Can I Grade Students on What They Believe?

We educators often hope our work is a tool for fighting economic inequality, hunger, climate change, and other global problems our students' generation is inheriting. Yet we will inevitably encounter students who see inequality as the necessary movements of markets, hunger as a natural and even potentially positive by-product of overpopulation, and fighting climate change as a religious movement or... Continue Reading →

Finnish Teens Talk About the Migration Crisis

Finland is changing. Everyone I speak with here acknowledges this. It is diversifying. It is worth noting that the country is not as homogenous as it appears from afar: there are, among others, Swedish-speaking Finns, Sami, Roma, Karelians, Estonians as well as Somalis and their Finnish-born children, all in addition to the so-called "ethnic Finns." Multiculturalism is not a... Continue Reading →

Are “21st-Century Skills” Non-Cognitive?

Can non-cognitive skills like empathy and "grit" be measured by educators? Can they be taught? Should such skills be measured? Should they be taught? Whatever we may think, questions intended to assess social and emotional skills are apparently commonplace enough to appear on standardized tests, including the PISA exams. A 2015 article in Scientific American called for their inclusion in the... Continue Reading →

Lovely images: “The Frontiers of Peace”

Check out some of the images from Valerio Vincenzo's work, "Borderline, the Frontiers of Peace." Their politics are transparent, I suppose, and that's fine. They celebrate the transformation of international boundaries in the 30 years since the Schengen Agreement. There is so much fretting about "Europe" and migration and the Brexit. For the moment, here are representations of a lasting... Continue Reading →