empty classroom

Coronavirus UK – Why Closing Schools is (Generally) a Bad Idea

School closures are widely seen as a quick fix for COVID-19 transmission. The UK government’s resistance to this measure has provoked considerable concern, including a petition to Parliament that has gathered over a half-million signatures at the time of writing. In practice, argues Robert Dingwall, the effects would mainly be risky for children and the consequences would other institutions’ efforts to work as normally as possible.

4 months ago
University of Otago, NZ

University Rankings Distract From Higher-Education Reform

University rankings might claim to provide an index through which students, faculty, and the general public might ascertain a number of things: the quality of education provided by an institution, the potential for networking at an institution, the breadth and depth of research being performed at an institution, and more. The institutional quest towards topping the university rankings can, however, derail efforts towards the improvement of society and higher education at large.

10 months ago
Diane Reay

Diane Reay on Education and Class

One thing has become clear to sociologist Diane Reay across her research – “It’s primarily working-class children who turn out to be losers in the educational system.” Whether it’s through the worst-funded schools, least-qualified teachers, most-temporary teaching arrangements or narrowest curricula, students from working class backgrounds in the United Kingdom (and the United States) draw the shortest educational straws.

2 years ago

Benefits of Transdisciplinary PhD Programs

Anna-Sigrid Keck and colleagues designed a structured doctoral program focused on transdisciplinary research and compared students’ publication patterns to students in traditional programmes. While rates of productivity were broadly similar, citation rates were found to be higher for transdisciplinary students, as were indicators of collaboration such as co-authorship.

2 years ago

Jo Boaler on Fear of Mathematics

There’s a lot of myths that get in the way of learning maths, says Stanford University’s Jo Boaler, and her research not only topples conventional wisdom but gives solid ways of allowing everyone to harness their inherent ability to excel at mathematics.

3 years ago
teacher in classroom

Best Evidence and the What Works Clearinghouse

Jean Stockard and Tim Wood looked at the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse and asked a very similar question – does this work? They found that the answer is often no, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

4 years ago

Seeking a Better Way to Evaluate Teachers

Teacher observations are both costly and time intensive, but perhaps it’s time to invest in better teacher evaluation to get better student results. So argues Robert Pianta, who has personally helped develop some measures that might achieve such high hopes, in a an article in the journal PIBBS..

4 years ago