Some things I’ve been reading:
- Magic Leap. Every now and then I read an article or watch a video and think “This is the future” – this is one of those articles…”This is what disruption on a large scale looks like” – WIRED reviews Magic Leap, the pioneer in ‘mixed reality.’ This really could change everything.
- I’ve been reading the London Review of Books quite a bit lately. I think it’s the best journalism that exists. Period. James Meek gave a fantastic lecture this year titled “Robin Hood in a time of Austerity” – this is the best article I’ve read this year. It changed the way I think about so many things and the prose is perfect. Naomi Klein is her usual scathing self in “Let Them Drown” (LRB June 2016) where she reflects on Edward Said and artfully shows how structural racism and ‘othering’ are intimately related to climate change. I discovered the inimitable Tariq Ali in reading his article “The New World Disorder” (LRB, April 2015). I am now steadily reading through his other LRB articles
- Rowan Williams writes an article-review of a new book about Hitler: “A nervous breakdown in the body politic” and artfully shows the parallels with Trump.
- The Guardian writes a brilliant article “The $10billion question: What happened to the Marcos’ Millions?” – infuriating and eye-opening.
- The New Yorker on “The Bank Robber: The Computer Technician who Exposed a Swiss Bank’s Darkest Secrets” (also see this FT podcast on “Unravelling How the Secrecy Industry Works“)
- Google Fonts is releasing a bunch of free fonts – yay!
- This is coolest thing on the Internet at the moment – the innate patterns of Nature. Wow. thanks @cblatts
- A 2012 presentation by Linda Darling-Hammond: “Assessing 21st Century Skills“
- “Is Estonia the new Finland?” – merging equity & excellence #PISA (via @Zakronos)
- The Character Lab (thanks Ashley Visagie for alerting me to this!)
- Martin Gustafsson writes an op-ed in the Business Day titled “Education trends point to notable improvements being made.” Martin’s work is always worth reading.
- Report on Foundation Phase Conference (DoE & UNICEF 2008) De Ja Vu! 8 years later and we’re still stuck on the SAME issue. If we can’t get Foundation Phase right we aren’t going to get the rest right.
- Social justice books for kids
- Mohohlwane, N. & Taylor, S. (2015). Using impact evaluation for education policy innovations: the case of early grade literacy in South Africa. Evaluation Matters. 2015(2).
- Flesich, B., Schoer, V., Roberts, G., & Thornton, A. (2016). System-wide improvement if early-grade mathematics: New evidence from Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy. International Journal of Educational Development. 49 pp. 157-174
This article reports on a two-year evaluation of the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy (GPLMS), an innovative system-wide reform intervention designed to improve learning outcomes in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Using data from universal testing of all learners in 2008 on a provincial systemic evaluation, as well as data from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Annual National Assessment tests, this article investigates whether or not the GPLMS improves the numeracy skills of learners in early-grade mathematics in underperforming schools. Using as identification strategy, the natural experiment that resulted from a miscalculation of the provincial systemic evaluation test scores in 2008, which had been used to assign schools to the GPLMS intervention, the study shows that the GPLMS intervention is positively associated with improvements in early-grade mathematics performance of schools in the neighbourhood around the assignment threshold. The findings of the study contribute to the growing body of knowledge that shows the effectiveness of combining lesson plans, learner resources, and quality teacher capacity building.