Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Second Quote Of The Day: Reasonable Thoughts On “Grit”

Letting kids struggle in school: When is it too much of a useful thing? is the title of a recent Washington Post column appearing in Valerie Strauss’ blog. It’s by teacher Sydney Bergman

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

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April 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Sir Ken Robinson On The Value Of Practice

Valerie Strauss did a Q & A with Sir Ken Robinson in The Washington Post titled Sir Ken Robinson has a lot to say about U.S. school reform (it isn’t good)).

Here’s an excerpt from it that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

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April 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: The Appeal Of “Grit”

Thanks to Carl Hendrick and Alexander Russo, I learned about the American Prospect’s new article titled Teaching Character. It provides what I think is a well-written critical perspective on the recent public interest in teaching “grit,” and also includes fair responses from supporters.

As I’ve written before, I think teaching grit can have a place in classroom, as it does in mine, but also needs to recognize the grit that many of our students have already and can’t be viewed as a cure-all — it has to be kept in its place. I’m a big supporter of applying Social Emotional Learning in schools, but am concerned about some viewing it as a Let Them Eat Character policy in place of providing the needed financial and policy support our schools and communities need (see my Washington Post column, The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning).

Here’s an important quote from the American Prospect article from Pam Moran (I’ve written about her in the past):

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I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

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April 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “Poorer children ‘have smaller brains’, researchers say”

There has been a lot of media attention over the past few days about a new study suggesting that the brains of low-income children are smaller than those of more affluent kids.

Here’s an excerpt from one report about the study. It’s from the BBC, and is titled Poorer children ‘have smaller brains’, researchers say:

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New brain science shows poor kids have smaller brains than affluent kids is a Washington Post story about the same study.

Coincidentally, Researchers from MIT and Harvard have just announced similar results from a much smaller study.

I have mixed feelings about this kind of research. On one hand, it might provide a little more “ammunition” to get provide more resources to schools and families in low-income communities. On the other hand, it also gives an opening to people like Charles Murray to try to manipulate these kinds of results into the idea that intelligence islargely genetically-based (as he does in the Post article about the study).

Poor Children May Have Smaller Brains Than Rich Children. Does That Tell Us Anything? is from Slate.

I’m all for talking with students about ways they can “grow” their brain, and I’m all for talking with them about some of the challenges that scientists have found all teens face in their brain development, but I don’t see how discussing the kind of findings in these two studies would do anything but demoralize many students.

Let me know what you think.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning.

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Second Quote Of The Day: The Problems With Merit Pay

As plenty of research, and my books, show, extrinsic motivation isn’t very effective. That holds true for the idea of teacher merit pay (see The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea).

This week, The New Yorker shares even more research on the ineffectiveness of performance pay:

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “A scientific look at the art of teacher talk”

A scientific look at the art of teacher talk is the title of a report from Eureka Alert on a new study.

Here’s an excerpt:

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Those findings probably won’t sound surprising to most teachers, but it would be interesting to learn more about the study. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it online, though I did locate a preliminary presentation the authors did that I really didn’t understand. This is the website of one of the authors, so I assume it will be posted there at some point.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students.

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