Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most relevant content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your communities, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth....more
Posts Tagged: education
There are those who bemoan schools’ decisions to stop teaching cursive, and those who welcome the decision with keyboard in hand. John Oppenheimer, writing for the New Yorker, talks about writing to his daughters at summer camp using cursive, even though they have some trouble deciphering the script and his body isn’t so fond of handwriting:
By the time that I had covered two sides of a small piece of stationery, my letters tended to get sloppier, and my right hand was cramping.
Unseen, a literary magazine founded by Singaporean university students, wants us to release ourselves from “the pressure-cooker environment of examinations” and all the literature we’re required to read for them. The Unseen creators believe that reading outside of the curriculum encourages literary creativity and exploration, and want to spread the wealth to their peers everywhere....more
Everything make sense if you’re an artist.
At the Dallas Observer, Caroline North exchanged a few words with current US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, who is kicking off his second term with a book tour and several forthcoming projects, including The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon, a series of coloring books written by and for elementary-aged kids, with the goal of introduction children to the power of finding their voice through the written word....more
At NPR Education, Byrd Pinkerton looks at the emergence of children’s literacy and literature, starting with 17th century learning primers through to the late 20th century’s complex young adult literature, all of which have helped define the idea of “childhood” through the centuries....more
Finland tops the charts for most literate nation, with the United States coming in seventh. A new study looks not just at literacy rates but at literacy behaviors. These behaviors include counting libraries, newspapers, and years of schooling. Ranking nations based on reading assessment only would result in a very different list of top readers....more
Donna Drucker writes for Notches on the Dean of Women’s Office at Purdue University. The Dean of Women’s Office was the late 1960s predecessor to the university’s modern-day Dean of Students role. In her piece, Drucker looks at the period-specific complaints and concerns registered by female students, and how the office addressed a wide range of issues on sexuality during this time period....more
I wouldn’t be a songwriter if it wasn’t for the books I read as a kid. … When you can escape into a book it trains your imagination to think big and to think that more can exist than what you see.
Elissa Nadworny at NPR’s Education Team interviews a researcher and former teacher, Travis Bristol, on the decline of black men in the teaching profession. Bristol’s research discovered that, in several cities, the overall number of black teachers had fallen and the largest loss was among black male teachers....more
Take that, Mom and Dad. Turns out studying literature can be practical. The Atlantic looks at the evolution of climate fiction, a new genre that’s getting readers interested in environmental issues and inspiring students to study STEM subjects:
In this respect, cli-fi is a truly modern literary phenomenon: born as a meme and raised into a distinct genre by the power of social media.
A massive delay in textbook printing in India’s southern state of Kerala has led to accusations of corruption in the government education ministry and violent protests. Government officials suggested schools print the books themselves, but for low-income areas this solution is impossible because of its high cost....more
Recently, several novelists have criticized the primary curriculum in the UK for teaching a brand of creative writing that is too “complex.” For the Guardian, Ella Slater explains why she agrees with such criticism, arguing that her primary education has made writing simple and direct prose difficult:
As someone now struggling with keeping my prose simple and fluent, I can only say that I regret that the primary curriculum left so much to the secondary.
Colleges and universities cannot be expected to solve America’s problems of inequity. They cannot repair broken families, or make up for learning deficits incurred early in childhood, or “level the playing field” for students with inadequate preparation. But they should be expected to try to mitigate these problems rather than worsen them—and one main reason they are failing to do so is their relentlessly rising cost.
Even though liberal arts degrees are actually good for business, Matt Burriesci (author of Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter, and the Great Books of the Western World) believes that supporters of the humanities should lay that argument to rest:
A liberal arts education … may not teach you how to change your oil or program a website, but it prepares you to learn any skill, and most importantly, to question how any task is performed, challenge conventional wisdom, and introduce new processes.