Officials in some US schools are introducing mindfulness practices in the classroom as an alternative to traditional discipline. At one Baltimore elementary school that has adopted this approach, officials report fewer trips to the principal's office and no suspensions over the past two years.
Some colleges are using chatbots -- a Siri-like program that simulates human conversation -- to perform some roles traditionally done by teaching assistants. The schools use the chatbots to answer student questions, nudge them to finish assignments and foster discussion in online channels.
Students in West Virginia and state Sen. Joe Manchin recently talked over Skype about testing. Some students suggested replacing traditional standardized tests with the ACT, but Manchin and another student defended standardized tests as a better way to assess skills learned during the current school year.
The number of students receiving Ph.D.s at US colleges and universities reached a record high in 2015 as awarded degrees increased by 1.9% over 2014, a new survey shows. The survey also found that nearly 64% of graduates were from the US and 53.8% of them were men.
There are eight indicators that signal whether students are engaged in a classroom activity, suggests John Almarode, an associate professor at James Madison University and co-director of the school's Center for STEM Education and Outreach. If at least three of the indicators are visible, he says, the activity is more likely to have engaged students.
Teachers at a Mississippi elementary school have adopted the My Classroom Economy program, which teaches students real-world lessons about finances. Under the program, students perform such tasks as paying rent on their desks and buying supplies to learn about financial literacy and the consequences of making unwise decisions.
Fifth- and sixth-graders at an Ohio school recently interviewed a panel of local leaders about issues in their community, including poverty and homelessness. The students developed questions after reading about problems in their local newspaper and wanted to know how they could help.
Students at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business are learning how empathy can improve business transactions, interpersonal communication and management decisions. Similar programs are being offered at universities such as Berkeley, Georgetown and Stanford.
Fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Smith in this blog post explains the benefits of teaching students soft skills, such as goal-setting and compassion. Among her lessons are having students write a personal goal on their desk each morning or create a set of classroom expectations when their behavior gets off track.
Melanie Smith, recently chosen Maine's assistant principal of the year, says her success stems from a commitment to giving teachers ongoing formal and informal feedback. Smith says her middle school's new focus on professional development has given teachers the tools they need to help students succeed.
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