Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ed Links (Now with Less Ed)

Chaim Soutine, “Return From School After the Storm”

The Future in Academic Reading: iRex Iliad review

We’re book people. The usual result is we’re laden down with overstuffed briefcases and bags every time we get on planes . . . . Since purchasing my Iliad, I’ve gotten this under control. Everything that I get in text format, I PDF in a big friendly font, and I upload to the Iliad before traveling.

[I want one when they get cheaper and a little better, and got a two-side-at-once scanner for our Department in preparation for the imminent death of boxes full of articles—you can take notes on the page and highlight with this thing—AS]

Working Mothers: Who's Opting Out?

Are mothers dropping out, or being pushed out, of the workforce? What are the labor statistics for moms as a whole? What are the trends among the more privileged women? Ours was an all-star panel—including Heather Boushey, Ellen Bravo, Linda Hirshman, Joan Williams, and a brilliant volunteer in the audience, Pamela Stone, each of whom has researched and written a great deal about working families.

Just Interesting: Is Atomic Radiation as Dangerous as We Thought?

A mounting number of studies are coming to some surprising conclusions about the dangers of nuclear radiation. It might not be as deadly as is widely believed.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Job Quality in the United States over the Three Most Recent Business Cycles (pdf)

Over the current business cycle, the share of "good jobs" fell substantially (2.3 percentage points), following much smaller drops over the same period in the 1980s (down 0.5 percentage points) and 1990s (down 0.1 percentage points) business cycles.

The Geography of Hate

The level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study.

Where the Wild Things Came From

How children's books evolved from morals to madcap fun. [A slide show.]

A new cosmopolitanism is in the air

Sociologist Ulrich Beck presents seven theses to combat the global power of capital.

The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start

By her reckoning, the artistic impulse is a human birthright, a trait so ancient, universal and persistent that it is almost surely innate. But while some researchers have suggested that our artiness arose accidentally, as a byproduct of large brains that evolved to solve problems and were easily bored, Ms. Dissanayake argues that the creative drive has all the earmarks of being an adaptation on its own. The making of art consumes enormous amounts of time and resources, she observed, an extravagance you wouldn’t expect of an evolutionary afterthought.

More Teens Victimized by Cyber-Bullies

The schoolyard bully has gone digital.

The Story of Measurement

The Story of Measurement covers not merely the obvious elements that we record – distance, time, temperature – but also the more intriguing: body mass, light frequencies, scientists’ peer group ratings and stress of both humans and building materials.

Let Me Count the Ways: A book in which one isn't the loneliest number.

And her haul of facts makes for a tasty bouillabaisse of the numbers found in language, math, love, literature and everyday life. For example, she tells us that, in the 18th century, the English Royal Treasury maintained their numerical accounts in the form of marks on wooden sticks called tallies. Having ported their system to paper, they began burning the vast number of outdated tally sticks in the furnaces beneath the Parliament buildings -- which set fire to the paneling and burned down both Houses!

Good Stories, Good Math

Preschoolers who can tell good stories develop good mathematical skills by the first grade

Automated decision-making: The death of expertise

Mr Ayres predicts that automated decision-making will soon see other professional jobs going the same way as that of the bank-loan officer, once well-paid and responsible and now a mere call-centre operative, paid peanuts to parrot the words a computer prompts. [And look what a wonderful job these loan officers did—AS]

Your preferences are in your genes: Genetic Influences on Economic Preferences

We find strong evidence that economic preferences are heritable. For altruism as well as risk preferences the genetic effect is significantly different from zero. In our best fitting models, the point estimates suggest that 35 percent of the variation in altruism and 27 percent of variation in risk preferences is explained by genetic influences.

Pierre Bourdieu

From Sociological Research Online, a special issue on Pierre Bourdieu: A Critical Tribute in Times of Uncertainty. [Scroll down—AS]

Pre-school Program Shown To Improve Key Cognitive Functions, Self-control

An innovative curriculum for pre-schoolers may improve academic performance, reduce diagnoses of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, and close the achievement gap between children from poor families and those from wealthier homes, according to new research.

Violent TV, Games Pack A Powerful Public Health Threat

Watching media violence significantly increases the risk that a viewer or video game player will behave aggressively in both the short and long term, according to a new study.


Kyle said...

Greetings. I am a fifteen year old student very much so interested in economics and education policy. For the past two years, I've invested upwards of 200 hours researching and writing a 30,000 word portfolio and policy paper on American education, for consideration for the Davidson Fellowship, a scholarship for gifted students, in March 2008.

The project's thesis is that there is a disparity between an enabling education and the means by which it is brought about, schooling, which as Mark Twain deadpanned, has "only managed to interfere with my education." I conclude that this is the result of the triumph of Horace Mann's common schools where social order is paramount over Jefferson's ideal of meritocratic education. In the resulting ambiguity of purpose (which, ironically, causes for the same mob of undifferentiated citizens that Mann so feared), schools are prone to indifference and gimmickery that fail to counteract the rise of apathy and restlessness.

The portfolio is a concise exploration of these issues - and is most critically: a 100-point policy paper proposing the reformation of our nation's schools. I posit that accountability, autonomy, and choice are the pillars of successful school reform, and go on to propose the duality of a national framework for funding (paid for by a national sales tax estimated at 6-7%) and standards, but individual school autonomy over curriculum (arts, science oriented, et al ). Additional systems are proposed to address the inequalities that wreck our nation's school system.

I've been humbled by the tremendous response this paper has generated thus far, reviewed by not only my own principal and superintendent, but Dr. Thomas Hoerr and Jan Borelli as well. Just this week, Morgaen Donaldson, a Harvard doctoral student who has been featured in Educational Leadership, has agreed to review the paper.

Your blog has been an invaluable asset in the development of this project - and humbly ask that it become evermore so of a pillar to this paper by featuring the project to your community. A post on your part - perhaps in the EdLinks column would be ceaselessly appreciated. I have established a website: americaneducationpaper.blogspot .com in which your community can review and critique the paper.

As a mixed-race student who attended a Head Start program as a child and am now enrolled in AP and advanced level courses, I believe that I offer what is at once an intensely unique, but vastly liberating vista on the issues I address. Dr. Thomas Hoerr has written: "This is a most impressive document ... It's too bad that policy-makers don't have your depth of understanding."

I appreciate your consideration.

A tremendous thanks,
Kyle Hutzler.

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