Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset. Photo credit: EdSource Today/ Jane Meredith Adams
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck's research on intelligence, motivation and achievement has changed the thinking of educators around the globe - and now it's helping to drive a first-in-the-nation experiment in seven California school districts.
In a 2007 study, Dweck and her colleagues found that students who believed they could increase their intelligence worked harder in mathematics and outperformed peers of similar ability who believed that intelligence was a fixed trait given at birth.
Dweck dubbed the belief that intelligence can be developed a "growth mindset" and has charted its power to shift students' academic attitudes and achievements. This spring, students' beliefs about intelligence are among the social and emotional factors to be measured in a new school rating system under development in the seven districts.
Students stretching at Oakland Technical High School. Photo credit: EdSource Today/ Jane Meredith Adams
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has reversed itself and voted to offer military instructors a limited authorization to teach physical education. In the eyes of physical educators, respect for their field was dealt another blow.
The move would allow military instructors, who are not required to hold a bachelor's degree, to teach physical education - but only fitness and drill and only in the context of their Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and basic military drill classes. However limited, the proposed teaching authorization is viewed by some as a rebuke to the national push for improved teacher quality.
Others see it as just the opposite - a way to improve the quality of physical education instruction already being provided in JROTC courses, which, at the discretion of local school boards, can be taken by students to fulfill the physical education requirement needed for high school graduation.
From Oakland to East Los Angeles, the concept of community schools is starting to gain ground in California. But districts thinking of embracing this "whole child" approach to education might want to look outside the state at a nationally recognized model: Cincinnati Public Schools.
Community schools are based on the idea that the school is the hub of a community - a place where students can get all their needs met, including health and dental care, counseling and after-school programs. The theory behind this approach is that when students' needs are taken care of - whether it's a toothache or stress in the family - they can focus on academics.
American teens are much less likely to engage in bullying than they were a decade ago, new research suggests.
Surveys completed by middle school and high school students between 1998 and 2010 suggest that instances of both verbal and physical bullying dropped by roughly half, with much of the decline seen specifically among boys, according to the study published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.
A yoga program that sparked a lawsuit in the Encinitas Union School District has expanded to two other county schools.
The yoga instruction for students is paid for by a grant from the Sonima Foundation in Encinitas. Parents in the district had sued, saying that the yoga program was a form of religious instruction. A judge ruled against the parents; the case is under appeal. The program is also taught in Cajon Valley Unified and at San Diego's Monarch School.
The New York City Council is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to offer free lunch to all public school students. In an editorial, the New York Times endorsed the idea as a way to reduce the stigma of receiving what some students deride as "free free" meals. A Lunch4Learning campaign by Community Food Advocates is working to build support.
The Council estimated the added expense would be $20 million to $24 million, with the rest being covered by state and federal aid.