education

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Close to half the people on Earth can speak more than one language. The percentage (43) is actually higher than the percentage of people who speak only one language (40).

But in this country, only about a fifth of the population is bilingual, and foreign-language programs are often the targets of budget cuts in schools and colleges.

That troubles foreign-language learners at Southern Oregon University, who want to see more support, not less.

run4salmon.org

People have lived in what is now California for something like 19,000 years.  But read a history textbook from a California school, and you're likely to find most histories begin with the arrival of Europeans a few hundred years ago. 

The California Indian History Curriculum Coalition aims to backfill the story of the first people on the land.  They went by many names and spoke many languages before enforced assimilation. 

Dr. Khal Schneider of the Graton Rancheria and Gregg Castro of the Ohlone are two of the people working to bring more indigenous educators into classrooms. 

Klamath Community College

College is not for everyone, we hear frequently.  But some people who could benefit from college--and it from them--face barriers to entry. 

Klamath Community College showcases seven students who have faced physical or mental or other obstacles to higher education, in a series of performances called Education/Transformation. 

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It is a concern in many parts of the world, and has been through history: how can we keep our culture alive?  It is a particular issue for indigenous cultures in lands that have been colonized by people from elsewhere. 

And it is a focus of attention this week at Southern Oregon University, which hosts the Pacific Islander Indigeneity and Education Conference (May 3rd).  Rob Goodwin, the host of our Keenest Observers segment, returns to talk about the issues in keeping culture alive when people--in this case Pacific Islander students--leave home for extended periods.

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The changing face of America presents challenges for educators.  There's greater variety over time in ethnic backgrounds and languages students learned. 

Zaretta Hammond knows this and teaches teachers across the country to deal with it.  She visits Southern Oregon University for a presentation on "Beyond Good Intentions: Becoming a Culturally Responsive Educator."

The session later today (April 10th) is free and open to the public; it is part of the SOU campus theme "From Ignorance to Wisdom." 

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You'll find libraries in schools all over Oregon.  School librarians, not so much. 

The Oregon Association of School Librarians, an arm of the Oregon Library Association, reports only about 150 school librarians in the entire state.  And just when the legislature is considering increases in school funding, OASL is pushing for more librarians. 

The case includes research showing schools that add librarians boost student achievement. 

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Maybe it's just a better term than "lecture."  Whatever the key to success, TED talks have caught on all over the world.  We even have a "TED Radio Hour" on our weekend schedule. 

The smaller, more local TEDx talks are also popular, and will soon include a Southern Oregon version, TEDx Ashland

The talks will fill half a day on May 20th, but speaker proposals are due by Valentine's Day, February 14th. 

Pavla Pelikánová, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37180275

We're not done learning after high school, not by a long shot.  And the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute--almost universally known as just OLLI--continues to teach people who have many decades behind them. 

OLLI's programs are based on the differences between how people learn at different ages.  The OLLI program at Southern Oregon University is reaching out for potential new faculty members. 

Pixabay

Critics of American education have many areas of concern, and grading is just one of them. 

Teachers are human, and humans have beliefs and biases that can show up in the process of assigning grades to students. 

Longtime educator Joe Feldman proposes a way to get things right, in his book Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms

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Homework help, computer lab, play place and more.  Those are among the functions of the new Spark Space opening at the Jackson County Library branch in Central Point. 

It's a STEM kind of place (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), but also gives teens and tweens a place to be creative with computers, blogging and coding and more. 

roanokecollege, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29696951

A guy connected to Lego must know something about creativity. 

And that is indeed the case for Ronald Beghetto.  One of his many hats is serving as a creativity advisor for the Lego Foundation. 

But Dr. Beghetto wears many others in studying and working to inspire creativity, especially in education.  He is one of the speakers at the Creativity Conference at Southern Oregon University August 3-6. 

D@LY3D, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33298107

It's a constant drumbeat at this point in history: read to your kids, read to your kids.  It makes a difference in the development of their languages skills and their brains. 

Is there a benchmark to hit?  Pediatric surgeon Dr. Dana Suskind says yes.  Thirty Million Words is the name of her initiative and the book she wrote on it. 

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Grants Pass voters rejected a bond issue for two new middle schools and other physical plant upgrades in the May primary on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, a bond issue that would have created new career and technical education (CTE) facilities in the Medford School District was losing in early returns.

Global Citizen Year

Erik Oline admits he knew next to nothing about Senegal when he graduated from Ashland High School a year ago. 

That changed quickly, as Erik moved to Senegal for his "gap year," signing up with Global Citizen Year

He recently returned from his eye-opening experience in Western Africa, where he learned much more than the name of the capital (Dakar). 

Wikimedia

If you've ever tried to manage a roomful of boys, you know how much of a challenge it can be. 

Janet Allison heartily agrees.  She realized from her first day teaching just how differently boys and girls move, live, and learn. 

So now she speaks and coaches about the best ways to educate boys, how best to work with their natural tendencies. 

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Oregon's education community may be all abuzz with talk of CTE, career and technical education, but that's not the biggest concern of students. 

A report by Oregon Student Voice found the greatest concern among students is mental health resources, nearly double the number who identified CTE as the top issue. 

OSV does what its name implies: works to get the voices of students heard in the formation of educational policy. 

USAID/Bryce Smedley

Education is not easy in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR).  BBC News calls it "the country where teachers have disappeared." 

Southern Oregon University professor Bryce Smedley recently returned from a trip to CAR to assess educational needs and help train teachers. 

And the work doesn't end now that he's home... Smedley gets his education students at SOU involved with the teachers-in-training back in Africa. 

UKDID/Wikimedia

Not all of us are quick learners.  We all  learn in different ways, through different senses. 

And when there's a real obstacle, we speak in terms of "learning disability." 

Redding occupational therapist and physical therapist Suzanne Cresswell prefers to focus on the presence of the word "ability" in the term.  She's spend three decades working with people with learning challenges, or as she prefers, "unique learners." 

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Baby boomers can well remember learning how to sew in home economics classes in high school. 

As society and education changed, skills like sewing got less emphasis and attention.  But sewing know-how is still in demand, as we learn from the co-directors of the Redding Fashion Alliance

Jan Kearns and Robin Fator are looking for some people who know how to sew, and interested in getting those skills taught again. 

Wikimedia

High school graduation rates are discouraging in Oregon.  Roughly one out of every four students will not get out of high school in four years with diploma in hand. 

The numbers show slight improvement from year to year (77% in numbers out last week), but not enough to get the state out of the bottom five. 

The legislature will likely discuss programs to improve the graduation rate in its upcoming session. 

The issue is very much on the radar of Colt Gill, newly named as the permanent Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

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