Research report: New Study released on Common Core Standards and Arts Standards Alignment, but will educators embrace it?

A visual arts classroom.What do math and the arts have in common? Quite a bit, according to a new study just released by the College Board, a partner of the National Core Arts Standards. The study points to evidence demonstrating the two subject areas can strengthen students’ analysis and observation skills within a new framework for national core standards. The new framework proposes to put U.S. students on par with their international counterparts. The latest findings are one of a handful of research projects developed to support the new core standards. The details of the new core standards, which have been unfolding over the past year, mark some of the most significant changes in more than 15 years, and many arts educators are hoping they will be a boon for arts education. Read more

Liberal arts colleges: Core requirements teach basic skills

Communication Skills Lab

Communication Skills Lab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most liberal arts colleges, but not all, have core requirements — classes that you’re required to take before graduation. These requirements typically include a little bit of everything (English, math, science) to give you a well-rounded foundation of academic knowledge from which to base the rest of your college years. In these classes you’ll study history books, science books, economic articles, modern literature and even perhaps an art journal — all to help give you an education in a field that might not be your major. Learn what classes are essential for your major and for college graduation from liberal arts colleges. Read more

Book lovers, are you ready to celebrate Library Lovers Month?

IMGP2252.JPG

(Photo credit: mdmarkus66)

With technology providing many of us with easy research tools and downloadable books, we may not visit our local library as often as we used to. This month, though, you have the perfect excuse to get reacquainted with an old friend. Yes, it’s Library Lovers Month. Book lovers, take a moment to celebrate! Stop by your local or campus library, appreciate the resources it has to offer and check out some library books (pun intended).

Libraries have been around for centuries, but those in the United States date back to the 18th century when Benjamin Franklin provided the first social library, and William Rand opened the first circulating library. It wasn’t until the 19th century, though, that Horace Mann pushed for libraries in schools. Compiled together, this library history evolved into the structures we know and love today. Read more

Causes of writer’s block: Writing ideas for how to stop it before it starts

writer's block - crushed and crumpled paper on...

Writer’s block  (Photo credit: photosteve101)

Writer’s block hits everyone at one time or another. We don’t all just wake up perkily and generate writing ideas. Even the most creative and the most dedicated of us can sometimes get stuck thinking of a term paper topic or idea for a science project. Once you know the causes of writer’s block, you can take steps to prevent it. One tip is to consult sources like history books, health articles, modern literature, recent science articles, or anything that fits your topic and can jump start your project. Another tip is to practice stress relief techniques to get the creative juices working. Read on for more writing ideas for stopping writer’s block before it starts! Read more

Writing tips: Unique tricks to overcoming writer’s block

We’ve all been there. That moment when the words stop flowing onto the page and you’re stuck in a literary rut. Whether you’re writing a thesis, novel, or epic book of poetry, often the most effective ways for overcoming writer’s block also happen to be the most unconventional. If you’ve already tried your usual methods to no avail, try these unique tricks and you may be surprised at how well they can get the creative juices pumping again.

Read more

Dump the bad science, and research reputable sources

English: Some of the basic elements of the sci...

English: Some of the basic elements of the scientific method, arranged in a cycle to emphasize that it is an iterative process.

There’s so much information out there, how do you know what to believe? On the Internet, anyone can say anything about any subject. So consulting reputable sources is the best course of action when you’re conducting research for a science project or paper. First, learn to spot the difference between real science and “bad” science before citing Internet sources. Then look to science books, recent science articles from major magazines or websites or a science journal from a government agency for your information.

The scientific method: observation and experimentation

There’s a saying that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth. Propaganda experts exploit this failing in human nature to their advantage. Read more

Are MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) the future of higher education?

The winds of change are blowing—this time in the hallowed halls of higher education. As it has done with so much of our daily lives, the Internet is making inroads into academia with the growing use of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. While the debate is still ongoing as to whether this developing form of teaching will change the future of higher education in the long run, the surge in MOOCs is creating the potential to offer much broader channels of learning for anyone with an Internet connection. Read more

Arts Education: Why the new $100,000 NEA grant to develop an educational video game is making waves

With the help of the federal government, the idea that video games are mindless fodder for teenage boys is being challenged. Since the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federally-run organization that supports arts education, announced recently that it would be giving $100,000 to develop an educational video game centering on a black female alien superhero, a new conversation has opened up that is making waves over what constitutes art in the context of public tax dollar support. Read more

Grading on a curve: The pros and cons of the curved grading system

Probability curve of student grades

Probability curve of student grades

Professors who grade on a curve can be a blessing and a curse for college students. Depending on how well you perform in a class, a curve can mean passing a course you otherwise would have failed. However, if you did particularly well in a course, you may feel cheated if the instructor decided to grade on a curve and pass students who failed to study or do the work. If you’re a little confused about what grading on curve could mean for your grades, read on and see how to prepare yourself! Read more

Top tips for academic success: 7 habits of highly successful students

Ever wonder how some of your classmates make academic success look so darn easy? Wish you could pick their brain without actually having to confess you don’t have all the answers yourself? We all know that achieving any goal worth having is going to take persistence and passion. So, take a look at our latest list of the top 7 habits of highly successful students and see just what you can do to get yourself started down the right path for the new year! Read more