Agency, integrated identity and competencies are three factors for success in school and life, according to a report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. "Kids will be engaged in learning and internalize the academic side if you are also helping them work to develop in multiple ways," study lead author Jenny Nagaoka said.
Instructional-technology specialist Jennifer Scheffer recently focused on recruiting more girls for a student-run help desk. More girls have joined the program since the recruitment efforts. Scheffer featured the program during a session at EduCon, a conference held by the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.
Project-based learning may serve to shrink the achievement gap for low-income students and others underrepresented in science and technology, new research indicates. A study of 3,000 middle-schoolers found no ethnic or gender disparities after a year with the approach that emphasizes inquiry over rote memorization.
An Illinois district has invested $2.7 million in new laboratories at two middle schools to spark innovative teaching in media arts and science, technology, engineering and math. In rooms equipped with tables, computers and other tools, students collaborate on such self-selected projects as building robots, studying butterflies and developing flight simulators.
Some educators are exploring ways to transfer print skills, such as annotating text for deep reading, to digital devices. Teachers are working on tablet applications, teaching students to use annotation software and keeping in mind that students may be distracted by the multimedia nature of e-books.