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Technology-enabled Public Libraries Can Help Improve the Quality of Life of the Rural Elderly

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Technology-enabled Public Libraries Can Help Improve the Quality of Life of the Rural Elderly
Source: World Bank

Over the past 40 years, China’s population has been aging at a rate that took more than 100 years in developed countries. In 2010, the number of people over 60 years old reached 178 million in China, accounting for almost a quarter of the world’s total. Many older citizens in China’s rural areas have found themselves increasingly isolated as their younger relatives migrated to the cities. Few older citizens in rural areas use the Internet. But advances in connectivity, including rapidly improving Internet services in rural areas, offer opportunities for greater development and participation in society of the rural elderly.

The World Bank in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been supporting Chinese government’s efforts to improve access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and related services for enhancing the lives of rural residents. As a part of the initiative, a study was recently undertaken to assess the potential of enhancing ICT usage among older people in China and examine the feasibility of leveraging public libraries and library-like institutions to serve as venues to foster digital and social inclusion of senior citizens and improve their well-being. Findings from the report were compiled into a report entitled Fostering a digitally inclusive aging society in China: the potential of public libraries.

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Innovations in Apprenticeship: 5 Case Studies That Illustrate the Promise of Apprenticeship in the United States

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Innovations in Apprenticeship: 5 Case Studies That Illustrate the Promise of Apprenticeship in the United States
Source: Center for American Progress

In 2007, spurred by a projected skills gap in South Carolina’s workforce, state policymakers and the South Carolina Technical College System established an innovative apprenticeship program called Apprenticeship Carolina. Today—after just seven years—Apprenticeship Carolina consists of around 700 employer partners and over 10,400 current and former apprentices. This is just one example of many innovative apprenticeship programs emerging across the United States. From Vermont to Michigan to Washington state, governments, employers, workforce planners, and education stakeholders are making important new investments in this critical workforce training tool.

As detailed in the recent Center for American Progress report, “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States,” apprenticeship is a workforce-training model that combines on-the-job training with classroom-based instruction and has been proven to benefit employers, employees, and the overall economy. Apprenticeships allow businesses to meet the growing demand for skilled workers, and they lead workers to higher wages and better employment outcomes. Furthermore, they are a smart public investment. A recent study in Washington state found that for every $1 in state investment in apprenticeships, taxpayers received $23 in net benefits, a return that far exceeds that of any other workforce-training program in the state.

UK — Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards
Source: Department of Health

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a new statutory requirement for local services to work together when providing care and support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new requirement, ensuring that local services are fulfilling their role and that children are getting the care they need.

From September 2014 local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and education services will be expected to collaborate when assessing, commissioning and implementing care plans for children with SEN and disabilities.

This document provides guidance and advice for HWBs on how best to oversee the implementation of changes made by the Act.

Poverty and Persistence: A Model for Understanding Individuals’ Pursuit and Persistence in a Doctor of Education Program

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Poverty and Persistence: A Model for Understanding Individuals’ Pursuit and Persistence in a Doctor of Education Program (PDF)
Source: International Journal of Doctoral Studies

The purpose of this systematic grounded theory study was to extend the theoretical foundations of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2008), Tinto’s (1993) integration mode l of graduate persistence, and the framework of resilience (Cefai, 2004; Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000) to generate a theoretical model explaining how doctoral candidate s from backgrounds of poverty persist through to successful admittance to doctoral candidacy. The proposed theoretical model provides an account for the relationship among significant losses in childhood that are subsequently transformed into positive attributes that motivated participants’ pursuit and persistence in a doctoral program. This study produced two new constructs contributing to the empirical and theoretical literature addressing persistence: familial integration and altruistic motivation . With high attrition rates across disciplines, this study makes an important contribution to the theoretical and empirical literature addressing doctoral persistence. Further, understanding the unique phenomena of familial integration and altruistic motivation assists universities in identifying marketing strategies and support services for the population understudy.

Ethnic Variation in Gender-STEM Stereotypes and STEM Participation: An Intersectional Approach

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Ethnic Variation in Gender-STEM Stereotypes and STEM Participation: An Intersectional Approach (PDF)
Source: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

Stereotypes associating men and masculine traits with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are ubiquitous, but the relative strength of these stereotypes varies considerably across cultures. The present research applies an intersectional approach to understanding ethnic variation in gender-STEM stereotypes and STEM participation within an American university context. African American college women participated in STEM majors at higher rates than European American college women (Study 1, Study 2, and Study 4). Furthermore, African American women had weaker implicit gender-STEM stereotypes than European American women (Studies 2–4), and ethnic differences in implicit gender-STEM stereotypes partially mediated ethnic differences in STEM participation (Study 2 and Study 4). Although African American men had weaker implicit gender-STEM stereotypes than European American men (Study 4), ethnic differences between men in STEM participation were generally small (Study 1) or nonsignificant (Study 4). We discuss the implications of an intersectional approach for understanding the relationship between gender and STEM participation.

CRS — Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions (September 15, 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Over the last two decades, there has been interest in developing federal policies that focus on student outcomes in elementary and secondary education. Perhaps most prominently, the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110), which amended and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), marked a dramatic expansion of the federal government’s role in supporting standards-based instruction and test-based accountability, thereby increasing the federal government’s involvement in decisions that directly affect teaching and learning.

Under the ESEA, states are required to have standards in reading and mathematics for specified grade levels in order to receive funding under Title I-A of the ESEA. In response to this requirement, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted and implemented standards that meet the requirements of the ESEA. Since the ESEA was last comprehensively reauthorized by NCLB, recent developments have taken place that have possibly played a role in the selection of reading and mathematics standards by states: (1) the development and release of the Common Core State Standards; (2) the Race to the Top (RTT) State Grant competition and RTT Assessment Grants competition; and (3) the ESEA flexibility package provided by the Department of Education (ED) to states with approved applications. As of June 2014, 43 states, the District of Columbia, 4 outlying areas, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) had at some point adopted the Common Core State Standards. Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina recently became the first states to adopt and subsequently discontinue use of the Common Core State Standards.

Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This First Look report provides some selected findings from the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) along with data tables and methodological information. The TFS is a follow-up of a sample of the elementary and secondary school teachers who participated in the previous year’s Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The TFS sample includes teachers who leave teaching in the year after the SASS data collection and those who continue to teach either in the same school as last year or in a different school. The purpose of the Teacher Follow-up Survey is to determine how many teachers remained at the same school, moved to another school or left the profession in the year following the SASS administration.

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