November 23 - November 30, 2014

#Ferguson on the mind.  This week includes a number of links to articles and resources for ways to talk about Ferguson in the classroom.  See the Diversity/Inclusion section.

The evidence surrounding the benefits of music to the brain is growing to be overwhelming.  See the feature article below.  If we don't already have music performance or classes built into our schools, we really ought to consider it.

Lastly, the feature article on unschooling and the two articles under pedagogy offer a helpfully wide look at different pedagogical approaches.  It's always good to look outside the box to better understand what's happening inside it.

Also, keep an eye on AltSchools.  Good stuff may be coming out of that work.

Enjoy!

FEATURED ARTICLES

          Playing Music Causes--Repeat: Causes--Cognitive Improvement
          NPR, 11/20/14
          "Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, 
          especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices... Several randomized studies of 
          participants, who showed the same levels of cognitive function and neural 
          processing at the start, found that those who were exposed to a period of music 
          learning showed enhancement in multiple brain areas, compared to the others."

          What Is Unschooling?  And What Can We Learn From It?
          Films for Action, 11/17/14
          "The moment we stopped compelling Fin to sit and draw or paint or write was the 
          moment he began doing these things on his own.  It was the moment he began 
          carving staves of wood into beautiful bows and constructing complex toys from 
          materials on hand...  In other words, the moment we quit trying to teach our son 
          anything was the moment he started really learning."

          Several Principles from Pixar for Nurturing Good Work
          Farnam Street, 11/17/14
          "When someone hatches an original idea, it may be ungainly and poorly defined, 
          but it is also the opposite of established and entrenched--and that is precisely what 
          is most exciting about it.  If, while in this vulnerable state, it is exposed to 
          naysayers who fail to see its potential or lack the patience to see it evolve, it could 
          be destroyed.  Part of our job is to protect the new from people who don't 
          understand that in order for greatness to emerge, there must be phases of not-so-
          greatness."


ADMISSIONS

          Top Colleges Haven't Gotten Harder To Get Into, For Top Students
          New York Times, 11/29/14

ADOLESCENCE

          Kids Report Fewer Friends, But Less Loneliness Than 1990s
          New York Magazine, 11/24/14

          3 Questions to Help Kids Fight Stress and Find Meaning
          Huffington Post, 11/20/14

          What Do We Know About E-Cigarettes [Paywall]
          New Scientist, 11/1/14

CHARACTER

          5 Ways Gratitude Makes Your Life Better
          New York Magazine, 11/26/14

          What Defines Character?  And Does It Change With Age?
          New York Magazine, 11/24/14

CURRICULUM

          Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In... Preschool
          NPR, 11/29/14

DIVERSITY/INCLUSION

          Ways To Teach Kids About Ferguson [From the Jordan Davis Case]
          Practical Theory, 2/17/14

          17 Crowdsourced Pages of Ways to Teach About Ferguson
          Google Docs, 11/29/14

          Ferguson: How Self-Segregation Obstructs Empathy
          Atlantic, 8/21/14

          More Resources For Discussing Ferguson
          EdWeek, 11/25/14

          BuzzFeed Offers a Take on Explaining Privilege
          BuzzFeed, 11/21/14

          Are Elite Schools Biased Against Asian-American Students?
          New York Times, 11/24/14

HIGHER ED

          The Gradual End of NESCAC Fraternities
          Newsweek, 3/10/14

HUMANITIES

          Let's Reconcile Highbrow and Lowbrow Culture
          Pacific Standard, 11/25/14

          Shakespeare First Folio Found in Small Library in France
          New York Times, 11/25/14

          Arundhati Roy: On Politics, A New Book, And More
          Guardian, 11/23/14

LEADERSHIP

          On Fostering Young Talent
          Harvard Business Review, 11/24/14

PEDAGOGY 

          A Simple Overview of "Personal Learning" [Infographic]
          Teachthought, 11/29/14

          A Critical Review of New, Digital Philosophies
          Open University, 11/26/14 [Report]

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

          Should Teacher Training Programs Be Tied to Student Outcomes?
          Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/26/14

STEM

          Solar and Wind Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels In Some States
          New York Times, 11/23/14

          A Particle Accelerator Made of LEGOS...
          Kottke, 11/25/14

TECH

          Coursera Now Available on JetBlue Flights
          Coursera, 11/24/14

          Reading On Screens: A Good Summary Of The Research [Paywall]
          New Scientist, 11/1/14

          Paper As Light Source
          Fast Company, 11/21/14

WORKPLACE

          How To Build Flexible Spaces For Student Work
          KQED, 11/26/14

OTHER

          AltSchool--A Small, Private School Chain--Opens Spot In Brooklyn
          Brooklyn Eagle, 11/18/14

          Some Reminders On How To Simplify Your Life
          Farnam Street, 11/19/14