Tag Archive: high school

Education Week (@educationweek) tweeted at 4:42 PM on Fri, Dec 07, 2012:
Blog: Parents Can Encourage ‘Soft Skills’ for College Readiness http://t.co/m4qcIuFA #parents

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Continuing the Debate on Early College High Schools.

This is a fantastic article on the importance of early college high schools.  TCS is an early college high school and we pride ourselves on the opportunities that being a ECHS provides for our students and families.  Certainly there are things that we do well and room for improvement.  This article contains a few ideas that I had never considered (e.g., summer school as a support mechanism, branching into middle schools to support student learning and growth, etc.).  I guess I should clarify, these ideas I have considered, just not all of the data behind them and the potential impact that they might have.  At any rate, if you are unfamiliar with ECHS, this article is a pretty good place to start your thinking and learning.

Adults Who Participated in High School Extracurricular Activities Earn More Money – Education – GOOD.

Cutting the yearbook may save money in the short term, but denying students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities has costs that aren’t immediately apparent.

Adults Who Participated in High School Extracurricular Activities Earn More Money

by Liz Dwyer. �Good. �June 14, 2011�•�3:00 pm PDT

Were you one of those students who signed up for every high school club under the sun? A proud attendee of band camp? If so, chances are you’re making more money than your peers who skated through school without participating in extracurricular activities.�Recent research�by Cleveland State University economics professor Vasilios D. Kosteas shows that participation in clubs correlates with higher future earnings, and might increase the likelihood that a student will end up becoming a supervisor.

It’s long been known that participating in extracurricular activities helps high school students develop social skills, which college admissions officers and future employers certainly appreciate. But Kosteas’ analysis of data from more than 5,000 Americans found that being involved in extracurricular activities in high school raises future earnings by 11.8 percent, which is the equivalent of “more than two-and-a-half additional years of schooling.”

He also found that people who participated in academic clubs, yearbook, or the student council were more likely to end up in supervisory positions. He theorizes that the skills they learn in those clubs “are very important in management positions, affecting a person’s ability to supervise others and making these skills an important determinant of promotions and the assignment of supervisory responsibility.” (In addition, students who are in academic clubs probably have higher grades in the first place—someone getting a C in math doesn’t exactly want to be in the academic decathalon—so they’re set up to succeed in a number of ways.)

Kosteas’ findings are certainly food for thought at a time when, thanks to budget cuts, school districts are looking to slash any programs that aren’t perceived as essential. Cutting the yearbook may save money in the short term, but denying students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities has costs that aren’t immediately apparent.

Do you remember what your professor or teacher lectured about the minute after you left the classroom?  Is lecturing just an efficient technique for a pompous old bat to make him(her)self feel good?  Do teachers really like to hear themselves talk?

Is that Mitt Romney teaching chemistry?

Larry Cuban is a wise old education professor and on his blog he questioned the lecture.  In this blog entry he delves into the history of the lecture.  I once met Larry Cuban at a conference in California.  You don’t really gain a sense of his feelings about lectures from his blog, but in an ironic twist he used lecturing exclusively in his presentation.  At any rate, his writing got me thinking about the use of lecture and whether or not it is outdated.  The answer, of course, is no AND yes.

So lecture cannot stand on its own.  It needs to be engaging and thought provoking.  As Daniel Willingham discusses in his book, “Why don’t students like school?”, the cornerstone to learning is thinking.  “We remember what we think about.”  Period (I know that it’s already there, but a little emphasis needed to be present).  Lectures can be captivating teaching techniques if they cause the student(s) to think.  If they do this, then yes, they are great teaching tools.

However, no, they are not appropriate all the times.  (the plot thickens)  I’m a high school teacher (well, an admin, but always and forever a teacher), and I know that I am a performer when I’m up in front of students or leading them in an activity.  This is like Carrot Top in one way (and  ONLY one way) in that you have to have lots of learning props ready to go.  You have to have good questions, real props, visuals, sounds, images, etc. in order to keep the students immersed in learning at all times.  Simple lecturing usually does not convey enough information, in a rich enough fashion, to capture your students’ attention and keep them thinking.

Lecturing is not outmoded but is a practiced and time honored skill.  Teachers use it because they must, but also because it can be highly efficient and effective.  It is always good to question all techniques that teachers use in a classroom, but I think that we can put this one safely in the “to keep” category.  Besides, it’s not going anywhere, anyways.