Tag Archives: Education

One Child, One Classroom, One Community: Why Influencing a Culture of Reading Could Help Solve the Global Education Crisis – Room to Read Blog

“When children are surrounded by a culture that values and celebrates literacy, there is a greater chance that they will develop a habit and love of reading.”

 by Dr. Cory Heyman

This week, I am participating in the 60th annual Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference, an event that fosters discourse and debate within the international education community about solving the world’s education challenges. I undoubtedly know that we will spend much time listening to novel and innovative ideas presented in research and best practices that focus on the child such as educator-child interactions — and there will be many more crucial topics to ensuring high quality educational opportunities are provided to deserving children around the world.

 

Source: One Child, One Classroom, One Community: Why Influencing a Culture of Reading Could Help Solve the Global Education Crisis – Room to Read Blog

Prepared text of the 2016 Stanford Commencement address by Ken Burns | Stanford News

 

Excerpt of Ken Burns Stanford Commencement Address

Our spurious sovereignty is reinforced and perpetually underscored to our obvious and great comfort, but this kind of existence actually ingrains in us a stultifying sameness that rewards conformity (not courage), ignorance and anti-intellectualism (not critical thinking). This wouldn’t be so bad if we were just wasting our own lives, but this year our political future depends on it. And there comes a time when I – and you – can no longer remain neutral, silent. We must speak up – and speak out.

“We must remain committed to the kindness and community that are the hallmarks of civilization.”

—KEN BURNS

For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified. So before you do anything with your well-earned degree, you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing relationships. I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and – they feel – powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief that – as often happens on TV – a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.

As a student of history, I recognize this type. He emerges everywhere and in all eras. We see nurtured in his campaign an incipient proto-fascism, a nativist anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, a disrespect for the judiciary, the prospect of women losing authority over their own bodies, African Americans again asked to go to the back of the line, voter suppression gleefully promoted, jingoistic saber rattling, a total lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers,always making the other wrong. These are all virulent strains that have at times infected us in the past. But they now loom in front of us again – all happening at once. We know from our history books that these are the diseases of ancient and now fallen empires. The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice, of trust, so much a part of American life, is eroding fast, spurred along and amplified by an amoral Internet that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before the truth can get started.

We no longer have the luxury of neutrality or “balance,” or even of bemused disdain. Many of our media institutions have largely failed to expose this charlatan, torn between a nagging responsibility to good journalism and the big ratings a media circus always delivers. In fact, they have given him the abundant airtime he so desperately craves, so much so that it has actually worn down our natural human revulsion to this kind of behavior. Hey, he’s rich; he must be doing something right. He is not. Edward R. Murrow would have exposed this naked emperor months ago. He is an insult to our history. Do not be deceived by his momentary “good behavior.” It is only a spoiled, misbehaving child hoping somehow to still have dessert.

And do not think that the tragedy in Orlando underscores his points. It does not. We must “disenthrall ourselves,” as Abraham Lincoln said, from the culture of violence and guns. And then “we shall save our country.”

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, a red state, blue state divide. This is an American issue. Many honorable people, including the last two Republican presidents, members of the party of Abraham Lincoln, have declined to support him. And I implore those “Vichy Republicans” who haveendorsed him to please, please reconsider. We must remain committed to the kindness and community that are the hallmarks of civilization and reject the troubling, unfiltered Tourette’s of his tribalism.

The next few months of your “commencement,” that is to say, your future, will be critical to the survival of our Republic. “The occasion is piled high with difficulty.” Let us pledge here today that we will not let this happen to the exquisite, yet deeply flawed, land we all love and cherish – and hope to leave intact to our posterity. Let us “nobly save,” not “meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

Let me speak directly to the graduating class. Watch out. Here comes the advice.

Look. I am the father of four daughters. If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously. And listen to them! Maybe, some day, we will make the survivor’s eloquent statement as important as Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Try not to make the other wrong, as I just did with that “presumptive” nominee. Be for something.

Be curious, not cool. Feed your soul, too. Every day.

Remember, insecurity makes liars of us all. Not just presidential candidates.

Don’t confuse success with excellence. The poet Robert Penn Warren once told me that “careerism is death.”

Do not descend too deeply into specialism either. Educate all of your parts. You will be healthier.

Free yourselves from the limitations of the binary world. It is just a tool. A means, not an end.

Seek out – and have – mentors. Listen to them. The late theatrical director Tyrone Guthrie once said, “We are looking for ideas large enough to be afraid of again.” Embrace those new ideas. Bite off more than you can chew.

Travel. Do not get stuck in one place. Visit our national parks. Their sheer majesty may remind you of your own “atomic insignificance,” as one observer noted, but in the inscrutable ways of Nature, you will feel larger, inspirited, just as the egotist in our midst is diminished by his or her self-regard.

Insist on heroes. And be one.

Read. The book is still the greatest manmade machine of all – not the car, not the TV, not the smartphone.

Make babies. One of the greatest things that will happen to you is that you will have to worry – I mean really worry – about someone other than yourself. It is liberating and exhilarating. I promise. Ask your parents.

Do not lose your enthusiasm. In its Greek etymology, the word enthusiasm means simply, “God in us.”

Serve your country. Insist that we fight the right wars. Convince your government, as Lincoln knew, that the real threat always and still comes from within this favored land. Governments always forget that.

Insist that we support science and the arts, especially the arts. They have nothing to do with the actual defense of our country – they just make our country worth defending.

Believe, as Arthur Miller told me in an interview for my very first film on the Brooklyn Bridge, “believe, that maybe you too could add something that would last and be beautiful.”

And vote. You indelibly underscore your citizenship – and our connection with each other – when you do.

Good luck. And Godspeed.

 

Text of Commencement address

Source: Prepared text of the 2016 Stanford Commencement address by Ken Burns | Stanford News

School Choice & Race — Desegregation Measure from 1972 Has Unintended Consequences | National Review

A desegregation lawsuit from the 1970s now wrongly bars an African-American student from attending the public charter school of his and his family’s choice.

Source: School Choice & Race — Desegregation Measure from 1972 Has Unintended Consequences | National Review

How to Read to Children: Why Training Teachers Matters – Room to Read Blog

Who wants to read to the class?” Tiny hands shot up in the air. First grade teacher Namex Pen picked Reaksa, who scrambled to her feet. The six-year-old ran to the first-level bookshelf in the newly-established school library in Cambodia and grabbed her current favorite, Chek Chek Wants to Get Married.

“I love reading stories!” said Reaksa, who checks out three books a week to take home. No one had ever read stories to her before — and the same goes for her classmate Kimhour. Like Reaksa, she borrows books to read to her eight-month-old cousin at home.

 

 

 

Source: How to Read to Children: Why Training Teachers Matters – Room to Read Blog

How to relate to your undergrad

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I saw this popular image- Is the glass half-full- on a friend’s Facebook post and immediately thought of my students who have yet to declare a major.  Whether you counsel or advise college students, parent them, or just are one, this nagging concern will not go away.

There are those among us who believe they know what they will be when they grow up and have no such angst.  But for the rest of us, might I suggest some factors to consider.  First of all so many in the current generation will not have the one and only career or two before they are through, but dare I say three or more?  Going by that premise perhaps the best choice is to find a study that you 1) can excel in 2) have a passion for, and 3) will expose you a broad set of knowledge that could benefit you in several different areas.

While figuring out what you are good at could be fairly simple – having “passion” for school is not.  It is quite a tricky hill to climb and often involves a fear that time will bimagee lost, irrecovable time, major hopping with little  or nothing to show for it in the end (beyond massive debt).  So this should be where some amount of investment of effort could pay real dividends.  There are books, very helpful ones, that can steer a person to what they would be most attracted to.  Surveys can be found in the career counselling office or online.  The military has been using them successfully for  decades.  These are not failsafe, and the person who says ‘I do not know at all what I want to do’ can find frustration instead of the answer that was hoped for.

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Which leads to the third aspect of the decsion.  Subjects that expose you to broad areas often avail you of the chance to learn about unfamiliar fields which you could transition into with some minor adjustments.

Employers agree that the degree you select should develop your communication skills.  It should also bring out your creative juices.  Hopefully it will help you learn to adapt to changing circumstances, to think critically, and to solve the problems in front of you.  And if you want to know why professors keep giving group assignments, the answer is that to be successful in business you will not only participate in cooperative teamwork, but you will collaborate with others who need you as much as you need them.

While this is the short list, it is enough for you to begin your search.  Here is a list of some of the degrees that are believed to bring out the greatest amount of skills useful for the widest range of professions. So look them over and find one that lines up with your scores in the first two areas mentioned above.  Don’t worry if this list doesn’t work for you.  Just pick one of the other degrees that interests you and see to it that you can get more than a diploma from the experience.image

  1. Engineering

  2. Business

  3. Educating

  4. Nursing

  5. Finance

  6. Web Design

  7. Computer Science

  8. Biotechnology

  9. Accounting & Applied Math

  10. Environmental Science

UCLA Faculty Approves Diversity Course For Future Undergrads

This relatively small change provides an example of how slow progress is.

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of California, Los Angeles faculty has approved a new policy that requires most future undergraduates to take a course on diversity.

The university announced late Friday that the faculty voted for the requirement by a large margin, ending an effort that began two decades ago and was defeated three times before.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block says in a statement that he’s pleased with the outcome because he thinks the course will help prepare students to live and work in a multicultural society.

Opponents have said students were overburdened with other requirements and that the budget-strapped university couldn’t afford extra classes.

The Los Angeles Times reports most other UC campuses already require diversity courses.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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No End in Sight: Academic Research and “Time Off”

judgmental observer

Wheedle

“Can you read these words to me, Amanda?” my first grade teacher asked, pointing at the cover of The Wheedle on the Needle. I shook my head and smiled, thinking this was some kind of trick. How the hell would I know how to read those letters? Later, I asked my friends if they had been able to decipher the book cover, assuming they were as lost as I had been. “The Wheedle on the Needle,” my friend replied, almost casually. The others nodded and I felt betrayed: when did everyone learn to read? This was 1983, when it was not assumed that children would enter kindergarten knowing how to read. But still, somehow, between kindergarten and first grade, I had fallen behind my peers.

Soon after my fateful reading test our teacher sorted us into reading groups. I was, of course, placed in the “remedial” reading group while all of my friends…

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Detroit Emergency Manager: Increase Class Sizes to 43 to Save $$

Something is very wrong. Detroit is the city of my parent’s birth. What can be done, now, before another generation is sacrificed? Don’t we know?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Just remember: It’s all about the kids.

Just remember: The children are our future.

In Detroit, where they enroll thousands of children who need a great education, the state-appointed emergency manager has decided to save money by increasing class size to 43. Students will not get individual attention. Students will not get the support they need. Teachers will spend time on crowd control instead of instruction.

Governor Snyder cut corporate taxes.

It’s all about the children.

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11 Things You Could Have Spent $561 On But Can’t Because Tuition Went Up

More on the rising cost of higher education.

Voice of SGA

Thanks to politicians in Oklahoma City neglecting to adequately fund OU, tuition and fees are going up by an average of 4.8% this fall. That means a $561 increase for nonresident students and $268.50 for Oklahoma students. As you wave goodbye to more of your hard-earned cash, let’s take a look at some of the things you could have spent $561 on.

1. 167 gallons of gas

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Particularly important when you’re driving around every day hunting for a parking space. Speaking of which…

2. 2 years of parking passes (including summer!)

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Maybe I’ll just take CART…

3. 1 month of rent plus utilities

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Well….probably not at the Cottages.

4. 6 textbooks

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Time to get a Kindle.

5. 2 months of groceries

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Pictured above: critical grocery item.

6. An iPad with accessories

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Guess you’ll have to stick with an old-school spiral notebook.

7. 37 Comfort Colors t-shirts

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Tuition increases are far…

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