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October 5, 2012
On Oct. 21, a second try to talk 'soft skills' with GothamSchools
Above, clockwise from left: GothamSchools readers look on during Paul Tough's talk Sept. 29 at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School; Tough spoke about his new book, "How Children Succeed"; guests grab snacks before claiming a seat; and I.S. 318 chess teacher Elizabeth Spiegel answers questions after the event. If you missed our event last weekend with author Paul Tough – or even if you made it — you might want to mark your calendar for Sunday, Oct. 21. That afternoon, we'll be taking over an auditorium at Lincoln Center for a special showing of "Brooklyn Castle," the new movie that documents the stunning successes of the chess team at Brooklyn's I.S. 318. More details about the event, including information about discounted ticket prices, will come next week.
October 5, 2012
Lunch And The Value Of Non-Cognitive Skills
This column has been corrected to reflect the fact that family lunch is still part of the curriculum at the Weekday School. At the Weekday School at Riverside Church, there is a central piece of curriculum that taught preschool children self-control, empathy, and social skills, as well as basic math. That curriculum is called “lunch.” In each Weekday School classroom every day, 3- and 4-year-olds are responsible for serving themselves out of common bowls, family style. Each day one child is given the job of setting the table, which requires counting the number of children in the room and setting out, in a pattern, the proper numbers of forks, spoons, and napkins. The children pour milk and juice out of pitchers, decide how much food they wanted, serve themselves, and pass food to others. They learn to judge portion size, and not to waste. In at least one class when my children attended, a worm compost bin continued the lesson, as children observed how food scraps supported other living communities. Lunch at the Weekday School is a beautiful showcase for what Paul Tough, author of the new book "How Children Succeed," calls “non-cognitive skills.” I was reminded of this when Tough presented his ideas to a roomful of parents and educators at last week's event sponsored by GothamSchools.
September 5, 2012
A taste of "How Children Succeed" before our reading Sept. 29
Academic achievement matters. But character traits such as perseverance and self-control might well matter more when it comes to students’ long-term success. That’s the…
August 21, 2012
Missed our roof party? Save the date for Paul Tough's reading
Some of our readers took a short break from summer teaching and learning, Common Core curriculum planning, and (of course) beach-going last week to celebrate the upcoming school year with GothamSchools. Even though an evening rain storm drove us off our roof deck, we still had a great time, and heard some great story ideas. We're also looking forward to seeing more of our readers soon: On Sept. 29 we will be hosting education writer Paul Tough, who will be reading from his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiousity, and the Hidden Power of Character. More details to follow.
October 1, 2010
Imagining a conversation between Klein and Zuckerberg
What if Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had met and been wooed not by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, as reportedly happened this July in Idaho,…
October 30, 2008
Contest: What should we call the Schnur-like "reformers"?
While I’m on the Jon Schnur-Obama education wars subject, let me raise a problem that I have when writing about said wars: How should I…
September 23, 2008
Assemblyman Weprin: Testing teaches wrong lessons
"Has he ever spent time with any five-year-olds?" said one parent at yesterday's demonstration against testing, refering to Chancellor Klein's plan to test children in kindergarten through second grade. Schools piloting the plan can choose among several testing options, including assessments based on teacher observations and written tests of up to 90 minutes. Parents and community leaders questioned the developmental appropriateness of such tests, and expressed concern that schools are too focused on testing and test preparation, Edwize reports. Weprin and his son with Mayor Bloomberg at a parade last year. State Assemblyman Mark Weprin spoke at the rally, saying that his 8-year-old son has learned some startling lessons about tests: Recently his son told him confidently that if he ran out of time on a test he’d just check off the C answers on all the rest of the questions. Why? Weprin asked. “Statistically C is most often the right answer,” the child told his dad. “I know what millions of other parents know,” Weprin said. “We are spending too much time on testing and test prep. And it’s not just teaching to the test. I mean cheating.” And it's not just children who learn to game the tests.
September 18, 2008
Talking Points Memo tackles Tough's Whatever It Takes
Paul Tough and others knowledgeable about urban education have been discussing his book, Whatever It Takes, at Talking Points Memo’s TPM Cafe…
September 12, 2008
Sunday: Brooklyn Book Festival with Paul Tough, readings for kids
Book Festival crowd by ##http://flickr.com/photos/mtkr/##mtkr## Now in its third year, the Brooklyn Book Festival is offering up a packed schedule of book-related readings,…
August 29, 2008
Three years later, looking for lessons in New Orleans' schools
Painting McDonough HS by ##http://flickr.com/people/jodyanderic/##Beurremanie## Three years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. Since then, the city has struggled — valiantly at times, less so at others — to rebuild. As Paul Tough's New York Times Magazine cover story from two weeks ago reminds us, nowhere has the rebuilding meant such a "radical experiment in reform" as in the city's school system, where currently half of students attend charter schools, many of which are being run in the KIPP model, and many teachers come straight from college with far more energy than teaching experience.
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