How to make schools better for kids

September 28, 2015

“How to make schools better for kids” (subscription required) is the title of a thought-provoking piece in the September 7-14, 2015 issue of TIME Magazine. The author, Alexandra Sifferlin, eight suggestions that are worthy of discussion.

  1.  Ditch traditional homework – One school did just that and replaced it with a requirement to read something – anything – for 30 minutes a night.
  2. Make recess mandatory – In the past few years, 40% of U.S. school districts have eliminated recess. The kids need it to recharge and to deal with weight problems.
  3. Screen kids for mental illness – They get screened for other things. Mental issues can be dealt with more effectively if diagnosed early.
  4. Prioritize diversity – U.S. schools are more segregated than they were in 1988.
  5. Turn disciple into dialogue – One school did it, and reduced classroom disruption incidents from 103 to eight.
  6. Let students customize their curriculums – The article mentions Knewton, a virtual platform that adapts to a students needs.
  7. Start classes after 8:30 a.m. – No comment needed here.
  8. Design cafeterias that encourage healthy eating.


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