Homework Optional at School in St. Paul, Minnesota

A school in St. Paul, Minnesota is trying something new. Instead of grading students based on homework, tests, extra-credit and participation, it will assess them solely on how well they understand the material, either through tests or projects. According to The Star Tribune, the director of teaching and learning for the district. “I’d love toContinue reading “Homework Optional at School in St. Paul, Minnesota”

Broward County, Florida, Sets Limits on Homework

Last week, the Broward County School Board in Florida approved new homework guidelines that suggest that teachers not assign too much homework and that the homework that is assigned be meaningful. According to The Sun Sentinel, the policy requires teachers to “provide ‘timely and appropriate feedback’ on assignments, be sensitive about the costs of materialsContinue reading “Broward County, Florida, Sets Limits on Homework”

Denver Billboard Urges Parents to Opt Out of State Testing

The Coalition for Better Education, a nonprofit started in 2004 by a group of aspiring teachers to push for the elimination of the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP), has put up billboards in the Denver area to urge parents to opt out of testing. The main emphasis of the group is to let parents knowContinue reading “Denver Billboard Urges Parents to Opt Out of State Testing”

New Study: Stress Disrupts Human Thinking

A new neuroimaging study on stressed-out students suggests that male humans, like male rats, don’t do their most agile thinking under stress. The findings, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that 20 male M.D. candidates in the middle of preparing for their board exams had a harder timeContinue reading “New Study: Stress Disrupts Human Thinking”

New Study Shows Importance of Recess

While any reader of this blog knows the importance of recess, it’s always nice to read a new study that backs that claim. The study, “School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior,” which was just released on January 26 and published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “suggests that recess may playContinue reading “New Study Shows Importance of Recess”

New Zealand Study Finds Teacher Feedback Important

A major study conducted at a New Zealand University and based on research into 83 million students around the world found that “the key to effective teaching is the quality of the feedback students get and their interaction with teachers.” According to New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times, the study casts serious doubt on the importanceContinue reading “New Zealand Study Finds Teacher Feedback Important”

Scarsdale, New York, High School Phases out Advanced Placement

According to an article in The New York Times, “A year after Scarsdale became the most prominent school district in the nation to phase out the College Board’s Advanced Placement courses — and make A.P. exams optional — most students and teachers here praise the change for replacing mountains of memorization with more sophisticated andContinue reading “Scarsdale, New York, High School Phases out Advanced Placement”

A Walk in Nature Improves Attention in Children with ADHD

A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois shows that children with ADHD demonstrate greater attention after a 20-minute walk in a park than after a similar walk in a downtown area or a residential neighborhood. According to one of the researchers, “we found that after the walk in the park children generally concentratedContinue reading “A Walk in Nature Improves Attention in Children with ADHD”

Homework Ban in India Needs to be Enforced

Two years ago, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India instituted a recommendation banning homework for primary students. According to a report issued at the time, “It is felt that at this age, learning should be as informal and joyous as possible so that there is time and scope for nourishing the mentalContinue reading “Homework Ban in India Needs to be Enforced”