The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #425 (September 24, 2023)

    • New York Times
    • 09/20/23

    “We spoke to girls from ages 12 to 17 who have participated in programs led by Girls Leadership, a nonprofit that teaches confidence-building and how to use social media responsibly. Here are some of their best pieces of advice for other teens — and what they want adults to know, too.”

    • Cult of Pedagogy
    • 09/18/23

    “Venet explains that unconditional positive regard is a stance that communicates this message to students: “I care about you. You have value. You don’t have to do anything to prove it to me, and nothing’s going to change my mind.” In her book, she asserts that taking this stance and putting it into practice builds the foundation on which our students can thrive. And the more I learned about it, the more I was sold on its value.”



    • New York Times
    • 09/20/23

    “I wanted to put a face to the alarming headlines about teens and social media — in particular, girls. And to understand one tension: What happens when girls’ self-confidence, which has been shown to drop right around this age, intersects with the thing that seems to be obviously contributing to their struggle? The long-term effects of social media on the teenage brain have not yet been defined, much less proven — which isn’t to say it’s all bad. But adolescent girls have long struggled with depression and anxiety at disproportionate rates compared with their male peers, a reality that metastasized during the pandemic.



    • New York Times
    • 09/20/23

    “Historically, the SAT gave students “too much to cover and not enough time to do it,” the College Board’s chief executive officer, David Coleman, told me. But developing a digital version gave them the opportunity to experiment. And the results were so impressive they decided to stick with them. Starting next year, the test is shorter overall, and most importantly, “on average, 97 percent of students complete all questions in a section with up to seven minutes to spare on each section,” Mr. Coleman said. “It’s time we stop confusing quick with smart.””

    • Hechinger Report
    • 09/18/23
    • Downtown School
    • 09/10/23

    “Essentially, you enter in a question and a chart is created that shows what supports, opposes, or could go either way in terms of values, rights, and duties. The researchers made clear that the goal was not to help people make decisions, but rather to explore and unpack how ethical choices are made and categorized.”









    • McKinsey
    • 09/20/23
    • Inc.
    • 09/20/23
    • Quartz
    • 09/14/23

    “He’s not empathetic. He’s not caring. And he’s a jerk because of it; he is not very admirable because of it. But as he would argue, and as the lieutenant you quoted would argue, sometimes people who are caring and emotional, they aren’t going to fire people, they aren’t going to be tough, they aren’t going to be rough, and it may hurt the whole enterprise because they’re so eager to make the people in front of them like them… But you look at a lot of people who have been hardcore—Bill Gates in the early days of Microsoft, Jeff Bezos in the early days of Amazon, Elon Musk—I don’t necessarily admire it, but it is part and parcel of what they were able to do, and it was because they kept the success of the enterprise in view, as opposed to the friendliness and sweetness to the people in front of them.”






    • New York Times
    • 09/20/23

    “Neuroscientists and psychologists who specialize in the teenage brain put it plainly: Yes, social media is of concern because the rapidly developing adolescent brain may be uniquely vulnerable to what the platforms have to offer. But the science is not nearly as settled as some of the most dire headlines would make it seem.



    • New York Times
    • 09/18/23

    “Humanity needs a compassionate, factual and fair conversation about how to respond to depopulation and how to share the burdens of creating each future generation. The way to have that conversation is to start paying attention now.”


    • New York Times
    • 09/22/23

    “Dress codes are a marker of social, national, professional or philosophical commonality. They bespeak shared ideals or training, membership in a group… the Senate is more than just a “workplace.” It represents the highest level of our country’s government, whose actions are watched by and hold consequences for the entire world… Such an august body needs to look the part. A sea of 100 adults all dressed in some kind of instantly recognizable, respectful manner — a suit and tie, a skirt and jacket — creates a unified visual entity. A group in which individuals have agreed to subsume their differences into an overarching, sartorial whole. But as we all know, the Senate has never been more divided. In a body so riven, one of the last symbolic markers of accord is a dress code. Can such a code eliminate the profound differences beneath the surface? Of course not. But it does remind senators and everyone around them (including the general public) of the still-noble goal of consensus.”

    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 09/20/23
    • New York Times
    • 09/18/23

    “The change… involved directing the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms — whose job, aside from directing security in the chamber, also entails enforcing outfit standards for all who enter it — that the previous policy that all senators must be clad in business attire when on the floor is no longer to be enforced.”


A.I. Update



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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