March 20 - March 27, 2016

A wonderful and broad range this week.

I've been intrigued for some time by the "Best Foot Forward" project described in the first featured article.  It suggests that evaluations/pd can be a better experience for everyone if teachers get to choose selections of class to submit for review and discussion.  A good read.  Another article on observations appears further down.

A great section on pedagogy this week, too, starting with "Pedagogy is a felt practice..." This blog post by Sean Michael Morris is more meditation than article, and it is a lovely reflection on presence in teaching.  The other two articles are supposedly geared towards specific disciplines, but the principles articulated in them are applicable to any class.

These and many other great ones this week.  Enjoy!


End Observations: Use Teacher-Collected Video Instead? (Harvard Report)
Harvard Center for Education Policy Research, 3/25/16 [study]
"In this paper, we describe impacts on teacher and principal perceptions of the observation process.  We report six sets of findings from the first year of implementation."

On The Extraordinary Value Of Shadowing A Student For A Day
KQED, 3/22/16
"Van Haren often uses shadowing as a way to dig into data she may have come across in a different format.  For example, she noticed that on the most recent student survey, Asian and Pacific Islander students reported very low levels of belonging to the school community.  That concerned her, so for her shadow day she's accompanying a student from that demographic to see how the school might accidentally be alienating this group."

The Humanities As Gateway To--Necessity For--A Life Well Lived
New York Times, 2/23/16
"The regime of information may well sport its specific truths, but it is locked out of the associations--subjective but also moral and philosophical--that bathe all literature... Art not only brings us news from the 'interior,' but it points to future knowledge.  A humanistic education is not about memorizing poems or knowing when X wrote Y, and what Z had to say about it.  It is, instead, about the human record that is available to us in libraries and museums and theaters and, yes, online.  But that record lives and breathes; it is not calculable or teachable via numbers or bullet points.  Instead, it requires something that we never fail to do before buying clothes: Trying the garment on."

Lessons From Teaching Entrepreneurship At Stanford
Steve Blank, 3/11/16
"We designed our class to do something different.  We wanted the teams to tell the story of their journey, sharing with us their 'Lessons Learned from our Customers.' They needed to show what they learned and how they learned it after speaking to 100+ customers, using the language of the class... The focus of their presentations is on how they gathered evidence and how it impacted the understanding of their business models."

What Happens When History Is Recorded Digitally?
Washington Post, 3/25/16
"We're now in the midst of the most far-reaching shift in media ever, as we rush to replace all manner of physical media with digital alternatives.  The benefits are compelling.  We gained instant access to a seemingly infinite store of information.  But there are losses, too. 'Digital memory is ubiquitous yet unimaginably fragile,' Rumsey reports, 'limitless in scope yet inherently unstable.' All media are subject to decay, of course.  Clay cracks, paper crumbles.  What's different now is that our cultural memory is embedded in a complex and ever-shifting system of technologies.  Any change in the system can render the record unreadable."


Broad Data On The Rise Of The Chinese International Student
Wall Street Journal, 3/17/16


JK Rowling Posts Her Rejection Letters As Inspiration To Persist
Guardian, 3/25/16

Angela Duckworth NYT Op-Ed On High Stakes Character Testing
New York Times, 3/27/16


Music Has Its Own Place In The Brain
Nautilus, 3/16/16

How The Brain Reads And Tells The World (via Canoe Navigation)
New York Times, 3/17/16


Some Research On Whether Tracking Influences AP Scores
Brookings, 3/24/16


Ethnic Studies Course Offerings Enhance At-Risk Student Success
Stanford, 1/12/16


On Reading Dante Today
American Scholar, 3/22/16

Billy Collins Reads His Poem "Aristotle" (Beginnings, Middles, Ends)
Brain Pickings, 3/22/16

Literary Scholar Analyzes The Meter Of 'Trump Haiku' Tweets
Talking Points Memo, 3/7/16


A Convoluted Reminder Of How Language Shapes Thought
Prospect Magazine, 3/24/16


Principals As Instructional leaders: Does It Help?
Brookings, 3/24/16


Lessons From Observing Classes: Learning Happens In Many Ways
SmartBlogs, 3/21/16


19 Music Instructional Strategies That Really Apply To Everyone
Creativity Post, 3/25/16

5 Math Instructional Strategies That Really Apply To Everyone
NCTM, 3/1/16

"Pedagogy Is A Felt Practice, More Than An Intellectual One"
Sean Michael Morris, 3/23/16


James Patterson Aims To Create A New Genre Of Book
New York Times, 3/21/16


Scratch Day Is Coming.  Get Ready for MIT's Visual Programming Day
Scratch, 3/24/16


A Cultural History Of Robots.  What Is A Robot Anyway?
Atlantic, 3/22/16

Technology From The Last Decade Hasn't Made Us More Productive?
Brookings, 3/22/16

Web Browser Suggests You Reconsider Making That Nasty Comment
Christian Science Monitor, 3/24/16


"Graphic Presentation": The 1939 Book On Information Visualization
Flowing Data, 9/24/15


No Time For What You Want To Do?  Be Brave.  Leave Your Job.
Daily Nous, 3/15/16

2 Factors Of School Climate That Affect Grades And Teacher Retention
Chalkbeat, 3/24/16


Excellence Is About Both Practice And Predisposition (Obviously)
Boston Globe, 3/27/16

Addressing The Unsavory Rise Of Taunting At Sports Competitions
Boston Globe, 3/16/16

A History Of Commonplace Books
Evernote, 2/26/16