The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #432 (December 3, 2023)

    • EdWeek
    • 12/15/23

    ““We didn’t want to find rogue teachers who were going off and doing something on their own,” he said. “We were looking for wide-scale or potentially scalable programs.” Weiner identified several kinds of unconventional roles: Lead teacher, who serves as a mentor, curriculum developer, and co-teacher for a small team of teachers in the same content area or grade level; Empowered teacher, who helps determine school-level policies, such as the academic calendar or the dress code, and sets student learning targets; Team teacher, who teaches as part of an integrated team with two to four other educators who are responsible for between 50 and 80 students; Community learning guide, who works alongside two to four other educators and 20 to 40 students to create learning experiences connected to the natural environment, the community, or students’ cultural backgrounds; Solo learning guide, who teaches five to 15 students independently, often out of their home; and Technical guide, who leverages expertise in technical subjects, like architecture or robotics, to design curriculum and work with cohorts of 10 to 20 students, often with another guide.”

    • Larry Cuban
    • 12/15/23

    “These staple instructional practices, while criticized–often severely by generations of pedagogical reformers–are, in 2023, alive and well in charter schools, regular elementary and secondary public schools, and higher education. And they even persist amid a revolution in teachers and students using high-tech devices in and out of the classroom. Are these ways of teaching simply instances of traditional practices that stick like flypaper because they have  been around for a long time? Or have these practices persisted because they are useful and reliable ways of communicating knowledge and learning to the young?”


    • Psyche
    • 12/15/23

    “In our recent study, we focused on the UK (where we both live), surveying 722 residents who ranged in age from 18 to 77. Our study had several main aims. One was to assess how ‘adult’ our participants felt, and how that related to their ages and life circumstances.”






    • CNN
    • 12/15/23
    • Hechinger Report
    • 12/15/23

    “Earnings: Humanities graduates’ earnings are substantially higher than those of people without a college degree and are often on par with or higher than those of graduates in non-engineering fields. Earnings Disparities: Except in a few northwestern states, humanities majors earn at least 40 percent more than people with only a high school degree. Unemployment: The unemployment rate of humanities majors is around 2-4 percent in every state, similar to that of engineering and business majors and substantially lower than that of people without a college degree. Occupational Versatility: Humanities graduates make up big portions of the legal, museum and library workforces across all states; other significant areas of humanities graduate employment are education, management and sales.”

    • New York Times
    • 12/15/23






A.I. Update

    • New Yorker
    • 12/15/23

    “I worried that [AI] would rob me of both the joy of working on puzzles and the satisfaction of being the one who solved them. I could be infinitely productive, and all I’d have to show for it would be the products themselves… Having found the AI’s level, I felt almost instantly that my working life had been transformed.. Everywhere I looked I could see GPT-4-size holes; I understood, finally, why the screens around the office were always filled with chat sessions—and how Ben had become so productive. I opened myself up to trying it more often… I still feel secure in my profession. In fact, I feel somewhat more secure than before.”

    • Agile Learning
    • 12/15/23

    “Top Hat recently launched Ace, an AI-powered learning assistant embedded in its courseware platform. An instructor can activate Ace, which then trains itself on all the learning materials in the course. Students can then use Ace as a personal tutor of sorts, asking it questions about course material. Since Ace knows the course content, it can respond helpfully to poorly formed questions and it’s less likely to “hallucinate” incorrect information. Ace is trained not to just give out answer but to act like a tutor, asking students questions that will lead students to their own answers.”


    • e-Literate
    • 12/15/23

    “If you’ve ever used ChatGPT and prompt engineering to generate the learning design of a complex lesson, you’ve probably run into unexpected limits to its usefulness. The longer you spend tinkering with the lesson, the more your results start to get worse rather than better. It’s the same problem the Khanmingo team had. Yes, ChatGPT and Claude can now have long conversations. But both research and experience show us that they tend to forget the stuff in the middle. By itself, ChatGPT is useful in lesson design to a point. But I find that when writing complex documents, I paste different pieces of my conversation into Word and stitch them together. And that’s OK. If that process saves me design time, that’s a win.”

    • SmartBrief
    • 12/15/23

    “We are challenged to think about how we create learning extensions and assignments that exercise a student’s critical thinking while also allowing them to use the tools at their disposal. We’re actually bringing AI into our lessons to help build on student learning, like using it as a verifier after brainstorming ideas or as a kick-starter for future research.”

    • AI for Education
    • 12/15/23
    • Harvard Graduate School of Education
    • 12/15/23





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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