The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #204 (October 8, 2017)

    • New Yorker
    • 10/09/17

    The modern history of diversity began on June 28, 1978. That was the day the Supreme Court decided a case brought by Allan Bakke, a white military veteran who had applied to medical school at the University of California, Davis… The Court’s decision was not particularly decisive—there were six separate opinions.”

    • Guardian
    • 10/06/17

    Designers, programmers and tech entrepreneurs from across the world gathered at a conference centre on the shore of the San Francisco Bay. They had each paid up to $1,700 to learn how to manipulate people into habitual use of their products, on a course curated by conference organiser Nir Eyal… [Attendees] might have been surprised when Eyal walked on stage to announce that this year’s keynote speech was about “something a little different”. He wanted to address the growing concern that technological manipulation was somehow harmful or immoral.”

    • Guardian
    • 09/24/17

    To take just one example, adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven or eight hours a night.”


    • Slate
    • 10/05/17

    Mental health centers on campuses around the country are stretched thin—after all, it’s hard to imagine a well-staffed counseling office being more of a sell to prospective students and their check-signing parents than a state-of-the-art climbing facility. As an emergent “solution,” faculty development programs are offering classes on handling students in distress or in mental health crises.”

    • Guardian
    • 09/30/17




    • Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    • 10/03/17

    The idea of deliberately being “bad” at a game feels so entirely wrong to me. Decades of playing to win, of striving to improve and be better until victory, have taught me that deliberately failing a quest is lunacy… But if I’ve learned anything from D&D, it’s that winning isn’t the goal – it’s about the journey, and being as interesting within it as you can.”

    • Washington Post
    • 09/22/17

    Researchers have been administering the [marshmallow] test to groups of kids for over 50 years now, which leads to a natural question: Have kids' abilities to delay gratification gotten better or worse over the years? …he gathered and analyzed the results of over 30 published marshmallow test trials administered between 1968 and 2017.”




    • EdSurge
    • 10/05/17
    • Guardian
    • 10/03/17

    But at Feversham, the headteacher, Naveed Idrees, has embedded music, drama and art into every part of the school day, with up to six hours of music a week for every child, and with remarkable results. Seven years ago Feversham was in special measures and making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Today it is rated “good” by Ofsted and is in the top 10% nationally for pupil progress in reading, writing and maths, according to the most recent data”


    • Black Perspectives
    • 10/20/16

    But what if, all along, our well-meaning efforts at closing the achievement gap has been opening the door to racist ideas? What if different environments actually cause different kinds of achievement rather than different levels of achievement?”







    • New York Times
    • 10/05/17

    The underlying message of all this criticism is that Ms. Kaur’s work isn’t “real literature.” The literary world doesn’t have a great track record of embracing or even acknowledging artists like Ms. Kaur, who are different in some notable way, but who attract an enormous and fervent audience.”

    • McSweeney’s
    • 09/19/14

    Utterly contrived topic sentence revealing pretty much every flaw of structured essay writing. Therefore, supporting sentence invoking source that exists only in the bibliographies of other cited material (pp. arbitrary to arbitrary + 5). Contemplative question? Definitive refutation paraphrased from a blog found at 2AM.”







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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