The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #199 (September 3, 2017)

    • Princeton
    • 08/29/17

    Thinking for yourself means questioning dominant ideas even when others insist on their being treated as unquestionable. It means deciding what one believes not by conforming to fashionable opinions, but by taking the trouble to learn and honestly consider the strongest arguments to be advanced on both or all sides of questions—including arguments for positions that others revile and want to stigmatize and against positions others seek to immunize from critical scrutiny.”

    • New York Times
    • 08/26/17

    The truth is that memorizing and reciting poetry can be a highly expressive act. And we need not return to the Victorians’ narrow idea of the canon to reclaim poetry as one of the cheapest, most durable tools of moral and emotional education — whether you go in for Virgil, Li Po, Rumi or Gwendolyn Brooks (ideally, all four).”















    • LA Times
    • 08/27/17

    The things [novelists] mean to describe and express when they write, the territory they wish to cover, may be very different from those elements that readers and students focus on. The author of a novel is not always the best placed to interpret it, and eventually others may become more familiar with the text than he is.”

    • Spectator
    • 08/26/17

    It has long been thought, for instance, that the print revolution of the 18th century resulted in a shift from oral to silent reading, from shared reading to indulging in a book of one’s own, as books became more available to a wider range of people while leisure time also increased… On the contrary, reading aloud remained as popular as it had ever been because it was sociable and gave participants a glancing acquaintance with books that might otherwise take weeks to read.”

    • New York Times
    • 08/25/17
    • Boston Review
    • 08/22/17

    This brings us back to the personal essay. More than a fad and more than a form, we might think of the personal essay as a contract between reader and writer… This task is impossible, or at least impossible to derive pleasure from, without particularity and concreteness—a sense of reciprocity and respect… What we see in many personal essays today is not the shattering of language but the shattering of a pact.”

    • Global Digital Citizen Foundation
    • 07/27/17





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


* indicates required