The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #218 (January 14, 2018)

    • Inside Higher Ed
    • 01/08/18

    Such experience, it is argued, will help students by giving them a leg up in their careers and making them more useful people. And although that may often prove true in the short term, I am convinced it is not reliably the case when we consider a longer time frame — particularly for students in the foundational arts and sciences disciplines. Take, for example, the following three situations.”

    • Quartz
    • 01/08/18

    From 2005 to 2015, the share of US schools offering major Western languages like Spanish and German fell. Chinese has overtaken Latin. And the “other” category—comprising Arabic, Japanese, and plenty of others—nearly caught up to French.”






    • Getting Smart
    • 01/05/18

    Minerva is a liberal arts college, but you won’t find the typical course catalog. Four principles guided the development of a structured curriculum: Content should not be the focus… The curriculum must be carefully structured… Courses should be seminal… Students need informed choice… Based on these four principles, the Minerva curriculum promotes a broad context and opportunities for “far transfer””


    • Brain Pickings
    • 01/01/18

    In our effort to liberate, we have ended up imprisoning — imprisoning ourselves in the fractal infinity of our ever-subdividing identities, imprisoning each other in our exponentially multiplying varieties of otherness… Complement this particular direction of thought inspired by Walking on the Pastures of Wonder with James Baldwin and Margaret Mead’s spectacular conversation about identity and belonging, young Barack Obama on how we fragment our wholeness with polarizing identity politics, and Walt Whitman on identity and the paradox of the self.”


    • New York Times
    • 01/09/18

    The other argument is that increasing credential requirements without first raising wages places too much of a burden on already-overtaxed teachers. Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills at the New America foundation, has proffered a different approach: apprenticeships. Like many human-service jobs, she says, teaching is best taught through “iterative interactions,” where a person with experience helps a newcomer identify and respond to challenges. And the structure of an apprenticeship may be better suited to teachers who need to work full time while they learn.”

    • New York Times
    • 01/05/18








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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