Katrina Schwartz

What Advantages Come With Breaking Up Strict Grade Levels in High School?

Multiage classrooms are not common in public elementary schools, but when they exist they aren’t a huge surprise. Montessori schools have celebrated the benefits of mixed age groups for decades, but the practice hasn’t often spread to high school.

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Why Teachers Should Help Students Learn Effective Study Strategies

For teachers, the carefully controlled conditions of education research can seem ridiculous when the reality of the classroom involves regular interruptions, absences and general chaos.

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Why Effective Practice Is Just As Important As the Hours of Practice

Practice is an important part of becoming skilled at anything, which may be why there are so many axiom’s like “practice makes perfect” floating around common parlance. But what’s happening in the brain when we practice?
Researchers believe that practice helps build up the protective layer of myelin, the fatty substance that protects axons in the brain. Axons move electrical signals from the brain to our muscles and when they are better protected by thick myelin they move more efficiently, creating an “information superhighway” between the brain and muscles.

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Projects, Passion, Peers and Play: Seymour Papert’s Vision For Learning

Many of the ideas that have become popular in education today like the power of projects and collaboration — not to mention the way technology could change learning — are rooted in ideas put forward by Seymour Papert, who died in 2016. His legacy lives on at the MIT Media Lab, where Mitch Resnick, a key figure behind the development of the kids programming language Scratch, tries to carry Papert’s ideas forward.

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The Essential Underpinnings Of Shifting to ‘Modern Learning’

Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon are two longtime education activists and reformers who have become increasingly convinced that the current education model is not preparing students for a world in which computers can do much of what humans used to do and in which creative thinking is highly prized. They consult with school leaders around the world for their company Educating Modern Learners.

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Be The Change You Want to See By Shifting Traditional High School

Great ideas and extraordinary teaching happen in public school classrooms all over the country, but these pockets of innovation often don’t get the attention they deserve. More often the schools held up as models for the future of learning started with a carefully articulated vision around change, a hand-picked staff, and even some startup capital. Changing the traditional approaches to teaching and learning that have been in place for decades within an existing school is extremely difficult work.

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How Play Is At The Heart of Many World-Changing Inventions

The phrase “necessity is the mother of all invention,” is often used to describe how creative humans can be when they are trying to survive or protect something they love. But humanity also has a long history of coming up with new ideas and fantastical inventions when the creator has space to explore and discover.

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Why Giving Effective Feedback Is Trickier Than It Seems

Teachers intuitively know that giving feedback on student work is an important part of the learning process. Research on different learning strategies conducted by John Hattie bears out what many know instinctively to be true — in order to improve at something humans need to know what they’re doing well and how they can improve.

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All Students Can Find Power in Thinking Like Computer Scientists

In recent years there’s been a lot of emphasis on teaching kids computer science both in high school and at much younger ages.

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Five Ways To Shift Teaching Practice So Students Feel Less Math Anxious

Math has been a traditionally thorny subject in many American schools. Lots of children dislike math and many more adults stopped taking mathematics as soon as they are able, even when they were successful in their classes. At the same time, mathematical thinking is a crucial part of many of the most exciting and growing careers in science, technology, engineering and math, not to mention important for a general understanding of the mathematical world around us. So, what can U.S. math educators do to shift this dynamic?

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