No more diagramming sentences: Students learn more from simply writing and reading.

The Atlantic

Three times last week, between classes in neuropharmacology, neural systems and journalism, Brown University junior Henry Langton changed into sweatpants, sat with dozens of classmates on cushions in a campus dance studio and meditated on his breath and his body for 25 uninterrupted minutes.

One day, the focus was bamboo breathing, a Zen breath control technique. Another day, it was the Heart Sutra, a Mahayana Buddhist scripture frequently chanted in Zen monasteries. There was also walking meditation, a mindfulness of the body exercise done while moving through the room.

HuffPost

Last February, photographer Mark Makela traveled to Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, to photograph a reading group where the participants were grade-school students and a group of cats. The idea for the group, known as Book Buddies, was hatched at theAnimal Rescue League of Berks County when the program coordinator Kristi Rodriguez’s 10-year-old son was struggling with reading. Rodriguez decided to bring him into the shelter, where he could be in what she called a “nonevaluative” environment in order to feel more comfortable practicing his reading skills. It worked.

Slate

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jilly Dos Santos really did try to get to school on time. She set three successive alarms on her phone. Skipped breakfast. Hastily applied makeup while her fuming father drove. But last year she rarely made it into the frantic scrum at the doors of Rock Bridge High School here by the first bell, at 7:50 a.m.

Then she heard that the school board was about to make the day start even earlier, at 7:20 a.m.

“I thought, if that happens, I will die,” recalled Jilly, 17. “I will drop out of school!”

That was when the sleep-deprived teenager turned into a sleep activist. She was determined to convince the board of a truth she knew in the core of her tired, lanky body: Teenagers are developmentally driven to be late to bed, late to rise. Could the board realign the first bell with that biological reality?

NYTimes

The interests of able readers are being threatened by an insistence primary school pupils are taught to read using phonics, an academic has said.

BBC

The lack of interest in math or natural sciences is one of the most frequently voiced causes for concern in the debate surrounding education, at least in Germany. It has been seen time and again that pupils lose their enthusiasm for physics, chemistry and math once they reach eighth or ninth grade. But is this inevitable? And if not, how can teachers steer a different course?

ScienceDaily

Say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence, or reason can provide the tools that people need in order to make good decisions.

AlterNet