The Educator's Notebook

A weekly collection of education-related news from around the web.

Educator’s Notebook #63 (January 11, 2015)

    • New York Times
    • 01/07/15

    Soon all the collections in all the libraries and all the archives in the world will be available to everyone with a screen. Who would not welcome such a vast enfranchisement? But universal accessibility is not the end of the story, it is the beginning. The humanistic methods that were practiced before digitalization will be even more urgent after digitalization, because we will need help in navigating the unprecedented welter… Patterns that are revealed by searches will not identify their own causes and reasons. The new order will not relieve us of the old burdens, and the old pleasures, of erudition and interpretation.”

    • New York Times
    • 01/04/15

    Attendance at “gap fairs” more than doubled in the United States between 2010 and 2013, and enrollment in gap-year programs grew 27 percent from 2012 to 2013 alone, according to Ethan Knight, executive director of the American Gap Association. Many college websites, including Harvard’s and Yale’s, now encourage prospective freshman to consider a gap year; Middlebury even provides links to specific programs.”

    • Slate
    • 01/02/15

    “Researchers have demonstrated that our perception of a speaker depends on whether we’ve been told ahead of time that he’s confident or shy. Our judgment of a child’s academic skill depends on whether we’ve been led to believe that she’s from a rich family or a poor one. When we serve on a jury, we quickly form an impression about whether the defendant is guilty, and then disproportionately interpret new evidence as supporting that impression. In other words, we need to actively look for signs that our assumptions are wrong, because we won’t do so unprompted. One such sign, scientists have suggested, is the feeling of surprise.”
















Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.

Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.

Peter Nilsson


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