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Enhancing brains the tried-and-true way: 50 Finalists shortlisted for the $1M Global Teacher Prize

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Top 50 2018 Final­ists!

Now in its fourth year, the US $1 mil­lion Glob­al Teacher Prize award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to rec­og­nize one excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the pro­fes­sion as well as to shine a spot­light on the impor­tant role teach­ers play in soci­ety. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Resources for Educators on Learning and the Brain

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In my pre­vi­ous post 10 Brain Train­ing Tips To Teach and Learn I promised to share some of the resources–books, con­fer­ences, and web­sites– that inform my under­stand­ing of teach­ing, learn­ing and the brain. Here’s an updat­ed list: Read the rest of this entry »

10 Finalists announced for the $1M Global Teacher Prize

These are the 10 best teach­ers in the world (Glob­al Teacher Prize announce­ment):

We’ve all had teach­ers who have inspired us, who have made a dif­fer­ence to our lives.

Teach­ers have the pow­er to make or break lives. A great les­son can inspire a pas­sion for a sub­ject that lasts a life­time, while lack­lus­tre teach­ing can kill any desire for learn­ing.

Teach­ers who make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in their stu­dents’ lives – some­times against all odds – deserve to be cel­e­brat­ed.

The Glob­al Teacher Prize does just that, award­ing $1 mil­lion to an excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to their pro­fes­sion.”

Read the rest of this entry »

50 Finalists from 37 countries shortlisted for the $1M Global Teacher Prize

global-teacher-prizeCon­grat­u­la­tions to our Top 50 Final­ists (Glob­al Teacher Prize announce­ment):

Now in its third year, the US $1 mil­lion award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to rec­og­nize one excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to Read the rest of this entry »

Arts and Smarts: Test Scores and Cognitive Development

(Editor’s Note: we are pleased to bring you this arti­cle thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Mag­a­zine.)

At a time when edu­ca­tors are pre­oc­cu­pied with stan­dards, test­ing, and the bot­tom line, some researchers sug­gest the arts can boost stu­dents’ test scores; oth­ers aren’t con­vinced. Karin Evans asks, What are the arts good for?


When poet and nation­al endow­ment for the Arts Chair­man Dana Gioia gave the 2007 Com­mence­ment Address at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, he used the occa­sion to deliv­er an impas­sioned argu­ment for the val­ue of the arts and arts edu­ca­tion.

Art is an irre­place­able way of under­stand­ing and express­ing the world,” said Gioia. “There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as sto­ries, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, con­soles. It edu­cates our emo­tions.”

For years, arts advo­cates like Gioia have been mak­ing sim­i­lar pleas, stress­ing the intan­gi­ble ben­e­fits of the arts at a time when many Amer­i­cans are pre­oc­cu­pied with a market–driven cul­ture of enter­tain­ment, and schools are con­sumed with meet­ing fed­er­al stan­dards. Art brings joy, these advo­cates say, or it evokes our human­i­ty, or, in the words of my 10–year–old daugh­ter, “It cools kids down after all the oth­er hard stuff they have to think about.”

Bol­ster­ing the case for the arts has become increas­ing­ly nec­es­sary in recent years, as school bud­get cuts and the move toward stan­dard­ized test­ing have pro­found­ly threat­ened the role of the arts in schools. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2002, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment start­ed assess­ing school dis­tricts by their stu­dents’ scores on read­ing and math­e­mat­ics tests.

As a result, accord­ing to a study by the Cen­ter on Edu­ca­tion Pol­i­cy, school dis­tricts across the Unit­ed States increased the time they devot­ed to test­ed subjects—reading/language arts and math—while cut­ting spend­ing on non–tested sub­jects such as the visu­al arts and music. The more a school fell behind, by NCLB stan­dards, the more time and mon­ey was devot­ed to those test­ed sub­jects, with less going to the arts. The Nation­al Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion has report­ed that the cuts fall hard­est on schools with high num­bers of minor­i­ty chil­dren.

And the sit­u­a­tion is like­ly to wors­en as state bud­gets get even tighter. Already, in a round of fed­er­al edu­ca­tion cuts for 2006 and 2007, arts edu­ca­tion nation­al­ly was slashed by $35 mil­lion. In 2008, the New York City Depart­ment of Education’s annu­al study of Read the rest of this entry »

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