Learning, Teaching & Leading Today
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Memory Test: A History Of U.S. Citizenship Education and Examination

"Background/Context: While much has been written about the history of immigration and naturalization in the United States, few scholars have looked at the history of citizenship education and testing. The small body of literature on the subject has primarily focused on World War I-era Americanization efforts and, as such, has excluded later periods. Further, while it has looked at citizenship education programs, it has usually done so without considering the context of the high stakes exam that immigrants must pass in order to become citizens.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Each year, tens of thousands of would-be American citizens set out to conquer the U.S. citizenship test. To do so, they must be prepared to answer 10 fact-oriented questions about American government, history, and geography selected by a naturalization examiner from a master list of 100. A score of six correct answers earns citizenship. Consequently, aspiring citizens memorize the number of Amendments to the Constitution, the branches of government, the names of three of the original American colonies, and the location of the Statue of Liberty. Most immigrants pass.

This article seeks to understand the roots of the memory test that currently serves as America’s gauge of fitness for citizenship. In looking back over 100 years of history, it seeks to explore how a once highly pluralistic approach to education and an anxiety-producing system of testing conducted by naturalization courts became what we know today. By asking how we got here, it also implicitly asks whether we want to maintain this status quo or seek out change."
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About – workisnotajob.

About – workisnotajob. | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Via BrainPickings.org
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Flipped Classroom: Beyond the Videos

Flipped Classroom: Beyond the Videos | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Last week, I [Catlin Tucker] read an interesting blog post by Shelley Blake-Plock titled "The Problem with TED ed." It got me thinking about the flipped classroom model and how it is being defined."

"I wish the conversation focused more on what actually happens in a flipped classroom. If we move lecture or the transfer of knowledge online to create time and space in the physical classroom, how are we using that time to improve learning for students? What is our role as the teacher in the flipped classroom? How are we maximizing the potential of the group when students are together to design collaborative, creative, student-centered activities and assignments? This is the part I want to hear more about!

For me, the beauty of the flipped classroom lies in the simple realization that instruction can take place in different mediums. We are no longer limited to a class period or a physical classroom. We have the opportunity to match the instructional activity with the environment that makes the most sense. Ramsey Musallam, defines 'flip teaching' as 'leveraging technology to appropriately pair the learning activity with the learning environment.' This flexibility is why technology has the potential to be so transformative in education."
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On Memorial Day Weekend, America Reckons With Torture | Bill Moyers

On Memorial Day Weekend, America Reckons With Torture | Bill Moyers | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Why it's important to face the truth about U.S. torture tactics as we honor Americans in uniform."

"This summer, it’s believed that the United States Senate’s intelligence committee finally will release a report on 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' that euphemistic phrase for what any reasonable person not employed by the government would call torture. The report has been three years in the making, with investigators examining millions of classified documents. The news service Reuters says the report will conclude that techniques such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation do not yield worthwhile intelligence information.

So here we are, into our eleventh year after 9/11, still at war in Afghanistan, still at war with terrorists, still at war with our collective conscience as we grapple with how to protect our country from attack without violating the basic values of civilization — the rule of law, striving to achieve our aims without corrupting them, and restraint in the use of power over others, especially when exercised in secret.

In future days and years, how will we come to cope with the reality of what we have done in the name of security?  Many other societies do seem to try harder than we do to come to terms with horrendous behavior commissioned or condoned by a government. Beginning in 1996, in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held hearings at which whites and blacks struggled to confront the cruelty inflicted on human beings during apartheid.

And perhaps you caught something said the other day by the president of Brazil, Dilma Roussef.  During the early 70′s, she was held in prison and tortured repeatedly by the military dictators who ruled her country for nearly 25 years. The state of Rio de Janeiro has announced it will officially apologize to her. Earlier, when she swore in members of a commission investigating the dictatorship, President Roussef said: 'We are not moved by revenge, hate or a desire to rewrite history. The need to know the full truth is what moves us.'

In other words, 'You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.'"
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Why Next Generation Science Standards?

Watch this video to learn more about the Next Generation Science Standards and why now is the right time for them.
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New Classroom Science Standards Up for Review

"The first substantial update to national science teaching standards in roughly 15 years — and the first including the science of human-driven climate change — is open for public comment through this month. 

 

The effort has been directed by Achieve, an organization created by states and corporate backers eager to boost student performance and prospects as science and technology increasingly drive economies. The final (optional) standards will help guide states in shaping science curricula and requirements.

 

The foundation for the standards was laid in a National Academy of Sciences report. Other groups involved in the effort are the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Teachers Association and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has provided much of the money."

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Earliest music instruments found

Earliest music instruments found | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Researchers have identified what they say are the oldest-known musical instruments in the world.

 

The flutes, made from bird bone and mammoth ivory, come from a cave in southern Germany which contains early evidence for the occupation of Europe by modern humans - Homo sapiens.

 

Scientists used carbon dating to show that the flutes were between 42,000 and 43,000 years old."

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12 Most Foolproof Ways to Keep People Awake During Your Presentation

12 Most Foolproof Ways to Keep People Awake During Your Presentation | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Most people would rather face the electric chair than sit through a PowerPoint presentation. This is fairly sound reasoning, considering most PowerPoints are capable of boring someone to death.


It’s unfortunate that so many PowerPoint presentations are poorly constructed and delivered, because when executed properly they can be tremendously persuasive.


Here’s how to get the most out of your presentation:

 

1. Have a point

2. Do an outline

3. When in doubt, leave it out

4. Highlight personal benefits

5. Use powerful images

6. Use images to simplify complex ideas

7. Use slides for emphasis, not exposition

8. Use humor, carefully and selectively

9. Ask great questions

10. Rehearse again and again

11. Solicit audience feedback afterwards

12. Watch yourself on video

 

To read the whole post, go here: http://12most.com/?p=18805.

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Obama’s Journey to Reshape Afghan War

Obama’s Journey to Reshape Afghan War | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"When President Obama joins other NATO leaders Sunday and Monday, the full extent of how his Afghan strategy has changed — from “war of necessity” to withdrawal on his terms — will be apparent."

"Mr. Obama began to question why Americans were dying to prop up a leader, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who was volatile, unreliable and willing to manipulate the ballot box. Faced with an economic crisis at home and a fiscal crisis that Mr. Obama knew would eventually require deep limits on Pentagon spending, he was also shocked, they said, by what the war’s cost would be if the generals’ counterinsurgency plan were left on autopilot — $1 trillion over 10 years. And the more he delved into what it would take to truly change Afghan society, the more he concluded that the task was so overwhelming that it would make little difference whether a large American and NATO force remained for 2 more years, 5 more years or 10 more years."
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Why The U.S. Is Aggressively Targeting Yemen : NPR

Why The U.S. Is Aggressively Targeting Yemen : NPR | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Yemen is now considered to be 'the greatest external threat facing the U.S. homeland in terms of terrorism,' says investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill."

 

"Scahill, the national security correspondent for The Nation, has reported from the ground in Yemen, the home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. The group was behind the attempted 'underwear bombing' in December 2009 and the attempted parcel bombings in 2010.

 

Scahill talks about the recent leadership shifts in Yemen and increased drone strikes in the country, including one that killed Fahd al-Quso, who played a role in the USS Cole bombing, and the deadly attack against Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen who was involved with AQAP.

 

Scahill tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that increased drone attacks by the U.S. military have led to many civilian casualties in Yemen, and a growing resentment and anger toward the United States.

 

'Because the drone strikes started by President Obama's administration in 2009 have not been precise, what I saw was Yemenis starting to say, 'The enemy of the enemy is my friend. If the United States is saying they're fighting AQAP but they're killing our children and our grandchildren and our wives, then we're terrorists too,' ' he says."

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6 Apps Every Aspiring Poet Should Have On Their Device [iOS]

6 Apps Every Aspiring Poet Should Have On Their Device [iOS] | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

By Dave LeClair

 

"It seems like there is no hobby or topic a person could be interested in that does not “have an app for that.” For poetry, I was shocked in regards to just how many iPhone apps are available and how many different things they can do. There are apps for writing poems, finding words that rhyme, reading other’s poems for inspiration, finding writing prompts and even watching videos of people performing their poetry live. If there is something you want your iPhone to do that is related to poetry, an app can handle it."


Via Jim Lerman
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CompetencyWorks: Learning from the Cutting Edge

CompetencyWorks is a new website highlighting innovations, promising practices and solutions for tough issues that educators, administrators and policymakers face when shifting from a time-based system towards competency-based education, launched today at http://competencyworks.org

 

CompetencyWorks' five-part, working definition of high quality competency education:

1. Students advance upon mastery.
2. Competencies include explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that empower students.
3. Assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students.
4. Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
5. Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions.

 

This site will provide models and research about competency-based approaches and help us with our research on personalizing learning. 


Via Barbara Bray
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Create stuff... today!

Create stuff... today! | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"YOU CAN DO IT...


'If I [Frederic Terral] can do it, so can you.' That’s what I’ve been preaching to friends and colleagues since I started this terrain. Late nights, early mornings and sacrificed weekends is what it takes, but the rewards offset the inconveniences. So many of these crazy talented folks are dissatisfied with their professional lives so I wrote The Manifesto to be that annoying 'you can do it' voice in the background. The Manifesto also gets a bit preachy about the sacrifice of the arts in our schools, because as a father of little ones I want them to master their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s AND their Red-Green-Blues and E-A-D-G-B-Es. This page also features links to right brain propaganda and right-brainers I revere. The links will continue to evolve indefinitely so check back periodically."

 

Via BrainPickings.org

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The Cult of Done Manifesto

The Cult of Done Manifesto | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

Via BrainPickings.org
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Bryan Magee’s In-Depth, Uncut TV Conversations With Famous Philosophers (1978-87)

Bryan Magee’s In-Depth, Uncut TV Conversations With Famous Philosophers (1978-87) | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Bryan Magee comes from a tradition that produced some of the twentieth century’s most impressive media personalities: that of the scholarship-educated, Oxbridge-refined, intellectually omnivorous, occasionally office-holding, radio- and television-savvy man of letters. Students and professors of philosophy probably know him from his large print oeuvre, which includes volumes on Popper and Schopenhauer as well as several guides to western philosophy and the autobiographical Confessions of a Philosopher. He also wrote another memoir called The Television Interviewer, and philosophically inclined laymen may fondly remember him as just that. When Magee played to both these strengths at once, he came up with two philosophical television shows in the span of a decade: Men of Ideas, which began in 1978, and The Great Philosophers, which ran in 1987. Both series brought BBC viewers in-depth, uncut conversations with many of the day’s most famous philosophers."
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True size of Africa

True size of Africa | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Online maps that we use for directions use the Mercator projection, and this tends to dictate how we perceive the size of countries and continents. If you look at the world map on Google, for example, Africa doesn't look that much bigger compared to China or the United States. In reality though, it's a lot bigger. Kai Krause scales countries by their area in square kilometers and then fits them into a Africa's borders for some perspective."

Via Mark Richardson
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On the Allure Of Ostriches And New Paths In Climate Communication

On the Allure Of Ostriches And New Paths In Climate Communication | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"The study, published last November in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, substantiates that when confronted with a distressing and complex issue that they know very little about, such as climate change, people are motivated to avoid learning more about it. Shepard and Kay, the authors of his paper call this 'motivated avoidance.' Their article explains how an 'ignorance is bliss' philosophy may thwart important social information from penetrating the minds of the public.

 

So, if current educational strategies turn people off and motivate them to defer to government authorities or scientists to make decisions rather than trusting themselves to think critically or to change the world, how do we teach about troubling topics? A key to teaching youth about climate change is to teach critical thinking and to teach youth to take action on what they have learned.

 

The ability of a person to believe in their power to make change in their own life and in the world at large is called self-efficacy. In his book 'Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control,' Albert Bandura of Stanford University’s Department of Psychology documents “efficacy beliefs” in people’s lives and how they affect personal and social change. 'Efficacy beliefs shape the outcomes people expect their efforts to produce… 'People of low self-efficacy are easily convinced of the futility of effort in the face of impediments. Those of high self- efficacy view impediments as surmountable through perseverance.'"

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Scientist: Evolution Debate Will Soon Be History

Scientist: Evolution Debate Will Soon Be History | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

 

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that 'even the skeptics can accept it.'

 

'If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive,' Leakey says, 'then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges.'

 

Leakey, a professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island, recently spent several weeks in New York promoting the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya. The institute, where Leakey spends most of his time, welcomes researchers and scientists from around the world dedicated to unearthing the origins of mankind in an area rich with fossils.

 

His friend, Paul Simon, performed at a May 2 fundraiser for the institute in Manhattan that collected more than $2 million. A National Geographic documentary on his work at Turkana aired this month on public television."

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Liza Featherstone for Aljazeera: The US Public School System is Under Attack

Liza Featherstone for Aljazeera: The US Public School System is Under Attack | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"New York, NY - The US public school system, once a model for the world, is under sustained attack by the nation's elites. Philadelphia, the latest casualty, is getting ready to sell off its schools - and their governance - to profiteers and snake-oil salesmen. We already know how this story ends.

 

The Philadelphia school system announced in late April that it was on the brink of insolvency and would be turned over to private operators, dissolving most remnants of democratic governance. Specifically, if the city's leaders have their way, 64 of the city's neighbourhood public schools will close over the next five years, and by 2017, 40 per cent of the city's children will attend charter schools. These are are privately run schools that use public funds. Perhaps most disturbingly to those who value democracy and doubt the wisdom of corporate elites, the city will have no oversight of its own school system. Schools will instead be governed by "networks", control of which will be auctioned off through a bidding process, and could be bestowed on anyone - including a CEO of a for-profit education company.

 

The situation in Philadelphia, which has received amazingly little attention from the national media in the US, offers a disturbing window onto what the US elite is planning for the rest of our public schools - disturbing because Philadelphia's experience has already demonstrated that turning public education over to private entities will ultimately lead to its destruction."

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If Students Are Digital Natives Why Don't They Like Our E-learning?

If Students Are Digital Natives Why Don't They Like Our E-learning? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"A new report has been published by Toronto-based Higher Education Strategy Associates with the superb title The State of E-Learning in Canadian Universities, 2011: If Students Are Digital Natives, Why Don’t They Like E-Learning?It's a study of Canadian students' attitudes to e-learning and finds, not surprisingly that today's students are not so enthusiastic towards universities' net-based courses as we would expect."

 

"... the report ends with some very relevant thoughts. Maybe students' lukewarm attitude to e-learning is because the e-learning on offer is simply not very compelling or well designed? What if the e-learning of today is simply a pale electronic version of traditional teaching and therefore is always compared to the "real thing." Maybe we haven't actually changed anything, we've just put the classroom on the net without much thought of why we might want to do that.

 

'Another way to read the data is simply that the e-learning resources being deployed in Canadian universities aren’t of high enough quality to really engage a very digitally-savvy student population. Perhaps with more investment not just in the user interface but in the integration of in-person and online learning, e-learning resources can move from being a technology that helps students find alternatives to being in class to a technology that actually enhances and is additive to their inclass experience.'"

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A List of 20 Free Tools for Teachers to Create Awesome Presentations and Slideshows

A List of 20 Free Tools for Teachers to Create Awesome Presentations and Slideshows | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

A List of 20 Free Tools for Teachers to Create Awesome Presentations and Slideshows


Via Steve Yuen, Let's Learn IT
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Australia: Principals Must Blog and Tweet

Australia: Principals Must Blog and Tweet | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Principals will be encouraged to blog, tweet and use a school Facebook page to communicate with parents and the local community."

 

"The initiative is part of a broader strategy to improve leadership in public education to be announced today by Education Minister Grace Portolesi in the third policy direction discussion paper.

 

New technologies present many opportunities to assist schools and preschools to stay in touch with their communities and with each other, the paper stated.

 

'Social media has become a part of our lives and gives schools an opportunity to communicate with parents and the wider community,' Ms Portolesi said.

 

'Some schools already use Facebook and blogs as an opportunity to communicate directly with their community and this is something we could see extended.'

 

SA Primary Principals Association president Steve Portlock said greater use of social media would be a challenge for principals but was a good thing."

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Novelist Hilary Mantel On The Age Of Henry VIII: NPR

Novelist Hilary Mantel On The Age Of Henry VIII: NPR | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"We go back to the deadly intrigues in the court of Henry VIII with celebrated 'Wolf Hall' author, Hilary Mantel."

 

"Henry VIII and his many wives have made for winking fun for centuries. His beheading of Anne Boleyn, high drama. His break with the Pope and dispatch of Thomas More, moral drama.

 

Hilary Mantel’s bestselling historical novel “Wolf Hall” made it all, once again, a gripping read. And it made a whole new hero of the story’s anti-hero, Thomas Cromwell – the Tony Soprano of the Tudor age. The low-born commoner who became the calculating power beside the lusting king. Now there’s more.

 

This hour, On Point: Henry VIII, Hilary Mantel, and her sequel, 'Bring Up the Bodies.'"

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The Myths That Prevent Change

The Myths That Prevent Change | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Myths are pernicious barriers to innovation because they are so deeply and silently embedded in an organization that they almost hypnotize it. I've been recently inspired by I miti del nostro tempo (The Myths of Our Time), a book by the Italian philosopher Umberto Galimberti. He says that 'myths are ideas that own and govern us by means that are not logical but psychological, and therefore are rooted in the depths of our soul. These are ideas that we have mythologized because they give no problems, they facilitate judgment; in a word, they reassure us.'

Galimberti talks of individuals. But the same dynamics happen in organizations.

What's the remedy? Galimberti's advice is that because 'myths prevent us from deeply understanding the world ... we must therefore put our myths under critical scrutiny...'"
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