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Australia's National Test Scores Examined

It seems that socioeconomic status, not public or private school attendance, is the best predictor of students' Naplan scores and learning progress.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/23/naplan-focus-should-be-on-progress-not-results-report-says
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Google Finds Five Key Dynamics in Effective Teams

I've posted this under 'Education' because this not only provides valuable information for team-building in business, but is also highly relevant for teachers whose want their students to engage effectively in team-based inquiry learning projects.

1. Psychological safety
Can we, as a team, take a risk without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

2. Dependability
Can we count on each other to deliver high-quality results on time?

3. Structure and clarity
Are our goals, roles, and execution plans clear?

4. Meaning of work
Are we working on something that is personally meaningful to each of us?

5. Impact of work
Do we fundamentally believe that the work we're doing matters?

https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/the-results-of-googles-team-effectiveness-research-will-make-you-rethink-how-you-build-teams.html
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Are you a visual or an auditory learner?

It doesn’t matter.

https://nyti.ms/2BWMGqL
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Students in Texas must learn of Moses' influence on American politics!?

It seems so ... along with the "heroism" of the Alamo and the influence of "Judeo-Christian" values on American politics and history, of course. But no need to learn about the first female presidential nominee of a major party.

Divisive politics and narrow-mindedness continue to interfere with Texan students' education. This reminds me of 2012 when the Texas GOP wanted "critical thinking" removed from the curriculum because it led to "challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." You don't want to challenge fixed beliefs or undermine authority in Texas! (My sympathy to any Texans reading this.)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-board-of-education-votes-to-remove-hillary-clinton-from-history-curriculum/
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How To Raise Brilliant Children, According To Science

Some wise advice from developmental psychologist Kathy Hirsh-Pasek for parents to think about - cultivating the skills people really need to succeed in the 21st century.
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Flipped Learning Gets Thumbs Up

My daughters (12 & 15) find flipped learning especially helpful in mathematics and science, but this report from EFL teacher Lisa Wood adds further anecdotal evidence for its value in teaching a foreign language.

"This year flipped learning was one of my main considerations, had the outcomes been positive enough to continue with this model of learning with my 2nd year students and to introduce it to another class? My answer was yes, without a doubt, but what did my students think about it all?
It turns out that we all agreed."
Flipped learning: A student’s perspective
Flipped learning: A student’s perspective
Flipped learning: A student’s perspective
acenglishteacherblog.wordpress.com
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In Defense of John Hattie

John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, is one of the more influential contemporary thinkers in education. I'm especially impressed by Hattie's work in identifying high impact teaching strategies.

Hattie studies evidence for the impact of teaching practices on educational outcomes and comes in for harsh criticism from some quarters. Here's a persuasive defence of Hattie from Peter DeWitt published last month on the Education Week Blog.

https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2018/06/hattie_isnt_wrong_you_are_misusing_his_research.html
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Education, Genes, Intelligence and Academic Performance

Here's a good read from Philip Ball in New Statesman discussing implications for education arising from the study of the genes that affect intelligence.

He cites psychologist Kathryn Asbury of the University of York who thinks that eventually, we will have a device that cheaply and quickly analyses a child’s DNA to make a reliable genetic prediction of children's heritable cognitive ability and potential for academic achievement.

Is this something to fear or to welcome? Does it risk children being branded for success or failure from birth?

Ball suggests that, while IQ tests tap a host of cognitive abilities, they do not tap other qualities that are valued, such as empathy or loyalty, that carry less guarantee of reward. He concludes, "Studies of genes and intelligence should not, then, be divorced from a much wider debate about what gets valued and nurtured in school and in life."

https://www.newstatesman.com/2018/04/iq-trap-how-new-genetics-could-transform-education
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Worse recall, worse spelling, worse handwriting, better results.

I don't remember things as well as I used to, mostly because I don't need to. My spelling is worse than it's ever been, but my accuracy on the printed page is better than ever. My handwriting is a mess, but my presentation on paper (or screen) has never been neater. Despite some skills declining through lack of use, I'm more capable than I've ever been, and, if you're online reading this, so are you!

I know so much more when my phone is at the ready! And knowing how to use it effectively is one of the most critical 21st-century skills. It's not the tiny amount of information inside our heads that matters, but the vast amount of information we can access using a connected device. We don't need to remember as much as we used to because we have access to vast digital "memories" that exceed our own by many orders of magnitude. It seems that this radical change is affecting human cognition.

This piece from 'The Atlantic' discusses how most of us forget many things quickly, such as the books we read or the movies we watch. And it seems that the internet age is changing the way we remember things.

Jared Horvath from the University of Melbourne says,"In the internet age, recall memory—the ability to spontaneously call information up in your mind—has become less necessary. It’s still good for bar trivia, or remembering your to-do list, but largely, Horvath says, what’s called recognition memory is more important. “So long as you know where that information is at and how to access it, then you don’t really need to recall it,” he says.

Research has shown that the internet functions as a sort of externalized memory."

So I'm less concerned about my poor spelling, my poor memory and my illegible scrawl. With the help of my digital assistants, I'm more capable than I've ever been.

One of the things that struck me most about my online engagement in places like G+ and Twitter is that it helps me learn so much more than I ever could learn before! I quickly forget it, but that's ok because I know how to find it again when I need it. That's an incredible 21st-century power, and it's important that we ensure our students learn how best to use it! Too many of them are still studying in 20th-century classrooms.
The “forgetting curve,” as it’s called, is steepest during the first 24 hours after you learn something. Exactly how much you forget, percentage-wise, varies, but unless you review the material, much of it slips down the drain after the first day, with more to follow in the days after, leaving you with a fraction of what you took in.
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Big History - Great for teachers, students or the just plain curious.

This is an awesome free online resource that's ideal for Science and Humanities teachers, but it's also great for anyone interested in learning about the world we live in. It lets you explore nearly 14 billion years of history in a self-guided, six-hour journey through time. Amazing stuff.
Big History Project
Big History Project
school.bighistoryproject.com
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