August 21 - August 28, 2016

Really an extraordinary week of articles.

Reading this week's first feature felt like stepping out of Plato's Cave.  It is full of familiar statements about the uncomfortable structures in our education system, but it contextualizes them in a way that reveals extraordinary shortcomings in western (and especially traditional American) education.  These systems have strengths that are overlooked, of course, but this article helps identify with remarkable clarity some ares for focus.  This is a long but very worthy read, one that I will sit with for some time.

And between that article and Nicholas Carr's article--Carr is most well known for his book The Shallows and article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"--this is a week for seeing the structures around us that may be so ingrained as to be invisible.  I remember having a conversation with a programmer-artist and we agreed that technology is becoming so enmeshed in our lives that we anticipated a movement advocating a return authentic experiences.  These sentiments feel increasingly pervasive today--and are reflected in Carr's essay.

This week has many other great pieces, too, on topics from empathy to inclusion to teaching math and more.



Education In Context: We Are Blind To The Origins Of Our Own Learning
Washington Post, 8/19/16
"Any Gikuyu mother in Kenya knows that you wait to give a child a task until you see that she is ready for it.  Any Baiga father in the forests of India knows that if a child tries something and then backs away, you leave him alone, because he will be back to try again later. Any Yup'ik elder knows that young children learn better from story than lecture, from hands-on experience than direct instruction.  Any Fore parent from Papua New Guinea knows that children sometimes learn best by emulating older children, not by being taught by adults. People all over the world know these things about children and learning, and interestingly, they are as workable for learning how to design software or conduct a scientific experiment or write an elegant essay as they are for learning to hunt caribou or identify medicinal plants in a rainforest.  But we don't know them any more."

Nicholas Carr Returns. This Time It's Technology, Not Just The Internet
Aeon, 8/26/16
"What I want from technology is not a new world.  What I want from technology are tools for exploring and enjoying the world that is -- the world that comes to us thick with 'things counter, original, spare, strange', as Gerard Manley Hopkins once described it.  We might all live in Silicon valley now, but we can still act and think as exiles.  We can still aspire to be what Seamus Heaney, in his poem 'Exposure', called inner émigrés."

Greater Empathy? Literary Fiction Readers Read Emotion Better
Guardian, 8/23/16
"What we are saying is that there are different ways of telling a story, and they have different impacts on the way we perceive social reality.  Literary fiction, we say, tends to challenge social categories -- the characters are category-resistant... Popular fiction, on the other hand, uses types of character which help us immediately understand what is going on.  That's how we learn about the social world -- how we build our national and cultural identities."


Today's Kids: Cultural Facts For the Entire Life Of An 18 Year Old (2016)
Beloit College, 8/25/16


Empathy Is Part Of The Danish National Curriculum
Quartz, 8/22/16

US Secretary Of Education Thinks US Schools Should Teach Empathy
NPR, 8/22/16

Theater As Tool For Teaching Empathy
KQED, 8/22/16

Learn Self-Control, But Do It Through Play And Passion, Not Repression
Atlantic, 8/16/16


Good Stress (Eustress) and Bad Stress (Distress): A Summary
Stanford, 8/27/16

A Book That Summarizes The Cognitive Science Of Learning
Stanford, 8/25/16

Cognitive Science Can Help Turn Out Voters On Election Day
Scientific American, 9/1/16


Hamilton College Embeds Diversity Requirement Into Each Major
NPR, 8/23/16

Harvey Mudd Fought Gender Bias, Now >50% CS Majors Are Women
Quartz, 8/22/16

John Maeda Tackles How Design Affects Inclusion
Fast Company, 8/26/16

A New Museum In DC: African American History And Culture
New Yorker, 8/29/16


A Collection Of Presidential Election Resources
History Tech, 8/26/16

Race, Populism, Politics... And the 1896 Election
Pacific Standard, 8/22/16

Teju Cole's New Collection Of Essays: "Known And Strange Things"
New York Times, 8/9/16


4 Questions For Jumpstarting A Stagnant, Tangled Up Organization
Harvard Business Review, 8/22/16

3 Stories To Tell In Order To Convey Institutional Trajectory
Entrepreneur, 8/11/16


This School Asked What Teachers Wanted For PD, Then Delivered It
eSchool News, 8/25/16


Does Homework In Elementary School Matter? The Issue Flares Again
Christian Science Monitor, 8/23/16

Some Great High-Leverage Classroom Routines
ASCD, 8/25/16


Comma Queen: The New Yorker Has A Grammar Videocast
New Yorker, 8/3/16

The History Of Cursive, And Why Losing It Isn't A Loss
New York Times, 8/20/16


Research Findings For Teaching Elementary & Middle School Math
Institute of Education Sciences, 7/1/16

Planet Orbiting Neighboring Star Might Be Able To Support Life
New York Times, 8/24/16

Makerspace In Juvenile Hall Changes Lives
KQED, 8/25/16


With Heat, These 3D Printed Objects Remember Former Shapes
MIT, 8/26/16

How's That Hyperloop Thing Going?
Core77, 8/23/16

Trends In LMS Usage And Adoption
Edutechnica, 8/21/16


Why Some People Choose To Start Their Days At 4am
Inc., 8/25/16


A Collection Of Resources For Teaching Students About Plagiarism
Larry Ferlazzo, 9/21/09

Summer School: Catching Up Or Getting Ahead?
New York Times, 8/16/16

What It Means For Students To Focus On Learning, Not On Grades
Inside Higher Ed, 8/16/16

25 Internet Memes For 25 Years Of The Web
Medium, 8/23/16

5 Data Points On Parent Satisfaction With Their Kids' Education
Gallup, 8/25/16

Advice To New Students From Older Students
New York Times, 8/30/15