Saturday, January 15, 2005

Extra Credit Assignment: Good Reading From Around The Education Mini-Sphere

Saturday evening is an excellent time to wonder around the Education Mini-Sphere and see what writers of education-related sites have been taking a look at within the last couple of days. As always, even if you are not an educator, these make poignant reads, as they involve educating our children.

Joanne Jacobs
is reporting about a career day that had some unexpected results. (Yes, it's the "stripper story," but after I stopped snickering, I had to consider The Question: "What if my own 13-year-old daughter [aka TeenWonk] had been there?")

Over at,
they point the way to an interesting (and detailed) article from The New Yorker. The piece has some fascinating information about how junior officers have used their own initiative and flexibility in order to better plan and execute combat and civil affairs operations in Iraq. Eduwonk tell us that some of the lessons learned regarding ideas and their dissemination could be applied to educational reform. (Here at the 'Wonks, we think that positive change of the public education system should involve The System listening to its junior officers.)

Sheryl, over at a school yard blog,
takes a thoughtful look at violence in our schools. (Here at the 'Wonks, all incidents of violence in our schools demand our closest attention. Meaningful school reform must begin with insuring that students have a safe learning environment.) We very much appreciate her tip to our earlier Extra Credit Assignment, which can be read here.

Jenny D. profiles the case of a New York City teacher that is put "on the spot" when faced with the delicate situation of a Muslim student who refuses to read her work aloud until after a male student has read first. Read part 1
here and then read part 2 there.

A practicing classroom teacher in the Bronx, ms. frizzle has
a true tale of the classroom about a lesson she taught her seventh-graders regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes. (Be sure to see one little girl's hilarious contribution at the end of the post.)

Bill, over at The Endless Faculty Meeting,
is letting us know about a "Scared Straight" type program designed to reduce the problem of truancy in Orange County, California. (This may be a worthwhile intervention when all else fails.)

The hipteacher
has a delightful post about how her students are fascinated by their teachers' personal appearances. (As a classroom teacher myself, I can affirm that the kids notice everything.)

Professor Plum
has published a neat unit for teaching students about the Classical Greeks and their contributions to our culture. (I'm going to pass this along to a blogger that teaches his seventh-grade students about the Greeks because the sixth-grade teachers no longer teach much history in his mid-sized California district. He says that this is because state-mandated tests only measure pupil progress in reading and math.)

Kimberly Swygert's Number 2 Pencil is covering a controversy surrounding the awarding of university scholarships to top high school students by the State of Maine. The rules have been changed, to the consternation of many.

Chris Correa has a neat post that seems to indicate the reasoning ability of children may remain stable thorough the years and more study is needed. (This makes me wonder about all those tests that I took when I was a young StudentWonk.)

King at SCSUS Scholars has some advice for students that feel academic bias is getting in the way of instruction on college campuses. (I have even heard of a couple of teachers "crossing the line" in my own California junior high school.)

Next Extra Credit Assignment: here

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