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To End Poverty, What Works, What Doesn't and Why: A Conversation with the Authors of 'Poor Economics'

To End Poverty, What Works, What Doesn't and Why: A Conversation with the Authors of 'Poor Economics' | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Knowledge@Wharton: What, in your view, is the best way to tackle poverty?

Abhijit Banerjee: The central point of our book is that there isn't a single answer, that the question itself is wrong. There is no single action that is going to solve the problem of poverty. There are perhaps a few hundred steps that we need to take, each of which will do something, as long as we take the right steps. There is no evidence that we could adopt one step that is far more important than the others. I think that the one-size-fits-all recipe for tackling poverty is an illusion. It is a convenient illusion, so that you can believe that you can solve the problem with a single step. But this does not seem to be supported by data.

Knowledge@Wharton: But surely of those hundreds of steps, there must be some crucial ones that come to mind when you talk of eliminating poverty?

Duflo: Yes, there are some crucial steps. I can't say they are the most important but these, as we know today, are very effective. However, that is not to say that in the future there will not be other steps which would be even more effective.

According to our current state of knowledge, there is a zone of shadow where we are not sure exactly what to do. But there are some things we do know that work across sectors. Educating children, for example, is one of them -- imparting quality education to them right from a young age. Similarly, there could be positive social and political impact of health care for the poor, which includes steps like better access to preventive health [and] finding ways to put iron, vitamins, etc., in the food that poor people consume, which we know will be good from a medical point of view. Giving an asset -- like a cow -- to extremely poor people, and then some help in taking care of that asset, also works. These, we feel, are some of the effective steps that can be taken in the initiative towards ending poverty."
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Is Your Student Prepared for Life?

"According to a recent poll conducted by AfterCollege, an online entry-level job site, 83 percent of college seniors graduated without a job this spring. Even when these young people finally do get jobs, the positions are often part time, low wage or not related to their career interests."
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Incentives Aid A.P. Science and Math Scores

Incentives Aid A.P. Science and Math Scores | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
A Pittsburgh high school took part in an initiative to raise its performance in math and science, but did its results match the high expectations?
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13 Tricks to Help You Remember What You’ve Learned

By exploring the techniques of recall and learning, improve your ability to remember.
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A school day in 7 TED Talks

Sharpen your pencils! It’s time to hit the books again, with these TED Talks that take you through a busy day of math, history, gym, lunch, English, science and art. No finals required.
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Fixing Our National Accountability System

Fixing Our National Accountability System | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"In this new report, Marc Tucker, NCEE’s President, calls for replacing the current system of test-based accountability with a system much more likely to result in improvements in student performance. Tucker points out that the current system has not only failed to improve the performance of the at-risk students it was designed to help, but has alienated the best of our current teachers and created an environment in which able young people choosing careers are less likely to choose teaching. • The report explains that the countries in which student performance is outstripping the achievement of American students are not using accountability systems like ours, which they view as more appropriate for industrial-era blue-collar workers than the kind of professionals they want in their schools. • Fixing Our National Accountability System argues for a much needed alternative to the kind of punitive accountability measures now dominating American policy. Fixing accountability will not just require a different accountability system but a different kind of education system altogether."
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A New Kind of College Ranking

A New Kind of College Ranking | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"School is almost back in session, and high school juniors and seniors are looking at colleges, trying to find the best fit. Families often turn to rankings, like US News and World Report. But this year, Washington Monthly magazine is out with a different kind of college ranking, one where neither Harvard nor Stanford come out on top. Editor Paul Glastris calls it the 'Bang for the Buck' list. "
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The Best Research On Listening To Music When Studying

I’ve published a few posts about the question of playing background music in the classroom, along with info on the practice of listening to music when studying. • I thought I’d bring them together in one post, and invite readers to contribute their own ideas and experiences, too. • I’ll be adding this 'Best' list to The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking. • Here goes: • This is a reprint of my first post on the topic. It’s worth looking at the original post because of the comments readers left:"
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Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom

"The following article is reprinted from the book Music and Learning by Chris Brewer, 1995. This book includes chapters on each method of integrating music in the curriculum. Music suggestions are included. • RESONATING WITH OUR LEARNING • 'Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.' --Ludwig van Beethoven • We all know how greatly music affects our feelings and energy levels! Without even thinking about it, we use music to create desired moods-- to make us happy, to enjoy movement and dance, to energize, to bring back powerful memories, to help us relax and focus. Music is a powerful tool for our personal expression within our daily lives-- it helps "set the scene" for many important experiences. • Throughout time, people have recognized and intentionally used the powerful effects of sound. In the 20th century the western scientific community has conducted research to validate and expand our analytical knowledge of music. This research supports what we know from personal experience: Music greatly affects and enhances our learning and living!"
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Study: To boost your odds of a successful marriage, have a big wedding

Study: To boost your odds of a successful marriage, have a big wedding | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"To improve your odds of a high-quality marriage, try not to have too many sexual partners before you meet “the one.” And when you do find him or her, consider inviting at least 150 people to your wedding.

 

That’s just some of the practical advice offered by a pair of psychology researchers from the University of Denver who have studied 418 people who participated in the Relationship Development Study. All of them were single and between the ages of 18 and 40 when they joined the study in 2007 and 2008, and all of them had tied the knot by the time the researchers checked in with them five years later. 

 

The goal was to identify patterns of behavior that tended to set people up for successful and fulfilling marriages. The researchers asked study volunteers questions about 'marital happiness, confiding in one another, believing things are going well in the relationship, and thoughts of divorce,' according to their report published this week. Those who ranked in the top 40% were considered to have 'high-quality marriages.'

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Confirmed: Microbial life found half mile below Antarctic ice sheet

Confirmed: Microbial life found half mile below Antarctic ice sheet | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
In an icy lake half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists have discovered a diverse ecosystem of single-celled organisms that have managed to survive without ever seeing the light of the sun.

 

"'I wasn't surprised to find life under there, but I was surprised how much life there was, and how they made a living,' said Priscu, who teaches at Montana State University. 'They are essentially eating the Earth.'

 

Priscu and his team report the discovery of close to 4,000 species of microbes growing in the cold, dark environment of Subglacial Lake Whillans in western Antarctica. Each quarter teaspoon  of the tea-colored lake water that they brought to the surface had about 130,000 cells in it, they write."

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Step by Step Guide on How to Use Google Drive to Collaborate With Others

Step by Step Guide on How to Use Google Drive to Collaborate With Others | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Google Drive has some wonderful features that enhance collaborative and group work. The video below by Andrew Boan walks you through the different collaborative features in Drive and shows you how to use each one of them."
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Teaching Is Not a Business

Teaching Is Not a Business | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Reformers misunderstand how central human relationships are to the educational process.

 

"Marketplace mantras dominate policy discussions. High-stakes reading and math tests are treated as the single metric of success, the counterpart to the business bottom line. Teachers whose students do poorly on those tests get pink slips, while those whose students excel receive merit pay, much as businesses pay bonuses to their star performers and fire the laggards. Just as companies shut stores that aren’t meeting their sales quotas, opening new ones in more promising territory, failing schools are closed and so-called turnaround model schools, with new teachers and administrators, take their place.


This approach might sound plausible in a think tank, but in practice it has been a flop. Firing teachers, rather than giving them the coaching they need, undermines morale. In some cases it may well discourage undergraduates from pursuing careers in teaching, and with a looming teacher shortage as baby boomers retire, that’s a recipe for disaster. Merit pay invites rivalries among teachers, when what’s needed is collaboration. Closing schools treats everyone there as guilty of causing low test scores, ignoring the difficult lives of the children in these schools — 'no excuses,' say the reformers, as if poverty were an excuse."

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The New Racism

The New Racism | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
This is how the civil rights movement ends.
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The New History Wars

The New History Wars | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Students need an unvarnished picture of our past and the skills to understand and interpret that picture.
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How Not to Apply to a College

How Not to Apply to a College | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try."

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The Importance of Change Management in Facilitating Instructional Technology Adoption

The Importance of Change Management in Facilitating Instructional Technology Adoption | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"While Technology Continues to Evolve, the 'Concerns Based Adoption Model' Remains as Relevant Today as it was in 1987 • I recently read a great article about supporting technology integration in schools by Dr. Salvatore Corda. Corda is a Board Member at The College of Westchester and an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. Corda is also a past Superintendent of the Peekskill, NY School District and Norwalk, CT schools. His article, 'Implementing Technology in Schools: The Change Agent’s Environment' discusses the use of Hall and Hord’s Concerns Based Adoption Model as a tool set to help educators as they adopt the use of new technologies in the classroom. • It might surprise readers to learn that this article was written over 20 years ago, but it is still totally applicable to technology adoption today … the fact is, effective change management techniques are timeless. A copy of the original article is available here. In this post, we will use excerpts from the article, and from a presentation Corda developed and delivers based on this work, to introduce these highly useful constructs."
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Imagining Successful Schools

One of the grand old men of education policy says test-based accountability has got to go.
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University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven

"Remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, BJ '77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus."

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How to Get Kids to Class

How to Get Kids to Class | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"For the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair. Given the hardships at home, poor kids might be expected to have the best attendance records, if only for the promise of a hot meal and an orderly classroom. • But it doesn’t usually work out that way. According to the education researchers Robert Balfanz and Vaughan Byrnes at Johns Hopkins, children living in poverty are by far the most likely to be chronically absent from school (which is generally defined as missing at least 10 percent of class days each year). • Amazingly, the federal government does not track absenteeism, but the state numbers are alarming. In Maryland, for example, 31 percent of high school students eligible for the federal lunch program had been chronically absent; for students above the income threshold, the figure was 12 percent. • Thanks to groundbreaking research compiled by Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, the director at Attendance Works, we have ample proof that everything else being equal, chronically absent students have lower G.P.A.s, lower test scores and lower graduation rates than their peers who attend class regularly."
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Don’t Listen to Music While Studying

Don’t Listen to Music While Studying | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Guest blogger David Cutler, a history, government and journalism teacher, asks us to face the music about whether or not listening our favorite tunes while studying actually helps our concentration.
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The lessons we can learn from the Demoulas fiasco

If you got fired, would your employees and customers exhibit some of this kind of loyalty?
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Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says

"WASHINGTON — The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.


The West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence of the direct involvement of the Russian military.

 

The Russian move represents a significant escalation of the Kremlin’s involvement in the fighting there and comes as a convoy of Russian trucks with humanitarian provisions has crossed into Ukrainian territory without Kiev’s permission."

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School survival guides published for children with autism

School survival guides published for children with autism | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Teachers’, students’ and parents’ handbooks address the challenges of returning to class
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Notre Dame Is Rocked by Charges of Academic Cheating

Notre Dame Is Rocked by Charges of Academic Cheating | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Notre Dame, a top college football program known for academic rigor, changed its media day plans at the last minute as it wrestles with allegations that players cheated on class work.
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Failure, Writing’s Constant Companion

Not having produced a best seller by 23 (or 36 or 54) is the least of your worries.

 

"Failure in writing is not like failure in business, where you lose money and have to fire everyone and remortgage your house. When you’re a writer, most of the time, people don’t depend on you to succeed. Although you may starve if your books don’t sell, or your agent might yell at you for producing something that three people will read, failure in writing is more of an intimately crushing day-to-day thing. O.K., minute-to-minute. Measured against your ideal of yourself."

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