Ordinary World: Education


EDU1: Writing for EducationNext, Julia Freeland Fisher argues that schools should do more to bridge the generational divide and reduce loneliness in the aging population.

EDU2: An episode of the ‘Digical Education’ focusing on education policy and research, with guest Corey DeAngelis of the Cato Institute.

EDU3: Do schools need to focus on a more holistic approach to education? Alana Leabeater, a recent Year 12 graduate argues Australia’s education system is too narrowly focused.

EDU4: Replying to Alana Leabeater, Michael Salter, a teacher from Sydney, Australia argues in a blogpiece that Leabeater’s call for a more holistic education approach is misguided and that education is not mere job training.

EDU5: A recent report highlights the lack of financial literacy among Australians coinciding with declining numbers of secondary students studying economics in the country.

EDU6: Revised social studies standards in Texas state that students will now learn that slavery was the central factor in causing the civil war.

EDU7: In order to address inequities inherent in standardized testing, schools must do more to build up students’ background knowledge in various subjects, writes Natalie Wexler for the Fordham Institute.

EDU8: Why isn’t education research making its way into classrooms, despite ever-increasing demand from teachers? Education Week blogger Sarah Sparks investigates.

EDU9: Continuing on the theme of education research, a report finds that almost no studies on education in the top education research journals are replicated.

EDU10: Robert Pondiscio calls for the end of America’s testing culture. He argues that the current short-term approach incentivizes poor teaching and denies students important knowledge over the longer term.

EDU11: While stories of ‘superhero teachers’ make for good headlines, are they also damaging to the teaching profession as a whole? Lisette Partelow argues that expectations placed on individual teachers is excessive and downplays the importance of cohesive, well-run school systems, curriculum and policy.

EDU12: Did you know the vast majority of teachers use lesson plans taken from Google and Pinterest at some point in their careers? Another piece from Robert Pondiscio, this time on the measures under-resourced teachers have to take to produce lessons for students.

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Scott Davies is a freelance writer and tutor. He is currently studying a Master of Education. He is interested in education, economics, geopolitics and history. He's on Twitter and has a Medium page.

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13 thoughts on “Ordinary World: Education

  1. EDU6: I’m reminded of the old Simpsons’ episode where Apu* became a citizen and one question on the test was about causes of the US Civil War, and Apu launched into this long discourse about states’ rights and economics and other things, and Chief Wiggum (IIRC, he was the examiner) just looked at him and said “Say, ‘slavery’ and you’ll pass…”

    (*I guess Apu is problematic now. Well, the humor of the bit would still stand, even if it were Groundskeeper Willie or some actually-sensitively-portrayed immigrant)

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  2. EDU4:

    Replying to Alana Leabeater, Michael Salter, a teacher from Sydney, Australia argues in a blogpiece that Leabeater’s call for a more holistic education approach is misguided and that education is not mere job training.

    Without reading the link (cause that would be cheating), this seems contradictory all by itself. I would think a ‘holistic’ approach would be one that very much expands the role of education to something more that just job training.

    eta – having now skimed the article, I find the push back valid to some extent, but teaching ‘life skills’ isn’t ‘job training’ either.

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  3. EDU 11: there’s also a university-level version of this: the myth of the “superstar” or “rockstar” professor. In fact, they had a thing on my campus this fall to supposedly either teach or exhort us to be one (I had some prior commitment so I had a good reason for not going to it).

    I hate the “superstar” model with a blazing passion, for a number of reasons. I admit to feeling a certain schadenfreude over the whole Avitel Ronell mess because she was largely lauded as a “superstar” before it came out what a creep she was.

    (One of the reasons I hate the image is that some of those who call for “disrupting” higher ed seem to want the model of “One superstar teaching 10,000 students online in a MOOC, and all the other folks, who are by implication ‘floppers,’ wind up as low-paid, contract-employee-status graders ” – doing the worst part of the job and not getting any of the fun, and not even getting paid well.)

    I’m not a superstar, but I strive to be a decent person. Sometimes I feel like the world needs fewer “rockstars” and more plain old decent people.

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    • There’s the old saying of “The best (fill in the blank Dr, Lawyer, international spy, pilates teacher, whatever) is someone you never heard of because they are too busy being great to worry about it” probably applies to teaching as well. Not universally of course, but it is something to it.

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