Tag Archives | Education

Student Resistance: Targeting Individual Educators and Administrators

student resistance“When I say I hate school it doesn’t mean I hate education and knowledge. It means that I hate the selfish and ignorant people there. It means that I hate stress and high expectations. It means that I hate being treated like shit. It fucking means that I hate feeling like a failure all the time.”

—shortcut-to-wonderland

 

Public Information

Each state has a Department of Education that oversees the schools and handles licensing for educators and administrators. The websites contain information on teachers and administrators who have been disciplined and investigated for unprofessional behavior. A shockingly large number have been written up for inappropriate behavior such as theft, sexual contact with students, and public drunkenness.

Some other information that can be obtained includes the school district budget, which includes teachers’ and administrators’ salaries. Acquiring this information will make the environment that much more unpleasant for those who control you.

Information uncovered about faculty who work at your school should be made public via the aforementioned means of distribution.… Read the rest

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Science Community Guilty of Hypocrisy when Criticizing the Teaching of Creationism

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John Glenn


John Glenn’s pronouncement that evolution should be taught in schools overlooks some uncomfortable truths. While defending John Scopes for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act by teaching evolution, Clarence Darrow proclaimed: “we have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.” Despite Darrow’s efforts, bigots and ignoramuses still struggle for ascendancy within America’s education system. Although these invectives were levied exclusively towards the defenders of Creationism, an important distinction delineates bigots and ignoramuses. Bigots champion an ignoble agenda – one that is biased and intolerant — while ignoramuses blindly undermine noble agendas.

Bigots are easy to recognize. They consist, in part, of the policy-makers in at least 16 states who have acted to impede the teaching of evolution and to, instead, promote Creationism or its variants, such as Intelligent Design, which argues that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”

The ignoramuses stay under the radar.Read the rest

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Citing Soaring Student Debt, Sanders to Pitch Tuition-Free Higher Education

The average class of 2015 borrower will graduate college with just over $35,000 in debt. (Photo: teofilo/flickr/cc)

The average class of 2015 borrower will graduate college with just over $35,000 in debt. (Photo: teofilo/flickr/cc)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Deirdre’s posts here.

With student debt figures continuing to climb, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to unveil legislation this week to provide tuition-free higher education for students at 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.

The proposal, which Sanders plans to introduce on Tuesday, would eliminate undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities and expand work-study programs.

“Countries like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and many more are providing free or inexpensive higher education for their young people,” Sanders, who is running for president as a Democrat, said in a news release. “They understand how important it is to be investing in their youth.  We should be doing the same.”

Earlier this year, in a speech at Johnson State College in Vermont, Sanders called for a “revolution” in the way higher education is funded in the U.S.… Read the rest

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Middle schoolers: Uncle Sam wants you

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Seth Kershner via In These Times:

Last year, Henry F. Moss Middle School in Bowling Green, Ohio, offered students a brand new course. And, as a headline in the local newspaper proclaimed, this was “not your traditional class.” For starters, the teacher—an army sergeant—had told the Bowling Green Daily News that one of his goals was to expose these seventh- and eighth-graders to “military values” that they could use as “building blocks” in life. To that end, students in the class earn military style ranks, engage in army-style “PT” (physical training) and each Wednesday, wear camouflage pants and boots.

This is the Moss Middle School Leadership Corps, part of the growing trend of military-style education for pre-adolescents.

Middle school military programs are younger cousins of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon program taught by retired military officers and present in more than 3,500 high schools nationwide.

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Kids need to like what they’re reading to progress

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Ryan Spencer, University of Canberra

When we think of reading for our children, we are often misled into thinking that we need to focus on one type of book, such as picture books or novels in order to practise specific, reading-related skills. However, this narrowly-focused approach to reading instruction can often have undesirable benefits, such as turning kids off reading altogether.

As parents, we often feel that when we select children’s books for them we are supporting them to achieve at their level – though this frequently has the opposite effect.

When we restrict choice, particularly to contrived, boring texts, children frequently see this as an indicator of their reading capability and therefore meet that low expectation. Once we take the restrictions away from what children read, their self-efficacy towards reading increases, therefore leading to an increase in their reading ability.… Read the rest

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Finland is throwing away everything that made its schools the best in the world

alamosbasement (CC BY 2.0)

alamosbasement (CC BY 2.0)

Dennis Hayes, University of Derby

It easy to lampoon education reforms in Finland that aim to scrap the teaching of traditional subjects in favour of broader topics. The new initiative could see history, geography and languages replaced for periods by interdisciplinary “phenomenon-based” projects on topics such as the European Union. Instead of sitting in rows learning facts about the world, pupils can rush around corridors or the web and collect information in a spirit of “joyful learning”.

Ridicule was my immediate response but what is happening has serious and sad consequences. It will ultimately waste not only children’s time, but their education.

The reasons given in Finland for the reforms are a familiar: this set of initiatives is necessary to meet the challenges of working life in “modern society”. What it means is that education is no longer valued for its own sake but is seen as having instrumental value for the economy.… Read the rest

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New Analysis Shatters Narrative of Charter School Success

A 2010 protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

A 2010 protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

Public schools are outperforming charter schools in Minnesota, in some cases “dramatically,” according to a new analysis by the state’s Star-Tribune newspaper.

In addition, many charter schools fail to adequately support minority students, close examination of the data revealed.

Journalist Kim McGuire looked at 128 of the state’s 157 charter schools and found “that the gulf between the academic success of its white and minority students widened at nearly two-thirds of those schools last year. Slightly more than half of charter schools students were proficient in reading, dramatically worse than traditional public schools, where 72 percent were proficient.”

Between 2011 and 2014, McGuire reported, 20 charter schools failed to meet the state’s expectations for academic growth each year, “signaling that some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable students had stagnated academically.”

Charlene Briner, the Minnesota Department of Education’s chief of staff, told the newspaper that she was troubled by the information, “which runs counter to ‘the public narrative’ that charter schools are generally superior to public schools.”

“Minnesota is the birthplace of the charter school movement and a handful of schools have received national acclaim for their accomplishments, particularly when it comes to making strong academic gains with low-income students of color,” the Star-Tribune claims.

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Nine Myths About Schizophrenia

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Despite investment in research and treatment, the outcomes of patients diagnosed with the most severe psychiatric disorders have not improved since the Victorian period. Where are the flaws in our understanding? Mental health treatment needs a radical overhaul to bring it into the 21st century – but what needs to change?

… get up to speed with what’s fact and what’s fiction about schizophrenia with Professor and Clinical Psychologist Richard Bentall as he debunk the common myths in this free online course: Nine Myths About Schizophrenia.

The details of the course can be found here – or see the whole list of IAI Academy courses here.

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