A quote from my book: What’s the difference between teachers and chefs?

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Education more important than money for living a longer life?

From experience to meaning...

It’s of course something pleasant to write about for a person who’s life is largely dedicated to education, but this new study by Wolfgang Lutz and Endale Kebede, from IIASA and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) states that rather than the income, instead, the level of education a person has is a much better predictor of life expectancy.

This becomes clear if you compare the next two plots:

From the press release (bold by me):

Rising income and the subsequent improved standards of living have long been thought to be the most important factors contributing to a long and healthy life. However, new research from Wolfgang Lutz and Endale Kebede, from IIASA and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) has shown that instead, the level of education a person has is a much better predictor of life expectancy.

In 1975, Samuel Preston developed the Preston…

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A report of the OECD with a plea for more pedagogy in thinking about education, great but…

From experience to meaning...

There is a new report by the OECD called Teachers as Designers of Learning Environments: the Importance of Innovative Pedagogies, and a Teaching In Focus summary that can be read here.

The bottom line is the following:

Identifying clusters of innovative pedagogies is the first step in developing a broad international consensus of pedagogy across the teaching profession. Such a framework needs to start with the argument that teachers are high-level professionals whose professionalism revolves around collaborative pedagogical expertise. To call for a pedagogical framework is to recognise the key role of pedagogy, not to ask policies to dictate the best teaching methods. It is a matter of widening the skills of teachers to promote more interactive, horizontal and caring relationships with students. In focusing on the role of teachers as creative professionals, a framework for pedagogies calls for a form of teaching that retains a deliberate form…

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Are multi-age classes a bad idea for our youngest children?

From experience to meaning...

My wife discussed this new study past weekend with me and it’s quite fascinating. To be clear: the title of this post is something the researchers Ansari and Pianta published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly don’t actually state in their paper, but based on their research it is a question one could ask.

What is their research in brief:

  • This study examined heterogeneity in treatment effects of a coaching intervention.
  • We focus on the classroom age diversity as a potential moderator of treatment.
  • Coaching effects for children were greatest in classrooms with less age diversity.
  • The intervention had no benefits for children in classrooms with greater age diversity.
  • These differences were attributed largely to the role of classroom instructional quality.

So: coaching teachers to have better results worked, unless there was classroom age diversity? To be clear: this doesn’t say as such that multi-age groups in preschool are a bad…

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Looking at the research on screen time

Best Evidence in Brief Index

Courtney Nugent and Lauren Supplee from Child Trends have released a research brief on five ways screen time can benefit children and families. The brief looks at guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and links to multiple sources of research on the topic, such as journal articles in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction and Infant and Child Development.

The five recommendations are as follows:

  • Certain kinds of digital tools can support family interactions. For example, using video chat (Skype, Facetime, etc.) allows family members to connect with one another when in-person interactions may not be possible.
  • It’s important to support children’s healthy development through co-viewing and co-playing. For example, it is important that parents answer and ask questions about the material they are co-viewing, point out important concepts, and blend the content they are viewing together into their daily lives and routines.
  • Parents can choose…

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Looking at the research on screen time (Best Evidence in Brief)

From experience to meaning...

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time I’m picking this study from their overview:

Courtney Nugent and Lauren Supplee from Child Trends have released a research brief on five ways screen time can benefit children and families. The brief looks at guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and links to multiple sources of research on the topic, such as journal articles in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction and Infant and Child Development.
The five recommendations are as follows:
  • Certain kinds of digital tools can support family interactions. For example, using video chat (Skype, Facetime, etc.) allows family members to connect with one another when in-person interactions may not be possible.
  • It’s important to support children’s healthy development through co-viewing and co-playing. For example, it is important that parents answer and ask questions about the material they are co-viewing, point out important concepts…

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Teaching STEM at university is most of the time still giving lectures

From experience to meaning...

There is a new study which consists of an analysis of more than 2,000 college classes in science, technology, engineering and math. What this study published in Science has found is that 55 percent of STEM classroom interactions consisted mostly of conventional lecturing.Another 27 percent featured interactive lectures that had students participating in some group activities or answering multiple-choice questions with handheld clickers. But well, that is again a form of lecture. Only 18 procent was labeled by the authors as student-centered. This contradicts earlier studies, but there is an easy explanation says the press release:

Much of the previous research into STEM instruction has relied on surveying faculty about their practices. Though the resulting data has proven valuable, Stains said, the flaws of human memory and perception inevitably find their way into that data.

“Surveys and self-reports are useful to get people’s perceptions of what they are doing,”…

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