The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #427 (October 22, 2023)

    • Current
    • 10/17/23

    “Launched in 2021, One Small Step brings together strangers with opposing views for a 50-minute, nonpolitical conversation to get to know each other. Over 4,100 people across 40 states have participated in the program… Richeson analyzed questionnaires completed by 400 One Small Step participants before and after their conversations. Her analysis showed that both liberals and conservatives felt more empathetic towards their partners following their conversations.”

    • The FIRE
    • 10/12/23

    “As colleges are increasingly called upon to announce positions on social and political issues, the Kalven Report reminds us that colleges are not critics — they are “the home and sponsor of critics.””




    • NPR
    • 10/18/23

    “The study involved more than 1,200 students, ages 11 to 14, enrolled in middle schools across the U.S. that offered a program called Ride for Focus from the nonprofit Outride, which conducts research and provides cycling programs and equipment for youths — primarily middle schoolers. Students participated in a cycling class for at least three days a week, for a minimum of 6 weeks. They learned cycling safety and maneuvering skills outdoors while raising their heart rate and just having fun. The students completed standardized screening questionnaires before and after the program designed to measure their well-being.”



    • New York Times
    • 10/20/23

    “The clustering itself is a thing that matters, economists have argued, because it helps people trade ideas, land better jobs and find others doing highly specialized things. And those benefits of what economists call “agglomeration” have theoretically grown more important as America has shifted over decades to an economy built on ideas.”

    • New York Times
    • 09/09/23

    “When Groff starts something new, she writes it out longhand in large spiral notebooks. After she completes a first draft, she puts it in a bankers box — and never reads it again. Then she’ll start the book over, still in longhand, working from memory. The idea is that this way, only the best, most vital bits survive.”

    • Uncharted Territories
    • 06/13/23

    “1. Be a Genius… 2. Increase Your Variance… 3. Increase Your Throughput.”

    • Science Direct
    • 11/01/21


    • Your Local Epidemiologist
    • 10/17/23

    “Events can negatively affect people a world away from the scene, especially when this involves witnessing fear, pain, grief, and terror that others have experienced. This is the “cost of caring” …There are a number of things we can do to reduce vicarious trauma while remaining up-to-date on the Israel-Hamas War:”


    • New York Times
    • 10/20/23

    “The campus protests of the late 1960s sought in part to dismantle the in loco parentis role that colleges and universities had held in American life. But the past two decades have been shaped by a reversal of that, as institutions have sought to reconstruct this role.”


    • Inside Higher Ed
    • 10/20/23
    • Brookings
    • 10/17/23

    “The United States is experiencing two major forms of democratic erosion in its governing institutions: election manipulation and executive overreach.”

    • New Yorker
    • 09/25/23

    “The United States, in this account, was a picture of a successful democracy until relatively recently. It was tested by the Civil War and the Second World War but survived both. Indeed, one crucial way in which democracies “scale up” is through warfare: no ideal of common citizenship is as pointed as comradeship in combat. But in recent decades, as the familiar story insists, citizenship and the ideal of negotiation and compromise have broken down through polarization intensified by social media… Demonizing “the other side” is a bad idea, but in a healthy democracy the real demons don’t get a side. Armed gangs and warlords, who have decided much of human history, don’t get a voice. Mussolini ceased to be a politician when he marched on Rome. We have to be prepared to have debates, and to lose, on questions that may at the moment seem to us matters of life and death—on abortion or mass incarceration or gun sanity, say. We are compelled to bargain with people who believe, however crazily, that guns promote social peace. But when they pull out guns the bargaining ends.”

    • UChicago
    • 11/11/67

    “The instrument of dissent and criticism is the individual faculty member or the individual student. The university is the home and sponsor of critics; it is not itself the critic.”


    • Harvard Business Review
    • 11/01/23

    “In this article we outline an effective way to leverage the power of storytelling, drawing on decades of combined experience helping senior executives lead large-scale change initiatives. There are four key steps: Understand your story so well that you can describe it in simple terms; honor the past; articulate a mandate for change; and lay out a rigorous and optimistic path forward. Let’s explore each of them in turn.”

    • New York Times
    • 10/17/23

    ““The curious trick has been that if you actually let the local book-selling teams do what they think is best, you suddenly get much better bookstores,” Mr. Daunt said. Then he quickly added a caveat: “About a quarter of them become dramatically better, and a quarter become dramatically worse — but it is much easier to focus on that quarter and improve them.””

    • Harvard Business Review
    • 10/17/23
    • Harvard Business Review
    • 10/10/23

    “Embracing hybrid methods can help organizations begin to remedy some of these outcomes. In this article we look at how, with this blended approach, organizations can achieve an optimal balance, allowing them to nimbly adapt to unforeseen challenges without losing sight of their ultimate objectives. First, let’s briefly review the core components of Waterfall and Agile, which both contain the building blocks of hybrid methodologies.”

    • MIT Sloan Management Review
    • 10/09/23
    • Harvard Business Review
    • 04/01/12
    • Harvard Business Review
    • 01/01/07







A.I. Update

    • CRPE
    • 09/01/23

    “Districts are responding in divergent ways to artificial intelligence’s potential to reshape teaching and learning, and most have refrained from defining a districtwide stance for schools to navigate AI… it’s clear that this technology will evolve faster than districts can develop formal training and guidance for staff. Leaders need to respond by thinking through how they train their workforce to responsibly use AI, and prepare for fundamental shifts in teachers’ roles and students’ opportunities in the coming years.”



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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