Links I liked :)

 dead fish

  • My presentation on the matric results 2014 (22 Jan 2015). Matric 2015: Understanding the results, interrogating the issues. Presentation at Eduvate’s Ed-Tech seminar (Stellenbosch)
  • Judge orders government officials to personally pay up” – this is an interesting development in SA. Unbelievably shocking story.
  • Report on an early grade reading initiative that showed promise but wasn’t followed up on 😦 Impact Study of SMRS Using Early Grade Reading Assessment in Three Provinces in South Africa  – I was alerted to this by Nick Taylor’s excellent 2013 NEEDU Reading Report (draft version)
  • Formative evaluation of workbooks and textbooks in South Africa” – Study by ACER.
  • Interesting article on “The superiority of economists
  • Great 2012 podcast on “True Grit” by Angela Duckworth. Are there any good SA psychologists/educationists doing research on this topic of perseverance, self-control and grit? If so please include in the comments. If not, someone get on it!
  • Minimum wages: the choices are not simple – UCT’s Seekings and Nattrass weigh in on the debate.
  • Great example of the power of open-source / Creative Commons – someone has curated the awesome aerial photos NASA takes. Free wallpapers for your phone.
  • DG Murray Trust Hands-on Learning Brief: Scaling up ECD in SA
  • Full list of presentations (and slides) from UNICEF’s recent Knowledge Building Seminar on Early Childhood Development (ECD) – I would recommend looking over the presentations by Mark Tomlinson, Linda Biersteker, Marie-Louise Samuels, Linda Richter and Jean Elphick.
  • Useful organogram of the Western Cape Education Department (thanks Mike Wilter)
  • Isabel Allende “This I believe: In giving I connect with others” – extremely moving one page essay about finding meaning in giving. I’ve added this to my list of “higher truths”
  • Private school effects in urban and rural India” – “The results have several implications of interest for policy-makers. Combined with previous work highlighting that the average cost per child in rural private schools is a fraction of the average cost in the state schools, and that private schools dedicate less instructional time to Telugu and Mathematics, they suggest strongly that private schools are considerably more productive than government schools. However, they also imply that the spread of private schools is unlikely to raise average achievement levels as measured by math skills or functional literacy significantly; with the exception of English, I do not find any large and consistently positive ‘private school effect’. To the extent that the first-order concern for education policy in India remains the abysmally low levels of achievement in general, rather than the inefficiencies in the delivery of education services, the spread of private schooling by itself is clearly not an adequate solution. The large and significant private school premium in English, provided without any trade-off in other subjects in the case of Telugu-medium private schools and only a modest trade-off in English-medium schools, could lead to a possibly large wage premium for private school students in the future. Combined with the selectivity on socio-economic background in the private sector, this premium provides possible grounds for concern that private schools hinder social mobility and facilitate the intergenerational persistence of socio-economic status.”
  • Quote of the week: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. […] Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” — Frederick Douglass, leader and one-time slave, in “An address on West India Emancipation” (via Jon Hodgson)
  • “Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there would be no concept of humanity.” – Hermann Hesse (On Lilli Pretorius’ recommendation I’m now listening to “Proust and the Squid” by Maryanne Wolf (first Audible book free)

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