace diversity is crucial to innovation, recent data shows that  STEM industries have a long way to…

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  • ‘Peace Building’: California Non-profit Teaches Teens to Avoid Violence

    Posted September 27, 2016

    AHA! helps teens learn “peace-building” techniques to help end violence in schools. Founded in 1999 shortly after the Columbine school tragedy, AHA! (short for Attitude, Harmony and Achievement) is a volunteer-driven non-profit that provides compassion training to teenagers in Santa Barbara, California. “Research is conclusive that compassion training and social emotional learning programs assist children…

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  • Don’t Panic: 5 Tips for First-Year Teachers

    Posted September 26, 2016

    For students, the excitement and anxiety of a new school year soon fades away. But for new teachers, these emotions can last deep into the year. When you’re just starting out, teaching includes a significant amount of on-the-job training. These tips will help ensure you get the best out of your first year while avoiding…

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  • Once More Into the Breach: 5 Tips for Success in the New School Year

    Posted August 31, 2016

    As summer comes to an end, preparing for the school year and welcoming classrooms full of fresh faces is a great time to add a few tools to the teaching toolbox. Establishing new practices at the beginning of the year seems daunting, but it can help set up long-term success in building and maintaining positive…

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  • Teaching Methods and Curriculum: Common Sense Prevails

    Posted August 10, 2016

    To stay at the top of their teaching game, and keep their skills sharp, teachers should always ask questions: of their districts, of their students and of themselves. At least that’s what Art Anderson of Concordia University-Portland suggests. He should know – he is a faculty member in the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods…

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  • A Food Supplier Helps Schools Deliver Healthy Lessons and Tasty Meals

    Posted August 8, 2016

    What kids eat at school is getting a lot more scrutiny these days. Schools often (though not always) serve the cheapest, most heavily processed meals. Since the controversy about “pink slime” in the meat served in school lunches a few years ago, many parents have grown increasingly worried about school food quality. That’s the backdrop…

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  • Urban District Report Card: Denver Charter Schools Expand Despite Mixed Results

    Posted August 3, 2016

    Many urban school districts have adopted a portfolio approach that allows open enrollment to foster free-market competition between neighborhood schools and specialized charter schools. A leader in urban school reform, Denver Public Schools has worked hard to expand charter school offerings in hopes that their investment will yield positive results in student performance. 18 percent of…

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  • An Occupational Therapist’s Approach to Handwriting Instruction: Playapy Founder Amy Baez

    Posted August 2, 2016

    In her career as a pediatric occupational therapist, Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L, noticed a trend toward teaching children to write at increasingly early ages. She believes this has led to more children being referred to therapy for poor fine motor and handwriting skills. Children who learn to write before they’re ready are likely to experience…

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  • Summer Workshop Series: Creating Cross-Curricular Comics and Graphic Novels

    Posted July 26, 2016

    One challenge for teachers in all disciplines is working with a group that includes reluctant readers and writers along with gifted students. It is difficult to ensure that your curriculum appeals to students at all levels of differentiation and passion. Students at all writing levels benefit from learning to create graphic novels and comics Using…

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  • Summer Workshop Series: Build a Better Police Force

    Posted July 26, 2016

    From the violent protests in Ferguson following Michael Brown’s death to the 2016 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and targeted killing of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, students are attempting to understand the issues surrounding law enforcement’s use of lethal force and the frayed social contract between police and the…

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  • How Processing Speed Keeps Students From Getting Things Done: Dr. Ellen Braaten

    Posted July 20, 2016

    Contemporary teachers understand that many students who struggle in certain areas aren’t misbehaving intentionally, but having difficulty with attention or executive functioning. Ellen Braaten, PhD, associate director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, wants teachers to know that some students take longer to complete tasks because they have a…

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  • Early Childhood Education: Striving to Balance Play with Academics

    Posted July 19, 2016

    In a constantly evolving education space, early childhood educators face a daunting task: They must create an atmosphere that encourages free, but also purposeful exploration. The best teachers pay close attention to each child’s unique talents and craft personalized, hands-on learning opportunities that spark natural curiosity. We asked one of our MEd in Curriculum and…

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  • This Way to Success: Do Educational Pathways Give Students a Better Roadmap to Post-secondary Education?

    Posted July 13, 2016

    In President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, he spoke sincerely about the positive effects of postsecondary education. He told the stories of Americans who’d changed their lives by earning a degree or certification and affirmed the importance of higher education to maintaining and growing middle class populations in the United States. All students…

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  • Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse Can Start in the Classroom

    Posted July 12, 2016

    Educating children about the realities of sexual abuse can dramatically reduce their risk of being abused. That’s the central insight guiding Lauren Book’s Safer, Smarter Schools curriculum — the country’s first school-based program for enhancing personal safety and preventing sexual abuse of children from pre-K through high school age. Book, the founder and CEO of…

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  • Summer Workshop Series: Civilizing Civic Debate With Empathic Imagination and Dialectical Thinking

    Posted July 5, 2016

    Under the best circumstances, civics education triggers student passions. In a recent column on the “Trump effect,” I outlined many educators’ concerns about discussing politics in the classroom during the 2016 election season. One of the biggest challenges teachers face is ensuring that students are comfortable enough to voice their opinions while being respectful of…

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  • Service Learning in Aid of People Experiencing Homelessness: Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Phil

    Posted June 29, 2016

    After listening to an NPR report on a Boston homeless shelter run by Harvard and Cambridge students, Villanova University Professor Stephanie Sena was inspired to found the Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia (SREHUP). The non-profit organization provides emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. The shelter is staffed by college students whose service learning experience…

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