“There’s an incredibly rich scholarship on the history of evidence, which traces its rise in the Middle Ages in the world of law, its migration into historical writing, and then finally into the realm that we’re most familiar with, journalism. That’s a centuries-long migration of an idea that begins in a very particular time and place, basically the rise of trial by jury starting in 1215. We have a much better vantage on the tenuousness of our own grasp of facts when we understand where facts come from. Facts have been devalued for a long time. The rise of the fact was centuries ago. Facts were replaced by numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries as the higher-status unit of knowledge. That’s the moment at which the United States is founded as a demographic democracy. Now what’s considered to be most prestigious is data. The bigger the data, the better. That transformation, from facts to numbers to data, traces something else: the shifting prestige placed on different ways of knowing. Facts come from the realm of the humanities, numbers represent the social sciences, and data the natural sciences. When people talk about the decline of the humanities, they are actually talking about the rise and fall of the fact”
“The fields of neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science have unearthed important insights and established agreed-upon models that help explain how learning happens and inform the design of impactful learning environments. Our Designing for Learning resources aim to share these insights and models in a way that supports whole-school design.”
“The number of Americans studying abroad continues to increase and grow more racially diverse. Participation in short-term programs is booming, while the number of students studying abroad for a full year is decreasing.”
“The idea is that instead of focusing your efforts on becoming singularly great at one specific skill or task, you should strive to get proficient at a few related skills that can be woven together into a wider skill set that does make you singularly good at your profession or some general life ability.”
The medical benefits of engaging with the arts are well-recorded: As Lay notes, a collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and stroke survivors living in Hull, England, encouraged patients to play instruments, conduct and perform; 90 percent of these participants reported improvements in their physical and mental health.”
“So, if the most polarized population uses the Internet and social media the least, to suddenly point a finger at technology says more about our anxieties about the rate of technological change than about what has actually happened to us. The fact is that this twenty-two-year-old dynamic of polarization can’t easily be associated with the Internet.”
“Teaching done well is complex intellectual work, and this is so in the primary grades as well as Advanced Placement physics. Teaching begins with knowledge: of subject matter, of instructional materials and technologies, of cognitive and social development. But it’s not just that teachers know things. Teaching is using knowledge to foster the growth of others. This takes us to the heart of what teaching is, and why defining it primarily as a craft, or a knowledge profession, or any other stock category is inadequate.”
“Personalized learning is not new. Know your history. It predates Silicon Valley and it pre-dates educational computing and it most certainly pre-dates Khan Academy… Educational psychologists have been building machines to do this — supposedly to function like a tutor — for almost 100 years.”
“There are all sorts of varying factors in khipus: the colour of the strings, the structure of the knots and the direction in which they were hitched. Having spent countless hours poring over them, Urton began to think that binary differences in these features might be encoding information. For example, a basic knot tied in one direction could mean “paid”, while in the other it would mean “unpaid”.”
Challenging these biased algorithms may be more difficult than challenging discrimination by the police, prosecutors and judges. Many algorithms are fiercely guarded corporate secrets. Those that are transparent — you can actually read the code — lack a public audit so it’s impossible to know how much more often they fail for people of color.”
“It’s important to clarify that having smart friends isn’t as important as having studious friends in this study. The researchers didn’t find that friends’ grades mattered. What influenced a student’s college grades was his or her friends’ high school study habits.”
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