My Bookmarks and Annotations 03/07/2010

  • CI-MSU will provide podcasts of a series of video- and audio-based Chinese learning materials of both beginning-level and intermediate-level. All the materials are organized in coherent stories with language and culture explanations and are suitable to long-term systematic learning of Chinese. There will also be a series that focuses on the issues relevant to living, working and visiting China. This series can serve as a nice introduction of Chinese language and culture for those who want to prepare for their visit to China. Moreover, there will also be a series that is developed specifically for preschoolers and children. In addition to those existent materials, podcasts of adapted daily broadcasts from TV and radio stations will also be provided. Those podcast materials will be available in the coming month.

    tags: msu, programs, language, onlinelearning

  • From Publishers Weekly
    Fox, head of a girl's boarding school in New Jersey, writes about a strengths-based curriculum she developed and implemented with great success. She not only presents a workbook that can be utilized by educators and parents, but also offers a convincing argument in favor of over-turning outdated curriculums and teaching methods. Instead of focusing on weaknesses, Fox submits that children do far better when the focus is on their strengths. Childhood is for "creative dreaming," not preparation for standardized tests. Fox identifies three types of strengths: activity, learning and relationship strengths, and helps parents guide their children toward self-discovery, explaining that true strengths include not only what a child is good at, but what she enjoys and makes her feel strong. The book is written in a lively and engaging style, and sprinkled with anecdotes from Fox's teaching life and her own experiences as a student who was frustrated and uncomfortable in a traditional school setting. Clearly, writing is one of Fox's strengths, as is her inspiring passion for helping kids lead meaningful lives.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    tags: strengths, books2read

  • tags: strengths, movement, edreform

  • Grammarly is your personal proofreader and grammar coach. Check your writing for grammar, punctuation, style and more.

    tags: grammarly

  • Chua (World on Fire), a Yale law professor and daughter of immigrants, examines a number of world-dominant powers—a none too rigorously defined group that lumps together the Persian, Roman, Mongol and British empires with the contemporary United States—and argues that tolerance and multiculturalism are indispensable features of global economic and military success. Such hyperpowers rise, Chua argues, because their tolerance of minority cultures and religions, their receptivity to foreign ideas and their willingness to absorb and empower talented provincials and immigrants lets them harness the world's human capital. Conversely, hyperpowers decline when their assimilative capacities falter and they lapse into intolerance and exclusion. The sexy concept of a world-dominant hyperpower, in addition to being somewhat erratic—the smallish Dutch Republic makes the cut, while the far-flung (but inconveniently intolerant) Spanish empire doesn't—is doubtful when examining an America that can hardly dominate Baghdad and not much more convincing when applied to earlier hegemons. Chua does offer an illuminating survey of the benefits of tolerance and pluralism, often as a tacit brief for maintaining America's generous immigration policies. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    tags: books2read

  • The idea that America was being harmed because its schools were not keeping up with those in other advanced nations emerged after Sputnik in 1957, took a firm hold on education policy when "A Nation at Risk" appeared in 1983, and continues today. Policy makers justify this concern by pointing to evidence showing that, for individuals within the U.S., higher test scores predict a number of important life advantages, such as going on to college and making more money as an adult. Since Sputnik, the evidence driving worries about the performance of U.S. schools have come primarily from a series of international achievement testing programs that started in 1964 with the First International Mathematics Study (FIMS). This was followed by the Second International Mathematics Study (SIMS), the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and, most recently, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In this article, the author shows that for the U.S. and for the top dozen or so most-advanced nations in the world, standings in the league tables of international tests are worthless. There is no association between test scores and national success, and, contrary to one of the major beliefs driving U.S. education policy for nearly half a century, international test scores are nothing to be concerned about. America's schools, he asserts, are doing just fine on the world scene. (Contains 4 endnotes.)

    tags: tests, standardized_tests

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