Sputnik in Reverse: Cutting Funding for Advanced Learning in Texas by Justin Vawter When Sputnik floated by, the U.S. panicked--how could we be behind the USSR in the Space Race? The United States immediately began to examine the quality of its schooling. One year later, the National Defense Education Act established the first federally-funded gifted & talented program. Now, those kids who tinker, create, and (in the process) almost blow themselves up aren’t expelled, they’re hired by NASA. Since Sputnik and the Education Act, the question of what makes someone gifted or talented has waivered and fluctuated--but here’s a simple [...]
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THE ELEMENT: AN INSPIRATION TO RE-ENVISION EDUCATION April 21, 2013 The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything A BOOK REFLECTION BY BEN KOCH In his 2009 book, The Element, educational philosopher Ken Robinson makes a heartfelt attempt to rescue the joy, spontaneity, passion and creativity that is being methodically hammered out of curriculum and, hence, our students, by the blind machinery of standardized testing and a politicized understanding of accountability. Robinson's thesis is quite simple: when we humans live, work and play in a space in which our natural talents and our spontaneous passions meet, we are happier, healthier and more fulfilled beings. We need [...]