Children of the Code -- interviews with leading experts on learning, neuroscience, neuropsychology, and child development.
Read especially the interviews with
Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff
Dr. Mel Levine. "I always tell people that from the moment a kid gets up in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, the central mission of the day is to avoid humiliation at all costs." --- Dr. Mel Levine
Brain Rules, John Medina, 2009.
A fun summary of research on the brain.
From the Introduction of his book:
"If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing,
you probably would design something like a classroom.
If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed
to what the brain was good at doing,
you probably would design something like a cubicle.
And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over."
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League, William Deresiewicz, New Republic, July, 2014.
"Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they're doing but with no idea why they're doing it."
The Failure of American Schools, Joel Klein, The Atlantic Magazine, June, 2011.
"Who better to lead an educational revolution than Joel Klein, the prosecutor who took on
the software giant Microsoft?
But in his eight years as chancellor of New York City's school system, the nation's largest,
Klein learned a few painful lessons of his own -- about feckless politicians, recalcitrant unions,
mediocre teachers, and other enduring obstacles to school reform."
Transcript: Teaching Innovation, Segway inventor Dean Kamen highlights the flaws in American science education, Forbes, 08/27/2009.
"It's ridiculous to assume we have so many kids that are innumerate or illiterate by the time they get to 17 or 18 simply because they never had access to a book.
Or that all of the teachers have suddenly become pathologically bad.
What if it's a demand problem? Like there is no demand in our culture. And it's not an education problem, it's a culture problem."
The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves,
James Tooley, 2009.
Tooley did research on education among the poorest families in India and several
He found that 40-60% of the kids in the slums in Hyderabad, India, were attending
private, for-profit schools.
Parents were paying as much as 20% of their annual income
per child -- which might only amount to $5-$7 per year.
Then he administered standardized academic tests to private and adjacent government school
kids, and the private school kids scored 50-75% higher.
The cost to educate the kids in private schools was one-half to one-third the cost
of the government schools, the private schools were closer to home and had much lower
student/teacher ratios, and the only facilities differences were larger playgrounds
in the government schools.
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, Neal Stephenson, 2000.
A fascinating exploration of what education might look like with some very clever software.
The Amazon.com summary:
"John Percival Hackworth is a nanotech engineer on the rise when he steals a copy of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" for his daughter Fiona. The primer is actually a super computer built with nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's daughter and to teach her how to think for herself in the stifling neo-Victorian society. But Hackworth loses the primer before he can give it to Fiona, and now the "book" has fallen into the hands of young Nell, an underprivileged girl whose life is about to change." Caution: This book does have some adult themes.
The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind -- Pat Kuhl, Andy Meltzoff, and Alison Gopnik, 2000.
The Amazon.com summary:
"This exciting book by three pioneers in the new field of cognitive science discusses important discoveries
about how much babies and young children know and learn, and how much parents naturally teach them.
It argues that evolution designed us both to teach and learn, and that the drive to learn is our
most important instinct.
It also reveals as fascinating insights about our adult capacities and how even
young children -- as well as adults -- use some of the same methods that allow scientists
to learn so much about the world.
Filled with surprise at every turn, this vivid, lucid, and often funny book gives us
a new view of the inner life of children and the mysteries of the mind."
Family Income and Educational Attainment 1970 to 2010 [1.1Mb PDF]
(local copy), Postsecondary Education Opportunity, Number 235, January, 2012
A comparison of educational results by income. In 2010, 79.1% of students from top income
quartile families earned a 4 year college degree by age 24, vs. 10.7% of bottom income
School Readiness and Later Achievement, [174Kb PDF] Greg J. Duncan, et. al., Developmental Psychology 2007, Vol. 43, No. 6., pp. 1428-1446.
"...mastering early math concepts, such as knowledge of numbers and understanding the order of numbers, best predicted later success."
A Case for School Vouchers [4.0Mb PDF], Northwestern [University] Students for Education Reform, 2012.
"The booklet begins with an examination of how the United States compares to
the rest of the industrialized world in terms of educational achievement, as
measured by test scores. After segueing into a discussion of Illinois schools, the
section then leads to an evaluation of the Chicago Public School (CPS) system.
The second section describes school vouchers and the origins of the idea before
examining the current body of scholarly research on the topic. This research
comes from such places as Milwaukee, Florida, Cleveland, and Washington,
D.C., all areas which have previously introduced vouchers. The third section
examines eleven common arguments against school vouchers, drawing on
empirical evidence to address each of their flaws in turn. Lastly, the booklet turns
to the specific case of Chicago in order to properly judge how such a program
would be implemented and how it would affect the Chicago school system."
Kati Haycock, The Education Trust [3.8Mb PDF], Kati Haycock presentation to the League of Education Voters, Seattle, WA, 5/18/2009.
171 data-dense slides about education in the USA.
New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2004, Joel Klein and Alan Bersin, 05/06/2004.
Cycles of Urban School Reform: Joel is Chancellor of New York City Schools, Alan is Superintendent of San Diego Schools.
Connecting Students to Northwestern Forever, Ben Slivka, 05/11/2003.
Predates the start of Facebook by nearly a year.
"This a much-enhanced, online version of the 'freshman facebook' published each fall for the entering class by the Alumni Association;
each class member can edit her own profile: nickname, school, major, favorite musical groups (ex: Rolling Stones),
favorite brands (ex: Nike, Diesel), hobbies (ex: model rockets, foosball), interests, causes (ex: PETA, Greenpeace),
sports (ex: Sonics, frisbee), instant messaging handles (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, etc.), personal web page, and an essay;"
Case Study: Internet Explorer 1.0 to 4.0, Ben Slivka, 04/15/1998.
I was invited to give at talk at
I summarized the 1994-1997 Internet Explorer efforts at Microsoft,
where I started and led the Internet Explorer team through the release of IE 3.0 in 8/1996,
and then handed over the IE effort to Adam Bosworth
while I took over leadership of the Microsoft Java VM team during the IE 4.0 project.
The Web is the Next Platform, Ben Slivka, 05/27/1995.
"The Web...will grow rapidly...into a full-fledged platform that will rival -- and even surpass -- Microsoft Windows."