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Survey: Teachers Support Real-World Learning

High school teachers strongly believe that "experiential learning" programs— such as apprenticeships, internships, and job shadowing—are effective in getting students interested in school, raising their academic achievement, and helping them become more motivated to attend college.

For More Info
Read the full results of "The Experiential Learning in Education Poll," from Junior Achievement. (Requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

Those views emerged from a survey of teachers conducted by Junior Achievement. Ninety-two percent of the respondents said experiential learning was "somewhat effective" or "very effective’ in motivating students to learn. The poll also found that 85 percent of the teachers believed the programs sparked an interest in higher education and careers, and that 79 percent believed such programs helped curtail dropout rates.

The survey of 399 high school social studies and business teachers was conducted in January, and it has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo., seeks to promote an understanding of business, economics, and free enterprise among students.

—Sean Cavanagh

Girls’ Schooling

Investing in girls’ education globally increases economic growth and political participation, improves women’s health, leads to smaller and more sustainable families, and helps prevent diseases, concludes a report from the Center for Universal Education.

The center, an arm of the New York City-based Council on Foreign Relations, produced the report to serve as a guide for policymakers on the impact of educating girls in developing countries. The report says that 86 countries are off track for achieving a world goal of universal primary education by 2015.

—Kevin Bushweller

Arts Education

Researchers should bring new perspectives and methods to bear in examining the impact of arts education on students, teachers, and schools, a report suggests.

Commissioned by the Washington-based Arts Education Partnership, the report points to recent research indicating that the arts involve cognitive, emotional, and social processes that have important effects on the learning and development of children and teenagers, and on the culture and climate of schools.

Exploring the effects of those processes would be a research tactic similar to efforts in other research disciplines, such as neuroscience, sociology, and economics, the report says.

It urges government agencies to collect more and better data to help researchers analyze the impact of policy and funding decisions on arts education.

—Kevin Bushweller

Media Arts

A new report showcases the different ways in which youths are using the media arts to improve society.

For More Info
Ordering information for "A Closer Look: Media Arts 2003" is available from the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture.

It highlights several efforts, such as one to promote girls’ use of information technology in public schools in South Carolina and another that helps high school students from poor families in Salt Lake City prepare for college.

Produced by the San Francisco-based National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, the report says youth media programs need more evidence of their impact, however. The report includes seven case studies and one survey.

—Kevin Bushweller

International Critique

A recent report on education in 14 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recommends a number of steps policymakers need to take to improve schools.

Among other measures, the report calls for changes in working-time regulations for teachers in light of greater demands for new teaching and learning skills and the increasing amount of preparation time needed to master learning technologies. In addition, schools need more autonomy in how they manage staff members, it says, and students who are struggling academically need more help.

—Kevin Bushweller

Vol. 23, Issue 33, Page 17

Published in Print: April 28, 2004, as Report Roundup
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