Education Week’s iffy list of “game-changing ideas in education”

This week, Education Week editors offer a list of 10 Game-Changing Ideas in Education.  To be honest, I do not believe that any are actual “game changers.”

Some ideas are good (no. 1), others are condescending (no. 3), two ideas ask schools to do things that they are not equipped to do (no. 6 and 8), and a few have the potential to be harmful or divisive (no. 5,  7, and 10).  Of course, school choice does not make the list, although a few of the ideas could (but probably shouldn’t) be employed by schools of choice.

No. 1: Memory is the key to student engagement.

Bestselling authors (and brothers) Chip Heath and Dan Heath argue that “peak moments” capture “delight,” offering “a different kind of learning that sticks with students and motivates them to succeed.”

No. 2: Tackle the teacher-diversity problem. Re-examine teacher preparation.

Teacher-prep programs need to reconsider their practices, and they could learn a lot from minority-serving institutions, writes Cassandra Herring, founder of BranchED and the former ed. school dean at Hampton University.

No. 3: Stop expecting parents to engage without showing them how.

Parents don’t always know how to advocate for their child’s education. EdNavigator’s Whitney Henderson, the child of a single mom, is working to change that.

No. 4: There’s a tech solution to creating a master schedule.

A school’s master schedule can take months to build and can contribute to education inequities. Adam Pisoni, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has a better way.

No. 5: Students don’t need grades.

It’s time to reimagine a classroom where students are driven by curiosity rather than a score, writes educator and author Mark Barnes.

No. 6: School districts can dramatically reduce student homelessness.

To tackle student homelessness, schools must tap into their broader community’s resources, writes Colorado’s state coordinator for homeless education.

No. 7: Bridge the gap between mindset research and practice.

The research behind growth mindset and grit is familiar to many educators, but when misrepresented, can be harmful. The executive director of the Mindset Scholars Network explains.

No. 8: Fight the Opioid Epidemic at Its Source.

The strain that a crisis of addiction places on schools will continue—unless we break the cycle. Todd Hembree, attorney general of the Cherokee Nation, took dramatic action to stem the flow of opioids into his community.

No. 9: Artificial Intelligence is on the rise. Schools have a role to play.

What do educators need to know to prepare students for the future of artificial intelligence? Two AI researchers from the Allen Institute get into it.

No. 10: Civics education is no longer just happening in the classroom.

To solve some of our biggest challenges, young people must be inspired to act, argues David Simas, the CEO of the Obama Foundation.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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