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Wasting Minds

Author : Ronald A. Wolk
ISBN : 9781416611318
Genre : Education
File Size : 84.7 MB
Format : PDF
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Renowned education journalist Ronald A. Wolk--the founder and former editor of "Education Week" and "Teacher Magazine"--skewers the conventional wisdom of the day about education reform and illuminates a way forward to higher student achievement. Learn why so many assumptions guiding political and educational leaders--standards and testing, longer school days/years, pushing advanced math classes--have little prospect of achieving results. And explore a new strategy forward following promising innovations such as individualizing instruction, performance assessments, and restructuring public education. This book is divided into two parts. Part I, Flawed Assumptions, includes the following chapters: (1) The "Get-Tough" Policy; (2) All Standards for All Students; (3) If It Moves, Test It; (4) Make Them Take Algebra; (5) Wanted: Great Teachers; (6) The Quest for the Supreme Leader; (7) The Dropout Epidemic; (8) Time for What?; (9) Never Enough Money; and (10) a New Strategy of New Schools. Part ii, a Second, Parallel Strategy, includes the following chapters: (11) One Student at a Time; (12) Many Pathways to Success; (13) Life to Text; (14) It's the Work That Counts; (15) Start Them Early; (16) a New Role for Teachers; (17) a Matter of Choice; (18) Schools for Digital Natives; and (19) Conclusion: Can We Get There from Here?. Preface, introduction, references, related ascd resources and a study guide for this book are also included.
Category: Education

Genius Denied

Author : Jan Davidson
ISBN : 1416595686
Genre : Education
File Size : 26.2 MB
Format : PDF
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With all the talk of failing schools these days, we forget that schools can fail their brightest students, too. We pledge to "leave no child behind," but in American schools today, thousands of gifted and talented students fall short of their potential. In Genius Denied, Jan and Bob Davidson describe the "quiet crisis" in education: gifted students spending their days in classrooms learning little beyond how to cope with boredom as they "relearn" material they've already mastered years before. This lack of challenge leads to frustration, underachievement, and even failure. Some gifted students become severely depressed. At a time when our country needs a deep intellectual talent pool, the squandering of these bright young minds is a national tragedy. There are hundreds of thousands of highly gifted children in the U.S. and millions more whose intelligence is above average, yet few receive the education they deserve. Many school districts have no gifted programs or offer only token enrichment classes. Education of the gifted is in this sorry state, say the Davidsons, because of indifference, lack of funding, and the pernicious notion that education should have a "leveling" effect, a one-size-fits-all concept that deliberately ignores the needs of the gifted. But all children are entitled to an appropriate education, insist the authors, those left behind as well as those who want to surge ahead. The Davidsons show parents and educators how to reach and challenge gifted students. They offer practical advice based on their experience as founders of a nonprofit organization that assists gifted children. They show parents how to become their children's advocates, how to win support for gifted students within the local schools, and when and how to go outside the school system. They discuss everything from acceleration ("skipping" a grade) to homeschooling and finding mentors for children. They tell stories of real parents and students who overcame poor schooling environments to discover the joy of learning. Genius Denied is an inspiring book that provides a beacon of hope for children at risk of losing their valuable gift of intellectual potential.
Category: Education

Higher Education

Author : Andrew Hacker
ISBN : 1429943394
Genre : Education
File Size : 80.19 MB
Format : PDF
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What's gone wrong at our colleges and universities—and how to get American higher education back on track A quarter of a million dollars. It's the going tab for four years at most top-tier universities. Why does it cost so much and is it worth it? Renowned sociologist Andrew Hacker and New York Times writer Claudia Dreifus make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Going behind the myths and mantras, they probe the true performance of the Ivy League, the baleful influence of tenure, an unhealthy reliance on part-time teachers, and the supersized bureaucracies which now have a life of their own. As Hacker and Dreifus call for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, they take readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, revealing those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved—and at a much more reasonable price.
Category: Education

Beautiful Failures

Author : Lucy Clark
ISBN : 9780857989277
Genre : Education
File Size : 75.66 MB
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I want to tell you a story about my daughter, my beautiful failure. Every day of her high school life was a struggle. She woke up in the morning and the thought of going to school was like an enormous mountain to climb. 'Nothing will ever be as easy as your school years,' well-meaning adults told her, but I knew for my daughter, and for many kids who have struggled as square pegs trying to make themselves round, this was dead wrong. When Lucy Clark's daughter graduated from school a 'failure', she started asking questions about the way we measure success. Why is there so much pressure on kids today? Where does it come from? Most importantly, as we seem to be in the grip of an epidemic of anxiety, how can we reduce that pressure? Beautiful Failures explores, through personal experience and journalistic investigation, a broken education system that fails too many kids and puts terrible pressure on all kids, including those who 'succeed'. It challenges accepted wisdoms about schooling, calls on parents to examine their own expectations, and questions the purpose of education, and indeed the purpose of childhood.
Category: Education

Confessions Of A Bad Teacher

Author : John Owens
ISBN : 9781402281013
Genre : Education
File Size : 47.23 MB
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An explosive new look at the pressures on today's teachers and the pitfalls of school reform, Confessions of a Bad Teacher presents a passionate appeal to save public schools, before it's too late. When John Owens left a lucrative job to teach English at a public school in New York City's South Bronx, he thought he could do some good. Faced with a flood of struggling students, Owens devised ingenious ways to engage every last one. But as his students began to thrive under his tutelage, Owens found himself increasingly mired in a broken educational system, driven by broken statistics, finances, and administrations undermining their own support system-the teachers. The situation has gotten to the point where the phrase "Bad Teacher" is almost interchangeable with "Teacher." And Owens found himself labeled just that when the methods he saw inspiring his students didn't meet the reform mandates. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-to-action to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children's futures.
Category: Education

The Case Against Education

Author : Bryan Caplan
ISBN : 9781400889327
Genre : Education
File Size : 61.51 MB
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Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy. Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers. Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense—The Case against Education points the way.
Category: Education

Failure To Connect

Author : Jane M. Healy
ISBN : 9780684865201
Genre : Education
File Size : 58.46 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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In this comprehensive, practical, and unsettling look at computers in children's lives, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., questions whether computers are really helping or harming children's development. Once a bedazzled enthusiast of educational computing but now a troubled skeptic, Dr. Healy examines the advantages and drawbacks of computer use for kids at home and school, exploring its effects on children's health, creativity, brain development, and social and emotional growth. Today, the Federal Government allocates scarce educational funding to wire every classroom to the Internet, software companies churn out "educational" computer programs even for preschoolers, and school administrators cut funding and space for books, the arts, and physical education to make room for new computer hardware. It is past the time to address these issues. Many parents and even some educators have been sold on the idea that computer literacy is as important as reading and math. Those who haven't hopped on the techno bandwagon are left wondering whether they are shortchanging their children's education or their students' futures. Few people stop to consider that computers, used incorrectly, may do far more harm than good. New technologies can be valuable educational tools when used in age-appropriate ways by properly trained teachers. But too often schools budget insufficiently for teacher training and technical support. Likewise, studies suggest that few parents know how to properly assist children's computer learning; much computer time at home may be wasted time, drawing children away from other developmentally important activities such as reading, hobbies, or creative play. Moreover, Dr. Healy finds that much so-called learning software is more "edutainment" than educational, teaching students more about impulsively pointing and clicking for some trivial goal than about how to think, to communicate, to imagine, or to solve problems. Some software, used without careful supervision, may also have the potential to interrupt a child's internal motivation to learn. Failure to Connect is the first book to link children's technology use to important new findings about stages of child development and brain maturation, which are clearly explained throughout. It illustrates, through dozens of concrete examples and guidelines, how computers can be used successfully with children of different age groups as supplements to classroom curricula, as research tools, or in family projects. Dr. Healy issues strong warnings, however, against too early computer use, recommending little or no exposure before age seven, when the brain is primed to take on more abstract challenges. She also lists resources for reliable reviews of child-oriented software, suggests questions parents should ask when their children are using computers in school, and discusses when and how to manage computer use at home. Finally, she offers a thoughtful look at the question of which skills today's children will really need for success in a technological future -- and how they may best acquire them. Based on years of research into learning and hundreds of hours of interviews and observations with school administrators, teachers, parents, and students, Failure to Connect is a timely and eye-opening examination of the central questions we must confront as technology increasingly influences the way we educate our children.
Category: Education

Closing Of The American Mind

Author : Allan Bloom
ISBN : 1439126267
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.94 MB
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The Closing of the American Mind, a publishing phenomenon in hardcover, is now a paperback literary event. In this acclaimed number one national best-seller, one of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is essential to understanding America today. It has fired the imagination of a public ripe for change.
Category: Social Science


Author : Tim Harford
ISBN : 1429920688
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 53.68 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this groundbreaking book, Tim Harford, the Undercover Economist, shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. When faced with complex situations, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action and blaze a path to success. Harford argues that today's challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinion; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt. Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with the compelling story of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises—as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives. Taking us from corporate boardrooms to the deserts of Iraq, Adapt clearly explains the necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. It is a breakthrough handbook for surviving—and prospering— in our complex and ever-shifting world.
Category: Business & Economics

Excellent Sheep

Author : William Deresiewicz
ISBN : 9781476702735
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67.33 MB
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A groundbreaking manifesto about what our nation’s top schools should be—but aren’t—providing: “The ex-Yale professor effectively skewers elite colleges, their brainy but soulless students (those ‘sheep’), pushy parents, and admissions mayhem” (People). As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges are turning out conformists without a compass. Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it. “Excellent Sheep is likely to make…a lasting mark….He takes aim at just about the entirety of upper-middle-class life in America….Mr. Deresiewicz’s book is packed full of what he wants more of in American life: passionate weirdness” (The New York Times).
Category: Social Science