Posts Tagged: education

Keep It Simple

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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.

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Rising Costs, Failing Students

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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.

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Stop Measuring the Humanities with Dollar Signs

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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.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Reading Don Quijote with My Mother

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“That’s the anthem I would have sung at my original graduation if the university had stayed open,” my mother said. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: O Martyr My Martyr!

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In most communities, teachers are compensated so poorly and afforded so little respect that in many cases the primary compensation is martyrdom. ...more

Shelters for Families, and Books

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Twenty homeless shelters serving NYC families will be getting their own libraries as part of a new initiative from the Departments of Education and Homeless Services. The project, supported by Scholastic and a number of literacy organizations, aims to address the needs of the city’s growing population of homeless children; last year there were over 76,000 homeless students in K-12 schools.

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Handwriting Matters

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A new scientific study has demonstrated that learning to write by hand before learning to type helps in developing children’s brains, and the benefits stretch from childhood to adulthood memory-wise. Psychologist (and Rumpus interviewee) Maria Konnikova explains on the New York Times:

Cursive or not, the benefits of writing by hand extend beyond childhood.

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Brown Bag Your American Literature, Quick

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Michael Gove, Britain’s Education Secretary, is rewriting Britain’s public school curriculum to be more British. To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Crucible are among the titles being dropped from required reading lists.

“I put this in the context of what’s going on in Europe and the world at large, which is a growing nationalism, a growing suspicion of other people’s perspectives and ideas and values,” says Christopher Bigsby, professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia and author of a biography of Miller.

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Studies Confirm: High School Sucks

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…over the past 40 years, despite endless debates about curricula, testing, teacher training, teachers’ salaries, and performance standards…there has been no improvement—none—in the academic proficiency of American high school students.

Also, “American high schools are even more boring than schools in nearly every other country.”

Read more depressing facts about American high schools at Slate.

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The New York Comics Symposium: Brendan Leach and Nick Sousanis

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The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights at 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City.

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For-Profit Schools from the Students’ Perspective

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Talk about good timing: on the same day we posted Stephen S. Mills’s essay about working for a for-profit school, Racialicious reposted an essay looking at the issue from the other side.

In it, Tressie McMillan Cottom writes about the students getting swindled by “schools” like the one Mills worked for, who are disproportionately low-income women of color.

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Rethinking Sex Ed

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“In its breadth, depth and frank embrace of sexuality as, what Vernacchio calls, a ‘force for good’ — even for teenagers — this sex-ed class may well be the only one of its kind in the United States.”

A NY Times Magazine article on the state of sex education highlights a Philadelphia Quaker Friends high school teacher’s comprehensive approach to teaching sex ed.

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Finland’s Got Education Down

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This article is a gem from a recent Longreads selection, on the subject of education.

Finland’s got an optimally functioning educational system, one that America can learn a thing or two from. Its success is due to its “whatever it takes” methodology, and also its top tier educators who are selected from the top 10% of Finland’s graduates.

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