Education

BES Photos / Flickr/cc

Audio for the full program:

In New Hampshire, Pittsfield schools have recently adopted an approach that flips the traditional model of teaching through student-led discussion and independent projects. We’re looking into how this working for Pittsfield.

Sex Ed By The Dashboard Light

Apr 12, 2015
Ben Miller via flickr Creative Commons

The talk” is a rite of passage for many young Americans. It often happens either too soon, too late and usually leads to hilarious tales of awkwardness between parent and child. But when it comes to the real nitty-gritty of sex education - that’s when the classroom takes over, for better or worse. For Word of Mouth senior producer Maureen McMurray, it was probably for worse.

Listen to what just might be the most awkward talk about the birds and the bees ever told.


Megan Lynnette via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/8UsssG

Today’s classrooms may come outfitted with iPads and gadgets, but the textbook industry has weathered the digital storm surprisingly well. On today’s show we’ll look at an unexpected threat to the textbook industry:  the rollout of the Common Core standards.

Then, between jam packed schedules and lengthy to-do lists, it’s little wonder that so many people claim they hate surprises. But what can we gain from embracing the unexpected?  A self-described 'surprisologist' makes the case for being caught off guard.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

 

Three New Hampshire schools are taking part in a regional partnership to develop personalized learning experiences.

The Great Bay Charter School, the Pittsfield Middle and High School and the Manchester School of Technology are among 20 New England schools taking part in the initiative coordinated by the Great Schools Partnership and New England Secondary Schools Consortium.

timlewisnm / Flickr/cc

Last week four New Hampshire districts received federal approval to reduce the number of required standardized tests. This pilot program, the first-of-its-kind in the country, will replace most ‘Smarter Balanced’ tests with assessments written by local teachers. In doing so, the hope is to make testing more representative of what students know, and less of a disruption to day-to-day learning.

Guests:

Jesús Perera Aracil via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/49YiYx

Across the world more than 750 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and at least two billion don’t have proper sanitation. On today’s show, we’ll look at a project aiming to solve both problems by turning waste into drinkable water. And why disgust may prevent it from becoming a reality.

Then, we investigate a problem facing many American workers: food theft. We’ll find out why some people feel it’s ok to steal treats from the office fridge. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Republican-led House is considering bills to gut parts of the Common Core education standards.

The House will debate several measures Wednesday aimed at the standards and tests associated with them. Most have a positive endorsement from the House Education Committee, signaling a strong chance of passage.

One bill says schools don't have to adopt the standards. Opponents of the bill say it's redundant because the state board of education does not force schools to use the standards. Passing the bill will make clear the House's skepticism of the standards.

Giving Matters: Making Kids Savvy Media Consumers

Mar 7, 2015

Mary Jill LaRocca is an elementary school health teacher in Manchester. She helps students navigate the barrage of unhealthy messages that kids are exposed to. She turns to Media Power Youth’s Media Smart curriculum to help her students think critically about messages that promote violence, alcohol use, junk food and more, so they can be wise media consumers. 

Brother magneto via Flickr CC

Senators have passed a bill requiring public schools to continue teaching cursive and multiplication tables. The bill is aimed at making sure schools maintain those skills as schools adopt new standards and incorporate more technology in the classroom.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Thursday and it will now be sent to the Senate Finance Committee.

Peter Dutton via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pEWwCa

To protect children from predators, some schools have rules against physical contact so strict that students can be sent to the principal’s office for holding hands or high-fiving. On today’s show – are schools being too touchy about physical contact?

And a reporter profiles the inaugural class of Thiel fellows – twenty teenagers who were given one-hundred thousand dollars to drop out of higher education and pursue success as young entrepreneurs.

Plus a columnist and comedian argues college kids today can’t take a joke. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Giving Matters: SEPIA Brings Art To Kids And The Community

Feb 21, 2015

Emilia Ornellas is a student teacher at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She works with middle and high school students in the Student Enrichment Program in the Arts, also known as SEPIA. She explains that the program offers art classes Manchester students grades K-12.

Dhahiro Osman is an outgoing student who participated in the SEPIA program. Her interest? Self-improvement. “I thought that I’d give it a try, because I’m not a good artist; I thought this might be my chance to be good at it.”

Sound In Focus

Feb 19, 2015

We have a listening problem. One music teacher is out to conquer it.

Mike Alberici is a music teacher at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, who was awarded the 2015/2016 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – an award that grants teachers leave to develop new ideas for classroom teaching, and covers all the costs of doing so.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

Morning Edition speaks with two experts on changes to the child restraint law this month. Scroll down to see our more recent conversation with disability rights advocate Mike Skibbie.

...  

2/10/15

Some New Hampshire school officials are raising concerns about a newly revised state law meant to limit the use of restraint and seclusion on students.

School districts with growing populations could benefit from two pieces of legislation that got preliminary approval today from the New Hampshire House. 

The House voted this morning to move forward a bill that would lift a cap on how much state aid growing school districts can receive, as well as a measure to provide more money for school construction projects. The House Education Committee recommended passage of both. 

Melissa Moreno / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire has been engaged in a perennial argument about the state’s role in paying for schools. In 2011, a compromise put that debate on hold. But dissatisfaction has been brewing and now a bipartisan bill would tweak the formula, igniting speculation about who would win and who would lose under a new arrangement.

GUESTS:

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  As UNH Manchester prepares to move down the road to the larger Pandora Mill building, it’s going back to the drawing board to modernize its classrooms. The school turned to its faculty and students to help design the classroom that works best for them.

This month, researchers in Manchester, England will publish a report on the impact class environment has on learning. They find factors ranging from furniture to lighting can cause a significant variation on a student’s performance. And UNH Manchester is paying attention.

Sara Plourde/ NHPR

The American Vacation

“Vacations were an important part of the social life of the upper class in the United States throughout the 19th century.   They even had a circuit of vacations that followed the sun in some ways – they went south for the winter, came back north to Newport and other places like that. In fact, they became what  Thorstein Veblen critiqued as ‘the leisure class.’  It’s not until the turn of the 20th century that the middle class begins to see vacations as something that’s possible for them.” 

Christopher Sessums via Flickr CC

The fraught topic of education funding is again before lawmakers as two bills seek to eliminate a cap aid to local schools that was imposed in 2011. The bills hope to head off a possible lawsuit from school districts that have missed out on millions of dollars because of that cap. 

The push for change has bipartisan support, even though it could result in less funding for many schools.

www.windhamsd.org

A high school music teacher in Windham, New Hampshire, has received the 2015 Grammy Music Educator award.

Related: Click here to listen to Rick Ganley's conversation with Cassedy, recorded in December after he was chosen as one of ten finalists.

Josh Davis / Flickr/CC

You hear a lot of grumbling these days that students and teachers are overwhelmed by testing regimes aimed at keeping districts accountable.  We talk with an author who says there are better ways to track of how are kids and educators are doing.

GUEST:

Benjamin Chun via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bSXrxr

For students hoping to get into a competitive college or university, high SAT scores are crucial. On today’s show, law professor and civil rights activist argues that the SAT is a more accurate measurement of family wealth, race and ethnicity than merit. 

Then, The Uncommon Core, our series on offbeat college courses, continues with golf course management. We’ll also hear from a husband and wife research team going to great lengths to end the bedbug epidemic– including offering themselves up as food!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

az / Flickr/CC

A new report urges New Hampshire schools to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education. It’s part of a national preoccupation stemming from lackluster scores on these subjects among American students. But some say this emphasis is edging out other, equally important areas from writing skills to civics to the arts.

GUESTS:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The Uncommon Core is a series that examines unusual college courses being taught in schools across the United States. In this episode, a professor explains how our beauty pageants can tell us a lot about who we are as a culture.

How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, and U.S. National Identity

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond

“I wanted to start teaching this course because I wanted a way to engage students in linguistics without having to actually teach them linguistics.  I wanted a kind of pop-culture back road into linguistics.  Also I’m a huge Star Trek fan.”

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bcz7De

Last month’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic relations sparked waves of speculation about what the thaw means for diplomacy, trade, and tourism. On today’s show: what normalized relations mean for Cuba’s internet infrastructure.  

And we usher in awards season by going off the red carpet. We’ll celebrate some of the best films of 2014 that were not nominated for a Golden Globe.

Plus, we kick off a new series on offbeat college courses, The Uncommon Core. Today: Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

danagoldstein.com

A new book explores the tumultuous history of public education: from racial integration, to unions and teacher-tenure, to standardized tests and charter schools. We’re sitting down with writer Dana Goldstein to discuss why the profession has long been so fraught, and how it’s affected the schooling of our kids. 

GUESTS:

Giving Matters: Providing Space For Kids To Succeed

Dec 27, 2014

The Kurn Hattin Homes for Children was established in 1894 for children whose families are not able to care for them. Lyssa Jackson was such a child, born to parents with mental illness. “I lived with my mother until I was about eight and at that point, I wasn’t going to school very often. My mother was keeping out of school because she was not feeling secure with my teachers because of her own internal issues.”

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

This is the second of two stories about  New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, (VLACS) New Hampshire’s statewide online charter school. To read the first, click here.

Pauline Landrigan, an English teacher with VLACS, is touching base with one of her students, Siri Condike.

“Are you going to be together with family in a couple of days?” asks Landrigan.

“No actually I’m going to be working,” Condike responds.

VLACS By The Numbers

Dec 18, 2014
Sara Plourde / NHPR

Good Gig: Professional Science Geek Howard Eglowstein

Dec 17, 2014

Good Gig is a series of conversations with individuals who have landed their dream job.

Howard Eglowstein’s Good Gig involves working to encourage girls in the computer science and math areas for a company called Science Buddies.  They give kids ideas and guidance for science fair projects that deviate from the well-trod robotics and erupting volcano paths. Howard’s background in tinkering started with toy making, but he's always been a creator.

Pages