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Teaching Students How to Think and Argue Together Fake news, alternative facts, post-truth—we live in a time when people find it hard to agree on what to believe or do about many important societal problems, including climate change, gun violence, immigration, and health care. Moreover, we seem to be losing the ability to discuss complex questions in a rational, evidence-based, and respectful manner. Perhaps, we never learned how to do it in the first place.
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The Distrust Beneath the Recent Teacher Strikes Beginning with the well-publicized teacher walkouts in West Virginia and continuing this year in Los Angeles, Denver, and Oakland—teachers across the United States initiated strikes for a variety of reasons: to demand increased social services for students and smaller class sizes, to protest the movement toward the privatization of schools—which has led to budget crises and potential school closings—, and in opposition to other current reforms such as performance-based pay. Although the initial teacher walkouts in 2018 were short and symbolic and frequently organized through social networks, the more recent strikes have been initiated by teacher unions, lasted for days, and drawn wide support from community members and, in a few cities such as Oakland, principals and board members.
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Are In-State Resident Tuition Policies Improving the Health Outcomes of Mexican Noncitizen Immigrants? Amid heated immigration debates, researchers have primarily shown that restrictive immigration policies negatively impact Latina/o immigrant children and families’ health, education, and overall well-being. But what about policies created with a more welcoming spirit?
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Preparing Educators for a Faster Future: The Promise and Challenge of Project-Based Learning In their book Whiplash, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe talk about how best to prepare for a faster future, a future in which the pace of change will only accelerate. They argue for giving individuals more agency and freedom to experiment, to work together to find solutions to increasingly complex problems, and to prototype and iterate more quickly rather than engaging in lengthy planning processes. They also describe the need for more problem-based collaborations, in which people work together to solve a real problem by incorporating their different perspectives and diverse expertise to create a solution. What they describe sounds a lot like a form of education that has come in and out of popularity in the United States—project-based learning.
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Educator Solidarities over Competition: Lessons from 2018 The teachers of the Acero School Network, a charter management organization overseeing fifteen schools in Chicago, became the first charter network in history to stage a strike to protest low pay, poor working conditions, overcrowded classrooms, and “sanctuary” protections for the majority Latino population their schools serve.
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Racial (Mis)Match: Understanding the Phenomenon at a More Nuanced Level How does teacher race impact student achievement? Calls to hire more teachers of color stem, in part, from growing awareness that the US teaching force is predominantly white, but increasingly serves a diverse student population. Further, state-level studies have found that same-race teachers positively impact student outcomes, such as achievement and graduating high school (Egalite, Kisida, & Winters, 2015; Gershenson, Hart, Lindsay, & Papageorge, 2017; McGrady & Reynolds, 2013). While drawing more teachers of color into education is critical, the issue of racial matching in the classroom is complex and needs a more nuanced analysis.
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Trade-Offs Matter When Looking Abroad for Higher Education Solutions Until about a decade ago, American policy makers rarely looked abroad for policy solutions in higher education. After all, the United States was the country that invented mass higher education and perfected the research university: what could it learn from anyone else?
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Teaching Purpose for Resilience and Flourishing Adversity and trauma are all too common experiences for children and adolescents. Among the many challenges they pose, these experiences can be detrimental to school engagement and academic performance. According to one report, 48 percent of children and adolescents in the US have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) and 22.6 percent have experienced more than one. These experiences, which include parental divorce, witnessing domestic violence, abuse, and poverty, among others, are associated with impediments to school success, such as absence, disengagement from school, learning disabilities, and repeating a grade.
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Is It Possible for Authentic Youth-Adult Partnerships to Occur in Schools? It’s odd that the simple act of giving adolescents a voice in decisions about their own lives might be considered revolutionary; and yet, there is something revolutionary about the efforts to center students’ perceptions and needs in school-based decision making. Given the context of schooling today, we are sometimes left wondering: Is it possible for authentic youth-adult partnerships to exist in schools?
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Students’ Safety as a Top Priority? Safety is necessary for effective schooling. This is a sobering reminder worthy of earnest consideration, especially as children prepare to return to school for the start of another academic year.
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