Education

Schooling For All: Feasible Strategies To Achieve Universal Education..

Should education be free for all? Making secondary school free in low-income countries sounds like a good way to increase school enrollment, right? Well, some policymakers are afraid that opening the floodgates like that will harm students in the long run. They worry that there will be even fewer resources to go around, reducing learning outcomes. To make free secondary education work, schools will need more resources than ever before. But it’s possible; low-income countries have made free primary school work already, so they have a template to guide them. Read full article here

Obstacles To Curiosity

Why aren’t university students as curious as before? A combination of unengaging teachers and easily accessible entertainment may be one of the obstacles to curiosity. Boring teachers can’t hope to retain students’ interest, which turns students off from wanting to learn more. While this is a problem in itself, it isn’t helped by the existence of the Internet. Instead of studying to satisfy their curiosity and ward off boredom, students are more easily entertained by social media, games, and other entertaining activities on the Internet. Read full article here

Think Like A Computer

Educators have launched a pilot program that introduces students to computational thinking, hoping to get them interested in computer science. In computational thinking, we break problems down into manageable pieces. Then we remove unimportant details from the problem. After that, we discover how the pieces connect. Lastly, we make rules to solve the problem. The end goal is to make computer science more attractive to those in rural communities, so they can develop solutions to their communities’ problems instead of waiting for someone else to solve it. Read full article here

When ‘Rigorous’ Courses Aren’t

Four decades ago, there was a push to get more American students into rigorous courses with harder subjects to make them smarter. However, research has shown that students are performing worse on average despite increased admission into the courses. One reason is because there’s an incentive to give students passing grades. Courses are made less difficult and teachers give better grades to keep graduation rates high, inflating success at the local level at the expense of performance in standardised tests. Read full article here

How Many Words Does It Take To Make A Mistake?

The rise of instant and objective feedback systems in education makes young people anxious to make mistakes, especially in language, because there’s no room for error with machines. William Davies posits that because the powers-that-be insist on pushing education to be more quantifiable, especially post-pandemic, children have no safe space to learn through errors. As they grow older, this makes them even more fearful of messing up because of the consequences that may arise from using the “wrong” words. Read full article here

Where Have All The School Librarians Gone?

“It’s a pipeline issue: it’s a lot easier to come up with school librarians if you’re actually bothering to train them.” Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that librarians are on the decline in many areas of the US, especially high-poverty and majority-nonwhite districts. This seems to be the case because training to become a librarian can be quite tedious. Several states have no librarian training programmes in place; aspiring librarians must undergo distance training, or go to another state to do their training. Read full article here

Which Schools Are Chosen When School Choice Is Free?

In Amsterdam, school choice is relatively free; “[choice] is not restricted by catchment areas, high tuition fees, or large distances”. These circumstances provide a brilliant environment for observing decision-making behaviour. A recent study reinforced the idea that students would apply to schools that produce graduates with higher exit test scores, but, in addition to this, the researchers were surprised by the strength of the peer effect; when choosing a secondary school, students were likely to make the same choice as their classmates. Read full article here

The Myth Of The Classically Educated Elite

A classical education became idealised during the rise of the middle class. Naomi Kanakia notes that as the middle class grew and fought with each other for positions of authority, they began buying into the notion that a classical education, like the elites had, was necessary to rise above their station. They attended lectures and bought significant book collections, but, in reality, their knowledge was “shallow, ill-informed, and incomplete”. And yet, for some reason, we reflect on that period as a “golden age of cultural literacy.” Read full article here

You Probably Think This Essay Is About You

An honest and humorous delve into the variety of functions that an Acknowledgements section can fulfil. One can “assert scholarly pedigree and intellectual genealogy” by presenting their list of formidably intelligent colleagues and accomplishments. On the other side of the spectrum, the acknowledgements section can be a medium for amusement, “basically the worst kind of Oscar acceptance speech.” Alternatively, if settling grudges and seeking revenge is your modus operandi, you can “strategically omit” individuals to rouse them into “bewail[ing] their manifold sins and wickedness.” Read full article here

We Are Less Educated Than We Think

Although more Americans have a college education now compared to any other period in history, the average degree holder seems, according to the author, less intelligent than those from a century ago. Paul Miller attributes this to the reconstruction of college curriculums, in which vocational skills were emphasised at the expense of the liberal arts, which he believes help make us more rounded individuals. “[W]e have a class of vocationally trained workers with a sense of entitlement to be treated as an intellectual elite.” Read full article here

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