As an education researcher, I’ve spent more than 15 years conducting nearly 800 meta-analyses of 50,000 studies focused on student learning. The result, which I call Visible Learning, is about understanding the attributes of schooling that truly drive student learning and have a significant impact on achievement.
Educational neuroscience empowers teachers with new insights into how all students learn and holds promise for enhancing special ed, but myths and exaggerations sprouting up around the burgeoning field could lead to children being labeled, which could limit their abilities, experts say.
High school students in Fairfax County, Va., may soon get to hit the snooze button, as the district partners with sleep specialists to delay school start times in hopes of raising academic achievement and improving student health.
“Sleep is absolutely critical to learning,” says Fairfax County Public Schools board member Sandy Evans. “Our adolescent students simply aren’t getting enough sleep for their physical, mental, or academic health.”
Students’ at-home media choices may negatively impact in-class performance, says a new study from Common Sense Media, an organization that provides media information to parents. 71 percent of teachers surveyed believe students’ watching TV and using video games, texting, and social networking have hurt students’ attention spans “a lot” or “somewhat.” 59 percent believe media use has hurt face-to-face communication with others, according to the report “Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom.”
Calif. educator Kerry Muse will lead Venture Academy, Minnesota’s first personalized, blended digital learning school. He will coach a team of educators to reinvent traditional education to help students become innovators and entrepreneurial leaders.
Neuroscientist William Jenkins suggests that educators shift the school environment to improve memory and ability to learn.
1. Create a non-stressful environment. And this includes eliminating or reducing bullying. If pupils are angry or frustrated, their “frontal lobe is turned off and executive function skills are not operating,” Jenkins says. When students are comfortable and relaxed, they are more open to learn and retain memory.
More special education funding in a district does not necessarily result in greater student achievement—in fact, it can lead to less, says a first-of-its-kind report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
District leaders are facing challenging conditions across the country, including increased accountability, reduced budgets and limited community support, while also trying to bring about educational improvements at all levels of the system. Yet reform is difficult work and yields limited success in most settings, particularly in large urban districts with the most challenging circumstances and many low-performing schools.
The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) has a theory: that placing robust arts education programs in low-performing schools will narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement. To test this theory, the committee, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Policy Council, and numerous private organizations, has developed the Turnaround Arts Initiative, a pilot project in eight schools deemed low-performing around the country.
In 2004, Deborah Verstegen, professor of education finance, policy and leadership at the College of Education at the University of Reno, wanted to create a vast library of data that, until now, didn’t exist: state-by-state school finance formula figures. “The search for the best model to use in funding education is a perennial concern and interest,” she says.
A well-rounded education now includes environmental literacy, according to the Obama administration.
"A Blueprint for Reform," the administration's amended proposal for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), has for the first time carved out room in the budget for environmental education. The proposed bill, No Child Left Inside (NCLI ), is among the administration's signature competitive grants and if passed would provide $500 million over five years to states that develop superior environmental and outdoor education plans.
Educators may sometimes feel they are in a race against several clocks-the class period, the school day, the semester, the academic year, high school exit exams and so forth-as they prepare students for academic success. What can district leaders do to appropriately address issues of time and time management? How can they ensure that what is most important-student learning-is not at the mercy of things that are less urgent? As leaders weigh their options, research offers some important reminders.