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The Science of the Australian Wildfires

The Science of the Australian Wildfires

Although wildfires in Australia have been burning for six months, there are still another three months before the fire season is over. And so far, this fire season has been particularly bad. By some estimates the fires have consumed an area of almost 100,000 square km; to put this in perspective, this is an area…

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From STEM to STEAM to STREAM: Should We Be Adding More Subjects to STEM?

From STEM to STEAM to STREAM: Should We Be Adding More Subjects to STEM?

STEM In the late ’90s and early 2000s, multiple studies showed that students in the United States were falling behind in the sciences and math, while students in other countries excelled. A 2006 study by PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment) ranked U.S. student performance in math and science 21st out of the 30…

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Personalized Learning, Critical Thinking, and Formative Assessment: What to Do?

Personalized Learning, Critical Thinking, and Formative Assessment: What to Do?

The Trends of Personalized Learning and Critical Thinking Two key curriculum trends are affecting educational publishing: the movement toward personalized learning and the need for critical thinking lessons. Personalized learning is influencing how curriculum is being developed and also how students’ work and learning is being assessed. Since 2012, 15 states have incorporated personalized learning into…

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Competency-Based Learning at the State and District Level

Competency-Based Learning at the State and District Level

When it comes to competency-based learning, New Hampshire is a trailblazer. In the words of one New Hampshire educator, “All students need to have certain skills and certain dispositions to be ready for whatever the future holds for them.” Along these lines, the state began launching competency-based learning pilots in 1998; by 2013, it had…

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Assessing Competency-Based Education

Assessing Competency-Based Education

The 21st century is an exciting and challenging time for students. In order to succeed, young people need to be adept at problem solving, collaboration, and inquiry. Many schools are turning to competency-based learning to help students make the most of their education and prepare them for success in college, career, and life. As the…

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Competency-Based Learning: An Overview

Competency-Based Learning: An Overview

Formative assessment, personalized learning, critical thinking skills: these trends in education are all fueling the growth of competency-based learning. At the state, district, and local level, educators and students are embracing competency-based learning. Competency-based learning is a learning system that focuses on each student’s unique K-12 educational journey, taking into account their skills, mindsets, habits,…

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Science and the Arts: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em

Science and the Arts: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em

Short history of art vs. science Art and science have been at something like “odds” ever since the Romantic period in European culture. The debate between the two centered on which of these human endeavors deserved pre-eminence in the cultural hierarchy. Which revealed the most important truths about human existence? On one side were the…

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State and Textbook Adoptions

Update on Instructional Materials Adoptions

The adoption market segment remains in flux. A number of trends affect instructional materials development and the adoption of those materials: personalized and competency-based learning the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) continual disruption of digital learning the need for critical thinking and civics lessons the movement of states…

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ESSA UPDATE

ESSA UPDATE

In April, we reported that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was disrupting the educational marketplace as states began to implement their plans and transition to new systems. Staffing cuts at the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education were also concerning educators and the industry as it might hamper the agency’s ability to effectively oversee…

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Plastics, Recycling, and the NGSS

Plastics, Recycling, and the NGSS

Surrounded By Plastics In the last hour, how many plastic items have you touched? And of those, how many do you think will eventually be recycled? According to National Geographic, 91% of plastic items produced worldwide since 1950 have not been recycled, with un-recycled plastics either ending up in the oceans or landfills or being…

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