Dr. Thomas Armstrong’s Education Blog

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We’re all focused on the COVID-19 virus right now, but an even greater threat to our nation and our world is the Trumpona Virus (TRUVID-20).  Viruses don’t have the ability to replicate themselves, so what they do is insinuate themselves into a cell body and deceptively and parasitically co-opt the mechanisms and materials of that...
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Summer is officially here, and many parents–after homeschooling their kids for the last three months–are wondering whether they should keep schooling their kids to make up for a potential ”summer slide” or just let them enjoy the summer.  I come down strongly on the side of enjoying summer, but that doesn’t mean learning need not...
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We are so conditioned to regard the child as ”less than” adults (e.g. less tall, less intelligent, less emotionally stable etc.), that we miss something that I believe is essential to understanding not only childhood, but life itself.  Yes, children lack many of the essentials for independent living in the world – that is only...
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During the past three months, millions of parents have had to become ”experts” in teaching and learning, familiarizing themselves with school subjects, study skills, instructional objectives, distance learning, and a lot more.  However, there’s one teaching component that is central to learning that often gets left out of the mix:  helping a child or teen’s...
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James W. Fowler (1940-2015) was an American theologian who was Professor of Theology and Human Development at Emory University.  He was director of both the Center for Research on Faith and Moral Development and the Center for Ethics until he retired in 2005. He was a minister in the United Methodist Church.  He is perhaps...
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Six-year-old Timothy likes to stand up and walk around while eating his dinner.  He plays basketball or hockey while watching TV.  When reading with his mother, he moves the book up and down, swings his legs back and forth, and makes it hard for her to focus on the words that they’re reading together. Nine-year-old Caleb...
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After this pandemic is over with (or at least sufficiently in the background of American life to warrant little comment), plan to go into a classroom and ask yourself, does this classroom have life?” That’s the key test of whether there’s any real learning going on. There could be fake learning going on, to be...
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First, my complaint:  I don’t like the direction that reading instruction has taken in this country, moving as it has toward lock-step teaching of phonemic awareness, incessant teaching of reading comprehension ”skills” (e.g. finding the main idea, making inferences etc.), and ”close reading” strategies (where the child is restricted to just what is in the...
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Over 80% of schoolchildren are involved with distance learning through their schools according to a recent poll by the Gallup organization. Another 16% are doing online learning not specifically tied to their schools.  Since this is such a shift from what things were like when most kids went to school, we have to ask ourselves...
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