Wednesday, June 30

More on edutainment

I suppose Israel yeshiva programs are not the only ones suffering from this problem. Stanley Fish reports. Follow-up here.

Tuesday, June 29

Affluenza, Religion, Television

Without more television you watch, the more materialistic you are likely to be, even among the devoutly religious. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture reports.

Sunday, June 27


I don't have any other way of explaining it. Americans claim that math and science education is critical for a young person's prospects for the future; studies also show American students falling behind other countries in math and science education; yet, American parents think that their kids' science and math education is adequate. I'm not quite sure how that is supposed to work.

Tuesday, June 22

Selfish reasons to have kids

WSJ reports on why having kids makes you happy, or at least not unhappy.

Religion and Media

Any Israeli religious Zionist circles in the past decade or so, the question of religious integration into Israeli media and culture has received quite a bit of emphasis. One lightning rod for disputes about those issues involves the television series Srugim about a series of thirty-something Jerusalem religious singles. It's a good program, and the Jewish Review of Books captures some of the tensions in this review.

Sunday, June 20

To Klan or Not to Klan

An award-winning history teacher got into deep hot water when her students, dressed as Klansmen as part of a history project, walked through the school hallway. On the one hand, Klansmen school seems like a bad idea, on the other hand, you cannot teach a sanitized history very effectively.

Thursday, June 17

Neither lettuce nor tomato

I still can't believe that this is true. A kindergarten teacher confiscated a two-year old's sandwich because it was deemed not adequately healthy.

Tuesday, June 15

I'm So Glad It Didn't Work

Some have adopted the foolhardy and obnoxious practice of bribing students into getting good grades by paying them. Well, at least according to one study, it didn't work!

Sunday, June 13

Books Matter, A Lot

I know that correlation is not the same as causation, but it seems that the more books a family owns, the more education for kids who will complete (and, any scientific evidence that calls on me to buy more books is okay with me).

Thursday, June 10

Supply and Demand

Since raising the issue of employer -employee relations in one-here programs in Israel, ATID has paid greater and greater attention to the way in which supply and demand effects the ways in which teachers are compensated. The conventional wisdom says that for every teacher in a one-year program, there are dozens of equally talented people waiting to take the job (something that may or may not be true). It seems we are not the only ones struggling with that problem.

Tuesday, June 8

Not the Duh! Department

The conventional wisdom is that people cannot really multitask, that we can do only one thing at a time. According to this study, if we are motivated enough we can assign two tasks, one to each hemisphere of the brain.

Monday, June 7

Self-Promotion Department

The new issue of the Torah U-Madda Journal is now up online which includes (among many other interesting-looking things -- haven't read it yet) a back and forth between me and Meir Soloveichik about Rabbi Soloveitchik's attitude toward religion and public life.

Sunday, June 6

Don't go to college

At least, don't go to college if you have low odds of finishing. More and more stakeholders are calling for reasonable alternatives to college for the bottom half of the class who still want to reasonable jobs.

Thursday, June 3

Financial Education

With all the talk about the financial crunch and the tuition crisis, we might lose track of the fact that many Jewish kids don't grow up with great financial worries. The NY Times discusses how to teach them financial responsibility.

Tuesday, June 1

The Hot Topic

Little has gotten more attention in the past few weeks in the educational blogosphere than the blistering critique of teacher unions and their stifling effect on schools, that appeared in the New York Times Magazine. Here in Israel, my impression is that the labor unions among the teachers have even more of a stranglehold, and it does little good for education. But, see this equally blistering response.