Archive for February, 2010

Quiztory: Week of Feb. 20

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. Suspects arrested in the 1993 car bombing in the World Trade Center’s basement garage were linked to which Islamic spiritual leader?

2. What is the name of the most famous collection of rules governing duels?

3. When was the Republic of Texas admitted to the United States?

4. What was President Andrew Johnson impeached for?

5. After his trip to Mecca, what did Malcolm X change his name to?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine the arson of the Reichstag, the federal raid of the Waco compound, Puerto Rican nationalists and their assault on Congress, and Rhodesia. We’ll also take a look at the beating of Rodney King, England’s King Henry VI and Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Schools Around the World: Kenya

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Sayyid Azim/AP
Some of the hundreds of parents and children line up to register at the Buru Buru 1 Primary School in Nairobi on the first day of the year Monday, Jan. 6, 2003, eager to capitalize on the electoral promise of free primary education made by newly-inaugurated President Mwai Kibaki.

Last week, we spoke with Alex Grossi, a young man who helped start the Kenya School Libraries Program, a nonprofit that collects books for libraries in Kenya’s schools.

Education in Kenya has been in the headlines quite a bit recently. On Monday, tennis star Serena Williams arrived in Kenya to open her second Serena Williams Secondary School, this one in Eastern Province, Kenya. Williams is a global ambassador for Hewlett Packard and has been on several charitable missions to the region.

On Tuesday, ABC7news.com reported on Kenya Dream, a class project at Cupertino High School. Students there adopted the Nthimbiri Secondary School in Kenya three years ago, with the aim of raising $100,000 for the school. So far, the students have raised $50,000.

In January, Ashley Seager reported for The Guardian on a new program to bring education to nomadic groups in Kenya. “My view is that people should not have to choose between their lifestyle and an education,” Mohamed Elmi, the minister for northern Kenya, told Seager. Now, 91 mobile schools have opened in the country, mostly in the north and east. Children begin lessons at 5:30 in the morning, study for a few hours, and then tend to grazing animals or gather water for the village. They may study again in the evening.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
The Nation
The Guardian
findingDulcinea
CNN
Africa Renewal
East Africa Living Encyclopedia

Educators That Rock!: Mr. B

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Last week, findingEducation interviewed our second anonymous teacher blogger, Mr. B, also known as Bronxteach. Mr. B writes the blog, “Is Our Children Learning?” He also teaches third grade at an unnamed school in the Bronx. Prior to that, Mr. B taught fourth grade for two years at another public school in New York.

When asked why he’s such a tough critic of his own teaching abilities, Mr. B told findingEducation, “I’m doing this because I want the kids to be able to go to college … I just feel like the stakes are really high. I honestly think it’s life or death. That’s how important a good education is for these kids.”

fE: What made you decide to become a teacher?

Mr. B: Towards the end of my senior year of college, my roommate at the time had already been admitted to NYC Teaching Fellows. So he told me about it and I applied. It made sense to me because I’d already done a lot of work volunteering, doing after school tutoring, mentoring and things like that. I thought I would go in and make a difference, so to speak, and then move on to whatever else I found.

fE: Your first year of teaching was a difficult year. Do you think that if you went back and taught the same students that you taught then, you would have a better handle on them now?

Mr. B: Oh definitely! Throughout the year other people would say to me, “Oh, you have just such a tough, such a horrible group.” But I held myself responsible. You set the tone for the environment and the student will get away with as much as you let them get away with. I think it would be a much safer, calmer environment now, but I can think of at least three students who definitely would have been a challenge in any classroom.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
Is Our Children Learning?
NYC Teaching Fellows

The Answer Sheet: Week of Feb. 13

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. A new era of diplomacy between the United States and China dawned on April 6, 1971, when China invited nine Americans to play what sport in China? Ping-pong

2. When was the last Japanese-American internment camp in the United States closed? 1946

3. What was the name of Galileo’s book, published in 1632, in which he explained the Copernican theory? Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

4. What document did the Soviet Union, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States sign in 1988, creating a timetable for the Soviets to withdraw from Afghanistan? Geneva Accords

5. When was Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s citizenship in the former Soviet Union restored? 1990

Related Link Resources
On This Day: FDR Approves Japanese-American Internment
On This Day: Galileo Faces Inquisition
On This Day: Soviet Troops Leave Afghanistan

Quiztory: Week of Feb. 13

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. A new era of diplomacy between the United States and China dawned on April 6, 1971, when China invited nine Americans to play what sport in China?

2. When was the last Japanese-American internment camp in the United States closed?

3. What was the name of Galileo’s book, published in 1632, in which he explained the Copernican theory?

4. What document did the Soviet Union, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States sign in 1988, creating a timetable for the Soviets to withdraw from Afghanistan?

5. When was Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s citizenship in the former Soviet Union restored?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine dueling in Washington, D.C., the assassination of Malcolm X and the “Miracle on Ice.” We’ll also take a look at Mexican Gen. Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo, the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight title and the 1993 car bombing of the World Trade Center.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Schools Around the World: India

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Saurabh Das/AP
In this Jan. 19, 2010, photo, a teacher helps children as they learn to use computers at a private school in New Delhi, India. Private education in New Delhi was once a luxury reserved for the upper class. But with government-run schools largely a shambles and the rapidly growing Indian middle class suddenly flush with cash, the demand for private schools has exploded.

The 2008 movie “Slumdog Millionaire” brought attention to the plight of children living in the slums of Mumbai like no other film has. In an economically struggling country with a caste system that makes education difficult to obtain for the poor and lower classes, what is the state of primary and secondary education in India today?

According to a 2005 paper prepared for the National Center on Education and the Economy, India has the second largest education system in the world, after China. In 2004, estimates put 32 percent of India’s population of more than one billion under the age of 15, creating a huge burden on institutions to meet the demand for education.

Even though primary and middle school education is mandatory in India, only 50 percent of children between six and fourteen attend school, the book, “India: A Country Study,” reports. According to figures quoted in the National Center on Education and the Economy paper, males in India finish an average of just 2.9 years of schooling and females only 1.8 years.

Several factors make obtaining a public education in India a challenge. Indian law prohibits children from working in factories, but it does allow children to work in restaurants, households, cottage industries or in agriculture, according to “India: A Country Study.” School attendance varies widely by region and gender, and the quality of instruction varies depending on region and whether the school is a state-supported public school or a fee-based private school.

The caste system still plays a role in India’s primary school system today. As the National Center on Education and the Economy explains, traditional Hindu education catered to the needs of Brahmin boys who were taught by Brahmin teachers; Brahmin is the highest caste group in India. “[E]ven today, the vast majority of students making it through middle school to high school continue to be from high-level castes and middle- to upper class families living in urban areas.”

The Web site Educational Videos provides a glimpse of early education in India, while Explore offers photos from a variety of Indian schools and organizations for children.

Related Link Resources
IMDB
National Center on Education and the Economy
India: A Country Study
Educational Videos
Explore

Educators That Rock!: Alex Grossi

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Alex Grossi.

While studying international development in Kenya as part of his final semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alex Grossi was inspired to find ways to improve the educational opportunities for students there. After returning to the U.S. and graduating from college, he and a few friends created the Kenya School Libraries Program.

FindingEducation interviewed Grossi, now living in Oregon, over the phone last week. “I never went to Kenya with the intention of doing something like this,” he said. “The opportunity just happened upon me and I couldn’t really say no.”

The Kenya School Libraries Program is slated to have 22,000 books delivered to 12 or 13 schools in Kenya by the beginning of the next school year. The organization’s next fundraising event—a dinner, raffle and silent auction—will be held in Denver, Colo., on March 1. The auction will include original artwork from the Maasai tribe of East Africa.

fE: How did the Kenya School Libraries Program get started?

AG: During my time in a place called Maua, which is in central Kenya, I got to know a principal and a librarian. The principal’s name was Nick Nyagah and the librarian’s name was Eliphas Kimathi. They spent a lot of time talking with me about development and where they saw their country going.

We realized that the excessive amount of [educational] material we have in the U.S could be easily transferred to places like rural Kenya. In essence, the plan was not to build libraries but to furnish them.

(more…)

The Answer Sheet: Week of Feb. 6

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. In 1815, what African-American Quaker led a group of freed slaves to Sierra Leone? Paul Cuffee

2. U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was released from a Soviet prison in exchange for whom? Soviet spy Rudolf Abel

3. In what Scottish prison was Mary Stuart, Catholic queen of Scotland, imprisoned? Loch Leven Castle

4. Who led an international movement to free Mandela in the 1980s? Oliver Tambo

5. During the presidential election of 1824, what was the United States’ only political party? Democratic-Republican

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Soviets Release U-2 Pilot
On This Day: Mary, Queen of Scots Executed
On This Day: Nelson Mandela Released From Prison
On This Day: John Quincy Adams Elected President

Quiztory: Week of Feb. 6

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. In 1815, what African-American Quaker led a group of freed slaves to Sierra Leone?

2. U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was released from a Soviet prison in exchange for whom?

3. In what Scottish prison was Mary Stuart, Catholic queen of Scotland, imprisoned?

4. Who led an international movement to free Mandela in the 1980s?

5. During the presidential election of 1824, what was the United States’ only political party?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine Galileo and the Inquisition, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Soviet troops leaving Afghanistan and King Tut’s Tomb. We’ll also take a look at President Nixon’s trip to China, the Chicago Seven and the internment of Japanese-Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Educators That Rock!: Shannon McClintock Miller

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Shannon McClintock Miller.

Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian and technology coordinator at the Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa.  In addition to teaching students and teachers about social media and emerging technologies, she is a sponsor for the National Honor Society (NHS) program, and a wife, mother and artist.

Miller spoke to us about how student voices are transforming education, how her students are taking advantage of their 1:1 laptop ratio and the many ways students and faculty are meeting Van Meter’s mission to “think, lead and serve” in their school and their community.

“I feel that Web 2.0 and these new ways to communicate using technology are two of the main ingredients that are transforming education,” Miller said. “We have laptops, but they’re just tools. What’s changed is the way that we’re thinking and the way that we’re teaching.”

Follow Miller on Twitter at shannonmmiller and the Van Meter Library VOICE at vmlibraryvoice.

fE: What made you choose to become a teacher librarian?

SMM: I always had a love for the library. My mom was a teacher until I was born, so we had a great collection. And my sister Heather and I would play library for HOURS. I share a lot of my old books with my students, and I show them my little cards in the front that Heather and I made up.

I went to college (Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa) and I majored in elementary education and art and design. After I graduated from college, I stayed home to raise our three children (ages 15, 13 and 4) for 13 years.

I just started teaching in the last three years. When this job opened, because of my art background and my elementary education background, it was the perfect fit. I teach at my kids’ school because that’s my number one job: being a mom and wife.

I also started back to school right away—because in Iowa you have to have a master’s in library science—and I won a couple different scholarships and awards. I graduate in May.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
Van Meter Library Voice
Virtual Reality Program Van Meter Community School
derondurflinger
Next Generation Schools
Great Strides Project
Van Meter National Honor Society
Books of Hope
YouTellYou
FreshBrain
Computer Efficiency Workers League
Prezi
Mrs. Miller's Diigo Library