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Educational news and research that caught our attention...
US Students Continues to Lag in Math and Science
Students in the US continued to rank below the upper tier of countries in the latest TIMSS assessment. Check out the "highlights".
Good Reads - NY Public Library Top 10 Checkouts of All Time
In honor of it's 125th anniversary, the New York Public Library released a list of the top 10 most checked out titles - not surprisingly, many are appropriate for K-12 readers. Which ones have you missed?
The Internet Might Be Hurting Exam Grades
Students who received higher homework but lower exam scores were more likely to get their homework answers from the Internet
Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic Learner?
90 percent of teachers believe this concept, in spite of the fact that no study to date has been able to prove this hypothesis.
Reducing Online Course Dropouts
A study of 247 classes with a quarter million students around the world, looked at four types of intervention to improve completion rates.
Does Head Start Work - Long Term?
Most studies havde only looked at near-term effects. What about years later, when participants are in the work force?
Bilingualism and Cognitive Ability
Learning another language makes you smarter, right?
When to Learn New Vocabulary?
Which is better - learning new words in the morning and having all day to consolidate that knowledge, or learning words shortly before bedtime and having less time for forgetting?
What you Read Matters
Reading is reading, right? Not according to this multi-year study of 43,000 students
STEM Workers Shortage
Economic competition is global, and the countries with the better educated workers will have an advantage. How is the US doing?
What do do with your young genius?
Your child is truly a math wizard, testing in the top one percent or higher. Should she skip a grade, get a tutor, enroll in a junior college, take online courses, or wait for the class to catch up?
Growing number of students, declining number of teachers
The economic recovery hasn't hit k-12 schools in the US yet. Do we have a problem?
When to get your child a smartphone?
Safety and convenience versus danger and distraction. When does one outweigh the other?
How to help your child become more popular
We all want our children to be popular. Heck, we want to be popular. What's the secret?
Do genes determine your child's educational destiny?
Our genes define a lot about us. Is it possible your children's future success in school is also written in their genes?
What happens if you help too much?
When are helpful parents not helpful? How much involvement is helpful? And when is it too much involvement?
Will more practice make your child an Olympic medalist?
"I coulda been a contender." Clearly, lots of parents and coaches believe that more practice over more years, is the key to success. But that's not necessarily true, at least according to a recent study.
San Francisco schools drop 8th grade algebra - why?
It may surprise you to learn that San Francisco Unified School District no longer offers Algebra I to eighth graders. Why did this happen in the city that is home to so many of the biggest tech companies in the world?
Relative teacher salaries around the world
Teachers in the US make less than comparably educated workers in other fields. How much less? And how does this compare to teacher salaries in other developed countries around the world?
Is homework wrecking our kids?
Meta-reviews of 160 studies conclude that "...there is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of elementary students." Hmmm.
So much to read, so little time. Can speed reading help?
A new study reports that there is no shortcut to becoming a faster reader. Like almost everything else in life, the way to get better at it is to practice. More practice leads to a broader vocabulary, faster comprehension, and faster reading.
Listening to music may sharpen infants' recognition of patterns in music and speech
Nine month old infants exposed to 12 sessions of waltz music exhibited the ability to predict anticipated sounds, and to recognize when their predictions were violated.
What do kids learn by age 10 in cities around the world?
This study compared the educational goals for kindergarten to fourth grade in six cities around the world, and came up with some eye-opening differences. See how the expectations in your school compare with New York City, London, Tokyo, Beijing, Johannesburg, and Moscow.
Are preschool arts and crafts a waste of time?
A review of the process versus product debate now going on in some educational circles. Is the objective to allow children to play, learn, and be creative, or to produce a recognizable product to show their parents what they did at school that day?
Should parents play videogames with their children?
A case can be made for building virtual empires and hunting for post-apocalyptic mutants.
Finger multiplication on steroids
Adding and subtracting are child's play. So is multiplication after watching this video.
Body language shapes who you are
English - check. Spanish or French or German or Latin - check. Body language - ? Check out your knowledge of the universal language.
The effect of opposite gender friends on high school achievement
Uh-oh. Researchers found that the greater a student's proportion of opposite gender friends, the lower their grade point average.
Disparity in educational expectations across the US
What passes for proficiency in each state can vary by as much as three grade levels! See how your state compares.
Is college tuition too high?
Different factors drive pricing at private schools, public universities, community colleges, and for-profit diploma schools.
Which major has the most expensive textbooks?
Textbook prices are skyrocketing. Those for the sciences are typically way more expensive than those for the humanities. See what your passion will cost.
Too early academic training may produce long-term harm
Comparisons of academically oriented early education classrooms with their play-based peers show little or no difference in academic outcomes one to three years later. Worse, multiple studies show that those who had received the academic-focused version of kindergarten, ended up being less well adjusted socially and emotionally.
When did kindergarten become just another grade?
Originally conceived of and implemented as a safe place where young children made the transition from home life to the school world, kindergarten in America is now the place where they learn to read, master the concepts of counting and numbers, and basically enter the formal education system.
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