June 7 - June 14, 2019

An excellent week again.

The feature articles return to two recurring themes in the past year: being a specialist versus generalist, and the role of content versus skills in the curriculum.  The apparent binaries are spectra, of course, and the important work in both areas is finding the right balance, or integration.

Also of particular interest this week is the pair of articles on going gradeless, the collection of visualizations from "America's First Female Information Designer," and the topic of plant intelligence -- the last being a bizarre sounding hypothesis, but one that I keep seeing return.

Enjoy these and more!

Peter Nilsson
King's Academy


Woods Or Federer: Specialist Or Generalist. What Is The Right Balance?  Guardian
"The challenge we all face is how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience, interdisciplinary thinking and delayed concentration in a world that increasingly incentivises or even demands hyperspecialisation. While it is true that there are areas that require individuals with Tiger’s precocity and clarity of purpose, as complexity increases – as technology spins the world into vaster webs of interconnected systems in which each individual only sees a small part – we also need more Rogers: people who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress. People with range."

On The Importance Of Teaching Content In Elementary Schools  Atlantic
"What if the medicine we have been prescribing is only making matters worse, particularly for poor children? What if the best way to boost reading comprehension is not to drill kids on discrete skills but to teach them, as early as possible, the very things we’ve marginalized—including history, science, and other content that could build the knowledge and vocabulary they need to understand both written texts and the world around them?"


The Essential Components Of Going Gradeless  ASCD

4 More Reasons And 3 Tips For Going Gradeless  ASCD

"Cartoons About Grades And Report Cards"  Larry Cuban


Debunking The Bystander Effect: People Do Intervene When Others Are In Trouble  CityLab


Having Multiple Identities Boosts Creativity  EdWeek


Should Middle Schools Be Thinking About Work-Readiness For Students?  Hechinger Report

"How To Teach Handwriting -- And Why It Matters"  Edutopia


"The Humanities Are 'Useless' (Unless You Want A Job. Or To Change The World.)"  History Tech


Ecolinguistics: The Relationship Between Language And The Environment  JStor


"5 Ways To Create A Culture Of Accountability"  Gallup
"A company's accountability problem may actually be a coaching problem in disguise."

"5 Questions Every Onboarding Program Must Answer"  Gallup


An Examination Of Personalized Learning Efforts In Rhode Island  New Yorker


Google Creates Free Computer Science Curriculum  Google


Middle School Makes Hydroponic Farm, Supplies School And Neighborhood  NPR


The Life Of A Teenage YouTuber  New York Times

Are iPads Helpful, Or Distractions? One School Returns to Paper  Sydney Morning Herald

The Minerva Project Spins Off Its School, Sells Tech Platform  EdSurge

One Teacher's Experience Teaching Public High School... Online  Hechinger Report
"In my first class, I had a homeless student from St. Paul and another who was training for the Olympics in the Duluth area. Both were concerned about their education and wanted to succeed. They had unique circumstances, yet they shared many common challenges — internet access, enough time to complete assignments, anxiety about failure. The entire class shared their stories, and their worries, with one another and reinforced each student’s strengths and perseverance. We worked hard as a class to find common ground and cultivate our strengths."


"Visionary Maps Of Time, Space, And Thought By America's First Female Information Visualization Designer."  Brain Pickings


Unlocking Time: A Collection Of Schedule Models And Research  Unlocking Time

For Best Results: Your Workplace Shouldn't Be Too Comfortable  Fast Company

Exploring Flexible Classroom Furniture And Layout  AP News


Amazon Plans To Retrain 300,000 Of Its Workers Because Of Automation  New York Times

AltSchool Pivots  Larry Cuban

"The Fascinating Science Of How Trees Communicate, Animated"  Brain Pickings