Thursday, December 3, 2009

Personal goals - keep them to yourself?

I read a shocking article in Newsweek via mental_floss today.

Announcing life goals publicly may have an adverse psychological effect on whether you actually achieve your goal.

According to the scientific study, it is good to have goals... but even better if you keep your goals to yourself. Keep that in mind when you start on you New Year's Resolution list.

So are we doing students a psychological disservice by encouraging them to make public announcements of their academic goals? (e.g., when students say, "I am going to graduate!" and then begin to slack off.)

More importantly, how do we create a psychologically effective sense of urgency and determination to accomplish their goal?

Or does a psychological study of adult behavior not apply to at-risk teenagers?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All work and no play...

Daily School Recess Improves Classroom Behavior
School children who receive more recess behave better and are likely to learn more, according to a large study of third-graders conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

TJ and the gang knew this 10 years ago.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strategies for keeping students in school

Staying Power: How to End the Dropout Crisis | Edutopia
This year, an estimated 1.25 million kids will leave school without earning a high school diploma -- that's approximately 7,000 students every day of the academic year.

Some strategies mentioned in this article include:
Engage and Partner with Parents
Cultivate Relationships
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Make Learning Relevant
Raise the Academic Bar
Small Schools
Rethink Schedules
Develop a Community Plan
Invest in Preschool
Adopt a Student-Centered Funding Model

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are you going to school?

Afghan Girls, Scarred by Acid, Defy Terror, Embracing School -
“My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed,” said Shamsia, 17, in a moment after class.

1,300 Afghan girls are going to school despite having been burned with acid. Despite the lack of regular electricity. Despite the lack of running water or paved streets. Despite living in a culture that does not provide for the education of women. The parents of these girls want them to get an education despite the constant threat of violence or murder.

Are your kids going to school?

Friday, January 16, 2009

8 years of 'oops'

So Long Worst President Ever; 10 Reasons History Will Hang You | | AlterNet

Bernie Horn takes out his Bush-Bashing stick one last time:
So, congratulations for being the worst president in American history.
That's not just my personal opinion; that's the opinion of 109
historians polled by the History News Network. Fully 61 percent ranked Bush as the "worst ever;" 98 percent labeled his presidency a "failure." And this poll, taken in early 2008, predated the cataclysmic housing and banking crashes. Bye-bye W -- history will not be kind.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Palin pwned by the ADN

Cost of Sarah Palin writing a letter to the Anchorage Daily News Editors, regarding "false reports" that were "pursued and/or published": $0

ADN editor Pat Dougherty's response: $priceless

You can find the full text of the Palin-ADN email exchange at Here are some of the best parts:

Did you really allow a story to run in your paper today claiming Levi Johnston is a high school drop out?

Your question today is the first suggestion I've heard that this fact might be in error.

Should I infer from your question that Levi did not drop out of school and will graduate with his class? If so, we will be happy to publish our own correction of the AP story. I think you would also want to contact the AP and ask them to issue a correction as well. Their story was distributed nationally and internationally.

(Paragraph written after this message was otherwise finished.) Literally just this minute I see an AP story, quoting you, saying that Levi has enrolled in correspondence classes. There's not much detail in the story about what he's doing and when he started his correspondence work. Does that mean today's story should have said something like: Johnston dropped out of school last fall but has since started taking correspondence classes?

Did you really print a story last week suggesting I had any connection with Sherry Johnston's activities in the past six months or so and you won't correct the story?

Because we checked the trooper's statement in the affidavit with the Secret Service, we didn't make the mistake of treating it as fact. I don't see that anything we reported was incorrect.

Do you read this differently, or am I missing something?

I would also remind you that we called the governor's office for comment about the Johnston arrest. Your spokesman declined to make any comment on the matter. He could have clarified your relationship and/or interactions with Ms. Johnston, but elected not to.

And is your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who's already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

Yes, it's true.

You may have been too busy with the campaign to notice, but the Daily News has, from the beginning, dismissed the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth as nonsense. I don't believe we have ever published in the newspaper a story, a letter, a column or anything alleging a coverup about your maternity.

And, oh, I could go on . . .

Governor, I would encourage you to go on. I cannot address your concerns if I do not hear them. Perhaps after reading this you will conclude that the facts are not exactly as you thought, or that there was more to these issues than you knew.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And I'm sure naughty British teens grow up to get arrested at footie matches

Behavioral Difficulties At School May Lead To Lifelong Health And Social Problems
They show that the participants with severe or mild conduct problems in adolescence were more likely to leave school with no qualifications and go on to suffer a number of problems in adulthood including depression and anxiety, divorce, teenage pregnancy, and financial problems that continued throughout adult life.