The Sun Also Rises

 What an inspiring country!!!! Guess where I’ve been the last couple weeks. Let me give you a hint: There is virtually no litter, no profanity, no violent crime, no graffiti, and no public smoking. And I’m not talking about just those civil middle class folks (although this country claims that 90% of its people are… Read more »

Source: The Sun Also Rises

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Pokemon Go – a new purpose for Edtech

I found this on Medium

Gracias to Junaid Mubeen

Oxford Mathematician turned educator. @HGSE ’12. Head of Product @MathsWhizzTutor. Long-distance runner. Anagrams.
18 hrs ago6 min read

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George Lakoff: Understanding the Appeal of Donald Trump

The linked article is superb.Share it please.

Diane Ravitch's blog

George Lakoff, the psycholinguist, is expert in explaining how people respond to verbal messages. His book “Don’t Think of an Elephant,” was a best-seller.

I met Lakoff a few years back and asked him about how to frame issues in the education debate. We spent two hours talking. He left a lasting lesson with me: liberals think that people are persuaded by facts; conservatives persuade with narratives, not facts.

In this important article, he explains the reason for Trump’s success: Trump is the Father, the strong authoritarian father who will protect us and keep us safe from all threats.

“In the 1900s, as part of my research in the cognitive and brain sciences, I undertook to answer a question in my field: How do the various policy positions of conservatives and progressives hang together? Take conservatism: What does being against abortion have to do with being for owning guns?…

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What are negative numbers?

The question really is “What are the positive and negative numbers ?”

First of all we have “the numbers”. 1, 2, 3, … and zero for completeness sake, and also that “none” is a number, and “nothing” is not a number.
“The numbers” are actually very different from one another. The counting numbers, 0, 1, 2, … , are very different from the measuring numbers. Measuring numbers have “quantity”, counting numbers have “counts”.
Measuring numbers are cakes, pizzas, watts, feet, mass, volume, area, and so on, where the quantity is “some” or “none”.
Examples of measuring numbers are “half of a foot”, “2/3 of a pizza”, “0.05 square feet”, and they are just “numbers”, attached to units of measurement.

Now there is a problem.

“Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.” (quote from CCSS)
Just like that !!!!!!
There is NO easy extension, “half of a foot” is NOT extendable to “three feet below sea level”.
The meaning of “positive and negative numbers”, or the “signed numbers”, is not a “some or none” situation at all.
The “signed numbers” are abstractions of “relative position” and “change of position”, and the position of “zero” is often, if not always, arbitrary.

A temperature scale has a zero, and temperatures above zero are “positive”, temperatures below zero are “negative”.

A different temperature scale has a different zero, and, worse still, the scale factors (scales) are different as well.

“Feet above sea level” and “meters above Mount St Helens” are similarly “different”.

An electrical circuit can have chosen a voltage value of zero at any point in the circuit.

In these and all similar situations the zero is chosen by a human, and not as the “none or nothing” value.
The value 9, or the value -5, is marked on the scale as a position relative to the zero on that scale.
Marks on the left, or the “down side”, are conventionally the “negative” marks, and marks on the right, or the “up side” are the “positive” marks.
The positive marks. “+”, are conventionally ignored, but at the start one should put them in.

… to be continued, when the confusion between “negative” and “subtraction” is resolved.

And this CCSS bit is so stunningly superficial.
Grade 6
Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system
of rational numbers.
5. Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together
to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g.,
temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level,
credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and
negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts,
explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation.
6. Understand a rational number as a point on the number line. Extend
number line diagrams and coordinate axes familiar from previous
grades to represent points on the line and in the plane with negative
number coordinates.
a. Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations
on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the
opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g.,
–(–3) = 3, and that 0 is its own opposite.

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What It Takes to Get *Very High Test Scores*

Parent – Shut up and do your work.


I belong to the job review site, Glassdoor. On occasion, the site sends emails about possible information of interest based on my previous page views. On Jun 21, 2016, I received an email about recent salaries and other info on New-York-based Success Academies (SA).

I write often about SA, in part because SA does get very high test scores– extraordinary test scores, in fact— and high test scores are the single most important measure of success in corporate education reform. To the corporate reform mind, little else matters.

But what about the cost for SA’s very high test scores? For there is indeed a cost, and such cost is well represented in SA employee reviews on Glassdoor.

In adhering to Glassdoor’s terms of use, I will not directly post employee review information. However, what I will do is paraphrase and leave it up to interested readers to sign…

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The skill of competence

There are two fine lines splitting spoof and serious. See David Didau, The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education
June 17, 2016

Making Learners Extraordinary ™

It is becoming increasingly clear that none of the jobs that people do today will even exist in five years time (apart from maybe undertaking). Therefore, there is no point in teaching students to regurgitate rote, disconnected facts. We cannot predict which facts they might need because we don’t know what they will be doing and, even if we did, the jobs of the future will not require low-level cognitive skills like fact-knowing. Instead, these tasks will be done by computers – Google will know facts for us. Careers will require higher level cognitive processes. Neuroscience shows that these are the executive skills that coordinate the brain.

At the Extraordinary Learning Foundation™, we have been working on better ways of developing the higher level skills of comprehension and communication. When you look at the performance of experts and scan their brains in a scanner then different areas ‘light-up’ when they are…

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Algebra, algebra, who’s for algebra

x2  – 3x – 4 = 0

x2 – 3x + 2 = 6

(x – 3/2)2 = 6

(x – 3/2) = √6   or   – (x – 3/2) = √6

x = 3/2 + √6   or   x = 3/2 – √6

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NYT Confronts Conformity?

j giambrone
facebook, and the rest, they almost led me astray

J. Giambrone


How Facebook Warps Our Worlds

So it goes with the fiction we read, the movies we watch, the music we listen to and, scarily, the ideas we subscribe to. They’re not challenged. They’re validated and reinforced. By bookmarking given blogs and personalizing social-media feeds, we customize the news we consume and the political beliefs we’re exposed to as never before. And this colors our days, or rather bleeds them of color, reducing them to a single hue.

…“Facebook allows people to react to each other so quickly that they are really afraid to step out of line,” he said.

I could add plenty, but won’t. Am I afraid of stepping out of line here?

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Andy Hargreaves: Why England’s Schools are in Trouble

The same old mess, again.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Andy Hargreaves, Professor at Boston College and recipient of many honors, including the Grawemeyer Award, writes here about the problems of English schools, which he attributes to its reckless pursuit of free-market policies, akin to those now dominant in the U.S. In this article, which appeared in the Times Education Supplement (U.K.), Hargreaves blames the free-market  strategy of “reform,” which demoralizes teachers and damages the profession.

He writes:

Britain has a teacher recruitment crisis. But it is not truly British. The complaint is much more spectacular in England. In Scotland, teaching is an attractive profession and while recruitment levels are disappointing, the issue is not as profound. The Scottish system is creaking; the English system has fallen over. What explains the difference?

The answer is simple. Scotland values a strong state educational system run by 32 local authorities that is staffed by well-trained and highly valued professionals who stay and…

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