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March 31, 2009

Earth Day Lessons for Teachers

Earth Day, an occasion promoted by environmental organizations and advocates to raise awareness of conservation issues, is April 22. It's an event that dates back to 1970. Teachers sometimes organize lessons and activities in the weeks leading up to that day on environmental themes. That doesn't mea...

March 30, 2009

In Science Class, How Much Guidance Is Needed?

Teachers of science, like teachers of other subjects, often wonder how much structure and guidance they need to provide students. A pair of researchers wondered the same thing. Robert Tai and Philip Sadler, in a new study, find that students with relatively weak mathematics skills who were given se...

March 26, 2009

New Executive Director at NCTM

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has named Kichoon Yang, the provost at Northwest Missouri State University, as its new executive director. Yang, who replaces outgoing executive director Jim Rubillo, will take over the post on July 1. Rubillo had announced his intent to retire last ...

March 26, 2009

What's The Best Use Of International Data?

My colleague David Hoff has a good read about the argument, made most recently by the Alliance for Excellent Education, that the United States should more actively participate in international testing and data collection. Specifically, the Alliance says the United States should increase its particip...

March 25, 2009

"Virtual Manipulatives" And Interactive Math And Science

Teachers often use manipulatives—boxes, shapes, figures and games—which students can handle during in-class activities to explain math and science concepts. A colleague of mine forwarded me a link to a site that offers teachers interactive math and science resources and Web-based "virtual ...

March 23, 2009

Britain Targets Schools' Future Scientists

There are many efforts under way in the United States to increase students' passion for science, run by private companies, nonprofits, state and local governments, and universities. But I'm not sure that any of those programs are as large scale as the Science and Engineering Ambassadors effort, whic...

March 23, 2009

Elite Math and Science Programs Taking a Hit?

It's difficult to find a set of academic programs that aren't being scaled back, or at least whose administrators aren't scrambling to reduce costs, in this economy. It appears that programs serving the most-elite students in math and science aren't being spared, either. Today's Washington Post h...

March 20, 2009

Arne Duncan on Differential Pay, Stimulus for Science Teachers

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke today before a major professional organization, the National Science Teachers Association, at its annual meeting in New Orleans, delivering a message that members of the audience were likely to find appealing. I only have a transcript from NSTA, but I'm...

March 19, 2009

Gifted Foreign Students: Homeward Bound?

One of the more fascinating and too-often underplayed aspects of the immigration debate centers on U.S. policies toward foreign college students and highly skilled workers. Many high-tech and industry leaders say those students and employees have played a vital role in our nation's business innovati...

March 19, 2009

Breaking Down Math and Science Professional Development

At a time when policymakers are interested in improving the quality of math and science teaching, a new book examines strategies for the professional development of educators in those subjects. It's written by Iris R. Weiss and Joan D. Pasley of Horizon Research, Inc., a private research company in...

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