Archive for the "Education Trends" Category

Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction, Gemm Learning

When I was younger, an experience helped me realize fact or fiction isn’t always as obvious as it may seem.

I had spent a summer living and working in Rwanda. People travel there from all over the world for a chance to observe its mountain gorillas. The movie Gorillas in the Mist had come out a few years earlier, leaving a lasting impression on many, myself included. I talked to friends and f…


A Safe Learning Environment Is Critical to Student Success

learning environment, Gemm Learning

The learning environment plays a critical role in student success. Classroom teachers do their best to control the physical aspects, like accessibility of materials, desk arrangements, and seat assignments. They also establish rules and expectations, setting a general tone intended to make all students feel welcome and supported. However, the way in which students interact with one another, in a…


The Gift of the Public Library

Public Library, Gemm Learning, Reading for ages

Reading is not just a nice thing to do. It’s how we help give our children the best possible start in life. This quote by Hillary Clinton during a recent speech at the American Libraries Conference got me thinking.

Laura Bush once referred to libraries as “community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone equally”. While this remains true today, technolo…


Why Kids Are Failing In The Learning Fundamentals

Learning fundamentals are suffering

Children are getting less and less time to develop learning fundamentals. Successive waves of test result-driven accountability are pushing formal instruction into earlier and earlier grades, squeezing out time for development of generalized learning skills.

Just for clarity, we define learning fundamentals broadly as the building blocks for all future learning.  These includes cognitive ski…


How The Education Reform Movement Affects Your Child

education reform and kids

In these days of education reform, schools are being run more and more according to business principles:

“Measure it and it will improve” — leading to testing and standards
“People work harder with incentives” — teacher accountability, pay for performance, and school funding based on test results
“Private beats government” — charter schools and vouchers

This is very different from …


Is Your Child Learning to Learn?

Children in classroom learning to learn

The requirements of an education have changed drastically in the last 20 years. Up to the 1990’s it was all about facts and methods, knowledge.  In those days, knowledge was power. Being armed facts and good math skills made you career-ready.  Knowledge was not at people’s fingertips and companies were run like the army — decision makers at the top, everyone else did training that lasted year…