The return of cursive writing

512px-CursiveAs we blogged about some years ago, teaching cursive handwriting had all but disappeared from our nation’s schools, a victim of computer typing and the Common Core.

But now, cursive handwriting is coming back into the curriculum!  Some 14 states now mandate instruction in the penmanship art.  And now even the progressive New York City school system has come around.

It began when a New York Assemblywoman was working at a voter registration table.  She signed up an 18-year-old.  But when he had to sign his name to the form, he printed it in block letters.  No, she told him, you need to sign it.  He explained that he didn’t know how.  “I never learned script.”  She told this story to city education officials, and they agreed that this is a skill that needs to be taught.

We may have a generation that has never learned how to write or read cursive.  But it may be coming back!

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Why science is sexist and racist

Researchers_in_laboratoryJoy Pullman at the Federalist writes about a doctoral dissertation that maintains that science is inherently sexist and racist.  In the study of STEM syllabi, the education graduate student draws this conclusion:

Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language used in the syllabi reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging, a view of teaching that promotes the idea of a passive student, and by promoting a chilly climate that marginalizes women. . . .

Instead of promoting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male-dominant view of knowledge as one that students acquire and use make [sic] the correct decision.

[Read more…]

And now the conservative Generation Z

9091132233_9f8928fbbd_zForget Millennials.  A new generation is coming of age:  Generation-Z.

It’s being heralded as the most conservative generation since 1945.

One reason, according to Charlie Peters, a member of that generation in Great Britain, is their love of freedom.  Not long ago, that impulse led young people to embrace the causes of the Left.  But now the Left is associated with suppressing freedom.

Now that Generation-Zs are entering the university, they are chafing against the Leftist establishment’s rejection of free speech.  These young people, Peters observes, grew up on the internet and social media where people can hold any position and say whatever they want.  So when they come to the university with its speech codes and taboo ideas, they don’t like it.  So they are becoming conservatives. [Read more…]

Betsy DeVos wins confirmation, barely

Betsy_DeVos_2005_cropThe Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, after an intense Democratic effort to stop her.  With two Republicans voting against her, the final vote was tied, meaning that Vice President Pence, exercising his prerogative as president of the Senate, cast the deciding vote in her favor.

DeVos is an educational reform activist and a champion for school choice and vouchers for private education (including Christian schools and homeschools). Democrats, with their big constituency of teachers’ unions, condemned her lack of experience with public education.

Photo of Betsy DeVos by Keith A. Almli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betsy_Devos.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Google searches of 2016

cyborg-438398_640The internet contains unfathomable amounts of information.  Search engines allow us to find anything we want to know, giving us access to knowledge on an unprecedented scale, thus advancing the capabilities of the human mind.

When we can fully connect our minds to the internet, we can attain the next level of human evolution.

So see what the year’s top searches on Google were. [Read more…]

Our attention span drops to below that of a goldfish

goldfish-bowl-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-7ooBw5-clipartAmericans have a very high literacy rate.  The problem is, though people can read, many of them don’t read.  At least not anything longer than a tweet or a blog post.  One-quarter of Americans haven’t read a single book all year.  That can be said of  one-third of American men.

One problem, reports Eric Metaxas, is that our attention span keeps dropping.  In the year 2000, our average attention span was an already unimpressive 12 seconds.  Now it’s 8 seconds.  One journalist observed that this is less than that of a goldfish. [Read more…]