Member Stories

#tellEWA Member Stories (March 11-17)
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week:

Teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was a crime in 1920s Kentucky, and back then, 20 other states also considered anti-evolution measures. The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore makes the connection between this centuries-old battle over public education with today’s efforts to restrict the way race is taught in public schools – showing how history repeats itself.  

“Real learning is hard work and it often doesn’t feel good.” Research shows that most people learn more by trying something new themselves rather than passively listening to lectures in college. Yet, surveys show students seem to prefer lectures. Harvard’s physics department conducted A/B-tests to check the validity of ‘anti-lecture studies” and received surprising results,” Jill Barshay explains for The Hechinger Report.

 

After experiencing inappropriate instruction on topics like slavery and the lynching of Black people, three high school students intended to present, “What We Need Our Teachers to Know About Race” at a social justice and equity conference. The students felt “silenced” and “doubly dismissed” when state education officials postponed the event due to a bill – now a law – restricting how racism can be taught, reports Kalyn Belsha for Chalkbeat.

“… He’s in a class where he could be labeled as a ‘failure’ or ‘failing’”: A 16-year-old entrepreneur’s woodworking business took off – so much that he rushed through schoolwork, put off studying and ended up in a credit-recovery class. Nothing in the student’s transcript shows his drive and thirst for knowledge, but his teacher noticed, starting a discussion on how classrooms should be transformed to help students flourish beyond perfect grades, Kara Newhouse details for KQED’s MindShift.

The Cap TimesScott Girard created a multimedia-rich timeline showing how the pandemic affected the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin. He included videos of school board meetings, important health department tweets and coverage capturing the last two years of education.

“It’s concerning to see the number of applications declining. … How bad could it get down the road?”: Teacher shortages for subjects like English as a language, special education and high school math were worsened by the pandemic, leaving many districts unable to fill vacant positions, and some teachers surveyed say they want to quit, Madeline Will reports for Education Week.

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