Education & Parenting

The Extraordinary Grassroots Revolution of Low-Cost Private Schools

Without numbers, a great many myths about education and educational provision would go unchallenged. Before James Toohey started his work (with colleagues) on low-cost private schools, the accepted wisdom was that only government education could provide for the poor in developing countries. In this talk James explores these myths and shares his findings. He has been described in the pages of Philanthropy magazine as “a 21st century Indiana Jones” travelling to “the remotest regions on Earth researching something that many regard as mythical: private, parent-funded schools serving the Third World poor.

Racism Endorsed at Harvard University

“Danielle D’Souza Gill explains an incredible racial discrimination scandal at Harvard University that the mainstream media is largely ignoring… in under 90 seconds!”

Learn more at Students for Fair Admissions — “a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.” Their mission is to support and participate in litigation that will restore the original principles of America’s  civil rights movement: “A student’s race and ethnicity should not be factors that either harm or help that student to gain admission to a competitive university.”

Our take: the diversity that does matter in universities is intellectual — something sadly missing in a Harvard education indoctrination.


New Maria Montessori Education Podcast

“Let us imagine ourselves among a race of giants who differ from us in proportion as we differ from the child and we ourselves are forced to use the giant’s furniture, dishes and possessions. If we want to sit down, we have to climb on to a chair with our hands and feet. If we want to move the chair, we have to climb down the same way and move this great weight. We want to wash our hands but the [sink] is like a big bath tub. … It takes two hands to use a hairbrush. Everything is so high that we cannot use anything (without asking for help), doors to open, hooks on which to hang our clothes and other things. We are unable to do things we need to do and we feel the humiliation resulting from our failure to act. We certainly would disdain these giant people and not wish to live with them, if we knew they had prepared nothing so we might act. — Maria Montessori

“A century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori introduced the world to a new type of classroom — the “prepared environment” — which did away with the traditional teacher-as-master model in exchange for a wholly new method that encourages each child to happily develop mastery over himself. But what happens when a teacher or parent is no longer the “giant” ruler of the classroom or home, when children are allowed to direct their own development — won’t they then just go wild? No. In fact, in the right environment, the opposite occurs. As countless teachers and parents have experienced firsthand since 1907 (the year Dr. Montessori opened her original school in Rome), children truly transform themselves in Montessori classrooms and in Montessori homes. With adult guidance, they develop into independent individuals who are competent in the world, confident in themselves, and capable of connecting peacefully with others.” — Jesse McCarthy

To help introduce the Montessori Method to parents and teachers in the 21st century Jesse McCarthy of montessorieducation.com has launched a new podcast — now three episodes in. “Interviews range from What is Montessori?, to the challenges and fun of working with infants & toddlers, to becoming a Montessori parent. And there will be many more episodes and topics to come! … Current episodes range from about 20 to 30 minutes and offer listeners a chance to delve a little deeper into the world of thoughtful, down-to-earth parenting & teaching, with an emphasis on us adults growing right alongside children.”

You can listen in here: https://www.montessorieducation.com/podcast.

New Maria Montessori Education Podcast

“Let us imagine ourselves among a race of giants who differ from us in proportion as we differ from the child and we ourselves are forced to use the giant’s furniture, dishes and possessions. If we want to sit down, we have to climb on to a chair with our hands and feet. If we want to move the chair, we have to climb down the same way and move this great weight. We want to wash our hands but the [sink] is like a big bath tub. … It takes two hands to use a hairbrush. Everything is so high that we cannot use anything (without asking for help), doors to open, hooks on which to hang our clothes and other things. We are unable to do things we need to do and we feel the humiliation resulting from our failure to act. We certainly would disdain these giant people and not wish to live with them, if we knew they had prepared nothing so we might act. — Maria Montessori

“A century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori introduced the world to a new type of classroom — the “prepared environment” — which did away with the traditional teacher-as-master model in exchange for a wholly new method that encourages each child to happily develop mastery over himself. But what happens when a teacher or parent is no longer the “giant” ruler of the classroom or home, when children are allowed to direct their own development — won’t they then just go wild? No. In fact, in the right environment, the opposite occurs. As countless teachers and parents have experienced firsthand since 1907 (the year Dr. Montessori opened her original school in Rome), children truly transform themselves in Montessori classrooms and in Montessori homes. With adult guidance, they develop into independent individuals who are competent in the world, confident in themselves, and capable of connecting peacefully with others.” — Jesse McCarthy

To help introduce the Montessori Method to parents and teachers in the 21st century Jesse McCarthy of montessorieducation.com has launched a new podcast — now three episodes in. “Interviews range from What is Montessori?, to the challenges and fun of working with infants & toddlers, to becoming a Montessori parent. And there will be many more episodes and topics to come! … Current episodes range from about 20 to 30 minutes and offer listeners a chance to delve a little deeper into the world of thoughtful, down-to-earth parenting & teaching, with an emphasis on us adults growing right alongside children.”

You can listen in here: https://www.montessorieducation.com/podcast.

Malcolm Gladwell: Talented Writer; Sophistic Thinker

The talented writer and deep thinker, Steven Pinker identifies the essence of Malcolm Gladwell in his book review of ‘What the Dog Saw – And Other Adventures,’ by Malcolm Gladwell – NYTimes.com:

An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of “homology,” “sagittal plane” and “power law” and quotes an expert speaking about an “igon value” (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aperçus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong. 

 

[…]

 

The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition. ….Unfortunately he wildly overstates his empirical case. It is simply not true that a quarter­back’s rank in the draft is uncorrelated with his success in the pros, that cognitive skills don’t predict a teacher’s effectiveness, that intelligence scores are poorly related to job performance or (the major claim in “Outliers”) that above a minimum I.Q. of 120, higher intelligence does not bring greater intellectual achievements.

 

The reasoning in “Outliers,” which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies, had me gnawing on my Kindle. Fortunately for “What the Dog Saw,” the essay format is a better showcase for Gladwell’s talents, because the constraints of length and editors yield a higher ratio of fact to fancy. Readers have much to learn from Gladwell the journalist and essayist. But when it comes to Gladwell the social scientist, they should watch out for those igon values.

Mystery Science and Google Partner To Ensure Kids Experience the Total Solar Eclipse

New Site EclipseAmerica.Org Helps Elementary Teachers Get Ready for the Eclipse

San Francisco – August 3, 2017 — Mystery Science, creator of the fastest growing elementary science curriculum in America, and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) today announced they are working together to help millions of children across the U.S. experience the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. Millions of solar eclipse glasses are being distributed to community libraries in the STAR Library Education Network to be given away free of charge, thanks in part to the support of Google. In addition, Google has provided Mystery Science with fifteen thousand eclipse glasses to be shipped directly to schools. Mystery Science is getting eclipse glasses into the hands of elementary teachers as well as providing exclusive educational videos and lesson plans, available for free download today at EclipseAmerica.org.

“Going to the moon, exploring the surface of mars, or seeing a total solar eclipse across the US for the first time in a century are amazing moments that can inspire a whole new generation of explorers and scientists,” said Calvin Johnson, Program Manager at Google for the Eclipse Megamovie project. “Our collaboration with Mystery Science ensures that educators have the resources needed to drive and encourage the curiosity of students and push our understanding of the universe to another level.”

In the last year, over 1 million children experienced Mystery Science in their elementary schools, leveraging its open-and-go curriculum.

“Those who have been fortunate enough to experience a total solar eclipse usually describe it as a ‘moment of awe’,” said Keith Schacht, co-founder and CEO of Mystery Science. “The next Marie Curie or Albert Einstein is somewhere out there right now. Experiencing this eclipse might be a singular event that inspires a lifetime of curiosity.”

Why You Should Care About the Solar Eclipse

  • The August 21 event happening across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for many. The sky will go dark, the air will cool, crickets will chirp, and stars will become visible in daytime.
  • The last time a total solar eclipse crossed the United States was in 1918, nearly one hundred years ago. In historical perspective for most young adults, it means most of their parents and grandparents have never seen a solar eclipse.
  • In this modern era, where children spend so much time indoors and on digital devices, this is an opportunity to inspire them with one of the greatest wonders in the natural world. The solar eclipse provides a unique way to get them excited through a real world experience.
  • The next total solar eclipse to cross the United States like this one won’t occur until the year 2045. So don’t miss the 2017 eclipse, as this one might be your only chance.
  • It is extremely dangerous to ever look directly at the sun. This is why specially designed safety glasses are needed.

Unique Solar Eclipse Info on EclipseAmerica.org

  • Explanation video made for kids. Mystery Science creates engaging content that children love. Too often, scientific explanations are heavy on dry vocabulary and technical details rather than engaging content.
  • What time the eclipse will be in your city. Mystery Science knows that where you are physically on August 21 will dramatically alter your experience with the eclipse. So, they created a helpful Eclipse Time Checker where a person can type in their city and it will tell them when exactly to look.
  • Everything a teacher needs. Mystery Science created an open-and-go eclipse lesson. Mystery Science is used in 10% of elementary schools in the U.S. and understands what teachers will need to help their students experience this moment of awe.

Google’s Solar Eclipse Branded Glasses on Par with NASA Standards

According to NASA, homemade filters or sunglasses of any kind are not safe for looking at the sun during this solar eclipse. These Google solar eclipse glasses meet NASA’s standards and have extremely dark lenses as they were made by Rainbow Symphony. The Sun or eclipse should not be viewed with an unfiltered camera, telescope or binocular as it will result in serious injury to your eyes.

Pricing and Availability

Interested teachers in the U.S. can go to the EclipseAmerica.org today to request their free solar eclipse glasses from a local library or to be shipped directly to their school. In addition, anyone can download and use the open-and-go eclipse lesson from Mystery Science for free. Here are the three, easy steps for teachers to get started:

  1. Request your free solar eclipse glasses.
  2. Check what time you will need to go outside to observe the eclipse. The exact time varies depending on your location: Eclipse Time Checker.
  3. Prepare to teach the solar eclipse lesson to your students.

About Mystery Science:

Mystery Science helps teachers without a background in science teach incredible science lessons. Mystery Science is the fastest growing science curriculum in the U.S. with teachers in more than 10% of elementary schools, reaching more than a million children. The company’s mission to accelerate human progress by increasing the number of problem solvers in the next generation. They’re addressing this by fixing STEM education for children. Mystery Science has raised $2.9 million to date from Y Combinator, LearnCapital, Reach Capital, and 500 Startups. The company was founded by tech and science gurus including a former Facebook product manager, Keith Schacht, and an award-winning science teacher, Doug Peltz.

Simpson: Speech is Not Violence; An Argument Is Not a Gun

Free speech guru Steve Simpson at the Ayn Rand Institute has an excellent piece on Why our campuses are boiling over in left-wing rage instead of discourse | The Hill:

To fight these ideas and the culture they’ve spawned on campus will require more than complaining about college “snowflakes” or political correctness. We need to defend the ideas on which free speech depends, most notably reason and individual rights.

The purpose of the right to free speech is to protect our right to think for ourselves and to communicate with others, which are two of the pillars of a modern, free society. True, people can and often do say absurd and horrible things. But it’s false to equate even hateful speech with use of force.

Force is qualitatively different from speech. No matter how harsh speech is, you are always free to ignore it and walk away. Not so with force. If you doubt this, ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Flemming Rose, or the many other individuals currently on jihadist hit lists whether they would prefer to live under the threat of death or the threat of hateful speech.

That’s not to say that speech can never be used in the commission of a crime. It is entirely proper to criminalize actual threats, incitement to violence, and the like. But that’s because what is being threatened is the use of force. If those who use offensive or hateful speech cross the line into actual threats or incitement, then it is proper to prosecute them. But short of that, they must be free to speak.

Ayn Rand once said that “a gun is not an argument.” The reverse is also true: an argument is not a gun. If we forget the difference, we will end up with guns settling our disputes, rather than arguments.

Simpson’s article is excellent and the entire piece is worth a read as well as the collection of essays he has put together in his book Defending Free Speech.