“First, to high-strung affluent parents, well-compensated counselors, and other members of the elite-admissions industrial complex: Just relax, okay? You are inflicting on American teenagers a ludicrous amount of pointless anxiety. Even if you subscribe to the dubious idea that young people ought to maximize for vocational prestige and income, the research suggests that elite colleges are not critical to achieving those ends. In the aggregate, individual characteristics swamp institutional characteristics. It’s more important to be hardworking and curious than to receive a certain thick envelope.”
“The evidence is clear: Academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence. Across industries, research shows that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and trivial within a handful of years. For example, at Google, once employees are two or three years out of college, their grades have no bearing on their performance.”
“Inquiry-based lessons … begin with you do and give students the opportunity to figure things out for themselves. They rely on the first of the eight practice standards: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. The theory is that if a student works through the steps on his or her own, that student has a higher likelihood of retaining the information than if he or she were simply given steps to follow.”
“Literary fiction, which tends to focus on the psychology of individuals, provides a window into the inner lives of strangers in other times and places. It’s this preoccupation with sensation and thought that makes the form a powerful tool for developing empathy. Stories that transport us also transform us, according to the study. Reading literary fiction, though a solitary pursuit, increases social understanding.”
“The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and returns to Long Island at night. Yet another leaves a house in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and travels to a middle school 14 miles away, staying until late afternoon each school day.”
“They had enough test score data to analyze roughly 150 of the 2,500 education apps in the marketplace. Here are the takeaways:”
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