Zealousness Fifth Edition - Spring 2017

Page 1


Letter from the Editor: DeAndre Nixon


Zealousness Team


Education & Interest


How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds


Are Internships Helpful?


Are Personality Traits The Key To Unlocking Your Students Learning Potential?


Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.


How do the factors contributing to academic success differ in American High Schools across the globe?


How the U.S. Department of Education Determines Success


Education Around the World - Germany


Behind Global Education Ranking


Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe: What Are the Methods for Determining Which Countries Rank Highest?


Smaller Classroom Sizes More Beneficial to Learning, Experts Say


Is Success Only for Beautiful Social Butterflies?


Success After Death


Self-esteem and Success


Analysis of the Widening Gap of Income Inequality-Based Educational Attainment in Children


Success After Failure: Dedication or Resignation?


Why Do We Get Goose Bumps?


Highest Flying Birds


Word Search


Double Puzzle


Crossword Puzzle


Memory Game

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from the


DeAndre Nixon Founder/President of iN Education, Inc. and Editor in Chief of Zealousness Magazine.

In our meritocracy based society, success is often measured by the number of milestone achievements one has reached and one’s wealth. While we do not discourage healthy competition, or increasing one’s wealth, we believe success can come in different forms. The fifth issue of Zealousness, “What Is Successful Education?” considers different ways — you, the reader — can define what success means to you. This issue closely examine wins, losses, grit, success after death, common strategies for achieving your goals and the level of success you clearly define. Throughout our examination of success, we find that education is key to obtain it. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it!





DeAndre Nixon

Sona Nixon



Mikael Kelly Aaron Leizerovici Priyanka Priyanka

Ebony McFarland

WRITERS Evelyn Bourassa Ameera Khawaja Carol Kim Anastasia Leiphart Erica Murphey Shweta Roy Indira Samuels Jessica Y. Sinha Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D. Krithika Thiruppathi

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Eboni Akins Jordan Helwig Ebony McFarland Mathangi Venkatraman

GRAPHIC DESIGN/ VIDEO PRODUCTION Emily Cheung Megan Furmanek zealousness@ineducationonline.org 3867 West Market Street, Suite 166 Akron, Ohio 44333 SPRING 2017 3




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Education and Interest

Author: Ameera Khawaja When we are young, we develop a fear of subjects such as math, science, and history. Simply because we don’t understand it or we are afraid of failing. Which in turn makes us feel like we could never do well with them and we make excuses that we might never even use such topics for daily life. With lots of facts, numbers and arguments to be remembered, studying these subjects can seem like a task, and motivation is inconsequential. To make and keep the process of studying easy and interesting, here are a few tried and successful methods: Use interactive learning We have it much easier than the generation before us and we should take full advantage of that. There is a world of information just a few clicks away from us- links to videos, audios, images, etc. exist on the internet for every topic under the sun. If someone does not find an image interesting, they can watch a video to build enthusiasm. Mixing up learning formats breaks up the monotony of just learning from textbooks. Reward yourself You must always reward yourself for your efforts as it motivates you to learn more and do better every time. Not only does it make acquiring knowledge fun, but it also makes the learner feel positive and happy. For example, a person can read a book for 30 minutes, and then treat himself to a 15-minute snack/TV break. You learn to challenge yourself and finish a task while attaining something, and at the end of the day you feel like you have learnt something new and have been productive. Getting to go out with friends, eating a sweet, and watching a TV show could all be rewards for getting a job done.



Education and Interest

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandela

Make learning practical

at numbers and pies on charts.

Fractions can be tedious to learn and harder to teach, which is why we should keep it interesting. We must teach children and ourselves how important learning the percentage of something is, and how is it used in adult life. By showing practical applications of something such as percentage, the concept becomes easy to grasp. For example, demonstrating with a cake is fun. You could cut the cake in halves, quarters, and beyond, depending on what you’re explaining. It makes more sense this way, rather than just looking

Make a game out of it Making games out of studying keeps the student interested and they strive to do better each time. For instance, when learning counting, one can play card games, or use flash cards to associate something with the numbers. Or when learning names for history or geography, one can use learning aids such as mnemonicslearning the order of North, East, South & West. It’s common to learn it by ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’. Using such tactics, one can keep those troublesome facts,

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Education and Interest names & numbers in mind. Set the tone with music Listening to what you are learning in the tune of your favorite song can help too. Some people substitute the lyrics in the song with the words they learn. So, whenever they need to remember it, they just replay the tune in their mind and the words automatically come. Playing music that doesn’t make the learner anxious and eases them is always a good idea, and especially music they like and listen often. Being positive & responsive When working with anybody, whether it’s a child or yourself, always remember to be affirmative and give positive reinforcement. That way the learner sees that they are making the teacher happy and are getting good feedback. One should not be ashamed of making mistakes, as it is a part and process of learning. Showing them the path to understanding and being patient while you teach them is very important, so that they don’t feel embarrassed and don’t shy away from learning. Everyone works at their own pace, and has different ways to remember and understand things. If something seems difficult, steering away from it, and taking time to do something fun for a while will distract them and refresh their mind when they have to come back to the problem. Change your environment Changing ones surroundings can make the student regain enthusiasm about learning. Whether it’s outside in the garden, in a park, or a library - you should choose where you are comfortable and aren’t too distracted. Making small changes such as moving your desk to your window just so that you can look outside makes a huge difference. You shouldn’t feel suffocated or forced to study in an uncomfortable environment. Once you feel like you’re in a good setting, you also find yourself not making excuses and feel more positive. These are just some steps in making learning interesting and can be used by children and adults. Being interested plays a huge role as it makes you remember things better. Once you have any of these settings in action, you also find yourself not making excuses to study. People have different ways of learning, and just because you may have one way does not mean that will work for them. You should see what gets them interested and work around that



How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds

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How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds

Life Lesson # 103: How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds Author: Anastasia Leiphart Inside of the Box? Outside of the Box? Forget the box: Look at the Student There are not many things in my life that I am cator” in classroom. However, I am admitting ashamed to admit. that home school is the best option for one of my three children. For example, I find it difficult to sugarcoat the truth, especially when the truth is so simple. I Wow, that is difficult to say. do try hard to locate that sugar bowl to throw some sweetness at statements after they have I feel as if I am betraying the very system that left my mouth too soon. Sometimes it works. nurtured and raised me. I need to wave my flag If it doesn’t, “Oh well. Here’s a fork, the truth is a little higher. I’m still one of you! I promise! This meaty.” choice did not come easy, so please hold your hate mail. Several more recent admissions rocked my world, and most likely will for sometime to I have taught in classrooms in The US and around come. the world for over a decade. Differentiating for every child, sometimes for upwards of 80 stu1. I have often been called a “Rock Star edu- dents every day, and meeting with parents up



How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds to 8pm. I loved watching my students’ abilities soar to heights they never imagined possible. Then, I was faced with a challenge at home so ironic; I was ashamed to admit to it. Not anymore. . 2. I have watched for years as my own children struggled through learning difficulties. As a mother it has left me distraught because I did not understand how I was so successful in the classroom, yet my own children struggled to such a great extent. I helped in every way I knew how, and yet the struggle continued. Motherly guilt abounds and I found no answers. Some colleagues offered, “It’s because you are a teacher, it’s the teacher-mother curse,” or “I think you are looking too deeply and putting your career on your child. They are fine.” Or the incredibly hurtful, “You work too much, you are never home.” Somehow, those answers never helped my own children succeed to the levels of the students in my classroom. This school year that changed. A light bulb went off. One child has a litera-

cy delay. Another is profoundly gifted with ADHD. The third still young and needs a large amount of structure. They were all at one school and all struggling. My husband and I looked at each other and asked, “Why are we placing them in one school, expecting the same results?” When moving back to The United States, we located separate schools that held benefits for each child, in the same geographic area. Our plan is working out quite well for two of our children. The child gifted with ADHD - She is a social butterfly, of course, but has grown bored and her grades are not as they should reflect. When I suggested the idea of home school to her, she did not, as I expected, protest. She inquired if she would still see her friends. When I said yes, she then asked if she could study dol-

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How to Ensure Each Student Succeeds phins and learn “the hard math, as they do in Middle School?� She added that she wants to do more science projects, and hates all the worksheets, reading, and circling answers she does now. I like the new sparkle in her eyes now. 3. It has taken me a while to realize that she requires an education that is not in a traditional classroom. It is an education that is different from her brothers. This reflects the very essence of America because we have a choice, not only from school to school, but for each family member. I am proud of that choice, as an American educator. I certainly do not detest American education. I see its benefits for two of my children, who are thriving. However, next year, I will be driving car pool to two schools and teaching hands on courses with a high level of differentiation from home. I hope to bring you along on the journey with me! It should be an interesting ride Look for my articles the next two months as I discuss: Streamlining the New Teacher Training Process and Why Standardized Tests Are Not Evil

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. - Alexander Graham Bell



Are Internships Helpful?

Are Internships Helpful? - by Shweta Roy

Long gone are the days when summers were meant only for spending hours at the pool and vacationing. Now they are not always meant for no work and all play. In today’s job market, internships are very important. Whether it’s paid or not, internships are definitely going to repay you. These are investments for the future and are helpful in so many ways. Good Resume: Work experiences help you build up a good resume. Sometimes employers don’t prefer to look at your curriculum vitae if you have no previous work encounters. Experience is always a factor in hiring.

Build contacts: While you are interning or volunteering, you get to meet plenty of professionals who are working in the same field. Building potential contact helps you acquire good references and provide you with information regarding new job opportunities. You get to learn a lot Test Drive Your Career: One of the greatest from them and sometimes they can be your benefits of internships or volunteering is that professional mentors as well. Internships in a they give you the chance to try out new oppor- company might also help you gain a full time tunities. Whether it’s an experience for a cou- position in the same. ple of months, the summer, or for a whole year, you can decide whether that particular field Gain confidence and learn work ethics: Havsuits you. In case you plan to change your mind, ing a degree is completely different from makyou can try out new internships and re-focus in ing yourself employable. Internships make you that area. ‘workplace friendly’ and prepare you to plunge into a whole new corporate world. There are Earn college credit: Some internships offer certain skills that cannot be taught in the classcollege credits as well. Generally, credits range room like the opportunity to work hands on in a from 3 to 12 and it may depend on other factors professional environment. The theories and the that the university arranges with the company, algorithms that we have learnt in classrooms such as coursework completed in conjunction will now relate to the work force. Apart from with the work. that, you get to work in a team, you learn unity,

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Are Internships Helpful? gain motivation and gather confidence overall. You might make money: Not all internships pay you at the end of the work period. But if it’s a paid one, you obviously start making money besides learning every single thing that internships have to offer you. Even if the internships aren’t paid don’t worry, it’s going to repay you someway or the other



References: http://www.snagajob.com/resources/reasons-why-an-internship-rocks/ http://www.theiet.org/students/work-careers/work-experience/benefits.cfm

Are Personality Traits the Key to Unlocking...

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Are Personality Traits the Key to Unlocking...

Are Personality Traits the Key to Unlocking Your Students Learning Potential? Author: Indira Samuels In schools throughout the country, many educators are trying to find ways to adjust their pedagogical practices in a way that addresses all their students’. To do this, teachers have to find ways to gauge and understand the way that each of their students learns adjust their lesson plans to address varying students’ needs.

ferent metrics to produce results. The Myers-Briggs Personality Test is broken into 4 attribute spectrums: • Introversion/Extraversion • Intuition/Sensing • Feeling/Thinking • Judging/Perceiving

How Can Teachers Figure out How Their Students Learn? For a more comprehensive description each of the attribute and the test, click here. One way is with personality tests. Not the fun tests one can take on Facebook to see which TV The test is a series of yes or no questions that character you’re most like, but the Myers-Briggs assess how one would react in certain situaType Indicator® (MBTI®) . This test uses a com- tions, such as comfort level in crowds or workprehensive list of questions, weighed with dif-



Are Personality Traits the Key to Unlocking... ing style. While questions like these may seem trivial at a glance, they address key components of personalities. This test can help a teacher better understand and address students’ needs. According to child psychology, the average person’s personality is developed by the age of five (5). If teachers can figure out student’s personality types in the beginning of their academic careers (preschool and kindergarten), then teachers can use more holistic approach to teaching their students.

but they pose labeling issues. It is the people — parents, teachers, and administrators — deciding the parameters and rigidity of these personality groupings. With that said, no one quality determines a person’s level of intelligence or competence in a subject matter; however, understanding people’s personalities can help teachers maximize how a student learns to reach their potential and consistently perform at high levels by conveying information them in the way best absorb it.

In essence, our personalities are the way we However, could using data from personality process information and decide to interact with tests be accurate? Or would it just be a stan- the world dardized way to place students into learning categories, as education has experienced with “gifted and talented” groupings? Would introverts be seen as the new “gifted and talented” group? As many teachers know, quiet students may be more of an indicator of misunderstanding or not understanding at all as opposed to excelling. Conversely, students labelled as “class clowns” can have accelerated understandings across subject matters. Labels are never a good thing. Personality types could work in in classrooms,

Sources: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JungType.htm http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22554554/ns/health-childrens_health/t/personality-may-be-set-preschool/

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Are Personality Traits the Key to Unlocking...

The one size fits all approach of standardized testing is convenient but lazy. James Dyson



Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

REUSE REDUCE RECYCLE Author: Jessica Sinha

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Paper/Cardboard • Most communities offer paper recycling. You can recycle cardboard, office paper, magazines, newspapers, dairy cartons, and even phonebooks! Reducing use of paper and recycling paper saves trees.

the stronger polypropylene lastic. #6: PS (Polystyrene) • Or called Styrofoam, used in items such as coffee cups, disposable cutlery, meat trays, packing “peanuts” and insulation. • Can be reprocessed into many items, including rigid insulation.

Plastic (7) Did you know recycling just 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for 25.4 #7: Others hours? (2) • Crafted from various combinations of the plastics or from unique plastic formulations not Know what the symbols mean! commonly used. • Labeled as #7 or nothing at all. #1: PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) • Most difficult to recycle and most places don’t • Easiest and most common to recycle. accept it so usually goes into trash. • Used in soda and water bottles. • Try to not purchase #7 plastics when possible • Once processed by a recycling facility, PET can or attempt to return such items to the product become fiberfill for winter coats, sleeping bags manufacturers if possible. and life jackets, bean bags, rope, car bumpers, furniture and, of course, other plastic bottles. Aluminum/Tin • PET #1 bottles should not be re-purposed as • Aluminum and tin cans are a 100% recyclable. reusable water bottles. • Did you know we recycle only 49% of the cans we use? (3) #2: HDPE (High-density polyethylene plastics) Glass • Used in heavier containers that hold laundry • Glass can be recycled over and over again. detergents, bleaches, milk, shampoo, and motor oil. Batteries • Often recycled into toys, piping, truck bed lin- • Prevention: Avoid using items that require baters, and rope. teries. Use rechargeable batteries when possible and recycle those when finished. Here are #3: PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) a list of places that take rechargeable batteries: • Commonly used in plastic pipes, shower cur- http://ehso.com/battery.php. Stories like Best tains, medical tubing, vinyl dashboards. Buy, The Home Depot, RadioShack, Sears, Sta• Once recycled, it can be ground up and reused ples, Target, and Wal-Mart also take rechargeto make vinyl flooring, window frames, able batteries. or piping. Electronics #4: LDPE (Low density poly• Your local ethylene) Best Buy, • Used to make thin, flexible Staples, plastics like wrapping films, or phone grocery bags, sandwich bags, companies and a variety of soft packaging may offer materials. drop-offs for large #5: PP (Polypropylene) electri• Some food containers and cal applimany plastic caps are made with ances and



Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. phones. Food • Donate excess food or surplus inventory to pantries and food banks. • Compost! • Vegetables, fruits, coffee & tea grains, and garden trimmings can be composted. • Dairy, meat, fats/oils, pet waste should not be composted. Used Oil • Cooking Oil: • Some cities are taking donations of cooking oil for biofuel. • Filter and reuse in cooking. • Use the oil to make soap or oil lamps! • Motor Oil: • Many garages and auto stores also accept oil for recycling. Or look for a motor oil recycler near you: Earth911. How else can I help? • Borrow items when feasible. • Maintain your items. Repair if necessary and feasible. Reuse. • Buy items that are used, reusable, recycled, or use less packaging (2). • Build crafts out of safe recyclable or non-recyclable items. (Check out some ideas in this article!) • Have something you don’t want? Donate! • Buy and use non-hazardous items.

Hazardous Waste Source Reduction around the Home (2) Instead of a… Try this… Drain Cleaner Use a plunger or plumber’s snake. Glass Cleaner Mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in one quart of water. Spray on and use newspaper to dry. Furniture Polish Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in one pint of mineral or vegetable oil and wipe furniture. Rug Deodorizer Liberally sprinkle carpets with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary. Get CRAFTY • PLANT AND GROW: Cut 2-liter soda bottles in half and use the bottom half to grow a favorite plant or herb! The clear bottle will help you watch the plant grow. Try onions, basil, and cilantro! • Stationary Holder: Paint empty glass/plastic jars or cans with fun colors and designs and use them to hold your pens, pencils, and other stationary items! • Fabric Dolls: Use scrap pieces of fabric or reuse your old/torn clothes to build fabric dolls for yourselves or friends! • Personal Collage: Use old magazines or newspapers to create a collage with pictures and words that define you and frame it in your room! • Storage Box: Decorate large cardboard boxes with paint or wallpaper to create magazine holders or a place to keep your books, games, or toys! • Denim Ideas: Recycle your old jeans to make chair cushions, a new skirt, cute accessories, a tote bag, or sew pieces together to

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. make a denim rug For more information, use these resources: EPA.gov Call2Recycle.org Search.Earth911.com www.WM.com Electronic Industries Alliance GreenerGadgets RecycleNation.com

Sources: 1. http://recyclingfacts.org/ 2. https://www.epa.gov/recycle General recycling and how to get rid of hazardous material 3. www.WM.com 4. http://ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php Battery disposal 5. http://www.cookingoilrecycling.org/ - Recycling cooking oil 6. http://www.kidzworld.com/article/26804-top-10-ways-torecycle - Crafts 7. http://environment.about.com/od/earthtalkcolumns/a/ recycleplastics.htm - Plastics

All images obtained from Clipart

Write to us at zealousness@ineducationonline.org How do you recycle at home? Do you donate, reuse, or make crafts from recyclable material? Have any suggestions for fellow readers? Would you like to learn more about recycling or craft ideas? Write to us or send us a picture to tell us how you help the environment!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. - New England Proverb



How do the factors contributing....

Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. - Swami Sivananda

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How do the factors contributing....

How do the factors contributing to academic success differ in American High Schools across the globe? Author: Krithika Thiruppathi Academic success has become one of the important criterion for a thriving career. I am not talking about geniuses born with a natural aptitude for success with or without academic backing. I am talking about the other 98% of the world who have to cram for exams to earn the academic validation that will give them an opportunity to have a fighting chance in a career. Studies have shown that there are a lot of factors contributing to an individual’s academic success such as family factors, social factors, economic factors, cultural factors, institutional factors, peer factors and personal factors. This article focuses on attempting to explain some of the differences in these factors, specific to the American High Schools, across the globe and their impact on the academic success of the students.



How do the factors contributing.... Factors have two dimensions: internal/external and stable/unstable. It was first proposed by Weiner in his 1974 work. His general framework is surmised in table 1. • The internal and stable factor is the ability and it is the result of good genes. • The internal and unstable factor is the effort and interest that an individual is willing to invest. This is affected by many social, environmental, cultural and economic factors. • The external stable factor is the task difficulty. • The external unstable factor is luck and opportunity and this again is affected by economic, social and cultural factors. Internal




Task Difficulty




Table 1: 2 X 2 matrix depicting the two dimensions of factors When you add controllability into this equation you get a new matrix as shown in Table 2 below, which shows that any factor can be classified into the following dimensions. Internal Stable Unstable

Controllable Uncontrollable Controllable Uncontrollable

External Uncontrollable Uncontrollable

Table 2: The three dimensions of factors. All external factors are uncontrollable while the internal factors can be either controllable or uncontrollable. An example as given in the article titled ‘Academic Success Factors: An IT Student Perspective’ in the journal of Information Technology Education is the simple case of the basketball player. The height of the basketball player is considered uncontrollable internal factor while the skill of the player is considered controllable through training. There have been many studies to investigate

various factors that affect academic success. A comprehensive list can be found in the aforementioned journal article. One factor that is starkly obvious is the curriculum. There is not much change to the core curriculum but there are minor changes that opens a child’s mind. For example in the Middle East, Arabic lessons are compulsory for students. Hence, on top of the US curriculum, student learn Arabic as Foreign Language. This is on top of French and Spanish that they learn as World Languages. ACTFL (American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages) has listed many studies that shows language learning supports academic achievement, provide cognitive benefits to students and affects the attitude and beliefs of the other culture. To surmise, the studies show that • In standard test measures, people who are multilingual score higher. • Multilingual students have higher linguistic awareness. • Students who study more languages score higher in SAT and ACT tests. • There is a correlation between High school foreign language study and academic performance at college level. • Early language learning improves cognitive abilities. • Bilingualism sets off age related cognitive losses. • Bilingualism improves problem solving, memory skills and intelligence. Hence, it can be seen that this profoundly affects the stud e n t s studying in a Middle East Ameri c a n school on a different level than the students in USA.

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How do the factors contributing....

Another factor is the composition of students. In US, students are majorly interacting with the same race. The mix is not as drastic as outside. In US, there are many schools for one student to attend and the foreign population is generally the minority in the school. However, in overseas, there are only two to three schools catering to a vast foreign population consisting of Americans, Africans, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Indians and many more. Hence, the mix of race is more prominent. In a class of 24, you do not see predominantly white but rather an eclectic mix of many races. Students are opened up to a lot of world view from a young age as they interact with the other races. They cannot be clique-oriented because the proportion of the races makes it difficult but not impossible. The commonality that brings them together is the



fact that they are in a completely foreign land and they are peers in the same school. Economic factor is fairly simple to understand. In most cases, especially if the American family is moving to the Middle East, India or Philippines etc., the company pays for the housing and education. The parents do not have to worry about money with respect to that and hence parents have no qualms or reservation in putting their child in the best school environment possible. Moreover, the money saved can be used to do other exercises with their kid that promotes family bonding which again is important in how a kid performs in school. When in a foreign country, it is not rare to see family just whisking away for the weekend every other week. This getaway helps in stress alleviation

How do the factors contributing.... for kids and parents alike so the circumstances culture’s habits and inclinations and with time of family tension and arguments can be lower assimilate into their own culture. than that in US. We have covered some of the salient factors Another thing not to be overlooked is the cul- that are crucial for academic success but the list ture. High school students in US have no prob- is non-exhaustive. In the next article, we shall lem hanging out till 10 at night with friends, look at how learning styles, academic facilities, dressing more casual in summer among other luck and self-esteem of students tend to differ things. However, it is not possible if the Ameri- in different places and how they impact the accan family is located in a more culturally sensi- ademic success of students tive country. For example, in the Middle East, you have to cover your shoulder and your knees and hence you cannot wear shorts or skirts to go out in public. It can be seen as disrespecting their culture and you could be jailed. Hence, the students and the family take extra care. Students develop sensitivity that helps them mature as a person. This gives them a world sense and broader understanding. It affects the way they see and analyze everything. US has a materialistic culture and you have billboards and advertising bombarding a person everywhere. There are constant sales and many outlets. There are the same things overseas but some cultures has the saving tendency such as in India. Living with a different culture, students incorporate some of the other

High school students in US have no problem hanging out till 10 at night with friends, dressing more casual in summer among other things.

References "ACTFL." What the Research Shows. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. http://www.actfl.org/advocacy/what-the-research-shows#academic_achievement "The American International School of Muscat." The American International School of Muscat. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. http://www.taism.com/about-us/school-information Weiner, B. (1974). Achievement motivation and attribution theory. Morristown , NJ: General Learning Press. Zhang, Aimao, and Cheryl L. Aasheim. "Academic Success Factors: An IT Student Perspective." Journal of Information Technology 10 (2011): 309-31. Web. http://www.jite.org/documents/Vol10/JITEv10p309-331Zhang962.pdf

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How do the factors contributing....

US has a materialistic culture and you have billboards and advertising bombarding a person everywhere



How the U.S. Department of Education...

How the U.S. Department of Education Determines Success by Evelyn Bourassa

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How the U.S. Department of Education...



How the U.S. Department of Education... As Maria rushes outside without a jacket, the late winter air dances over her arms, but she’s too excited to stop. “I made it!” she squeals, running across the yard into her grandmother’s arms, just like she had as a child. In a few months she will walk across her dusty high school gymnasium to receive her diploma. Then in August she will start living her dream of attending college. Maria is the first in her family to finish high school. Her life has always been challenging, but now she has set a new trajectory. But did the coursework Maria take in high school prepare her for college-level classes? Will she finish college in four years, or at all? Maria starts to shiver.

Rather than using standardized test results to modify programs and courses as needed, standardized tests have become part of the cyclic dropout problem the Department of Education has tried to combat for years.

Among those students graduating are higher-than-ever percentages of minority students and students with disabilities. New dropout prevention programs and learning models may have helped increase graduation rates with groups that previously graduated at lower rates. These indications are positive: more students now have a greater chance for a better future.

The Common Core Curriculum

Standardized Testing Another benchmark the Department of Education uses to measure student success is standardized testing. The Department of Education utilizes standardized tests to demonstrate that students are learning the Core Curriculum.

“Despite the highest high school graduation rate in our history, and despite growth in student The U.S. Department of Education Guidelines achievement over time in elementary school and middle school, student achievement at the The Department of Education guidelines define high school level has been flat in recent years,” what students will learn and to some degree said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan how they will learn. There are four primary fac- (Resmovits, 2014). tors that the Department of Education uses to determine if a student is successful: dropout Peggy Carr, who is over the administration of rate, standardized testing scores, the Common NAEP (National Assessment of Education ProgCore Curriculum, and college enrollment. ress), explains: “What’s happening is that students who would normally drop out of school The National Dropout Rate are staying in,” Carr said. “Students who would normally not be taking our assessment, they’re The first method that the Department of Edu- in there now at larger proportions” (Resmovits, cation uses to measure success is dropout rate. 2014). One of the challenges the Department According to the National Center for Education of Education faces is accurately accessing the Statistics (NCES), graduation rates are histori- success of students; this is vital, particularly for cally high; 82% of high school seniors graduated groups of students who were not included in in 2013-2014 (the latest statistics available). standardized testing previously.

In 2009, the Department of Education created the Common Core Curriculum. The focus was on mathematics and English language arts. Studies found that many students entering college still required remedial coursework and were not able to perform satisfactorily in the job market. The goal of the curriculum is to make sure that regardless of where a student attends school, they will be prepared for college-level courses. The Common Core is also intended to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills.

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson University tracks why students drop out. The center reveals that of all the students who want to drop out because they dislike going to school, 10.5% of them dropped out for fear of failing a competency test. “In 2013, 39% of students were considered

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How the U.S. Department of Education... ready for college math, and 38% were prepared for college-level reading. But in 2015, only 37% were prepared for college” (Singer, 2016). Although one of the main goals of implementing the Core Curriculum was to prepare students for college-level coursework, many college freshmen continue to enroll in remedial coursework. If the Common Core is the Department of Education’s ultimate solution to producing college-bound students, the department fails. Since the implementation of the Common Core in 2009, NAEP has shown that from 2013 to 2015, standardized test scores of 12th-grade students dropped in math and remained stagnant in reading (Singer, 2016). With scores deteriorating in arguable the two most important subjects, it is time to examine if the Common Core is really the best curriculum for all students to follow. College Enrollment Another factor that the department analyzes is how many students enroll in college. An April 28, 2016, news release from the United States Department of Labor Statistics states that: “In October 2015, 69.2% of 2015 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities” (College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2015 High School Graduates). However, not all students who start college complete their degrees. They are also taking longer to finish. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), of full-time students who began bachelor’s degrees in 2008, 60% of them graduated in 2014. Often, students take longer to finish because they still require remedial coursework, despite taking more rigorous classes in high school. Currently, the U.S. is ranked fourth globally for the number of people who hold bachelor degrees, according to an article published in 24/7 Wall St. (2012, Sep. 21). Despite this statistic, the future of our nation is uncertain. Of the students who do graduate from college, not enough earn degrees in math and science-related fields.



A 2009 U.S. Department of Education survey reports on those who hold bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. In most states those who hold engineering and science-related degrees make-up less than 10% of degree holders. If these trends persist, the U.S. will continue to be unable to compete in the global market; we will not be able to fill technology, science, or healthcare professions with domestic candidates. In conclusion, if the U.S. wants to fill more of its jobs with its own candidates, and to compete globally, the Department of Education must rethink its teaching methodologies, as well as to find ways to assist students in completing their college degrees. Although the Department of Education has succeeded in raising the number of graduating high schoolers, many of these students are not prepared for life after high school

Works Cited: 24/7 Wall St, The Most Educated Countries in the World, (2012, Sep. 21): http://247wallst.com/special-report/2012/09/21/the-most-educated-countries-in-the-world/ US Department of Education, U.S High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High: http://www.ed.gov/news/ press-releases/us-high-school-graduation-rate-hits-new-record-high-0 National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson University: (http://dropoutprevention.org/resources/statistics/quick-facts/why-students-drop-out/) Resmovits, Joy, (2014, May 7) The Huffington Post, “American Students Perform Worse As They Reach Higher Grades” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/07/naep-2013high-school_n_5276767.html Singer, Alan, (2016, May 2) The Huffington Post, “Results are in: Common Fore Fails Tests and Kids” (http://www. huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/results-are-in--commonco_b_9819736.html). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic New Release, (2016, Apr. 28) “College and Work Activity of 2015 High School Graduates” https://www.bls.gov/news.release/hsgec.nr0.htm National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/ fastfacts/display.asp?id=40 Siebens, Julie; Ryan, Camille L. United States Census Bureau “Field of Bachelor’s Degree in the United States: 2009” American Community Survey Reports https://www.census.gov/ prod/2012pubs/acs-18.pdf

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Education Around the World: Germany

Education Around the World: Germany by Erica Murphey

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Education Around the World: Germany

Germany places a heavier emphasis on practical education than America does. Their schools teach children how to succeed in a career rather than why they should.

Germany’s educational system is very different from the United States of America’s. While America’s system is determined federally, Germany’s system is determined by the individual states. Furthermore, career paths in Germany are determined for students as early as fifth grade while Americans can choose jobs at any point in their life. Finally, German universities have been free of charge since 2014 while most U.S. colleges are not. Head Start to a Dream Job The country places a heavier emphasis on practical education than America does. Their schools teach children how to succeed in a career rather than why they should.



In Germany the equivalent of elementary school is Grundschule and the equivalent of middle through high school is one of five kinds of secondary schools: Hauptschule, Realschule, Mit-telschule, Gymnasium, and Gesamtschule. Secondary schooling starts at grade five and can last until a thirteenth grade. The educational/career paths are determined individually by the German states. Hauptschule is considered the easiest kind of secondary school by some natives. Students who wish to get an apprenticeship or work in a particular industry benefit from this type of education. It is mostly a vocational school. Realschule is where the majority of secondary students go with about forty percent of fifth through tenth graders

Education Around the World: Germany in the country attending. Mittelschule combines the former two although only a few German states use this educational path. This kind is also for fifth through tenth graders. Gymnasium is considered very prestigious and difficult. It is for fifth to thirteenth graders or fifth through twelfth depending on which state one is in. Somewhat like Realschule, learning two different languages is mandatory in Gymnasium. It is considered to be for the academic elite and getting one’s preferred field of study is not a guarantee. Medicine and Law are especially in de-mand in this kind of secondary school. Finally, Gesamtschule is a secondary system that is most similar to the United States’s. It is a comprehensive school that combines elements of Hauptschule and Realschule and teaches pupils of all academic levels. Standardized Testing: Recent and Controversial The country did not have standardized testing until 2003. Due to poor nationwide scores on the PISA, or international learning standards test, it decided to introduce standards when it came to German, Math, and a pupil’s first foreign language circa 2004/2005. The German Educator’s Union, or GEW, criticized the movement. Despite standardized testing being relatively new to the country, the states still have a great deal of say about individual educational systems. German Public vs. Private Schools The majority of people attend public school in Germany. However, there are a few children in private schools. Private academies such as Catholic schools are run by groups or wealthy individ-uals but also subsidized by the state. As a result private academy fees are fairly low. Their curric-ula must be identical to public schools’ by law. Affirmative Action Many Turkish immigrants learn in inner city schools and this has become a large problem. Like America’s, Germany’s inner city schools are in poor shape. This is largely due to poverty in these areas. Number Twelve In the World Germany has the twelfth best education system in the world as of 2016 as opposed to the United

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Education Around the World: Germany States which has the fourteenth best. Kindergarten is not mandatory in Germany like it is in America. Schools are almost entirely funded by the states. Germany’s Free College Free countrywide college tuition, though a recent decision, has had positive reception from German students. Each state had to agree on this decision and the last one to do so was Lower Saxony. In 2006 the country lifted a universal ban on university fees leading to colleges charging students in seven states. The decision to overturn that happened in September 2014

Sources: http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/lspringm/resources/schulsystem.html http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/lspringm/resources/schulsystem.html http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/11/great-german-scool-turnaround/413806/ http://www.dw.com/en/germany-to-introduce-federal-school-standards/a-1050915 http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Germany/United-States/Education http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/germanschools.html http://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/education/the-german-school-system/ http://www.mbctimes.com/english/20-best-education-systems-world http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2014/10/03/there-is-not-such-thing-as-a-free-college-education/#7c271c304c6e http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4213550.ece



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Behind Global Education Ranking

Behind Global Education Ranking by Evelyn Bourassa Every three years, nearly 80 world’s education systems are ranked. When the results are released, we scrutinize the results. We revere top performing countries. For countries that don’t score as well, administrators scramble to make changes to the curriculum before the next round of tests. Much of the emphasis in the media is on the ranking itself, where the United States is on the list, and theories as to why we are not improving our score. According to OECD, the ranking isn’t meant to be a contest; its intent is to assist participating countries to provide the best education possible. Who Ranks The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) did not develop this ranking to give countries bragging rights; rather it provides statistical data on schools whose board members help write the test. According to the OECD, the rankings real purpose is to analyze top-performing test countries to see what they do in the classroom. It’s an opportunity for countries to learn from one another, to utilize what is a good fit for their pedagogy and culture, keeping what suits their system. In collaboration with its partners, the OECD administers a test every three years to randomly-selected 15-year-old students. The test targets this age because most OECD-participating countries set 15 as nearing the end of obligatory education (oecd.org/pisa). In 2015, 72 OECD countries participated; in 2018, 80 countries are anticipated to participate (oecd.org/pisa).

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Behind Global Education Ranking

Developing PISA The Programme International Student Assessment (PISA), is designed in collaboration with OECD staff, researchers, government officials, and content-area experts, all from the countries involved in its development and distribution (oecd.org/pisa). “PISA is developed and implemented under the responsibility of education ministries through the PISA’s decision-making body, the PISA Governing Board. The Board has representatives from all member countries plus partner countries . . .” (oecd.org/pisa). One of the goals of the collaboration of so many experts is to ensure elimination of any potential cultural biases before each year’s test is published (oecd.org/pisa). Not a Standard Standardized Test PISA takes approximately three hours, is given in the child’s native language, and covers math, science, reading, problem-solving, and financial literacy. The focus of the 2015 PISA was on science. Unlike other standardized tests with specific sections for each, PISA focuses on a student applying academic knowledge in a more real-world way. For example, a few paragraphs along with pictures or graphs, some resembling newspaper articles, accompanied many questions. Rather than asking a student only to solve math problems or recall information from science classes, the questions require students to employ their reading, mathematical, and reasoning skills, in addition to science-based knowledge. “PISA also collects valuable information on student’s attitudes and motivations, and formally assesses skills such as collaborative problem solving . . . “ (oecd.org/pisa).Testing for reasoning and financial literacy, are not typically evaluated in standardized tests and set PISA apart. PISA Not Perfect Because PISA is given to a random sampling of 15-year-old students, “. . . it is not possible to assign a single exact rank in each subject to each country or economy” (oecd.org/pisa). Because of this fact, there is a minor potential margin of error (oecd.org/pisa). The slight margin of error is part of the reason why the ranking list in itself is not as important as what school systems can learn and potentially adopt from countries that score well. How PISA Helps “In an OECD 2012 survey of PISA-participating countries and economies, the large majority of respondents said that the policies of high-performing countries or improving systems had been influential in their own policy-making processes”(oecd.org/pisa). Giving the test every three years helps administrators make timely changes in curriculum and pedagogy while allowing them to see if changes they have implemented since the last time the test was given has improved students’ scores (oecd.org/pisa ). Although PISA is the only international survey of its kind, according to the Center for Global Education, its greatest advantage is felt locally: schools that perform well on math and science are typically producing students who go into medical and science-related professions, which are higher



Behind Global Education Ranking paying jobs. More medical professionals and scientists help the local economy. OECD Isn’t One Size Fits All The OECD doesn’t recommend any one curriculum or educational model. In part, it collects what works for high-performing countries’ school systems, and those that have significantly improved, so that others can examine their pedagogy and learning models to see what may work for them. “The OECD is very aware of the different circumstances in different countries and economies (with over 80 participating in PISA 2018). There is no ‘one size fits all’ education model for countries and economies” (oecd.org/pisa). Do More With Less OECD-participating countries show that spending less per student and doing more is possible: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the U.S. spent a combined $38,300 per full-time student on elementary and post-secondary education annually. For participating OECD countries, the combined average for both levels is $23,800 (nces.ed.gov). While the debate on the merits of standardized testing will continue, PISA is unique. The next exam is in 2018. When the results are out, maybe instead of looking so much at where we are on the list, we will look at why we are there, and what the countries that scored so well are doing on a daily basis in the classroom Works Cited: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cmd.asp http://www.oecd.org/pisa/ Center for Global Education: Global Cities Education Network: “What is Pisa and Why Does it Matter?”http://asiasociety.org/global-cities-education-network/what-pisa-and-why-does-it-matter

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Behind Global Education Ranking


The one size fits all approach of standardized testing is convenient but lazy. James Dyson



Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe

Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe: What Are the Methods for Determining Which Countries Rank Highest? by Carol Kim SPRING 2017 45

Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe


n 2016, news headlines around the world heralded Singapore the leading country in global education. “Singapore Teens Top Global Education Ranks” wrote CNN. “Singapore Tops Latest OECD PISA Global Education Survey,” declared a December 2016 article in Education Journal. “Singapore Tops Global Education Ranking,” announced BBC News in November 2016.

school to problems and situations they may encounter in real life. Unlike other global assessments, PISA does not focus explicitly on curricular outcomes. Students are not asked to provide memorized names or dates. Instead, test questions are designed to measure how well students can apply their knowledge and analytical skills to answer a variety of questions. This type of testing seeks to measure knowledge “literaBut who, or what, decides which country is cy.” In other words, the goal is to explore the number one? basic question: “What is important for citizens to know and to be able to do?”2 Over the last 20 years, intergovernmental and independent research institutions have ad- The PISA mathematics framework includes both ministered assessment surveys covering the a content dimension and a cognitive dimension. subjects of reading, mathematics, and science PISA’s content dimension is organized by broad to countries across the globe. The three most concepts—categories include space and shape, prominent surveys are PISA (the Programme change and relationships, and quantity and unfor International Student Assessment), TIMSS certainty. For the cognitive dimension, PISA de(Trends in International Mathematics and Sci- scribes important mathematical competencies ence Study), and PIRLS (Progress in Internation- in three areas: formulating situations matheal Reading Literacy Study). The governments of matically; employing mathematical concepts, individual countries voluntarily chose whether facts, procedures, and reasoning; and interto participate in any given year. preting, applying, and evaluating mathematical outcomes. There are key differences between PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS. The latter two are curriculum-based In addition to the content and cognitive dimenand require schools to cover certain content sion, PISA adds a third dimension that examines for a designated number of years. Therefore, a the usage of mathematics within various concountry’s weaker performance in TIMSS may be texts. Students are assessed in a broad range of a result of schools failing to cover the necessary mathematics usage areas, ranging from usage topics effectively, or at all. PISA, on the other in one’s personal life to occupational contexts hand, focuses less on specific curriculum and to science and technology. more on skills required in the modern world.1 PISA includes test questions in which students PISA: The Most Comprehensive Assessment apply mathematics to a variety of real-life situations, such as in school or society, that meaStudies on global education ranking often cite sures real-world application ability.3 the PISA survey conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development In the science assessment, students are not (OECD). asked to demonstrate their knowledge of specific scientific facts, such as the details of cell biPISA tests fifteen-year-olds on science, read- ology or the difference between the mass and ing, math, and collaborative problem-solving. weight of an object. Instead, questions chalThe test, administered every three years since lenge students to apply their understanding of 2000, last took place in 2015. Around 540,000 science concepts and to evaluate an issue or sitstudents from seventy-two countries and econ- uation in a scientific manner.4 omies took the 2016 test, up from 510,000 in 2012. The two-hour exam seeks to determine The three broad categories covered in the PISA whether students can apply what they learn in science section assess a student’s ability to ex



Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe plain phenomena scientifically, evaluate and TIMSS: The Oldest International Assessment design scientific enquiry, and interpret data and evidence to form accurate scientific conclu- Beginning in 1995, the Trends in Internationsions.5 al Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) remains the longest-running global assessment Although the term “reading” is generally accept- survey of mathematics and science. The exam, ed to mean decoding the written word, the in- sponsored by the International Association tention of the PISA assessment is to go beyond for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement the basic act of reading. PISA evaluates “reading (IEA) in Amsterdam, is administered every four literacy”, defined by the OECD as “understand- years. In 2015, more than 580,000 fourth and ing, using, reflecting on, and engaging with writ- eighth grade students from fifty-five countries ten texts in order to achieve one’s goals, develop took the TIMSS.9 one’s knowledge and potential, and participate in society.” http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/summing-up-results-from-timss-pisa.html PISA’s reading questions examine a wide range of cognitive competencies. Starting with basic The framework for testing mathematics in decoding, questions also cover the knowledge TIMSS is organized around two dimensions. The of words, grammar, and composition, as well as first is the content dimension, which specifies knowledge about the world. Because of the in- the subject matter to be covered. The second tegral part reading literacy plays in the success is the cognitive dimension, which specifies the of individuals beyond the classroom, PISA is thinking processes that will be measured.10 focused on assessing students’ capacity to succeed both in their academic endeavors as well Under the content dimension of TIMSS, the five as their ability to successfully participate in their main areas covered are: numbers, measurecommunities and economic and personal lives.6 ment, geometry, data, and algebra. Examples of the questions asked in the content domain When analysts rank education systems globally, include solving problems involving measurethey often cite PISA as the primary system of ment, money, and simple proportions or readmeasurement. PISA is arguably the most com- ing, comparing, and representing data from taprehensive of all global assessments, testing bles and graphs.11 students in five categories, and has the farthest global reach. More countries and students par- Under the cognitive dimension of TIMSS, stuticipate in PISA than any other test. dents are tested on their skill level in three areas: knowing, applying, and reasoning. Knowing Following the release of the 2015 PISA scores, refers to the facts, concepts, and procedures of Singapore stood out as the top-performing mathematics. Applying assesses students’ abilicountry, scoring number one in the categories ties to apply knowledge and conceptual underof math, science, and reading. Other top-per- standing to solve problems. Reasoning takes forming OECD countries were Japan, Finland, questions a step further to include unfamiliar Estonia, and Canada.7 situations, complex contexts, and multi-step processes.12 High-performing countries share several factors believed to contribute to their success: The science content covered in TIMSS includes high and universal expectations for all students, the fields of earth and life science, as well as a strong focus on great teaching, a high level of physical science, including physics and chemresources targeted at struggling students and istry. The TIMSS is calibrated by grade level: a schools, and a commitment to coherent, long- fourth grader will be tested on science content term strategies to improve education success.8 deemed appropriate for that grade level.13

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Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe The TIMSS science assessment also includes a cognitive dimension that is broken into three categories: knowing, applying, and reasoning. “Knowing” tests a student’s ability to recall and work with provided facts. “Evaluating” involves using knowledge to develop explanations and solve problems. With “reasoning”, students draw upon provided data to analyze, synthesize, and generalize.14

er-scoring countries can imitate the educational strategies that may have led to the success of higher-ranking countries.17

However, many policy makers caution against drawing the sweeping conclusion that the highest scoring countries have superior educational systems. Many factors can contribute to a student population’s testing performance. Some highly important factors, such as cultural Assessing Reading attitudes toward education or different levels of family academic resources, are outside the In addition to TIMSS, the IEA also conducts realm of educational systems.18 the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) to assess the reading knowledge Although international assessments help deof fourth grade students. This assessment has termine how well students perform on tests, been offered since 2001 and is administered assessments and tests, by their very nature, every five years, with the last cycle taking place cannot consider social, cultural, and economic in 2016. The last two cycles included PIRLS Lit- differences. There is no one-size-fits-all when eracy, a less difficult version of PIRLS designed it comes to education. For example, although for countries where fourth graders are still de- many Asian countries consistently rank in the veloping fundamental reading skills. In 2016, an top five or ten positions in these global assessonline reading assessment called ePIRLS was ments, applying learning strategies common in included for the first time.15 Asian educational systems to Western schools is unlikely to succeed. For instance, the rote-learnPIRLS seeks to assess two broad categories of ing approach common in Asian schools appears reading that are common to the typical fourth to successfully produce high test scores in those grade student. These include reading for a lit- countries. But this practice is incompatible with erary experience (for interest or pleasure) and Western cultures that place more value in crereading texts to acquire and use information. ative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit. A Both categories test reading comprehension, better use of international assessments would or how well young readers can retrieve infor- be for educators to use the survey results as an mation and make inferences from the provided opportunity to reflect on their own practices.19 passages. Students are also assessed on their ability to interpret, evaluate, and critique vari- Despite the criticisms leveled against the various ous ideas and information. The questions pro- international educational assessments, these vide reading passages followed by either multi- surveys provide valuable and extensive data on ple-choice questions or open-ended questions educational systems worldwide. Because they requiring written answers.16 are administered periodically over time, assessments also provide opportunities to study What Can Be Learned from International trends at both the international level and withAssessments in individual countries. Interest and support for PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS remains high globally, so The international community uses these three we can expect to see these assessments at the assessments to provide insights into which fea- center of policy debates far into the future tures of the various educational systems result in higher performing students. The aim of international assessments is to raise the level of education across the globe. By creating a ranking system of overall educational “success”, low-



Ranking Educational Systems Across the Globe


The Leading Country in Global Education Reference: ”International Surveys PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS.” Cambridge International Examinations, Education Brief 7, November 2015. http://www.cie.org.uk/images/271193-international-surveys-pisa-timss-pirls.pdf. 1

OECD (2016), PISA 2015 Assessment and Analytical Framework: Science, Reading, Mathematic and Financial Literacy, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, p 59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/ 9789264255425-en 2

OECD, pp. 64-74.


Stephens, M., and Coleman, M. (2007). Comparing PIRLS and PISA with NAEP in Reading, Mathematics, and Science (Working Paper). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Available at: http://nces. ed.gov/Surveys/PISA/pdf/comppaper12082004.pdf 4

Stephens and Coleman, p. 13.


OECD, p. 13.


OECD, pp. 49-51.


“Singapore Tops Latest OECD PISA Global Education Survey.” Education Journal. 12/15/2016, Issue 289, p7-9.


”Singapore Tops Latest OECD PISA Global Education Survey,” OECD. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 12 June 2016. Web. 8

Sparks, Sarah D. “Summing Up Results From TIMSS, PISA.” Education Week 13 Dec. 2016. http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/summing-up-results-from-timss-pisa.html. 9

Mullis, I.V.S. & Martin, M.O. (Eds.) (2013). TIMSS 2015 Assessment Frameworks. Retrieved from Boston College, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, p. 12. http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2015/frameworks.html 10

Mullis and Martin, pp. 14-17.


Mullis and Martin, p. 24.


Mullis and Martin, p. 30.


Stephens and Coleman, pp. 6-7.


“PIRLS 2016 Assessment Framework, 2nd Edition,” TIMSS and PIRLS. International Association for the Evaluation of Education and Achievement. 15

Mullis, I.V.S. & Martin, M.O. and Marian Sainsbury. PIRLS 2016 Assessment Framework, 2nd Edition. Copyright © 2015 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Publisher: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, p. 15. 16

”International Surveys PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS.”


Carnoy, M. (2015). International Test Score Comparisons and Educational Policy: A Review of the Critiques. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/international-test-scores. 18

”International Surveys PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS.”


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Smaller Classroom Sizes More Beneficial to Learning

Smaller Classroom Sizes More Beneficial to Learning, Experts Say by Erica Murphey



Smaller Classroom Sizes More Beneficial to Learning Texas junior high Social Studies teacher Sarah in these classroom environments versus larger Skidmore reflects on the size of her classes in ones. 2017. “It takes me a month and half to learn their “They’re huge this year,” she says. Yet she isn’t names, so if there are less of them it’s a little worried for herself; she’s worried for the stu- easier,” says Baker. dents. How many is too many? According to educational experts, smaller classroom sizes are vital for students to learn According to Anonymous, her largest class conmore efficiently. These benefits include more sisted of 25 middle school children; and 10 of individual attention, honing specific skills, and those students have special needs. She says that strengthened personal relationships. many factors determine how many children she teaches every year, but she would teach every Smaller Classes Equal Sharpened Talents. one if possible. An anonymous source says that her smallest fifth grade class, which consisted of four special needs children, was a good opportunity for them to refine specific skills. It can be something as simple as focusing on a behavioral need or something a little more complex like a mathematics lesson.

Baker’s largest class size was 28 college students, and she has an idea of how many would be perfect. “I think about 10 to 15 would be ideal,” she remarks.

Both instructors live in the vicinity of Houston, However, she also acknowledges that perfor- Texas mance isn’t dependent on classroom size alone. “It depends on the skill of the teacher, and I’m not talking about how long they’ve been teaching. I’ve seen new teachers who do their job very well, and teachers who have been teaching for twenty years and make a lot of mistakes with students,” she notes. More Time Per Student Adjunct English Literature Professor Joanna Baker, 28, attests the benefits of smaller class sizes. At the community college where she teaches, the classroom sizes range in the mid-twenties.

It depends on the skill of the teacher.

Some larger four-year universities might average about 200 students per class. The downside to this is that one of these 200 students could wind up getting lost, because they would have to wait a while before they can ask a question to their professor. This wouldn’t be the case in a uni-versity with smaller classes and fewer students; the communication and relationship between the students and teacher tends to better

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Is Success Only for Beautiful Social Butterflies?

Is Success Only for Beautiful Social Butterflies? by Shweta Roy


t is one of the sad injustices of life: success does sometimes depend on looks, not simply how well you have mastered or fine-tuned your craft.



Is Success Only for Beautiful Social Butterflies? I have come to this conclusion through personal experience. In a technical interview, one of my good-looking friends was only asked a few basic questions whereas my other friend, who was a little less attractive, was bombarded with lots of technical questions. My less attractive friend answered most of these difficult questions correctly, but her name was not on the list when the results came out. Both should have been given a fair chance before the final outcome.

that involve little contact with clients and steer away from roles involving public visibility. For instance, a person who is insecure about their looks might choose to be a radio jockey instead of a TV anchor. I imagine the case might be similar with people who are uncomfortable about their speaking skills. If a person thinks they are too shy or an introvert, they might always avoid certain life paths, like being an actor or a reporter, for the fear they will fail.

Although Non-Discrimination policies are now the law of the land, bias in favor of attractive people existed before and will probably exist forever. An article from ‘Business Insider’ reports that pretty people are hired more often and promoted more quickly than others. Research shows that attractive people earn about 3%-4% higher salaries than the rest of us. It is a commonly held notion that good-looking people have higher self-esteem: are confident, attractive people more productive? Maybe, or maybe some just receive more opportunities for advancement. I am not against pretty people, but they do get a lot of benefits.

I believe there are always ways to succeed, even for those who don’t have the finest speaking skills or who don’t possess the best looks. In the long run, the person with the best skills and who works the hardest will succeed. Good looks may bring high self-esteem, but hard work and faith in one’s abilities can also boost confidence. It’s important to remember that people with great speaking skills are sometimes not born that way: they may have developed these skills over a long period of time. With practice, you can become a great speaker too. You should never let negative thoughts bully you out of pursuing entire career paths.

The scenario is almost the same when it comes to oratorical skills. People with good public speaking skills are able to impress interviewers and tend to receive more offers of employment. Today, people working in many contexts within both the public and private sector often need to give presentations, work in close-knit teams, and interface directly with clients. Companies tend to see socially adept people as high earners and go-getters. I would argue that social skills are important, particularly for certain types of work like sales and marketing, but they are not all you need. You also need to have depth of knowledge in your subject. I might be shy and an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I lack knowledge. I might have more knowledge than the person who is sociable. Companies that automatically choose the more sociable person are not always acting wisely or fairly.

Passion, optimism, and hard work also contribute to success. Optimism is like a buoyancy that forces you to believe you can do anything. This type of positivity works like magic in life. It helps you face challenges and defeat adversity.

Passion brings zeal and zest for your work. It fuels you with an energy that helps you work better than those who work just as a source of day-to-day income. Above all, I choose to believe what entrepreneur Kati Stage said: “ The Our beliefs about our weaknesses can impact world will not invite you to the feast. You must some of our biggest life choices. I read an arti- burst in, demand a seat and take it ” cle recently that suggests people who consider Reference: http://www.businessinsider.com/attractive-peothemselves less attractive often choose careers ple-are-more-successful-2012-9

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Success After Death

Success After Death by Shweta Roy



Success After Death


uccess comes in various forms and may occur at different times in one’s life. Throughout history, we’ve witnessed a fair share of successful authors, painters, poets, and scientists, who attained posthumous success and immortality through their life’s work. While not everyone becomes a cultural — or even historical icon through their work, here are a few people whose contributions to the world became historically recognized after their death. Vincent van Gogh Known for his paintings, Vincent van Gogh’s paintings have been in museums across the globe. Some of his works can be seen at Art Institute of Chicago. Van Gogh did not achieve fame during his lifetime. He sold only one of his paintings for a modest $109 (adjusted for present day prices), and suffered from depression and epilepsy. Unfortunately, he committed suicide at the age of thirty-seven. Today, around two thousand of his paintings are worth in the millions each. Franz Kafka The prolific writer Kafka died in 1924, having only published a handful of short stories. He requested his friend, Max Brod to burn all his unpublished works, but his friend defied his death wish and published “The Trial” in 1925. His works were steadily published in the following years and became classics. Now he is known as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Known as the ‘Father of Physics’ and the ‘Father of Observational Astronomy’, Galileo famously hypothesized that the earth revolved around the sun. He also played an important role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, experimenting with essential scientific ideas like kinematics and strength of materials. His hypothesis of heliocentrism, however, was firmly against the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, which believed the universe revolved around the earth. His theories were rejected and church authorities held him under house arrest. In 1642, he died after a long fever. What Can We Learn? Even if people around you aren’t appreciating your work, keep on going. After all, practice makes perfect. To keep your self-esteem at high levels, try to limit your self-doubt.. Many people have and leave their mark on, so try to focus on doing great work. Never give up and throw away your life’s work, as you’ll never know when success awaits you. Whenever your time comes, you’re will be around to be appreciated

Less audience shouldn’t make you demoralized. You’ll be appreciated when your time comes.

John Keats Although he is now one of the most famous English romantic poets, Keats’ work started to receive widespread recognition and appreciation after his death at the age of twenty-five. Fellow poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, recognized Keats’ unique talents early on and remained one of his biggest supporters.


Galileo Galilei


http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-people-who-became-famous-after-death.php https://mic.com/articles/62651/9-incredible-writers-who-only-became-famous-after-death#.OLkPFF9yz https://medium.com/@ashwanikumar110/galileo-has-been-called-the-father-of-observational-astronomy-the-father-of-modern-physics-e0a1c72ef1a9

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Self-esteem & Success



by Shweta Roy





Self-esteem & Success

believe self-esteem is highly correlated with success. The opinions and beliefs we carry about ourselves impact us in many ways. Higher self-esteem leads to high performance, optimism, and consistency in every situation. In my opinion, it empowers us to fight against depression and stress and helps us get ahead in life.

between narcissism and self-esteem is that the former leads to a lack of empathy, and often attention-seeking behavior, while the later speaks to a basic sense of confidence. There is no harm in having high self-esteem. It’s not unhealthy to value yourself and feel confident; it simply allows you to approach obstacles with your head held high.

I will take you on a small journey with me. I We should always try to avoid negative self-talk, have been teaching (volunteering) classes in Mi- which is a big sign of low self-esteem. Negative crosoft suite for a Non-profit self-talk leads to depression. I Organization in Houston for like this quote from a website almost a year. I signed up for named thebusinesswomanmeonly a six-month teaching dia.com: ‘Instead of saying this session because I was quite is difficult, say this is not easy skeptical about my teaching yet’. skills. As the months passed, I gained confidence slowOne of the biggest benefits of ly, but I still wasn’t sure my self-esteem is that it leads to students were satisfied with better performance. If you have my teaching. Four months high self-esteem and encounThe more you into my first teaching sester an unfamiliar or difficult know how to sion, one of my students situation, you think of positive came up and said she wantstrategies to move forward and respect yourself, ed to talk to my boss about conquer the challenge. Low the more confident the computer classes. Later self-esteem is a drain on time you become in life. I discovered that she perand emotional energy – instead sonally requested that I stay of solving problems, you’re for another six months. I stuck convincing yourself you am not sure how to explain can’t do anything in the first it, but it was a big achieveplace. The more you believe in ment for me. Hearing such yourself, the better you can appositive feedback helped me proach difficult moments with boost my self-worth, and afhealthy coping strategies. terwards my performance excelled even more. Finding Self-esteem is often about success in teaching definiteself-acceptance. With higher ly helped me to set new goals and work towards self-esteem, you’ll be able step back and be them in a consistent way. I am now looking for- proud of your achievements, improve yourself ward to more teaching internships and proba- whenever possible, and accept your flaws. No bly a career in this field. Self-esteem helps you one is completely perfect in this world; after all, muster up enough courage and motivation to ‘to err is human”. It’s okay to make mistakes follow your passions. It stops you from bullying sometimes; you can still stand up and make it yourself and encourages you to take more risks. right. Self-esteem also extends to your social life: it reduces your fear of rejection and helps Many people might confuse high self-esteem you become less anxious and insecure around with narcissism, but the two qualities are dis- people. You know you have achieved success tinct. Narcissism is an extreme self-love, an when you have faith in yourself. No dream beegotistic sense of admiration. The difference comes too big for you

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Analysis of the Widening Gap...


of Income INEQUALITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT IN CHILDREN “Further education should be about the ability to learn, not the ability to pay - everyone who is able should have the opportunity, regardless of their family background. I don’t want to see students struggling with huge debts or frightened off even going to university in the first place.” - Charles Kennedy By Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D.

What does poverty mean for children? How does the relative lack of parental income influence children’s day-to-day lives? Is it through inadequate nutrition; fewer learning experiences; instability of residence; lower quality of schools; exposure to environmental toxins, family violence, and homelessness; dangerous streets; or less access to friends, services, and, for adolescents, jobs? (Brooks-Gunn and Duncan, 1997). This article reviews few researches to examine the relationship between income



poverty and child outcomes in several domains. The focus on income in the relationship between poverty and educational achievement has been challenged in recent years (Field, 2010; Goodman and Greg, 2010). It is argued that income is only one aspect in accounting for the experiences of children in the school system (Ward, 2013). The relationship between family’s socioeconomic characteristics and student achievement

Analysis of the Widening Gap... is one of the most robust patterns in educational scholarship, yet the causes and mechanisms of this relationship have been the subject of considerable disagreement and debate (Bowles and Gintis, 1976, 2002; Brooks-Gunn and Duncan, 1997; Duncan, Brooks Gunn, and Klebanov, 1994; Herrnstein and Murray, 1994; Jacoby and Glauberman, 1995; Lareau, 1989, 2003). However, the impact of low-income on children’s cognitive development is well documented. Evidence shows that low income children lag in cognitive development and lie one year behind in vocabulary when they enter school, with long-term consequences: “such early gaps may affect low-income children’s attitudes towards school and their aspirations for school attainment” (Waldfogel and Washbrook, 2010; Lauder et al., 2006).

cive to good educational outcomes (Blanden and Gregg, 2004). Child Poverty Insights initiated by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, more specifically seeks to answer if raising household income itself makes a difference to children’s outcomes, or if it would be better to focus on investing in schools or improving parenting skills (Cooper and Stewart, 2013). Does money really affect children’s outcomes?

The answer was, yes. In short, they found very strong evidence in 34 studies conducted by them that money matters: children from lower-income households have worse outcomes in part because they are poorer, not just because In addition, there is evidence that poverty, in poverty is correlated with other household and terms of family resources, has a powerful influ- parental characteristics. ence on children’s ability to respond to educational opportunities (Eden, 2013; Ward, 2013; How can we be sure that it is money makBlanden and Gregg, 2004) in ing the difference, rather than other relatseveral ways: (http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ ed factors such as parental interest in chilEJ1055201.pdf) dren’s education? • the absence of learning habits and experiences at home; Studies that find an association between house• a lack of access to computers; hold financial resources and children’s out• a lack of a sense of self-esteem through ap- comes cannot be certain that there isn’t anothpropriate interactions with parents; er hidden factor driving the apparent link. To • poor housing; avoid reaching false conclusions of this kind, • an unhealthy diet; they set very strict limits on the type of study. • possible mental health issues within the fam- They included 34 studies and followed a numily; ber of different research approaches. A very • domestic violence; few studies were set up deliberately as random• the stress associated with low pay or unem- ized controlled experiments, where individuals ployment. (Eden, 2013) were allocated to receive different benefit levels at random. In several other cases, an experiThese all make it potentially difficult for chil- mental situation occurred naturally. In one such dren to see themselves as positive learners example, a casino opened on a Cherokee reser(Gottfried and Gottfried, 1989). Low income is vation in the United States and distributed proflikely to affect a parent’s sense of being able to its only to households with an adult tribal memprovide their children with the same advantag- ber. Researchers tracked outcomes over time es as those in the more affluent households. among families in the area, and found that in The parents who are stressed about money and households that received the additional money employment, working unsocial hours in more there were increases in educational attainment than one job, are likely to have less time to pro- and reductions in crime, and mother-child relavide their children with an environment condu- tions also improved.

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Analysis of the Widening Gap... There is evidence that poverty, in terms of family resources, has a powerful influence on children’s ability to respond to educational opportunities in several ways: • the absence of learning habits and experiences at home; • a lack of access to computers; • a lack of a sense of self-esteem through appropriate interactions with parents; • poor housing; • an unhealthy diet; • possible mental health issues within the family; • domestic violence; • the stress associated with low pay or unemployment. (Eden, 2013)

In one of his chapters, Prof. Sean F. Reardon, Director, Stanford Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis, examined as the income gap between high- and low-income families widened the achievement gap between children in highand low-income families also widened. The gap appears to have grown at least partly because of an increase in the association between family income and children’s academic achievement for families above the median* income level: a given difference in family incomes now corresponds to a 30 to 60 percent larger difference in achievement than it did for children born in the 1970s. Assembling information on trends in the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement requires examination of multiple sources of data. The studies conducted by Prof. Sean F. Reardon collected from nineteen nationally representative stud-



ies, including studies conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the LongTerm Trend and Main National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) studies, U.S. components of international studies, and other studies with information on both family background and standardized-test scores. Although these studies vary in a number of ways, each of them provides data on the math or reading skills, or both, of nationally representative samples of students, together with some data on students’ family socioeconomic characteristics, such as family income, parental education, and parental occupation. Reardon’s study looks in depth at the correlation between income and standardized test performance, finding that between 1960 and 2007, the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by nearly 40 percent, which suggests that income is tightly related to academic performance (Reardon, 2011). Low-income is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as earning $45,000 or less per household. Nearly 150 million Americans fall into this category. Perhaps most problematic, as Reardon’s study points out, is the fact that parents’ education predicts their earnings. It’s much harder today for parents who are not highly educated to substantially increase their earnings, and in turn help their children reach a higher socioeconomic status. All of this points to the “feedback mechanism” Reardon discusses in his study: cyclical socioeconomic trends that can inhibit income and class mobility. Children whose parents are poor now may face a tougher time throughout their lives in getting out of their current socioeconomic situation. Reardon writes: “As the children of the rich do better in school, and those who do better in school are more likely to become rich, we risk producing an even more unequal and economically polarized society.” After decades of decline, income inequality in the United States has grown substantially in the last four decades and as of 2007 was at a level similar to the levels in 1925 to 1940, when U.S. income inequality was at its twentieth-century peak (Burkhauser et al., 2009; Piketty

Analysis of the Widening Gap... and Saez, 2003, 2008).

(Bozick, 2007; Leppel, 2002).

“ There is evidence that supports the existence of a positive relationship between socio-economic status and parental involvement. The most common measures of socio-economic status, parental education, and family income have shown to be strong predictors of children’s educational success.”

Figure 1. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the left-hand bar in each set of bars shows the average income in a particular year (in 2012 dollars) for children at the 20th percentile of the nation’s family income distribution. This means that, in a given year, 20% of children lived in families with incomes below that level, while 80% had incomes above it. In 1970, the dividing line was drawn at $37,664. The middle bar in each set shows the average family income in a given year at the 80th percentile of the distribution, which was about $100,000 (in 2012 dollars) in 1970. The right-hand bar in each set shows the average income for very high-income families ― those with incomes exceeding those of 95% of U.S. families (a little more than about $150,000 in 1970). In 2010, family income at the 20th percentile was more than 25% lower than the inflation-adjusted corresponding family income in 1970. In contrast, the real incomes of families at the 80th percentile grew by 23% to $125,000 over these four decades, while the incomes of the richest 5% of families rose even more. Census Bureau data also show that the decline of the incomes of families at the lower end of the spectrum is reflected in the nation’s child poverty rate: Over 16 million U.S. children―more than 20%―were living in poor families in 2012, up sharply from the 15% child poverty rate in 1970.

A research study conducted by Shannah Pinkston, from Clark Atlanta University School of Social Work, Atlanta, USA, describes the relationship between family structure, socio-economic status, and self-esteem among African American college students. There is evidence that supports the existence of a positive relationship between socio-economic status and parental involvement. The most common measures of socio-economic status, parental education, and family income have shown to be strong predictors of children’s educational success (http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1616&context=dissertations). Research shows that family income has been identified as having a positive effect on student persistence and academic achievement (Titus, 2006; Walpole, 2003). The logic behind this was college students from lower income families had to work more than students from higher income families. More hours dedicated to employment equated with fewer hours dedicated to school work. Those who were fortunate enough to utilize government financial aid typically had to negotiate a complex process for receiving it. These financial pressures caused many low income college students to disengage from school or drop out

Figure 2. During this same time period, the gap between the average reading and mathematics skills of students from low- and high-income families increased substantially. As illustrated, among children who were adolescents in the late 1960s, test scores of low-income children lagged behind those of their better-off peers by four-fifths of a standard deviation ― which represents about 80 points on the scale used to measure SAT scores. Forty years later, this gap was 50% larger, amounting to nearly 125 SAT-type points (Reardon, 2011).

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Analysis of the Widening Gap...

lective or for-profit postsecondary educational Figure 3. Indicators of **Higher Education Eq- institution.” uity in the United States, 2016 Historical Trend Report. A different collection of datasets the What can we as parents, school educators researchers used shows that 60 percent of stu- and government could do to narrow the widdents from the top quarter of households by ening gap of income inequality-based educasocioeconomics graduate with bachelor’s de- tional achievement of children? grees within 10 years of finishing high school― four times as often as students from the lowest U.S. schools have historically been thought of as the great equalizer―the social institution best quarter of households. suited to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to learn, develop, and thrive. It is unrealistic, however, to think that school-based strategies alone will eliminate today’s stark disparities in academic success. Economic policies that reduce inequality; family support policies that ensure children grow up in stable, secure homes and neighborhoods; and early-childhood education policies that promote cognitive and social development should all be part of a comprehensive strategy to close the economic achievement gap. Nonetheless, schools do have a key role to play in the efforts to reduce this gap. “Differences in enrollment patterns by family income reflect the stratification of the financial, academic, and other resources that are required to enroll in different colleges and universities,” Laura Perna and Roman Ruiz of the University of Pennsylvania and a colleague wrote in an essay accompanying the report. “Students from higher-income families have the resources that enable meaningful choice from among the array of available options nationwide. But, resource constraints and structural failures often limit the ‘choices’ of students from lower-income families to the local or online, non-se-



Analysis of the Widening Gap... high-quality teachers, stimulating curriculum and instruction, and adequate school resources (computers, libraries, and the like). The government levels can help close the achievement gap by providing students with necessary assistance in order to achieve high performance in academics. Closing the education achievement gap by improving the outcomes of lower-social-class children requires that we reform their social conditions by decreasing income equality, reducing racial and ethnic segregation and other forms of discrimination, equalizing home environments, reducing the impact of criminality on society, improving the quality of schools in low-income neighborhoods, and lessening parents’ psychological distress. Policymakers should develop labor market, health, and social policies, such as those recommended in Table 1, that will improve the living conditions of lower-social-class children and their families and will likely have a palpable impact on children’s achievement. The greater the gaps that remain in such conditions, the greater the gaps that will likely remain in achievement by race and social class

Among the school-based strategies that might be most effective, Prof. Reardon suggested three specific areas: a) states and school districts could devote a greater share of their resources and efforts to the earliest grades, including kindergarten and preschool. Because achievement gaps are self-perpetuating, the earlier we intervene to reduce them, the more effective we will be at eliminating them in the long run. b) growing evidence suggests that more time in school (for example, extending the school day or year or providing after-school or summer-school programs) may help to narrow academic achievement gaps―if the added time is used effectively (Dobbie & Fryer, 2011; National Center on Time and Learning 2015). c) states and school districts can do more to ensure that all students have equal access to

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DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (Engle et al. 2007)

- Integration of health, nutrition, education, social, and economic development. - Collaboration with government agencies and civil society - Disadvantaged children - Program intensity and duration - Direct contact with children - Parent involvement - Opportunities for children for initiation and exploration - Traditional child-rearing practices with evidence-based approaches - Staff preparation and support - Attention to quality: structure (e.g., teacher–child ratio, group size) and processes (caregiver warmth and responsiveness) - Improve and evaluate strategies to increase effectiveness of outreach to disadvantaged children, including orphans. - Identify the characteristics of Early Childhood Development programs that are effective and can be expanded and implemented through existing health, nutrition, education, and social protection services - Examine the role of child development programs in mitigating the effects of poverty - Identify a set of globally accepted measures and indicators for child development to measure program effectiveness - Create and test a method for estimating the costs of models of early child development programs

DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (Engle et al. 2007)

- Integrate into standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children - Integrate into public educational system - Low-income children - Program length and duration - Parent involvement - Curricula for promoting learning and adjustment - Teacher support - Attention to quality (e.g., teacher–child ratios) - Replication of trials across different populations of children - Examine how program effectiveness varies by parent and child characteristics



Analysis of the Widening Gap... Notes: *The Census Bureau estimated real median household income at $53,657 for 2014 and $54,462 in 2015. Household income varies by race, with Asians the highest in 2014 at over $74,000 and African Americans the lowest around $35,000. The overall median has continued to rise steadily, if slowly, to $57,616 in September 2016. **The phrase higher education equity refers to creating opportunities for equal access and success in higher education among historically underrepresented student populations, such as ethnic minority and low-income students. References 1. Brooks-Gunn, J. and Duncan, G.J. (1997) The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children: Children and Poverty, 7,55-71. 2. Field, F. (2010) The Foundations Years: Preventing poor children becoming adults: The report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110120090128/http:povertyreview.independnt. gov.uk 3. Goodman, A. and Gregg, P. (2010) Poorer children’s educational attainment: How important are attitudes and behaviour? York: JRF 4. Ward, S. (2013). A Student’s Guide to Education Studies (3rdEd.). Oxon: Routledge. 5. Bowles, Samuel, and Gintis H. (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America: Education Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life.New York: Basic Books Inc. pp. 131–132, 147. 6. Bowles, S. and Gintis, H. (2002) The inheritance of inequality. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16, 3–30. 7. Duncan, G.J., Brooks-Gunn, J. and Klebanov, P.K. (1994) Economic deprivation and early-childhood development. Child Development 65,2:296–318. 8. Herrnstein, R. J. and Murray C. (1994) The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press. 9. Jacoby, R. and. Glauberman, N. eds. (1995) The Bell Curve Debate: History Documents Opinions. New York: Random House. 10. Lareau, A. (1989) Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education. London: Falmer Press. ――― 2003. Unequal Childhoods: Class Race and Family Life. Berkeley: University of California Press. 11. Waldfogel, J. and Washbrook E. (2010) Income-Related Gaps in School Readiness in the US and UK. Revised version of a paper presented at a conference on Intergenerational Mobility Within and Across Nations, University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 2009. 12. Lauder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J -A. and Halsey, A. H. (2006) Education, Globalisation and Social Change. Oxford: University Press. 13. Eden, C. (2013) Child poverty and educational attainment. In: Ward, S. A Student Guide to Education Studies (3rdEd.). Oxon: Routledge. 14. Blanden, J. and Gregg, P. (2004) Family Income and Educational Attainment: A review of approaches and evidence for Britain. CMPO Working Paper Series No. 04/101. 15. Gottfried, A. E., Flemming, J. S. and Gottfried, A. W. (1998) Role of cognitively stimulating home environment in children’s academic intrinsic motivation: a longitudinal study. Child Development, 69, 5: 1448-1460. 16. Cooper K. and Stewart K. (2013) “Does Money Affect Children’s Outcomes? A Systematic Review,”Discussion paper, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 17. Burkhauser, Richard V., Shuaizhang F. and Stephen P. Jenkins (2009) ‘‘Using the P90/P10 Ratio to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults,’’Review of Income and Wealth 55,166–185. 18. Piketty, T, and Saez E (2003) ‘‘Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998,’’Quarterly Journal of Economics 118:1,1– 39. -------‘‘Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998 (Tables and Figures Updated to 2006)’’ (2008), http://www.econ. berkeley.edu/~saez/TabFig2006.xls. 19. Titus, M. (2006) Understanding college degree completion of students with low socioeconomic status: The influence of the Institutional Financial Context. Research in Higher Education, 47(4), 371-398. 20. Walpole, M. (2003) Socioeconomic status and college: How SES affects college experiences and outcomes. Review of Higher Education, 27(1), 45-73. 21. Bozick, R. (2007) Making it through the first year of college: The role of students’ economic resources, employment, and living arrangements. Sociology of Education,83(3), 261-284. 22. Leppel, K. (2002) Similarities and differences in the college persistence of men and women. Review of Higher Education: Journal of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, 25(4), 433-450. 23. Reardon, S.F. (2011) “The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: new evidence and possible explanations.” In Richard Murnane & Greg Duncan (Eds.), Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality and the Uncertain Life Chances of Low-Income Children. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 24. Dobbie, Will, and Roland G. Fryer, Jr. (2011a) “Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement Among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children’s Zone.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3 (3): 158–87. 25. Engle, P.et al. (2007) Strategies to avoid the loss of develop mental potential in more than 200 million children in the developing world. Lancet 369:229–242. 26. Olds, D. (2007) Improving preschool for low-income children with programmatic randomized controlled trials. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 161:807–809.

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Success After Failure

Success After Failure: Dedication or Resignation by Nupur Srivastava, PhD 66


Success After Failure myself to my studies, prepared seriously for the exams, and never looked back. I dreamed about attaining a higher degree that would not only give me a sense of academic credibility but would also allow me to serve my community. I passed my high school and college with great grades and gradually attained a PhD, the highest degree earned within my entire family. I am proud that I never gave up on my dreams despite my setbacks and failures. Everyone, at one point in his or her life, has tasted failure, such as losing a job, getting poor grades in school, failing to get a promotion, or performing poorly in a recital or a big game... In the end, the winners are those who keep trying until they achieve victory. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill Journalist David Frost suggests, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” Some of the world’s most successful people have failed — sometimes more than once. When you get bogged down by your failures, remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success. Below, I have put together a list of highly successful people, from movie stars to scientists, who experienced massive failure before they found fame and fortune. Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents and invented some world-changing devices, such as the phonograph, practical electrical lamp, and the first movie camera. His perseverance is clearly embodied in his optimistic saying, “I have not failed s a young student, I did not take studying or 10,000 times — I’ve successfully found 10,000 academics seriously. I was an average stu- ways that will not work.” dent during my elementary and middle school years and always failed in math. My parents and Can you imagine your childhood without Dissiblings used to worry about my academic fu- ney? If Walt had listened to his former newspature. However, when my high school exams ap- per editor, you very well could have gone your peared on the horizon, I had a change of heart. entire life without watching movies like DumI became determined that I would get passing bo, Bambi, Cinderella, or Mary Poppins. One grades: failure was not an option. I devoted newspaper editor, upon firing Walt, told him he


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Success After Failure ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas.’ Un- student. In his early years, Darwin was often deterred, Old Walt went on to create the cultur- chastised by his father for being lazy and too al icon that bears his name. dreamy. While at university, he abandoned his plans for a medical career and found many of Disney’s take on failure: his classes dull. Darwin himself wrote, “I was “I think it’s important to have a good hard fail- considered by all my masters and my father, a ure when you’re young… Because it makes you very ordinary boy, rather below the common kind of aware of what can happen to you. Be- standard of intellect.” As Darwin studied nature, cause of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole he found his true calling and traveled the world life when we’ve been near collapse and all of to uncover the natural world’s mysteries. His that. I’ve never been afraid.” writings, especially On the Origin of the Species, pioneered the concept of evolution by natural The head of the world’s largest animation em- selection and fundamentally changed the world pire hit more than one rough patch. Several of science. more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most Stephen King’s early novel Carrie was rejected modern childhoods wouldn’t be the same with- so many times - over thirty - that he threw the out his ideas. book away and renounced it completely. King’s wife Tabitha found the manuscript in the trash Steven Spielberg was rejected by the Univer- and saved it. Carrie became a hit and launched sity of Southern California School of Cinematic his career. His novels have since sold over 350 Arts multiple times. He went on to create the million copies. first summer blockbuster with Jaws in 1975, and has won three Academy Awards. He clear- Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figly didn’t take no for an answer. The school that ure-skating team. After realizing that she wasn’t had once rejected Spielberg awarded him an going to make the team or miraculously get bethonorary degree in 1994. ter at skating, Wang decided to pursue a career at Vogue. She spent years as an editor, conSir Isaac Newton’s mother pulled him out of stantly being passed up for the editor in chief school as a boy so that he could run the family job. farm. He failed miserably, as he found farming monotonous. Realizing her son was not meant Wang said: to till the land, she let Newton finish his basic “After 17 years at Vogue, I realized that what I education. Newton eventually persuaded her was doing there was never going to change. My to allow him to enroll at Cambridge University. career wasn’t going to go any further there. I Newton went on to become one of the greatest wasn’t in line to get the editor in chief job. And I scientists of all time, revolutionizing physics and was at a point where I felt there had to be more. mathematics. So after investing yet another 15 years in a career that really meant something to me, I left. Albert Einstein was a late bloomer. The young Sometimes, you have to fail first in order to sucEinstein did not speak until he was four years old ceed.” and did not read until he was seven. These challenges did not prevent him from later winning She began designing wedding gowns at age 40 the Nobel prize in physics, awarded to Einstein and today is one of the premier designers in the after he discovered the photoelectric effect and fashion industry, with a business worth over $1 developed the theory of relativity. We can see billion. now, of course, that Einstein’s late development was not indicative of a lack of intelligence. J.K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first Harry Potter Charles Darwin was considered an average novel. In a matter of five years, the series took



Success After Failure off, leading her to become the first billionaire dominant beliefs of his time. author. In the end, all of these great people were masR.H. Macy started seven failed business before sively successful, but their stories are all rootfinally hitting the big time. At the age of 36, Macy ed in serious failures. Aren’t you feeling better launched R.H. Macy & Co. in New York City, about your own failures now? Failure should which grew to become Macy’s, one of the larg- never stop you from following your vision. est department store chains in the world. Most Amidst challenges, remember to be resilient people are familiar with this large department and persistent. Failure is not falling down; failstore chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. ure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up. You have to get back up. Just Winston Churchill was a Nobel Prize-winning, think: your worst, most embarrassing failures twice-elected Prime Minster of the United King- could be stepping stones to success. dom that steered the country through World War II. He wasn’t always so well regarded. Chur- I conclude with some beautiful lines by Daisaku chill struggled in school and failed the sixth Ikeda: grade. After school, he faced many years of “The real struggle in life is with ourselves. The political failures. He was defeated in every elec- true secret of success is the refusal to give up, tion for public office until he finally became the the refusal to fail; it lies in the struggle to win Prime Minister at the ripe old age of sixty-two. the battle against one’s own weaknesses. When you devote yourself to achieving your goal, you Michael Jordan is often lauded as the best bas- will not be bothered by shallow criticism. Nothketball player of all time. Most people wouldn’t ing important can be accomplished if you allow believe that he was actually cut from his high yourself to be swayed by some trifling matter, school basketball team! Luckily, Jordan didn’t let always looking over your shoulder and wonderthis setback stop him from playing the game. ing what others are saying or thinking. The key He stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots to achievement is to move forward along your in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On chosen path with firm determination “ twenty-six occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my So what are you going to do life. And that is why I succeed.” next time you fail? Give up? Sir James Dyson developed the vacuum over a long fifteen years, going through 5,126 failed prototypes and his entire life savings. His persistence paid off: the 5,127th prototype worked and the Dyson brand became the best-selling bag-less vacuum brand in the United States. He is now worth an estimated $4.5 billion, according to Forbes. Robert Goddard is now hailed for his daring research and his experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets. During his lifetime, his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers, who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, largely due to the work of this scientist who worked against the

Here is a better option: you can accept the failure, learn from it, and later you might taste the sweet fruit of success. Have you written your story yet?

References: http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-people-whofailed-at-first-2014-3/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/19-successfulpeople-who-failed_n_6438868.html http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/ http://www.winstonchurchill.org/

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Why Do We Get Goose Bumps?



Why Do We Get Goose Bumps?

Why Do We Get Goose Bumps? by Jessica Sinha Ever wondered why your arm hairs stand up when you feel cold? When you get goosebumps, your pores are elevated from your skin and the tiny hairs stand up! This is because various stimuli (such as fear, surprise, or the cold) activate those tiny muscles that are attached to each hair! These muscles are called arrector pili muscles and they are attached to our hair follicles. The contraction of this muscle is not caused voluntarily. But what’s the point, you may ask? Our ancestors had much more hair than we do. So, originally the purpose was to help us stay warm. In cold weather, the hairs would provide insulation so the body does not lose as much heat References: Scientific American, Wikipedia http://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/754/flashcards/2441754/png/1-1416CCF5BF27C53F6AC.png

FUN FACT: When we get goosebumps, our skin looks similar to that of poultry when their feathers have been plucked. Hence the term,

“Goose Bumps!” SPRING 2017 73





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Highest Flying Birds

60,000 Ft.

Weather Balloons

50,000 Ft.

30,000 Ft.

Jets Fly

40,000 Ft.

20,000 Ft.

Mt. Everest 76


Highest Flying Birds

Highest Fl

ing Birds

Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture

Common Crane

Whooper Swan

Bar-headed Goose

Alpine Chough

Bearded Vulture


Bar-tailed Godwit

White Stork

Andean Condor

Flying at an altitude of 37000 ft., Ruppell’s griffon vulture is the highest flying bird ever recorded. Compared to ground the presence of oxygen is very less at such a great altitude. But, Ruppell’s vulture’s body contains a special type of hemoglobin and makes the oxygen intake more effective.

Whooper swan is a large migratory bird that named after its ‘whooping’ calls. They inhabit in flooded grasslands, wetlands, tundra, lakes and ponds of Southern Eurasia. They are notable for their long neck and yellow and black bill.

Alpine chough is a medium-sized mountain dwelling bird that lives in the high mountains of Southern Europe and Central Asia. They are also known as yellow-billed chough, named after their bright yellow bill.

Mallard is a migratory wild duck found in North America and Europe. Mallard ducks are notable for their iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. Before the start of winter mallard ducks migrate to the South where the temperature is mild.

White stork is a popular wading bird that known for its distinctive long neck that measure up to 45 inches. They inhabit in warmer regions across Europe and West-central Asia. The white storks have a wingspan of 2.3 meters and their beautiful plumage comes mainly in white.

Common crane is the second highest flying bird in the world. They are known to fly across Himalayas at a height of 33000 meters. Common cranes are also known as Eurasian crane that live in Northern parts of Europe and Asia. The medium sized bird has a wingspan between 1.8-2.4 meters.

Bar-headed goose is a migrating bird that can ascend to a height of 29000 feet, higher than Mount Everest. Bar-headed geese are native to Central Asia. They are perfectly adapted to fly over the Himalayan peaks where air pressure is dramatically low.

Bearded vulture is a large species of vulture that inhabit in mountainous areas of Southern Europe. They can reach up to a height of 4 feet and weigh between 5-7 kg. They also have a wingspan of 2.5-2.7 meters.

Bar-tailed godwit is a strong migrant, large wandering bird with a distinctive long bill. They breed in Alaska and Siberia and wintering in Australia and New Zealand. Bar-tailed godwits are also known for longest non-stop migration.

Andean condor is a massive raptor inhabits in the high peaks and grassy plains across South America. It is a large flying bird, weigh up to 15 kg. spanning up to 10 ft 6 in, Andean condors have the longest wingspan of any raptor in the world.

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Based on the sections and articles, find these words: afterlife analysis classroom education educationalsystems



factors failure featuredstories germany globaleducation

internships looks recycle self-esteem succeeds

success traits whyseries youthsection zealousness



Unscramble the words Then, match the letters from the numbered cells with its respective numbered cells below to reveal what the final word is. What is the final word?

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2 3 5 6 7






M 8 E

G 9




Across 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience American a student's main subject at college or university successfully complete an academic degree an assessment certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study 10. occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress Down 1. 2. 3. 4.


one providing higher education or specialized professional or vocational training steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success academic rank conferred by a college or university careful and persistent work or effort



CROSSWORD ANSWERS ACROSS 5. Learning 6. Major 7. Graduate 8. Exam 9. Diploma 10. Career


1. 2. 3. 4.

College Perseverance Degree Diligence

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