August 16 - August 23, 2015

In the feature article, cognitive scientist Dan Willingham makes a case for carefully considering the content in a curriculum.  The brain, he argues isn't just a tool for processing information; it is through content that skills grow.

Also related to the curriculum, the pair of studies put out by Gallup and Google on the perceived and real demand for and participation in computer science courses offers a matter for real consideration.

The Salon piece on growth mindsets by Alfie Kohn takes a cynical and polarizing view of growth mindsets, but it reaches the ultimately important point that no approach is a silver bullet; it must be one of many teaching tools.

Lots of other good writing on diversity and inclusion this week, too.



          A Cognitive Argument For Focusing On Both Content And Skills
          Atlantic, 8/12/15
          "If the benefit of schooling comes from the content learned, then it's important to
          get a better understanding of what content will be most valuable to students later
          on in their lives.  The answers may seem intuitive, they're also subjective and
          complex.  A student may not use plane geometry, solid geometry, or trigonometry,
          but studying them may improve her ability to mentally visualize spatial
          relationships among objects, and that may prove useful for decades in a variety of


          Today's Kids: Cultural Facts For the Entire Life Of An 18 Year Old
          Beloit College, 8/18/15


          More Than 850 Colleges No Longer Require The SAT Or ACT
          Reuters, 8/16/15


          The Value Of Failure Isn't The Part About Getting It Wrong
          KQED, 8/12/15

          Growth Mindset Teaching Is Not A Silver Bullet
          Salon, 8/16/15


          The Brain Cleans Itself During Sleep
          NPR, 10/17/13

          What Unconscious Bias Looks Like In The Classroom
          NPR, 9/17/12

          Sleep In: Even The CDC Says School Should Start At 8:30am Or Later
          Center for Disease Control, 8/6/15


          Skip The Instructions: Open Ended Play Improves Creative Work
          Inc., 8/20/15


          Why Women Choose Computer Science In School
          Google, 5/26/14

          National Data On Computer Science Demand And Decision Making
          Gallup, 8/20/15


          How "Color-Blindness" Can Hurt Kids Of Color
          New York Magazine, 8/17/15

          Code Schools For Kids Of Color
          KQED, 8/18/15

          Student-Teacher Racial Mismatch Can Influence Teacher Expectations
          Brookings, 8/18/15


          Can You Ditch Evaluations For Ongoing Peer Review?
          Harvard Business Review, 8/19/15

          Support Constructive Disagreement Within Your Organization
          Harvard Business Review, 8/18/15


          Grading Philosophy: "Reward Students At Their Best"
          ASCD, 8/18/15

          Teacher Reflects On First Year Of Teaching, Shares Four Lessons
          ASCD, 8/13/15


          Tribute And Guide: How Writing Makes Great People
          99u, 8/18/15


          Gather Data, Make Judgments; Improve Critical Thinking
          Stanford, 8/17/15


          Harlem Renaissance Rebuilt In Virtual Reality
          Hyperallergic, 8/18/15


          Longer Hours = Lower Productivity
          Harvard Business Review, 8/19/15