Two teachers in Hawaii have found a way to make lessons about centuries-old people and events relevant to their high school students: Teach them to the tune of Lady Gaga. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Amy Burvall, a history teacher, and Herb Mahelona, a technology curriculum coordinator, joined forces four years ago to create history-themed music videos to the tune of today's most popular songs. Their repertoire includes Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," which they've turned into an origins and events of the French Revolution, and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," which they use to address the Bubonic Plague. According to ...
Several weeks ago, we reported on a wonkish panel discussion in D.C. in which Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in proping up the performance pay idea, lamented that school systems currently treat teachers like "interchangeble widgets."
In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan highlights several areas where Democrat and Republican lawmakers should be able to agree when it comes to revamping the No Child Left Behind Act.
Recognizing it had a cheating problem, with students covertly texting each other answers from their pockets during a state exam, the Mississippi Department of Education paid a company to analyze tests using "data forensics," according to the New York Times. The result? Cheating went down 70 percent, said a state ed department director. School districts in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., have all contracted with Caveon Test Security, which was founded by a former chief developer for the SAT, to implement data forensics. The company uses computers to analyze answer sheets and spot signs of cheating, such as ...
This year, blog posts about teacher pay, test scores, and 'Superman," as well as alarming videos and sarcastic headlines, got our teacher-readers' attention.
Grant Wiggins, the blogger who created a stir by writing that all fiction books should be banned from the English curriculum because boys find them boring, says his proposal was meant to be sarcastic.
South Korea has recently deployed 29 robots to teach in around 20 elementary schools.
The New York Times
The Washington Post's Jay Mathews pushes for "eliminating rules and practices" regarding cheatingsuch as those prohibiting collaboration on homework"that frustrate learning."
How much do project-based learning and independent student work presuppose a mastery or knowlege of basic content knowledge and academic skills?
Ed Week research reporter Sarah Sparks has the scoop on a new study finding that students learn more and are more invested when they have a say in what assignments they do. The study, out of the University of Texas at Austin, found that, "When students were given choices, they reported feeling more interested in their homework, felt more confident about their homework and they scored higher on their unit tests," according to Erika A. Patall, the lead author. As a commenter on the blog writes, the findings illustrate the power of "intrinsic motivation." And that's not a new concept ...
As Nancy Flanagan points out on Teacher in a Strange Land, Parade magazine named the kids from "Waiting for 'Superman'" "Personalities of the Year." President Obama was so taken with the young stars that he invited them to the White House. Here's a peek into their visit, as posted on the whitehouse.gov website. Regardless of your thoughts on the movie or our president, you've got to admit that little Francisco in blue is quite cute. And is Anthony shedding a tear there at the end? (Ignore the incorrect time countthe video is less than two minutes.)...
One education consultant believes replacing most fiction with non-fiction books is the solution to getting boys interested in reading again.
Under a tough new tardy policy, students at a Calif. high school who fail to get to class before the bell rings are locked out and sent to detention.
Educators may need to do a better job of tolerating "wrong" answers.
More than 8,600 teachers and school counselors achieved National Board Certification in 2010, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards said this week. That brings the total number of National Board Certified Teachershalf of whom teach in Title 1, high-needs schoolsup to 91,000. North Carolina had the highest number of teachers to receive the certification, with 2,277. Washington was close behind with 1,272, and Illinois came in third with 771, according to NBPTS. Many congratulations to all those teacher leaders who survived the long and grueling application process and achieved this high honor! And...
In an Ohio district, schools use peer evaluations--a process put in place by a former teachers' union president--to decide whether rookie teachers keep their jobs.
After reviewing a standardized test his students had taken, a high school teacher discovered that eight of the 28 questions were faulty.
Ed writers Jay Mathews and Valerie Strauss are having a spirited debate about Teach for America and the Knowledge is Power Program over at the Washington Post.
NPR's Michele Norris says that, to turn the negative education conversation around, teachers should be vocal about their classroom successes.