Monthly Archives: July 2013

My Head, Talking About Evolution And The NGSS

I was on HuffPost Live yesterday discussing evolution and the Next Generation Science Standards. It was a little weird to find myself defending the NGSS, which are actually pretty mediocre overall. The fact, however, is that the standards would be even worse if they omitted important content like evolution. If standards don’t clearly lay out what […]

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Musical Interlude – The Thrills – Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far)

In anticipation of spending some time in Santa Cruz, here’s something from a band that everybody thought was going to be a big deal back when I was in college.

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Reform Math vs. Inquiry Science

Ed Real has an interesting post up about “reform math”. It’s a hard piece to excerpt but it has a lot of good bits and you should read the whole thing. I’m not a math teacher, but much of what he says rings true to me. The parallels between reform math (as he describes it) and […]

Posted in Teaching & Learning | 8 Responses

How Should Science Content Be Organized Across Grade Levels?

In California middle schools students currently learn “earth science” in 6th grade, “life science” in 7th grade, and “physical science” in 8th grade. California’s proposed adoption plan for the Next Generation Science Standards rearranges that sequence in some peculiar ways. Under the proposal, for example, rather than 8th graders being taught a combination of physics, […]

Posted in Teaching & Learning | Tagged , | 2 Responses

Musical Interlude – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Refugee

Florida’s been especially controversial this week. Here’s something from the Sunshine State that we can all agree isn’t horrible.

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Data Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Over at ShankerBlog, Matthew Di Carlo digs into a new study finding that teachers don’t use district-wide online data systems to do much data analysis. As he summarizes: Teachers need time and training, not only to use the system itself, but also to act on the recommendations (e.g. “reteach”). The assessments must be “in sync” […]

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“Student-Centered” Teaching Often Isn’t

I don’t like the phrase “student-centered” and I often prefer instructional approaches that could be described as “teacher-centered”, so this interests me on two levels: In both [math and science], traditional modes of instruction (teacher-centered) were found to be positively and significantly associated with achievement in all countries, while more constructive modes of instruction (student-centered) […]

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Musical Interlude – Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – Cold White Christmas

“They’re the songs you sing to yourself when you have problems too banal to expect anyone else to care about…”

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California Postpones NGSS Adoption For Two Months

The California State Board of Education considered adopting the Next Generation Science Standards yesterday and…decided to wait to vote on them until their September meeting. I’d like to think that’s because state education leaders are beginning to have second thoughts about the new standards, but that does not appear to be the case: The reasons: To […]

Posted in Education Reform | Tagged , | 5 Responses

Let’s Have a Moratorium On Sports Analogies In Education

Matt Yglesias had a sensible post yesterday warning us to “beware CEOs bearing confusing baseball metaphors“. Business leaders, he points out, are using dubious sports analogies to obscure the substantive issues involved in tax reform: But, again, using a territorial system isn’t a crazy idea. Lots of countries do it. But the difficulty with making […]

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