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June 30, 2011

Do Limits on Homework Lower Expectations?

The Los Angeles school district is instituting a new policy uniformly limiting homework to 10 percent of a student's grade. Drawing on recent research, the policy states that students should not be punished for differences in their "home academic environment" and that, as a rule, homework should be ...

June 20, 2011

Questioning Class-Size Increases

In an opinion piece published by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peter Smagorinsky, a professor of English education at the University of Georgia, questions the value of recent policy reports showing that increases in class sizes do not have a detrimental effect on student test scores. Most peo...

June 07, 2011

The Art of Teaching in June

Ariel Sacks finds that teaching during the last few weeks of school—when the classroom mindset inevitably relaxes but essential work remains—requires a special kind of balance: June requires it's own attitude and approach. On the one hand, we cannot give up the hard earned order and str...

May 16, 2011

New Research on Instructional Styles: Take Your Pick

The journal Science is publishing a study finding that, in an introductory college physics course, students placed in an experimental, collaborative-learning class performed significantly better on an end-of-course exam than students who were given a traditional lecture-based class.

April 28, 2011

Can Teachers Prevent Racially Disproportionate Spec. Ed. Classifications?

As Liana mentioned, the Council for Exceptional Children is meeting in our neck of the woods this week. Yesterday, I caught an interesting session at the conference on the problem of disproportionate representation of minorities in special education. The speaker was Edward Fergus, who is the deputy ...

April 26, 2011

Does Lecturing Work Better After All?

This is bound to spark some interest. Harvard scholar Paul E. Peterson points to new research finding that 8th graders who received more direct instruction scored higher on an international math and science test than those whose teachers' predominantly engaged them in problem-solving activities. He ...

April 18, 2011

Can Online Videos Humanize Instruction?

In an interesting Wall Street Journal article, Salman Khan describes the development of the Khan Academy, a free online library of K-12 math and science video lessons and practice exercises. Begun as a way for Khan to help tutor his younger cousins from afar, the service now houses more than 2,200 v...

March 24, 2011

Is There a 'Recipe for Good Teaching'?

In a post on the Harvard Business Review's Innovations in Education blog, a Harvard-trained social entrepeneur discusses an initiative his company created to improve teacher quality in India by developing a "recipe for good teaching." Part of this involved creating a 'micro-process' for teaching tha...

February 23, 2011

Harriett Ball's Legacy

We were remiss in failing to note that influential Texas educator Harriett Ball died earlier this month. An elementary school teacher for more than 30 years before becoming a star speaker and trainer, Ball was widely known for inventively mixing rap and song into her instruction. According to an exc...

February 07, 2011

Report: Classroom Video Use on the Rise

Teachers' use of video content for instruction has increased dramatically over the past three years, according to a survey.

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