I want to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: recommend a show for you to watch tonight. And of course, it’s on KET!
Extreme by Design captures the experience of 40 students from Stanford University’s Institute of Design. These idealistic millenials design and build products that may save thousands of lives in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other developing countries. The students believe they can and will make a difference in the world as their products take shape.
They are challenged by a new teaching concept developed at Stanford called the “design thinking” approach. John Nash, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky, also teaches design thinking. I recently interviewed Nash and filmmaker Ralph King on One to One about the documentary I want you to see. Design thinking is a fascinating approach to teaching, and it’s already being used by some Kentucky high school and college students.
So watch Extreme by Design, tonight at 10 on KET. It’s an excellent documentary I think you’ll enjoy. Then check out my One to One interview about design thinking, tomorrow at 6 p.m. on KETKY, or you can watch the show online.
Eugenia Toma is an education economist at the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. She and her colleagues recently produced an in-depth study of education policy in the Commonwealth. In preparation for the 2014 session of the General Assembly, Toma is sharing her research with legislators and other state officials who will make important decisions about the future of primary and secondary education in Kentucky
Toma will join me to discuss some of their findings on a special edition of Education Matters, Monday at 8 p.m. on KET. The show explores the impact of poverty on school performance and is part of our continuing exploration of poverty in Kentucky.
In the program we feature May Valley and John M. Stumbo Elementary Schools in Floyd County, as well as Fern Creek Traditional High School and the Neighborhood House community center in Louisville.
May Valley Elementary is one of the top-rated schools in the state. Principal Greta Thornsbury, teacher Kim Reed, and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb will talk about how they engage all students to perform at high levels.
At John M. Stumbo Elementary, 95 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Despite this, the school is the top most-improved school in Kentucky. Principal Donna Robinson and Superintendent Webb will tell us how they accomplished that.
Neighborhood House has served the Portland community of west Louisville since 1896. Executive Director Pam Rice will talk about their goal of ending the cycle of generational poverty by using educational programs and social services to support local children.
Fern Creek Traditional High School went from being a persistently low-achieving school to a national model for a “turnaround” high school. Principal Houston Barber and assistant principal Rebecca Nicolas will explain the change.
During the program, I’ll explore with our panelists the economic, education, and social policies that contribute to academic success or failure among poor and at-risk students. My colleague Renee Shaw then discusses ways that schools, families, and communities can counter the effects of poverty. Our guests will be Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday; Roger Cleveland from Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Education; Dreama Gentry, executive director of Partners for Education at Berea College; Eugenia Toma, Wendell H. Ford Professor of Public Policy at UK; and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb.
Here’s a preview of Education Matters: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty:
If you are a teacher, school administrator, or parent of a Kentucky student, last night’s discussion on Kentucky Tonight may be of interest to you. The issue was the Next Generation Science Standards, which the state Board of Education approved several weeks ago. Those standards have several additional regulatory steps to pass before being implemented in our public schools.
A coalition of 26 states including Kentucky developed the standards; they identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master. The Kentucky Department of Education says the science standards are internationally benchmarked, rigorous, research-based, and designed to prepare Kentucky students for college and jobs in the future.
But the standards are not without controversy. Some have questioned what the standards say about evolution and climate change. Last night, our Kentucky Tonight guests discussed the challenges of teaching evolution in school:
The Next Generation Science Standards also require instruction on scientific practices, including critical thinking and communication skills that students need for post-secondary success. According to the standards, these practices encompass the habits and skills scientists and engineers use every day. However, on Monday night’s program, the panelists disagreed about the nature of “critical thinking:”
The new science standards could be in Kentucky classrooms starting in the 2014-2015 school year.