The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #175 (March 19, 2017)

    • New York Times
    • 03/13/17

    The trend has been building for a decade, with no clear understanding as to why. Some experts theorize that falling cigarette-smoking rates are cutting into a key gateway to drugs, or that antidrug education campaigns, long a largely failed enterprise, have finally taken hold. But researchers are starting to ponder an intriguing question: Are teenagers using drugs less in part because they are constantly stimulated and entertained by their computers and phones?”

    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • 03/13/17

    When I walked out of class after discovering Kate’s surreptitious phone scanning, the questions I asked myself were about her, or about my ability to control her behavior: Why can’t she focus in class? How can I keep students away from their distracting devices in class? But when I reconsidered the experience through the lens provided by Gazzaley and Rosen, a new set of questions began to emerge: What goal had I established for Kate’s learning that day? How had I created an environment that supported her ability to achieve that goal? And perhaps most important — assuming that the class had a learning goal that mattered for her — did she know about it?”

    • Stanford
    • 03/01/17

    Professors retain a central role, but Wieman sees them more like athletic coaches, putting students through strenuous, targeted practice while giving immediate feedback and direction based on performance. By confronting the problems first, the audience is more invested — and prepared — to hear what the professor has to say. ‘If you experience the condition of the problem, you’ll remember the answer much better,’ Schwartz, the dean of the GSE, says. ‘Lectures have it backwards. They basically give you the answer, then you practice it.’”

    • Scientific American
    • 10/01/14

    It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, nonroutine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way—yet the science shows that it does. This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort.”



















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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