The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #281 (April 7, 2019)

    • Cult of Pedagogy
    • 03/31/19

    “The concept of “learning styles” has overwhelmingly been labeled a mythby researchers, so attempting to determine which of your students are kinesthetic learners will not be a good use of your time. What is worth your time is using movement when working with all learners, because plenty of research backs that up.”

    • Atlantic
    • 03/28/19

    “Research tends to focus on homework’s quantity rather than its quality, because the former is much easier to measure than the latter. While experts generally agree that the substance of an assignment matters greatly (and that a lot of homework is uninspiring busywork), there isn’t a catchall rule for what’s best—the answer is often specific to a certain curriculum or even an individual student. Given that homework’s benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it’s a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn’t done to make the homework that is assigned more enriching.”


    • Harvard Graduate School of Education
    • 03/01/19

    “[This report] offers guidelines for high schools and parents in promoting ethical character. It also describes how some high schools and colleges are working to promote greater ethical engagement among high school students, level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students, and reduce excessive achievement pressure. The report also includes a pioneering statement from admissions deans seeking to advance Turning the Tide’s goals.”



    • MIT Sloan Management Review
    • 04/01/19

    “Hypotheses force individuals to articulate in advance why they believe a given course of action will succeed. A failure then exposes an incorrect hypothesis — which can more reliably convert into… learning.”



    • Pacific Standard
    • 04/04/19

    “The reason for the class's existence comes down to a simple and somewhat alarming reality: Even the most educated and savvy consumer of information is easily misled in today's complex information ecosystem… By teaching ways to find misinformation in the venues many of us consider pristine realms of expertise—peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, reports by the National Institutes of Health, TED Talks—West and Bergstrom highlight the ultimate paradox of the information age: More and more knowledge is making us less and less reasonable.”

    • The Journal
    • 04/02/19



    • New York Times
    • 04/04/19
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • 03/27/19

    “It is important for humanists to know how machine learning works, not because we all need to use it, but because it will help us understand why the boundary between quantitative and qualitative reasoning is growing fuzzier. In the past, it was broadly right to assume that numbers couldn’t address the interpretive questions at the center of humanistic disciplines. Math might help scholars reason about literacy rates and book prices, for instance, but it couldn’t reveal much about literary judgment. The rules of that game have genuinely changed. We can see this as a threat, or as a new opening for adventurous questions about the past.”








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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