Ever wonder why your students aren’t springing for the green beans, tofu, and spinach salad you so conscientiously offer at lunch? No, the answer isn’t, “Kids don’t like vegetables.” (Although that’s not a bad guess.) Maybe it has more to do with how and where you display the food in your schools’ cafeterias.
Skeptical? Then look at the “Op-Chart” in Friday’s New York Times, which shows how two Cornell Professors greatly increased the intake of all things green and healthy by making some simple changes to the food line. One example: “Moving the chocolate milk behind the plain milk led students to buy more plain milk.”
Is school technology worth it? That’s a loaded question, perhaps, because even instructional technology gurus — especially technology gurus — stress that it’s what you do with the technology, not simply whether or not you have it. Still, Amanda Ripley’s piece in Slate (which I found via the commentary of education blogger Joanne Jacobs) underscores that point by noting that schools in some high-performing nations (Finland and South Korea) make do with some pretty traditional tools.
Some interesting comments follow on Jacobs’ blog, including this perceptive one by “Dave.”
“A successful school is a great thing, but the article strongly suggests that low-tech is the secret, when I would say that time spent and parental involvement are the things making these examples successful.
Jacobs has another interesting post about the ironically named Liberty High School in Virginia, which barred students from taping their mouths shut to protest abortion. She says it appears to be a violation of Tinker vs. Des Moines the famous First Amendment case that upheld the right of students to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. She also notes that students have done the same thing during the Day of Silence Protest to support gay students.
Maybe. But you could make the case that taping one’s mouth changes the dynamics of the classroom think of the impact on a classroom discussion — in a fundamental way that adversely affects the education of other students.
That said, I think it’s important for students to be able to express themselves on important issues in school. Seems like a case you could argue both ways.
Lawrence Hardy, Senior Editor