The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #273 (February 3, 2019)

    • New York Times
    • 01/22/19

    “All of this research suggests that doctors who don’t connect with their patients may risk undermining a treatment’s success. Doctor-patient rapport is not just a fluffy, feel-good bonus that boosts Yelp reviews, but a component of medical care that has important effects on a patient’s physical health. Particularly as artificial intelligence promises a world where we don’t need to go to the doctor for minor questions, we should not overlook the value of interacting with a human doctor and hearing words of encouragement.”

    • Harvard Graduate School of Education
    • 01/01/17

    Extracurriculars, our work suggests, tend to differ from core classes in a number of important ways. They are voluntary rather than mandatory; they often involve work that is undertaken collectively rather than individually; they feature opportunities for peer leadership and peer-to-peer learning; they involve dimensions of playfulness; and they are aligned to activities that are valued in broader American culture… Finally, extracurriculars draw together opposing virtues that are critical for sustained and deep learning: passion because students have chosen the arena and are seeking to excel in it, and precision because there are ample opportunities for practice and feedback.”



    • New York Times
    • 01/29/19

    “The potential for grievous injury is surely part of why people watch Nascar races; we still expect drivers to use six-point harnesses and flame-retardant suits. It isn’t obvious how this principle should be applied to a game like football. Some think that new high-tech helmets will help; others argue that no helmets at all would be safer, because (as in rugby) it might discourage head collisions. Players spend much more time in practice than in actual games, and some think that practice needs to be reformed to avoid the subconcussive impacts that have been linked to C.T.E. There’s more research to be done, more rethinking of the rules of the game.”

    • KQED
    • 01/28/19
    • Inc.
    • 12/19/18

    “The high school coaches who spoke with Inc. contest the idea that the students joining their e-sports teams generally are doing so in lieu of physical activity: They're kids who otherwise would be gaming at home, in a room alone, talking to people through a headset or not at all… It's nice to see these kids that might have been loaners, outcasts, have support from their classmates. It tells them, 'We want to watch you. We think what you're doing is cool.’”





    • CNN
    • 01/28/19

    “The researchers found that greater screen time at 24 months was associated with poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months, and greater screen time at 36 months was associated with lower scores on developmental screening tests at 60 months.”




    • Guardian
    • 01/26/19

    “Young women aged 13 to 24 are now the biggest consumers of poetry in the UK in a market that has grown by 48% over the past five years to £12.3m, according to UK book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan. But instead of buying works by the dead white men who have dominated the canon for centuries, young women are using their economic muscle to drive up sales of works by female poets, making poetry more diverse and representative than ever before.”





    • EdWeek
    • 01/04/18

    “Foundations before choice. Learn the notes before you play the concerto. But while it is true that most fields have some sequential ordering of topics, it is also true that what David Perkins calls playing the whole game at the junior level has a lot of advantages. Perkins cites Little League as an example: we don't spend a year learning to throw, another to catch, another to bat; rather, we play the whole game of baseball from the beginning, just at the junior level. Playing the whole game gives young players a chance to see how the sport as a whole works, and, just as critically, it means that they get to see why one would want to play the sport. This engenders motivation, which is what provides the fuel to practice the parts.”

    • Cult of Pedagogy
    • 08/21/16

    “I know that they could learn anything they need to learn from their homes with a device on their lap still in their pajamas. They don’t need me to learn. They need me to care.”






    • Westport News
    • 01/24/19

    “There are 46 independent schools in the state with about 17,900 students this school year, as compared to 57 schools and about 22,700 students in the 2006-07 school year, according to the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools… Nearly half of the 939 independent schools examined in a national study lost students between 2006-07 to 2013-14, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. The rest grew in enrollment.”

    • MNN
    • 01/15/19

    “The familiar high school rituals take place every spring. Athletes sign letters of intent to play for college programs as their coaches beam with pride, the photographs splashed across social media. Other high school seniors wave college acceptance letters as their names are announced at school assemblies. But one school system in Virginia wanted to celebrate a different life-changing moment for the seniors who were starting careers right after graduation.”


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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