Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week #2: How is education portrayed in the news? Locate and blog about an article that addresses an educational policy, event, or happening in schools. What are the implications of this policy for you as a future teacher? (Remember that this weekly assignment has two parts. If you have questions, read the assignment on the yellow paper in the packet.)


  1. The New York Times, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013
    How to Fall in Love with Math by Manil Suri

    The author of this editorial laments that most people identify mathematics with just one element: arithmetic, and he says he’s heard several teachers lament that “the opportunity to immerse students in interesting mathematical ideas is usually jettisoned to make more time for testing and arithmetic drills.” He also states that when mathematics appears in news media or the cultural arena, the mathematician goes crazy or a “gloom of math anxiety” hangs “thickly over everything.” However, he also asserts that, contrary to “…what most people suppose, many profound mathematical ideas don’t require advanced skills to appreciate.” Then he elaborates on some of those ideas: 1) The origin of numbers intrigues people, 2) Gazing at a sequence of regular polygons and realizing that, as the sides increase indefinitely, a circle emerges but never actually becomes one, is exhilarating, 3) Fractal images are eye candy, 4) Discovering what the different shades of color signify intrigues you, 5) The Big Bang could make you wonder where negative numbers came from, and 6) Recognizing that a circle as a limit of polygons lures you into “visualizing the sphere as a stack of its circular cross sections, as Archimedes did over 2,000 years ago to calculate its volume.”

    Connections to social studies
    This article connects to the themes of Culture and Individual Development & Identity when the way society views mathematics is portrayed solely as arithmetic, craziness, or gloom, and individuals involved in mathematics identify themselves and others involved in it by those same portrayals. This preceding view is an example of how cultural factors shape a community one member at a time. However, as we focus on the profound ideas of mathematics and contemplate the role that mathematics plays in our lives, we also study relationships among Science, Technology, and Society.

    This article can be tied to Grade 3, Standard 2-Students will understand cultural factors that shape a community, Objective 1-Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops a-Identify the elements of culture (e.g. language, religion, customs, artistic expression, systems of exchange).

    Response to “How is education portrayed in the news?”
    In this article, mathematics in schools is portrayed as being valued less than it should be. It is described as being boiled down to testing and arithmetic drills. Is that all mathematics education is in our schools? I hope not! As we’ve learned from our courses at BYU, mathematics education is more than just procedures. It’s conceptual understanding and application that engage the learner to make connections with real life, share ideas with others, and refine one’s thinking: an ongoing process similar to the one described in the appreciated ideas section of the article.

    Studying education portrayals in the news can be springboards from which we, as teachers, can pounce on new ideas, discover ways we can improve teaching, and follow up on community concerns about education and teaching.
    Submitted by Joyce Mustoe

    1. This sounds like an interesting article, and one that I probably should read! All my life I have been terrified of math! It wasn't until I got into the Math 306 class here at BYU that it finally started to make sense, and I finally started thinking "I can do this." I always thought math was just a bunch of procedures that I didn't really understand, but like you said, Joyce, it needs to be more than that in order for the learner to truly understand and to be able to use those skills in real life.


  2. New York Times
    Sunday, September 15, 2013
    Disruptions: Minecraft, an Obsession and an Educational Tool.
    By Nick Bilton

    Article Summary:
    This article explored the object of many students obsession, a video game called Minecraft. This game “is about building, exploration, creativity, and even collaboration” (Bilton, 2013). A school in Stockholm made this game compulsory for 13 year olds saying “they learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done and even how to plan for the future” said a teacher at the school. A study at SRI International said that game based play can increase students cognitive learning by 12%, and another study at Iowa State University found that surgeons performed better when they regularly played video games. Minecraft is an online game, which also presents opportunities for teachers to educate students about online safety and getting along with others online. (Bilton, 2013)

    Social Studies Connections:
    This article deals with the NCSS theme of Production, Distribution, and Consumption because in the game of Minecraft the purpose is to plan and build cities, and deal with environmental issues. This can help teach students about domestic and global economics, and city planning. Additionally, this article also deals with the theme of Science, Technology and Society. Since it is an online game that requires a computer or a tablet this explores the technology aspect. It also shows how much more dependant, or comfortable, we are becoming with using technology in the curriculum and how that shows changes in our society.

    Application/ Objectives:

    Sixth grade Social Studies standard 1. Objective 4c. Identify cultural expressions that reflect these systems (ie: architecture, artistic expression, medicine, philosophy, drama, literature).
    In Minecraft you can set it up so students can explore pre-planned ancient civilizations. I would set it up so I could monitor what they are doing and then have students explore the ancient civilizations and learn about them.

    Response to weekly question: How is education portrayed in the news?
    I think this article demonstrates how education is becoming even more technology based, and how there are many different tools that kids use every day that we wouldn’t even think to use in the classroom. I’ve had students that were obsessed with Minecraft and I never would have thought I could use it in the classroom to get them interested in social studies by exploring different pre-planned cities or that there was an organization called MinecraftEDU to help teachers use the program in their classrooms! To me as a teacher it demonstrates to me how comfortable with technology I really do need to be. It also reminds me that we are still just at the beginning of technology in the classroom, and that during my teaching career there are going to be more and more technological advances that I need to be aware of and comfortable with (because I guarantee my students will be) so I can take advantage of those and use them in my classroom.

    Blog Author: Cami Hall

    1. What an interesting article, Cami! I appreciated that you discussed this specific game, not only as an educational tool but also as a game that students continue playing at home. It seems that the more the teacher can extend the learning homeward, the better the students will learn. While it is interesting that this game is used in the school to help teach city building and maintenance, my worry is that students will get too "addicted" to the digital construction and activities of this game that they will tend to hesitate to participate when given a real-life problem to solve. I suppose my question and my doubt has to do with the fact that students may be too used to technology that they are missing learning pivotal real life skills. What do you think?

  3. Thanks for your insights, Cami! Like you, I'm happy to learn about educational uses of technology in the classroom. Sometimes it seems like there are two camps considering the use of technology in the classroom: one for and one against/resistant/afraid of. As long as we use technology to enhance education and teach our students how to appropriately interact with it, it can be a great benefit to education. Rather than resist, I think it's best to understand what's available and use it wisely!

  4. The New York Times, Tuesday, September 17, 2013
    “Students Accused of Cheating Return Awkwardly to a Changed Harvard”
    By Richard Perez Pena

    Article Summary
    Dozens of students from Harvard University were forced to take a year off of school after they were suspected of teaching in August 2012. As the students return back to school this semester the school is working on implementing an honor code and a new panel to address charges of academic dishonesty at Harvard.
    Social Studies Connections
    This article talks about the importance of academic honesty and avoiding cheating or plagiarism. This topic could tie to the NCSS themes of civic ideals and practices as well as individuals, groups, and institutions. Honesty is an ideal that is essential to good societies. In schools, it hinders a student’s personal growth and learning when they choose to cheat or lie. Elementary teachers must teach their students about the importance of honesty and hold them to a high moral standard. If students learn the importance of honesty when they are young then maybe there would be less cheating in college. This article can be tied to Kindergarten, Standard 2- Students will recognize their roles and responsibilities of being a good citizen. Objective 1c- Demonstrate appropriate ways to behave in different settings.
    The examples of academic dishonesty shown at Harvard would be a great discussion for students to have of any age. The habits we make in elementary school follow us into adulthood, so it is better to make habits of honesty now rather than face consequences later. I would pair this article with a book about honesty or a time that a fictional character had to make the choice to be honest. Then students could sign a “pledge to be honest” that we write together and hang it on the classroom wall.
    How is education portrayed in the news?
    This article made education almost seem like the moral police. In a sense they should be. Learners should be moral and law abiding people who use their learning to benefit others. I think that this article also had a negative tone toward Harvard because it made the punishment of the students look “harsh” or not equal to the crime.

    -Laura Villicana

    1. Well said Laura! It is interesting how Harvard was made to seem harsh. It makes me think of how the honor code in general has changed over the years. What used to be totally unacceptable is now excused.

      I have a question that's been bugging me- How do we help students develop honor, while letting them correct their mistakes and learn from them? In Literacy class the professor talked about how important it was to let students grade their own spelling tests. I agree that it is very helpful. But how, as a teacher, do I help my students learn not only spelling and course material, but honesty?

  5. The New York Times: Monday, September 16, 2013
    Minecraft, a Child's Obsession, Finds Use as an Education Tool

    Summary: Minecraft is a game that many children (and adults) have gotten into. While many parents worry that this, along with other video games, will "rot their brain", a lot of experts say it's not a problem. They say that it helps them "learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future." Many teachers are using Minecraft to develop social skills.
    hand-eye coordination, problem-solving ability, memory

    Connection to Social Studies:
    The Culture of education is constantly changing. In order to be an effective teacher, it means being flexible and modifying your instruction to meet students' needs. Technology is influencing life as never before. It's crucial that teachers use it as a resource, and not as a roadblock.

    Classroom Application:
    This is a remarkable way for teachers to connect with students. Meet students where they are at! Make lessons and the classroom experience apply and connect with their lives. Many boys love to play video games. If you find ways to make video games benefit their education experience, more power to you!

    Weekly Question:
    How is education portrayed in the news? Locate and blog about an article that addresses an educational policy, event, or happening in schools. What are the implications of this policy for you as a future teacher? (Remember that this weekly assignment has two parts. If you have questions, read the assignment on the yellow paper in the packet.)
    Education in this article is portrayed as coming from an unusual source. I think that is accurate. Education can come in all shapes and forms. The implications of this article is that education is constantly changing! Things that would seem to be negative can actually be positive. It blew me away that "surgeons performed better, and were more accurate on the operating table, when they regularly played video games." Minecraft was called "a digital version of Lego."

    1. I like how you mentioned that if video games can benefit students, use it! I think we would need to be very careful in letting our students play video games, but if it is used as a reward, it could be a very incentivizing. If it is educational, it can be argued as a reasonable use of time at school.

    2. My brothers and brothers-in-law love to play Minecraft. I've watched them, and it's totally like virtual legos. You have many types of building blocks, and can either build things or play around with the physics of the world or create machines (there are levers and chain reactions and such). I think there can be a lot of classroom education, especially if it is well monitored and executed with specific goals in mind for its use. I know that many teachers and parents are apprehensive when it comes to video games, but I think we need to be open enough to embrace any kind of tool or technology that can enhance learning. I agree with you that teachers should be working to use technology as a resource, not a roadblock.
      Holly Meek

  6. Wall Street Journal, September 14-15, 2013
    “Help Wanted: Struggles of a Lost Generation” by Ben Casselman and Marcus Walker

    Summary of article:
    This article addresses how the recession back in 2008 that began in 2008 has impacted the job market for young graduates, especially those ages 20-24. Basically, a lot of young people have tried to escape the awful job market by going back to school, with slim chances of establishing a career after graduation. Instead, they find whatever jobs they can, often paid-hourly jobs at supermarkets, or as secretaries. An interesting fact that was presented was how moving away, getting married, buying a home, and having children have been rituals that many people are putting off due to the recession. The birth rate for women in their early 20’s fell to an all-time low in 2012, and 56% of 18-24 year olds still live with their parents. It also mentioned that about 40% of 25 year olds have student debt to pay off, the average being about $25,000. YIKES!!!!

    Connections to social studies:
    Relating this article to social studies is almost a no-brainer. While it discusses money, student debt, the unemployment rate, it relates to the stage most of US are in at this point in our lives! A lot of college graduates get a degree and end up not being able to establish themselves in a career because they need to support themselves as soon as possible.

    Classroom Application:
    Explaining what is happening to children in a simplified way would really benefit kids because they would be more knowledgeable about the current condition their country is in financially. They can learn about how to save, invest, use their money in the best ways to be financially stable before, during, and after college. We could devote a unit to money (incorporating social studies into math) and have a classroom store, class jobs (where students get paid), have a lesson where they need to pay taxes/bills/living expenses, can invest (maybe in the older grades), and how to save their money.

    How is education portrayed in the news?
    This whole article discusses how college graduates are not being able to make a good salary even with their degree. I’m sure this is true, but this question makes me ponder about how this article may be biased. It might portray a college education as pointless, which I highly disagree with. It also states that many people are in student debt, which in the contrary, proves that many people value education enough to go into debt for it.

    Taryn Lewis

    1. Those are some good points. I think it is important also to teach kids about this so they know to take school seriously the first time. If they know that later in life people want more school, maybe they'll appreciate learning and how it can improve their standard of living.

  7. The New York Times, September 16, 2013
    "Minecraft, A Child's Obsession, Finds Use as an Educational Tool" Nick Bilton

    This article is about Minecraft and how it is being used as an educational tool. Teachers are using it to teach about things like city planning and even gravity. There is a significant improvement in cognitive learning, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving abilities and memory. As always, there should not be too much of a good thing. It is a game and can be somewhat addictive.

    This article connects to social studies by showing the impact of technology on our culture. Even something as trivial as a game finds a way to play a role in education. What happens in society reflects in the classroom.

    This is an obvious trend that has been going on for some time. Why else would we have to take classes as part of an education major entitled "Integrating Technology"? By using the technology that kids already know and love, we can better facilitate their learning. Children who don't already know how to use the technology will be better off after using it for educational purposes because they will be better prepared for interacting online with people and all the other skills needed in a tech-savvy world.

    Education is not portrayed in the news that much. There are not many major articles in newspapers that highlight what is going on in education, at least not this week. This article talks mostly about the evolution of education and ways technology is being incorporated. I think they are aiming at showing the progress of education and how it is being updated in modern society. I hope that even more positive reports are written about new ways that education is progressing in this world.

    1. I agree that using technology can facilitate student learning. I also think that this can catch the students' attention and keep their interest. Some of the best lessons and experiences I have had involved technology.
      One question I had for you is... are games trivial? I feel games often times try to simulate real life and can teach skills. Of course your point that too much is not good, but I feel that using these technologies and encouraging exploration is a good thing.

  8. Trading Privilege for Privation, and Hitting a Nerve
    The New York Times
    Sept 16, 2013
    By Lydia Pulgreen

    Article Summary:
    The Hewitts are a middle class family that are living in South Africa. They decided that they wanted to experience how the people live in informal settlements in poverty, so they left their home behind and moved into a shack in a squatter camp. This has created controversy as people have asked questions about their motives and the social implications that this has sparked. However, the Hewitts have learned a lot about poverty and the completely different life style that is only minutes away from their home.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This article relates to the NCSS standard of culture. The Hewitts recognized that they had a deficiency in understanding about the culture of the people that lived in the squatter camp. Therefore, they decided to experience this by trying to live in the camp for a month. Students also can have deficiency in their understanding about other cultures and the people in those cultures. One way that you may teach is to try to give these students authentic experiences (though perhaps not as authentic as the Hewitts) of the culture. Students should learn to look at life through different perspectives and learn about others cultures.

    I would use this article to explain to student the reasons why exploring other cultures is important and one way this family tried to do this. I would ask them for ideas on how we might explore better the culture or the subject that we are trying to study. I would have them think and explain why we need to have experiences, that may even make us uncomfortable, in order to understand more fully the world around us.

    How is Education Portrayed in the News?:
    I think that Education is often portrayed in the news as changing and adapting to our world. This article was written about a method of gaining an education by experiencing. This is a new and a more extreme way of really gaining the knowledge that they wanted. I think that this could be a valid way to gain education in the classroom and that we should focus a little more on this. I think that the news tries to find the new and unusual experiences with education that we can have. They want to sensationalize the perspective so that they get readers. In this article, they are focusing on going to the extremes in order to gain an authentic educational experience.

    1. I agree with you this article was to sensationalize the perspective. But I think this was totally cool! I would love to do this. Can you imagine classrooms field trips like this? what a great way to show other cultures.

    2. I saw this article on Monday as well and I found it very interesting, but could not connect it to education. This is a great insight into education through experiences. I think that making educational experiences in our classrooms is really important and sometimes our students gain more from experience than they do from direct instruction. Thanks for the great connection!

  9. Students Accused of Cheating Return Awkwardly to a Changed Harvard

    The New York Times
    Tuesday September 17, 2013
    By Richard Perez-pena

    Article Summary:
    This Article talked about the cheating scandal at Harvard, how it affected the students, how it effects the current school year, and how it is changing things. The article begins explaining what happened, roughly half of a large class had similar answers on a test. Roughly 70 students were asked to withdraw for the year. Harvard is now talking about the idea of an honor code. But in the meantime they are making clear their rules on cheating in each class. Some are saying however, that the professor and his assistants are not being blamed for this when they had a hand in it. And from what the article said, I agree. If I had gone to a TA for help and they had us sit in a group to discuss the questions I would assume that this was allowed, but it was these students who were penalized. It wasn’t just meeting in groups that was cheating however, it was having answers worded exactly the same on the test. This I do understand is cheatingJ

    Social Studies connection:
    This article shows how times are changing. More and more schools are adopting the idea of an honor code. This may not have been in place in the past because it was something that was taught in every home and most of the time obeyed. Now culture is changing, and the line between right and wrong seems to be blurring. Causing the need for honor codes in schools.

    In my classroom I would talk about cheating. What it is and what it isn’t. I think it is easy for kids to be confused on what is ok and what isn’t. A way to help them prepare for life is talking about these issues, and maybe setting up a classroom honor code that every student agrees to.

    Weekly Question: How is education portrayed in the news? Future teacher applications?
    Education is becoming a home where principles are taught, where consequences are given, and where changes are made. Harvard is probably just one example that has gone public. In the article it even blamed the professor for some of the problems, although this may be true, it further proves that teachers are expected to teach right from wrong along with everything else a teacher needs to teach. In the eyes of a future teacher I would say this applies to how I shape my classroom and give rules in it.

    Jessica Fox

    1. I read the same article, pretty interesting! I really like what you said about professors being blamed for the problem because besides content, they are also held responsible for teaching students morals! It's interesting that those things used to be taught at home, but now fewer and fewer students are actually learning them there. If they don't learn them at home, it seems like it is up to us to at least model good values!

  10. Students Accused of Cheating Awkwardly Return to a changed Harvard

    The New York Times
    September 16, 2013
    Richard Perez-Pena

    Article Summary
    This article talked about a cheating scandal that happened at Harvard last year. A Professor gave a take home test in which books and notes were allowed to be used, but peers were not. About half the class was accused of getting answers from peers and 70 were suspended for one year. The Professor and his assistants were also getting scrutiny because the way the TAs gave answers during study session made the students think it was okay to share answers. However, when the Professor was grading the test much of the wording was the same word for word from student to student. Harvard is now cracking down on cheating and even thinking of introducing an honor code to prevent this from happening.

    Application to Social Studies
    The moral and values that once were widely accepted by all are now accepted by few. Basic principles such as not to lie and cheat use to be taught in homes, but now they are not being taught anymore. In the social studies curriculum it talks a lot about respect, trust, and honesty. In today's world if teachers could teach their students these values through social studies it might prevent instances like this from happening.

    Application to My Classroom
    I believe that honesty is a very important value to teach students while they are in school. It is so easy to be dishonest in jobs or in the world and students need to learn that when they are dishonest there are consequence, just like the students that got suspended from Harvard. In my classroom I will directly teach students about cheating and when it is appropriate to get help from others and when it is not.

    Weekly Question
    I don't think education is portrayed very positively in the news. It seems a lot of the articles talk about how schools aren't measuring up and how students aren't learning what they need to. In this article, it is apparent that education hasn't really taught these students to be good learners. Even though they were allowed to use the book and notes, they have not learned to be good students and so they had to copy from their peers. It is important to teach students to be life-long learners and also to be honest in their academic career.

    Katy Powell

    1. I also read this article, and really liked how you said "it is so easy to be dishonest in jobs or in the world". Unfortunately, this is true and it therefore becomes the teacher's role to teach the importance of honesty. I completely agree that if we can teach children at a young age to understand the importance of having good values, we can potentially prevent these events from occurring in the future.

  11. Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2013
    As Education Declines, So Does Civic Culture; A generation of college graduates unable to write or reason bodes ill for liberal democracy, by Jonathan Jacobs

    Despite the cost increase for education, too many college graduates struggle with writing, and have little knowledge about any aspect of the world, historical or cultural. They spend a good amount of college trying to figure out how to study and reason. The many theories they have to extensively learn are not given context, and therefore have no application or meaning, and so students (now adults) cannot use what they have learned. Their education has not prepared them to be productive members of society or how to participate in government.

    Connections to Social Studies
    I felt that this was especially relevant to our recent discussions and assignments about democratic education. It seems that these graduates have not received a democratic education, since they don't seem to know what a democracy would look like or how to participate in one. It's apparent that their education in Social Studies is lacking, since they have no idea what is going on in the world, past or present.

    Classroom Application
    This article reinforced just how important it is to make students aware of the world around them. I plan making my students aware of how relevant Social Studies is to their lives; I think articles such as these can help them realize that they need to take ownership of their education, since there is no guarantee that "the system" will prepare them for real life.

    Response to "How is education portrayed in the news?"
    In this article, education is portrayed as a failing system. It emphasizes how important it is to get a good, well-rounded education that truly prepares students with knowledge and skills to be successful. It's important for pre-service teachers like us to be aware of articles such as these so that we can make the corrections needed, no matter how small they may seem.

    Holly Meek

    1. This article is very interesting and I agree with it to a certain extent. It is interesting how universities and schools use to focus on teaching students how to think and how to study and how to become. Now, the focus seems to be more on learning facts and preparing to work.

  12. The New York Times/ September 17, 2013
    Students Accused of Cheating Return to a Changed Harvard
    By: Richard Perez-Pena

    Summary: In August 2012, about 70 students at Harvard were accused of cheating on a take-home final exam. While the only stipulation was that students could not collaborate with their peers on the exam, the professor quickly noticed that students did not abide. Groups of students even turned to their teaching fellows who reportedly suggested answers. The accused students were required to withdraw for one year, and Harvard is contemplating implementing an honor code. Trevor Brandt-Sarif, a Harvard student, explains this dilemma as he said, “I love honor codes, but honor codes are about a culture, and I’m not sure how you get that going.”

    Connections to social studies: One of the purposes of social studies is to help students make “informed and reasoned decisions for the public good”. Inevitably, turning to a teaching fellow that is knowledgeable in the subject for test answers would sound appealing. However, if students are taught the importance of integrity and honesty from the beginning of their schooling experience, they are much more likely to realize that these values outweigh a high test score. They would also understand that cheating is unfair to students who are abiding by the instructions. In first grade, a big idea is responsibilities in the school. Teaching this in a meaningful way could certainly have a life-long impact on learners.

    How is education portrayed in the news? Harvard student Trevor Brandt-Sarif said, “I love honor codes, but honor codes are about a culture, and I’m not sure how you get that going.” In other words, while it is desired that students follow the expectations and possess academic integrity, schools are unsure how to enforce this. In the quote above, the student expresses that he’s uncertain how to make students realize the importance of honesty. As a future teacher, I certainly want to focus on how to make “informed and reasoned decisions for the public good”. For example, in first grade, I’d love to discuss responsibilities in school. In essence, the implications of this article for future elementary school teachers is that perhaps the answer to Trevor’s question is that students need to understand the importance of honesty from a young age.

    Applications: I think this would be a great article for students to read to see the importance of integrity. It would certainly make the topic relevant, and could easily be followed by a discussion or written reflection. One idea for younger students is the teacher could take the main idea of such articles and make it relevant to them. Students could role-play scenarios, and decide a responsible action they could take. As a class, we would follow each role-play with a discussion about how the student demonstrated integrity and responsibility. Ultimately, teaching the need for honesty and responsibility at a young age will help students become good citizens.

    Blog author: Kara Weathers

  13. The New York Times/ September 17, 2013
    To Help a Shy Child, Listen
    By: Perri Klass, M.D.

    Summary: One of the best quotations from this article says, “But shyness is also part of the great and glorious range of the human normal.” Being shy is a very common trait found throughout all schools, but it has many different causes. For this reason, it is important to listen to the child to be able to effectively help. In order to help children cope with a new experience like a new class, parents can roleplay with them and reward bravery. The article also points out that “...the worst thing to do is to say, ‘Don’t be shy. Don’t be quiet.’”

    Connections to social studies: In the social studies curriculum, two of the strands relate to this article: Culture and Citizenship. This article is very useful for teachers trying to help students but it would also be a great topic to share about in grades K-2 where they learn about self, family, and community. In Standard 1 in Kindergarten the first objective states that students should be able to “Identify how individuals are similar and different.”

    Applications: It would be beneficial to children to explain different temperaments and character traits, determining each to be normal, and helping students understand and form their own personalities. It would encourage unity in the classroom and hopefully lower bullying/teasing. It would require a great amount of skill for the teacher to explain temperaments without making one seem like it was better than the other; but, it would be great to help students understand themselves and feel comfortable.

    How is education portrayed in the news? There were many articles that I read that showed that education was important. In this particular article, it portrayed schools as important places to help children. It explained things that can be done in order to better assist shy children. It also encouraged that a few things not be done so that shy children can feel more comfortable. It included the importance of the family working with the child to make school more enjoyable.

    Blog author: Kelsey Captain

  14. The New York Times/September 17. 2013
    Students Accused of Cheating Return to a Changed Harvard (sorry for the repeat of article from the response above; I noticed that only after I'd chosen this particular article to respond to.)
    Author: Richard Pérez-Peña

    Summary: A vast amount of students who, having been found guilty of cheating on a take-home exam last fall, are now returning to school at Harvard University. The students have not been received back into the school very well simply because most students know that the reason they've been gone for the past year is due to the fact that they cheated in school. But, Harvard is trying hard to make sure that students know what constitutes cheating and are already adding presentations during orientation and the beginning of classes to remind students what cheating is. The article also discusses the details of the classroom set-up, teacher expectations, and students' confusion regarding the take home exam in order to help the reader understand better what happened to result in the cheating scandal at Harvard last year.

    Connections to Social Studies: Although it isn't fair to assume that all students know the definition of cheating and what it constitutes (plagiarism, discussing specific exam items with other students, etc.) I think this article just proves that social studies can be taught to help show mankind's mistakes so that people in the future can learn from the mistakes and better their situation because of it. In fact, as history is studied more people will learn the difference between what works and what doesn't in or society today; it's a relief to realize that cheating is still unacceptable in the schools and the world in general, and that those who participate in cheating will receive the consequences of their actions.

    Classroom Applications: In the classroom, I hope to remind students from the very start what exactly it means to have integrity in their work. I also hope to show students that cheating constitutes everything from stealing other people's ideas and words (and consequently need to be cited in order to be used in one's personal paper) as well as simply talking to classmates about the exam before or after having completed it. As I set up strict rules in my classroom about cheating and about having integrity, I think that the students will respond by trying their very best and not worrying too much about having to cheat to get a better grade. By preparing students to have integrity in the classroom, they will be better prepared as they enter college (possibly even Harvard!) and the real world: they will be prepared and honest citizens!

    My response to the weekly theme: "How is education portrayed in the news?"
    I think that education is most only ever portrayed in the news when something goes wrong or when there is some kind of scandal. To me, this is very sad because there are GREAT things happening in the schools everyday that often go unnoticed. But, I realize that the news' responsibility is to help bring to light the things that need changing. So, although education may not always be represented in the best of ways (for instance this cheating scandal at Harvard), I think that teachers should not give up on doing the very best that they can in the schools.

    --Heather Young

    1. Thank you! This is a really interesting article! I'm also glad that people aren't getting away with cheating. It is very important to teach students the importance of integrity and what is considered cheating.

  15. New York Times/ September 17, 2013
    "Online Classes Move Closer to Degree Programs" by Tamar Lewin

    Summary: This article is about two big providers of online courses, Coursera and edX. It talks about how they are moving closer to having degree programs online. They are starting to offer more and more classes online. One is offering most of the first year curriculum for the MBA program at University of Pennsylvania.

    Connection to social studies: If social studies is the study of society then I think online classes are a huge part of our society today. Technology and online things are a huge part of our society. Online learning is huge and is probably the future of our society. More and more things are becoming available online. Pretty soon, even a whole degree might be available online.

    Application: This might be something to bring up in a 6th,7th, or 8th grade classroom and have a debate about online classes and online degrees. They could debate whether or not that is a good idea or if we should stick to traditional learning in a classroom.

    How is education portrayed in the news? Locate and blog about an article that addresses an educational policy, event, or happening in schools. What are the implications of this policy for you as a future teacher? (Remember that this weekly assignment has two parts. If you have questions, read the assignment on the yellow paper in the packet.) I think one implication of this as a future teacher is that this shows me the importance of teaching with technology and teaching students how to use technology. If this is what the future will be, then students need to be very educated about technology and how to use it. This article seems to portray education as something very important but I don't love that it is portrayed as something that can be done all online. I think classroom instruction is very important.

    1. Technology is becoming a huge part of education. It has changed a lot in my schooling years and i believe it will continue changing. Some students may prefer online classes and some may not. Giving students a choice and educating them about the options they have with technology is a must in this day and age!

  16. sorry, I forgot to post my name on my comment above
    -Lana Poppleton

  17. New York Times
    Dec. 3, 2013
    Should a Lesbian Conceal Her Lesbian Identity in College Application Essay?
    By: Steven Petrow

    A parent wonders if her daughter mentioning her lesbian identity in a college application paper would be detrimental to her possible acceptance to that school. Some debate that is would be, some thin that she should be authentic and not be shy of who she is.

    Connections to Social Studies:
    We could talk about each of our differences - that we can respect one another regardless of our choices, even if we disagree with someone or their lifestyle.

    This may be an awkward conversation to have, but it is a real-life thing happening out there that students should be aware of. I would have students share their insights. I think having a discussion about gays/lesbians should be handled very carefully. I would probably use this article for older students, jr. high or high school.

    Weekly Question:
    I believe that this would affect me as a teacher. I need to be sensitive to students because there may be students who handle this problem themselves, or students may have questions regarding this issue that may require me to explain or bring up this issue. How would i respond and handle it? I would hope to be able to bring it up in a way that doesn't offend anyone or give anyone wrong ideas.

    Natalie Bench