Launched to help educators help their students understand that originality matters, Plagiarism Education Week offers free webinars with tips for teachers, new resources for students on conducting better online research and proper citations, and a student poster contest.
Uncle Sam wants you – if you’re the best and brightest – for a new STEM Master Teacher Corps. The Obama administration’s ambitious $1 billion plan to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics seeks to create an elite cadre of exceptional STEM educators who can serve as curriculum innovators, classroom mentors, and instructional leaders in their schools and communities.
Can project-based STEM programs boost student achievement and engagement in all subjects? Massachusetts is betting on it. This fall, the Marlborough school district became the first of six systems to launch an engineering-focused STEM early-college initiative.
Despite the anxiety triggered by last spring’s nuclear disaster in Japan, nuclear power is still a key part of this country’s energy mix. Industry and universities are enlisting help from teachers in preparing the next generation of nuclear engineers and technicians.
Education reformers oversell the importance of highly skilled teachers and undervalue the benefits that come from teacher collaborations, according to a University of Pittsburgh specialist in organizations. An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review says students “showed higher gains in math achievement when their teachers reported frequent conversations with their peers that centered on math, and when there was a feeling of trust or closeness among teachers.”
New York City will eliminate a performance-bonus program for teachers and principals in light of new research showing that the three-year-old program did not improve student achievement at any grade level or teachers’ morale. “A lot of the principals and teachers saw the bonuses as a recognition and reward, as icing on the cake,” explained Julie Marsh, lead researcher of the RAND report.
Teacher layoffs nationwide threaten to make a bad STEM education situation worse, as more educators must cover subjects they are not certified to teach. A new survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that fewer than half the chemistry and physical science teachers in public high schools had degrees in those fields, with about 30 percent lacking certification in those subjects.
Forget politics and budget battles. Digital learning, not legislatures, represents the biggest threat to teachers’ unions, argues Stanford political science professor Terry Moe in his new book, Special Interest. Part history, part analysis of education trends, the book details the rise of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
Finland enjoys a surprising claim to fame: world-class K-12 education. Only a handful of nations come close to matching Finland in math, science, and literacy, and none boasts such uniformly high achievement rates across regions and income levels. How could the country produce 15-year-olds on par with Asia’s whiz kids? The answer may reside in teacher training and approach.