Mind Shift

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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How Parents Can Help Kids Develop A Sense Of Purpose

Jack Bacon was 16 and a junior in high school when his mother died. Though he felt “broken” over her death, he continued to strive in school and sports and pretended to be strong for his sister. Bacon had always been a motivated, goal-oriented student and athlete. But sometime after his mother’s death, following a period of reflection, Bacon felt newly infused with a sense of purpose.

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To Engage Students and Teachers, Treat Core Subjects Like Extracurriculars

Education researchers Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine have been observing different school systems over the past six years in an attempt to document the variables that contribute to deeper learning. But as they spent more time in schools, it was hard to ignore the ways in which the activity around the edges of institutions — elective courses, extracurricular activities — was where students and teachers “were most fired up,” said Fine, a postdoctoral student at Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

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4 Games to Spark Empathy-building in the Classroom

Can technology help kids develop empathy? Due to the rise of virtual reality experiences, there’s been some buzz lately about the impact technology might have on how we understand and share the feelings of others.

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School Bullying Is Down. Why Don’t Students Believe It?

Read this article if you’re having a rough day. This is a rare story about positive social change.

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How ‘One Story’ Can Excite Students About Reading And Connecting With Community

Several years ago, Waltham High School educators were trying to think of some way to enliven summer reading. They had tried book lists and they had tried letting students just read what they wanted but they were missing a deeper level of student engagement.
“We felt like we needed something different that was more meaningful,” said English teacher Emilie Perna.

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Using Artificial Intelligence As a Teaching Assistant To Help With Questions Online

A couple of years ago, Ashok Goel was overwhelmed by the number of questions his students were asking in his course on artificial intelligence.
Goel teaches computer science at Georgia Tech, sometimes to large classes, where students can ask thousands of questions online in a discussion forum.
With a limited number of teaching assistants, or TAs, many of those questions weren’t getting answered in time. So, Goel came up with a plan: make an artificial intelligence “teaching assistant” that could answer some of students’ frequently asked questions.

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How Teachers Can Learn From One Another at Unconferences, Meet-ups and Edcamps

Technically, if one trusts the etymology, the best way for a teacher to confer with other educators would be an educator conference. Unfortunately, it’s often obligatory to passively listen to speeches and then “talk to someone next to you” about a prescribed topic. Meanwhile, the most enthusiastic listeners whisper to each other, or form mini-groups outside the conference walls, maybe even at a social gathering later that day.

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