This week in education news, 12 Texas students injured in outdoor science experiment involving fire; student misconceptions about the teaching profession, as well as a lack of discussion on the part of professors, contribute to the current shortage of STEM teachers; President Trump’s new budget proposal would boost school choice; and according to NCTQ’s new report only 16 teacher prep programs ranked as top tier.
An outdoor science experiment involving fire at a Texas Presbyterian preschool went terribly wrong Tuesday, injuring 12 students — six of whom were transported to a hospital with burns. A group of preschoolers were gathered outside to watch a teacher change the color of fire using different chemicals. The teacher mixed boric acid with methanol and tried to light it on fire. Nothing happened, so the teacher added more alcohol and lit the mixture again. Then there was an explosion. Click here to read the article featured in the Washington Post.
Even with the best technology in the world, there is one key element that determines student success: a high-quality, highly-effective teacher. In fact, some research estimates that teachers can impact students’ lifetime earnings by 10 to 20 percent, which can increase the U.S. gross domestic product by tens of trillions of dollars. And professional development (PD) is critical in helping teachers as they continue to hone their skills and evolve as educators. But what kind of PD is most effective, and does the kind of PD that helps teachers best change as teachers become more experienced? Click here to read the article featured in eSchool News.
After-school programs can help students develop an interest in science, technology, engineering or math. In a national survey last year, more than 78 percent of children said they’d had a positive experience with the STEM subject areas because of an after-school program, according to new research from the PEAR Institute at Harvard University, McLean Hospital and IMMAP: Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis and Policy at Texas Tech University. The survey included 1,600 children and after-school program leaders in 11 states. Click here to read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.
America’s colleges and universities have fallen short for decades in providing K-12 schools with teachers, particularly secondary school teachers, in the high-need STEM fields of physics, chemistry, math, and computer science. These shortages continue to have an impact on the quality of STEM education with the ripple effect of discouraging young students from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math themselves. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.
President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 spending proposal would ax the Department of Education budget by $9 billion while pouring an additional $1.4 billion into school choice programs. The blueprint offers the first concrete insight into the administration’s education policy priorities and would make good on the Trump team’s goals of shrinking the federal government and helping students in failing schools by allowing them to attend the school of their choice, public or private. Click here to read the article featured in U.S. News & World Report.
It’s one thing when master teachers successfully implement learning games in a carefully controlled research study. But engaging students through game-based learning (GBL) means little unless the games are easy to implement and effective where they matter most—in the classroom. For district leaders, teachers, and edgame developers, this involves an ongoing balancing act of engagement, pragmatic learning and in-class application. Click here to read the article featured in EdSurge.
A new wave of teaching science is taking shape at Kittatinny Regional High School and its sending districts, steering students away from learning about facts from a textbook and into learning real-world applications of science, complete with hands-on experiments and big-picture concepts. Adopted by the New Jersey Board of Education in 2014, the Next Generation Science Standards are state mandated for K-12, and according to the New Jersey Department of Education’s Science Coordinator Michael Heinz, the standards shift a student’s thought process to “how things happen, why things happen and how the world works. Click here to read the article featured in the New Jersey Herald.
Lesser-known Hope College in Holland, MI; Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN; Messiah College in Grantham, PA; and St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN surface on a shortlist of the best undergraduate programs for preparing high school teachers, alongside Arizona State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota. What puts them there? According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, each has “solid admission standards, provide sufficient preparation in each candidate’s intended subject area and show them how best to teach that subject.” Many also do well in teaching future teachers how to manage a classroom and in providing high quality practice opportunities. Click here to read the article featured in Campus Technology.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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