K-12 Education

8:33am

Fri July 18, 2014
NPR Ed

Q&A: Designing Playful Learning Spaces

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:40 pm

Margaret Middleton, Boston Children's Museum
Courtesy of Margaret Middleton

When we talk about playing and learning, we naturally think of children's museums. Most major cities offer some experience like this, where kids are able to get their hands dirty, and — shocking! — learn something at the same time.

The museums — at least the good ones — are always both engaging and interactive in a way that's fun for kids, but they're also fun for grown-ups too. As we've been reporting for our series on play next month, it got me wondering: What goes into creating great museum experiences, and how do designers go about them?

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2:15pm

Mon July 14, 2014
NPR Ed

For Most Kids, Nice Finishes Last

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 4:24 pm

Teens say their parents are teaching them that success smells sweeter than kindness.
Flickr

A new study holds up a mirror to America's parents. A researcher at Harvard surveyed 10,000 middle and high school students in 33 different schools around the nation about what they thought their folks cared about most: that they achieve at a high level, that they are happy (defined as "feeling good most of the time"), or that they care for others. Almost 80 percent of youth picked high achievement or happiness as their top choice, while about 20 percent selected caring for others.

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6:18am

Mon July 14, 2014
NPR Ed

Teaching 4-Year-Olds To Feel Better

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:35 pm

You're 4 years old, building a block tower. Another kid runs up and knocks it down. What do you do? A) Tell her that's against the rules. B) Go tell a teacher. C) Hit her. D) Start to cry. E) What did you say again?

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6:03am

Thu July 10, 2014
NPR Ed

From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 9:20 am

Julia Macias, a plaintiff and Los Angeles Unified School District middle school student, comments on the Vergara v. California lawsuit verdict in Los Angeles last month.
Damian Dovarganes AP

In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state's rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only grown louder. Advocates on both sides of the issues have largely stuck to "give-no-ground," press-release rhetoric that risks drowning out educators in the middle.

I've spoken with educators around the state since the ruling, including many who say they want protections but also real change.

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6:36am

Mon July 7, 2014
NPR Ed

What We Don't Know About Summer School

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 8:01 am

While their friends line up for ice cream, some students are stuck in summer school.
Bebeto Matthews AP

It's a warning echoed in countless teen movies — "If you don't pass this class, you'll go to summer school!" Kids for generations have been threatened with the elusive summer school: fail this test, miss this day and kiss your vacation goodbye.

This summer is no exception, with districts around the country pulling students in for all sorts of programs. But surprisingly, it's really hard to get a head count — either nationally or at the district level — of how many kids are going to summer school.

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