Around the Web: Content Matters

In Education Week America, Peter W. Cookson Jr. argues that we need to overhaul the U.S. Department of Education, and he has a plan for turning it into “the world’s leading research-and-development center for the creation and dissemination of 21st-century learning.” Part of that plan involves thinking globally about education. Madeleine F. Green defines global citizenship and why our curricula should be teaching it. John Duffy argues that global citizenship is most reliably taught in first-year composition, where students learn to engage in the kind of ethical public discourse that’s in short supply among politicians these days.
Recursive ingredient list
Harvard’s own Kiernan Mathews has a plan for how the federal government should step in with grants to help promote teaching in a university culture that rewards research. Dean Dad respectfully disagrees, arguing that the money needs to be funneled directly into operating budgets—and specifically the budgets of the community colleges that do so much of the country’s college-level teaching.

The New York Times reports on the new pedagogical mandate of art museums that are going up on college campuses across the country, and on the creative things the Whitney Museum’s education programs are doing from their temporary quarters, in a time when many public schools are cutting back on their arts curricula.

Daniel Willingham argues that teaching content is the most effective way to teach reading, and a new study suggests that students learning E.D. Hirsch, Jr.’s Common Core curriculum do better than their peers—though some have pointed to flaws in the study’s methodology. James M. Lang is trying to revamp his survey course so that students can more easily connect what they’re learning with real issues in their world, and it’s gone fairly well so far, but he’s learning that “there may be three sluggish animals in the room when it comes to surveys: The first is the course itself, the second is the textbook, and the third is me.”

Marshall Poe argues for using the more engaging medium of video to present the kinds of nuanced and complex ideas that normally go into academic monographs. Speaking of videos, TED introduces TED Ed, a YouTube channel with 10-minute lessons geared for a younger audience. As Kayla Webley points out, the videos give students perspective on the larger purpose of what they’re learning, rather than the nuts and bolts of how to solve quadratic equations. And NPR reports on Speak Up and Bully, two recent movies about school bullying.

This post was written by Odile Harter.

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