The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #220 (January 28, 2018)

    • EdExcellence
    • 01/24/18

    A conceptual failure lies at the heart of ed reform’s underperformance: the mistaken assumption that education policy, not classroom practice, is the most important lever to pull to drive enduring improvement. But educational failure is not a tale of unaccountable and union-protected layabouts refusing to do right by children. More often than not, it’s well-intended people trying hard and failing—and not despite their training, but because of it. In short, we have a product and practice failure more than a policy and process failure.”

    • Rands In Repose
    • 01/23/18

    “Randomly think of a thing. Let it bump around your head a bit. If the bumping gets too loud, start writing the words with the nearest writing device. See how far you get. The more words usually mean a higher degree of personal interest. Stop when it suits you. Wait for time to pass and see if the bumping sound returns. Reread what you’ve written so far and find if it inspires you. Yes? Write as much as you can. No? Stop writing and wait for more bumping.”

    • Medium
    • 01/20/18

    Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time. The focus shouldn’t be on which technologies children are using, but rather what children are doing with them. Some uses of new technologies foster creative thinking; others restrict it. The same is true for older technologies. Rather than trying to choose between high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech, parents and teachers should be searching for activities that will engage children in creative thinking and creative expression.”






    • New Yorker
    • 01/29/18

    If “dem” is a strange book, it is strange in a familiar way. Part Roth, part Swift, part Twain, it is built of satire, farce, and hyperbole, all deployed in the name of moral seriousness.”

    • Literary Hub
    • 01/23/18

    Despite forty years of exegesis and new thinking around postcolonial theory and empire studies, it’s as if the machinery of empire continues to cripple our thinking about ourselves as Americans. Every time I speak to Americans, unless they are comprised of people of color, I need to presume that they’ve heard none of this, that they’ve been indoctrinated in the same ways that I was.”

    • Financial News London
    • 01/16/18
    • Brookings
    • 01/01/18

    the millennial generation, now 44 percent minority, is the most diverse generation in American history. While its lasting legacy is yet to be determined, this generation is set to serve as a social, economic, and political bridge to chronologically successive (and increasingly) racially diverse generations. With an emphasis on its unique racial diversity, this report examines the demographic makeup of millennials for the nation, the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and all 50 states.”

    • Flowing Data
    • 01/23/17


    • New York Times
    • 01/24/18

    After 200 years of expansion, democracy’s growth in the world has stalled. A handful of democracies like Venezuela and Hungary are backsliding into authoritarianism. And even in established Western democracies, voters are losing faith in democratic institutions and norms… Is this all just a blip, or is democracy in real trouble?”

    • FiveThirtyEight
    • 11/30/17

    Redistricting has a huge effect on U.S. politics but is greatly misunderstood. This project uncovers what’s really broken, what's not and whether gerrymandering can (or should) be killed.”











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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