Aug 27, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Welcome to the 186th edition of the Carnival of Education, the weekly virtual gathering of dozens of bloggers to discuss all things education.
Q: Why do you say this edition is “brain-based”?
A: Because the Q&A frame we are using is inspired by how Chris at Ouroboros recently hosted Encephalon Brain and Mind blog carnival. (Is classic Greek making a comeback?).
Q: As educators, what inspires us to do what we do?
A: Tracy suggests, “Hope for the future”.
Q: And what may happen in the future?
A: Eric proposes that the field can learn much about how athletes train their minds and bodies to maximize performance.
Q: What should not happen in the future?
A: Dave hopes we stop the Textbook Insanity, killing trees to create books not everyone uses.
Q: What comes first, subject or learner?
A: Bogusia has “switched sides”. She now centers her teaching around her students, to make sure they appreciate the beauty of the subject.
Q: How do you know if something is developmentally appropriate?
A: Science Goddess is still waiting for more of us to visit her blog and answer (btw, the visit is worth if only to admire her blog spectacular design).
Q: Should Social-Emotional Learning be part of academic curriculum?
A: Daniel introduces us to the research supporting that view.
Q: Why is NYC’s city’s graduation rate for ELLs so low?
A: Mary Ann shows that 45.5 percent in grades 8–12 were newcomers, who have to learn the language and the culture on top of the academic curriculum. (Note: I added “in grades 8–12″ as a correction, to reflect Mary Ann’s full quote accurately).
Q: Now, are newcomers really motivated to learn and succeed?
A: Joanne responds that work is the motivator for low-income and working-class Mexican-American students, who want an education so they can get decent jobs, live in a safe neighborhood and drive a car that starts reliably.
Q: Who is the person behind Eduwonkette?
A: Jennifer Jennings, unmasked.
Q: Is college a waste of time and resources?
A: Dana reminds us that the goal of liberal arts education is to “enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom”. Hence, she disagrees with the thesis from Charles Murray’s last book that asks for the substitution of the current system for a system of certification tests, modeled after the CPA (certified public accountant) test.
Q: Is the book Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism, by David Whitman, any good?
A: Carey likes much of the thought-provoking analysis and the focus on instilling self-discipline, but is turned off by the “paternalism” word.
Q:What does “paternalistic” really mean in this context?
A: Michael suggests “authoritative”.
Q: Will Google revolutionize education by letting everyone write and access authoritative content for free?
A: Probably not. At least not with the knols initiative, Ben says.
Q: What does lifelong neurogenesis and neuroplasticity mean?
A: Let me show you these informational resources on the brain, begs Laurie.
Q: Is physical exercise that important for lifelong learning and brain development?
A; It is. Exercising the body is exercising the mind, says Adrian.
Q: Is the US school funding system the most rational one?
A: Jim replies probably not, which may result, in Illinois, in a boycott and lawsuit.
Q: How old are you in Jupiter years?
A: Cherish doesn’t know, and doesn’t even what to know. But she shows us how to calculate it (Government-Issued Warning: “All you need are the following: your age in earth days, the mass of sun and the distance between the planets and sun. And Math!”)
Q: Is there really something called “egocentric spacial transformation”?
A: Indeed, Pascale assures us. Also called mental self-rotation. You can put the concept to practice with this brain teaser.
Q: Where do returning military veterans go and get their college education?
A: Darren is happy to report that Sacramento State is one good option.
Q: Why will 50% of today’s teachers have left the profession 5 years from now?
A: Travis summarizes a number of reasons and offers recommendations to lower turnover.
Q: What happens in a typical First day of the school year?
A: Mister Teacher shows us.
Q: What does “The Road to heaven is Paved with Good intentions” mean?
A: Andrew provides an example.
Q: How can we improve South Carolina-Australia bilateral relations?
A: Technology can help improve communications among educators and students, says Pay.
Q: Is that Sales Rep your best friend?
A: Tweenteacheer, whose New Interactive Whiteboard will be delivered with a significant delay, warns us not to think so.
Q: How will video be integrated in classroom instruction?
A: First of all, by allowing educators use YouTube Videos, suggests Carol.
Q: Any new cool way to motivate my students?
A: Easy, says Larry. Use a game like Mia Cadaver’s Tombstone Timeout to create, within seconds, your private “virtual room” where only your students compete against each other.
Q: Has Open Court Reading been found to be effective ?
A: Matthew reports that Open Court doesn’t have the research needed to qualify inclusion in the WhatWorks Clearinghouse.
Q: Can informal learning activities support school work?
A: Matt invites us to play Football. Sorry, soccer.
Q: Can you suggest other informal activities more closely aligned with academic standards?
A: Steve (the Mentos Geyser Experiment guy), has a few DIY ideas to improve science education.
Q: Does homeschooling make sense?
A: Suzanne reviews Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson.
Q: Who is Marva Collins?
A: An inspiring school pioneer, Christine tells us.
Q: Can teachers walk on water?
A: Many do everyday. But asking them to walk across bricks as a team-building exercise may be going too far, says Betty.
Q: How can I contribute to future Carnival of Education editions?
A: Easy! Submit your posts using this form this handy submission form.
Have a great day!