Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Specialties Are Available For Online Education Degrees?

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While each core curriculum will differ from school to school, most education degree programs include courses in all relevant aspects of education. These courses are designed to give you the knowledge needed to be a successful teacher.
Some schools also give you the freedom to choose your own curriculum for your online degree. This means that you can decide which areas of the education field you want to gain expertise in. The ability to design your own curriculum gives you a unique background that allows you to stand out from the competition and attracts potential employers. Some concentrations for online education degrees include Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Adult Education, Distance and Online Education, Educational Administration, and Special Education.
People who have their online education degrees in Elementary Education usually teach kindergarten through fifth grade. The major goals of this degree are to establish a foundation in reading, writing, math, science, history, and the social sciences for all children. The courses in this field are designed to prepare you to teach these major fields of study. Some course titles include Philosophy of Education, Psychology of Learning, and Teaching Methods. You may also be required to take courses in computer technology.
A degree in Secondary Education is for those who want to teach middle school and high school aged children. Many individuals who get their degree in secondary education focus their training on a particular subject, such as English, math, or science. The courses in this field will teach you about different teaching techniques, curriculum development, and other related topics.
An online degree in Adult Education will prepare you to teach and educate adults. This can include a teaching career in colleges, universities, and learning centers. People pursuing this degree generally specialize in a specific subject, or have work experience in a particular field. Courses in this field of study include Adult Growth and Development, Adult Psychology, and Program Planning and Development.
A degree in Distance and Online Education will prepare you to work in the field of distance learning. People with this degree generally work at colleges and universities teaching their courses online. Some of the courses in this degree include Foundations of Distance Education, Technology in Distance Education, and Teaching and Learning in Online Distance Education.
People who have their degrees in Educational Administration manage the activities in schools, day care centers, and colleges and universities. They can also be directors of educational programs in businesses, prisons, and museums. Many go on to be college presidents and school district superintendents. Courses in this field of study include Introduction to Educational Research and Evaluation, Policy Studies, Current Issues in Education, and Educational Leadership.
People who want to work with disabled children and/or adults generally have their online education degrees in Special Education. This degree will prepare you to work with people who have learning disabilities, mental health issues, physical disabilities, and other conditions. Courses in this field include Educational Psychology, Legal Issues of Special Education, Child Growth and Development, and Strategies for Teaching Students with Disabilities.
Along with coursework, many of these education degrees also require that you work in a classroom as an intern before graduation. That way, you will have the experience along with your online education degree to make a positive contribution to your students.

Overview of Issues in Current and Higher Education

tion system is the backbone of a progressing society. It is the standard of education that determines an individual's and the country's progress. A typical educational system consists of Primary Schools, High Schools, Colleges and Higher education institutes. It is important to provide quality education at all levels in order to have sustainable growth and development.To improve the educational system, it is important that people are aware of the education issues and problems in the education system.
Awareness about the current issues in education helps people in finding the loop holes in their education system and suggests innovative ideas to plug these holes. Some important issues/challenges related to education are:
1. Improving quality - Invariably one of the most important education issues, the quality can be improved by initiatives taken by schools and teachers. Here the importance of a trained, understanding and well informed teacher to raise the education standards cannot be stressed enough. An efficient teacher will use the latest innovations in the field of education and the outcomes of educational surveys for the benefit of his students.
2. Improving access - Along with improving the quality of education, it is also essential to improve the access to higher education; this can be done by increasing the number of higher education institutions. Essentially, every individual who is interested in studying should have an institute nearby.
3. Reducing costs - A lot of people who are interested keep away from higher education because of their inability to afford the tuition fees. Easy education loans must be available and also for those who cannot afford studies, fees must be low. Government and educational institutions must join hands in reducing the enormity of this issue.
4.Reducing drop-out rate - The rise in the drop-out rate is also a case of concern. This can be resolved by revising the curriculum in such a way that the diverse interests of students are taken care of. The introduction of more practical activities in place of plain theoretical teaching also goes a long way in keeping the students interested in their studies, thus reducing the number of drop outs. Websites dealing in education-issues also keep one informed and updated on the latest in the field of higher education.
One of such websites is www.websites-for-teachers.com . Here you will get the most comprehensive list of education-issues websites, which will provide you with all the information you require on problems in education, higher education issues, physical education issues and teacher education issues.
Hannah Anthon is an professional writer, currently working for teacher resources including websites for teachers, educational websites, higher education issues [http://www.websites-for-teachers.com/teacher-websites-directory/education-issues.htm], teaching materials, free teacher resource, technology websites and more.

Business & Technology Crack - Does Business Drives Technology or Technology Drives Business?

Information Technology and the move to a computerized infrastructure model are bringing great changes to many industries. Often it is the CIO of the company who escort this fundamental shift in the business revenue stream. Leading others through modernization, revolutionize and transformation means you must be able to make changes yourself.
Forget about asking whether technology drives business or business drives technology. Stop perturbing about whether or not technology is strategic. Silence all the confusions about how advance this technology is to that technology. In technology, there are numerous questions that if you have to ask, you probably already know and don't like the answer. A more satisfying line of inquiry is how much of your technological horsepower is actually being used to turn the wheels of innovation.
Some people says that Technology drives business modernization, novelty, success & Innovations that opens up new doors of opportunities, improves the company's performance on the whole, sharpens the company's market intelligence, and makes new things possible for the clients. Another school of thought is that the Business Drives Technology, as such integration is about assisting business to facilitate their profitability by utilizing technology and other resources available to the enterprise. But realistically speaking, the driving force comes from the CEO and CIO of the company, who both endeavor to leverage technology to its fullest potential.
In a society that has become entirely dependent on computers and immediate communications, technology is becoming the heartbeat in the process of office design as decisions on layout and services. Some aspects of technology, like the computer animation & communication, are highly visible demonstration devices. But more of it is in the largely unseen infrastructure, with the emphasis on sophisticated wiring and smart communication devices to provide for an ever greater flow, and on communications and power facilities to keep operations running through almost any anticipated calamity.
In the modernization of the today's businesses, Common business drivers include; Mergers and Acquisitions, Internal Reorganizations, Application and System Consolidation, Inconsistent/Duplicated/Fragmented Data, New Business Strategies, Compliance with Government Regulations, Streamlining Business Processes. To achieve the success in the accommodation of these business drivers, the sturdy and smart input would be required from both the parties i.e. the business as well as the technology.
In a company, you could cover every surface in your office with how to manage change. But one aspect of change management that often dodges IT Managers is how to better influence corporate colleagues. If information technology drives business decisions, the IT executives must communicate and be persuasive with other department heads on key project management issues.
Strategic planning for Information Technology is one component of an overall company vision for success. This psychoanalysis facilitates IT professionals to successfully define short and long-term goals and ascertain the resources necessary to apprehend such goals. To ensure success, the strategic plan should be developed in a thorough but rapid manner, consist of a brief, succinct compilation of analyzed data, and provide opportunities by which additional planning and analysis can occur.
Several important benefits occur as the result of a successful strategic IT plan. First, employees are provided with an understanding of how their role fits in with the overall company structure. Also, this planning allows managers to realize additional opportunities for growth and success. Finally, important relationships between technology investment and positive outcomes, such as increased market share, are revealed.
It's now become the industry dilemma that IT people need to know more about business. They need to understand the disciplines and the lingo of business process management, business performance management, customer relationship management, supply chain management, financial management, human resources management, operations management, etc. Lacking that knowledge, communication with business people and understanding of business requirements will forever be troubled.
On the other hand the Business people should also drive their efforts to know more about information technology. As with all communication and relationship issues, this is not a prejudiced problem. Just as IT people need to become more business-oriented, business people need to be more IT-oriented. They need to understand the roles and relationships among the many different kinds of technology upon which their information systems depend, and they need to understand the dependencies among those technologies. Business people need to have a working knowledge of the technology stack as it affects their capability to get information, perform business analysis, and make informed business decisions.
Beyond the relatively straight-forward needs of business becoming IT-oriented and technologists becoming business-oriented, there lies a new challenge. We must develop common understanding and shared perspective of value, an issue that is both a business concern and a technology consideration. When business and IT have different meaning and outlook for value, conflicts are certain to arise.
Business and IT organizations often have two evidently different perspectives of value. IT expert generally take a data-to-value approach. Where Data produces information, information enhances knowledge, knowledge drives action, action produces outcomes, and favorable outcomes deliver value. Business management typically uses a goals-to-value system. Business drivers and goals determine strategies, strategies drive tactics, which in turn produce results, and positive results produce value.
Effective business/IT relationships are ultimately a question of alignment. New IT skills, new business skills, and new perspectives that sets the stage for business/IT alignment. But it doesn't assure alignment. To achieve genuine association there are several things that must be done; some by IT, some by the business, and some collectively.
Conflicts between business and IT organizations have existed from the very beginning of automated Information Systems. We have accelerated in so many ways both in business and in technology. However, the problem still pestilences most of the businesses. The Business/IT crack must go away. The cost is high; the value is null; and the barriers that it crafts grow bigger each moment. The problem can be fixed, and the time to fix it is now!
Pervaiz Pyar Ali holds advanced degrees in both Business Management and Computer Science. Having worked in the Banking industry for the last five years in Pakistan, Pervaiz has formulated several projects in his organization. Currently, Pervaiz is working as a Senior System Administrator in Saudi Pak Commercial Bank Limited, Karachi, Pakistan.

The Top 10 Mistakes Technology Companies Make

In working closely with technology providers over the years, I regularly discover that these companies are making common mistakes that devalue the company, leave revenue on the table, or jeopardize their long-term health. So this special article identifies the top 10 of these mistakes to help you avoid making them.
10. Failure to register a federal copyright for company-developed software
Your company has spent months, and maybe years developing the next-big-thing. You're out there licensing it to customers, fighting off competitors, and trying to maximize your revenues. What would you do if a customer was misusing your software? What if a competitor was copying parts of it to use in its product? There are various ways to respond to these problems, but one of the easiest to way to strengthen your claims is to register a copyright for the software with the United States Copyright Office. Registration provides you with an enhanced ability to have a court prevent infringing use of your software, and a greater amount of damages that are recoverable. The best part is that registration is relatively easy and inexpensive.
9. Licensing technology too broadly
So you've landed that big deal with that big customer. You've carefully priced the deal based upon your expectations of how the customer is going to use your technology - by a specific group within the customer's large organization. You're hoping that the success of this deal will lead to a greater adoption of your technology within the rest of the company, and ultimately more revenue for you. Unfortunately, you later learn that this one group is sharing your technology throughout the rest of the company, with no additional license fees to you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Why? By failing to carefully and narrowly draw up the license grant in your agreement, you've unwittingly granted the entire company the rights to use your technology, and you've left a pile of cash on the table.
8. Failure to provide detailed support and maintenance policies
Too often, once a company's technology is ready to be licensed, determining how to support the technology becomes an afterthought. General and non-descriptive obligations like "providing telephone and email support" and "providing updates" are invitations for disagreements and missed expectations. When is phone support being offered? How quickly will you respond to problems? What is considered and update and what is a new product for which you would charge the customer separately? Many times, you need your customer to provide you with certain information about the problem before you can diagnose and fix it. Set the appropriate expectations in your support and maintenance policies and avoid these issues in the future.
7. Not contracting customers to recurring support fees
Customers want and expect that you will be there to support your product, assist with problems, and provide them updates when you add features or fix bugs. Customers also expect that you will regularly charge them for these services, so why do so many technology vendors sell a product to a customer and fail to structure regular and recurring support fees? In general, a technology vendor's highest profit margins are realized through a support fee stream, and not in the upfront license charge.
6. Inadequate non-disclosure and non-compete agreements with employees and contractors
The technology business is one of the most competitive industries in the market. Why take a chance losing your competitive advantage by not ensuring that your intellectual property, customer lists, trade secrets, and other sensitive information are properly protected through appropriate agreements with your employees, contractors, and vendors? Finding and using some form agreement that you saw floating around on the Internet somewhere may actually make matters worse if you don't fully understand the terms. Moreover, simple steps can be taken to ensure that anything developed by your employees is, and remains, your company's property.
5. Giving away intellectual property ownership too liberally
Many technology companies develop customized technology for their customers, or make customized modifications to their existing technology on behalf of a particular customer. And most customers argue that if they're paying for it, they want to own it. But giving away your company's intellectual property in these instances can prevent you from reusing it for other customers - effectively shutting down a potential source of revenue in the future. And many times, your customers may not need to actually "own" the developments - a license right can often do the trick.
4. Using overly broad or subjective acceptance testing
It is not uncommon or unreasonable for customers to want to "kick the tires" of your technology before they pay for it. Problems arise when the customer has an unreasonable expectation of what the technology is supposed to achieve, and either want to withhold payment, or force you to provide extra services to meet that unreasonable expectation. This especially manifests itself when a customer includes acceptance testing language in a contract which is not tied to objective and realistic standards. Although it can be a laborious effort, taking the time to objectify these standards with the customer in the contract can save you significant time down the road, and get you paid faster.
3. Offering liberal source code escrow release conditions
For software developers, you know that your source code is the "crown jewels" of your business. It is the core of your technology, representing months or years of your blood, sweat, and tears. Yet many software companies are willing to give it away, for free, to their customers. How? By entering into a source code escrow agreement with a customer and allowing it to be released to them in situations where the code still holds value for you. Many customers will demand the source code be released to them if you stop supporting the software, but the intellectual property in the code may still be used in your other products or technology, effectively giving your customer the tools it needs to duplicate your technology. Creating very narrow and specific source code release conditions can minimize this impact.
2. Undervaluing technology
What is your technology worth? It's a difficult question, and value can be measured and determined in many ways. Many new technology companies feel compelled to undercharge for their technology in an effort to break into the market. Although there is certainly some merit in that, I see vendors consistently undervaluing what their technology is worth, leaving significant revenue on the table. Understanding the impact and loss to the customer if they DON'T license your technology is the first key to pricing your product. Plus, under-pricing your product can create an impression that the technology is "cheap" - not a label that will build a positive reputation of your company in the long run.
1. Using a form license and/or services agreement that doesn't fit your business model
Capturing exactly how you want to provide your product or services to your customer, allocating the risks, and creating each party's obligations and rights, is not a simple or quick process. Replicating some other company's form agreement not only exposes you to risks that you may not be aware of, but potentially violates the other company's copyright in their agreement, and raises the risks outlined in the other points of this list. Having a customized agreement created for you that aligns with your business processes, mitigates your risks, and addresses the laws that apply in your jurisdiction for your industry is a key component in running a successful technology business.
Pepper Law Group, LLC has been working with technology companies for over 10 years to address these mistakes head on and to adopt best practices in the industry. How can we help you? Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Daniel A. Pepper is the founder of Pepper Law Group, LLC, a law firm based in Somerville, New Jersey focusing on representing e-commerce businesses, and users and providers of technology. More information on the firm can be found at http://www.informationlaw.com or by telephone at 908.698.0330.

The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I've always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as "smart," but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we'd have a world full of beautiful, smart people - which we don't.
Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do "street smarts" matter more than "book smarts"? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one's environment?
Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.
What does it mean to be highly educated? What's the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?
My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.
My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.
PRENATAL CARE
With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.
There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that's high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.
Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.
COGNITIVE SKILLS
Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students' ease of learning.
DRINKING, PREGNANCY, AND ITS INTELLECTUAL IMPACT
Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it's downright stupid.
A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking - especially during the second trimester - is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.
"IQ is a measure of the child's ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function," said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:
"There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of - or react appropriately to - mistakes."
This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.
ULTRA SOUNDS
Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.
Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.
Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for "keepsake" purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.
The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.
On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:
While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.
NATURE VERSUS NURTURE...THE DEBATE CONTINUES
Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it's time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?
Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it's time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn't be an either/or proposition.
A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment - and not genes - makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.
Specifically, what researchers call "heritability"- the degree to which genes influence IQ - was significantly lower for poor families. "Once you're put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over," Mr. Turkheimer said, "but in poor environments genes don't have that ability."
But there are reports that contradict these findings...sort of.
Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.
She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as "shared" because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.
In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.
And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:
With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.
Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.
BREAST-FEEDING INCREASES INTELLIGENCE
Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.
The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.
The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.
TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:
There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.
While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.
Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.
Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the "great mission" of the white middle class - the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.
Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.
ACCUMULATED ADVANTAGES
At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.
An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that "accumulated advantages" are made possible by arbitrary rules...and such unfair advantages are everywhere. "It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success," he writes. "It's the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It's the best students who get the best teaching and most attention."
With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WELL EDUCATED?
Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?
I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.
Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a "good" education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs - especially those which help the underprivileged - are cut.
The reality is, we don't really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one's character and life through learning.
What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There's always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.
Ironically, the best teachers don't go into the profession for money. They teach because it's a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession - voluntarily and involuntarily - within an average of three years.
At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial "exit" exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.
This mentality carries over into college, which of course there's a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting "A's" and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The "get-the-good-grade" mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.
Alfie Kohn advocates the "exhibition" of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.
He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five "habits of mind," which are: the value of raising questions about evidence ("How do we know what we know?"), point of view, ("Whose perspective does this represent?"), connections ("How is this related to that?"), supposition ("How might things have been otherwise?"), and relevance ("Why is this important?").
Kohn writes: It's only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one's interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking...to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends...
HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF IQ
We've always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.
Things have changed...or have they?
No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.
It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one's intellectual capabilities.
According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child's intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent "condition" of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.
The original interest was in the assessment of 'mental age' -- the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a "scale"), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.
H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet's work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.
It's important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate - both up and down during the course of one's lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.
One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a "fixed" trait.
Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with "dumb" and "inferior" babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?
Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:
000 - 070: Definite feeble-mindedness
070 - 079: Borderline deficiency
080 - 089: Dullness
090 - 109: Normal or average intelligence
110 - 119: Superior intelligence
115 - 124: Above average (e.g., university students)
125 - 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)
135 - 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)
145 - 154: Genius (e.g., professors)
155 - 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)
165 - 179: High genius
180 - 200: Highest genius
200 - higher ?: Immeasurable genius
*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).
*Einstein was considered to "only" have an IQ of about 160.
DEFINING INTELLIGENCE
Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.
Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn't even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one's environment, and learn from one's mistakes.
How about that? There's the word environment again. We just can't seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." It means recognizing what's going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it - and the people who occupy it - in order to survive and succeed within it.
There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.
Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.
He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.
These intelligences are:
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:
FLUID & CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE
According to About.com, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.
Cattell defined fluid intelligence as "...the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships." Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.
Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.
Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.
SUCCESSFUL INTELLIGENCE
Then there's Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.
His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one's overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.
With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.
As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg's Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence - IQ - only account for 20% of a person's success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman's assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?
You guessed it...Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee
relations and increase productivity.
TACIT KNOWLEDGE aka "STREET SMARTS"
You've heard the phrase, "Experience is the greatest teacher..."
In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is "street smarts," which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka "book smarts") has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.
Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.
Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to "stick" both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual's goals. Knowledge that is based on one's own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one's goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else's experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.
BEING BOTH SMART AND STUPID
Yes, it's possible to be both smart and stupid. I'm sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.
The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don't appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.
It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one's brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.
Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one's affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.
The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.
WISDOM & CONCLUSION
My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could "read" people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her "crystallized intelligence" with whomever was receptive to it.
She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I'm being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.
What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what's important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.
Gian Fiero is a seasoned educator, speaker and consultant with a focus on business development and music/entertainment industry operations. He is affiliated with San Francisco State University as an adjunct professor and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) where he conducts monthly workshops on topics such as career planning, public relations, and personal growth.

Home Education in the UK - A Useful Guide For Other Countries

Education is no longer considered a privilege. In most jurisdictions, 'education' is considered as an indispensable part of a child's rights.
In the UK, education has always commanded a high priority in the society. The government, in turn, has always adopted a liberal education policy, as highlighted from the laws of the land. That's why the concept of Home Education (HE) has always been an integral part of society in the UK.
Why Home Education?
Due to a multicultural and plural society as prevalent in the UK, the reasons for parents to opt for Home Education may vary. Some of the common factors influencing parents' decisions regarding the educational needs of their children include:
- Religious, philosophical, or spiritual compulsions
- Unsatisfactory school system
- Lack of suitable schools in the locality
- To meet the specific and/or special needs of some children, like those suffering from diseases such as Cerebral Palsy, autism etc.
- Failure of child and school management to effectively tackle certain conditions in school, like bullying, corporal punishment etc.
- Financial reasons etc.
Recently, the Parental Responsibility has emerged as one of the major reasons for Home-Educating children in the UK. More and more parents are trying to learn the art of true parenthood and are relishing the additional responsibility of being (actually) responsible for the growth of the thought process in the child.
Whatever may be the compelling circumstances, Home Education is here to stay, and is being increasingly preferred in the UK. An estimated 100,000 children between the ages of 5 and 16 are being given Home Education by their parents in the United Kingdom, and the figure is likely to increase in the coming years.
Benefits of Home Education
Home Education (tutorial-based teaching) has several advantages over classroom education (instructions-based teaching). Some of these include:
1. The child tends to receive individualistic and far more attention at home than at school.
2. Comfortable home environment in the company of parents gives the child an ideal environment to learn.
3. The absence of awe-inspiring teachers means quick feedback from the child to assess his/her learning capabilities.
4. The Child can learn at their own pace, and follow their own curriculum and interests.
5. Enhanced self-motivation and self-discipline in the child.
6. Instilment of parental values instead of peer values in the child.
7. Cultivation of courage to arrive at independent decisions.
8. Avoid destructive competition in search of better grades from the peers and fellow students.
9. Special children need special attention that can only be provided under home conditions.
10. Above all, as a parental responsibility of teaching your child, nothing is more beneficial and satisfactory than to take complete responsibility of your child's education.
Shortcomings of Home Education
One must also consider some disadvantages of Home Education before deciding the academic future of the child. Some of these include:
1. Non-development of social skills due to the absence of interaction with peers and teachers.
2. Special expertise and skills required to teach may be lacking in the parents. Moreover, they might not be abreast of the latest technologies and teaching aids that might help the child learn better.
3. Even both the parents combined may not know all the subjects required for the proper education of the child.
4. Parents may ultimately spend a considerable amount of time equipping themselves with the skills to teach their child; thus, losing out on the chance to supplement the family income.
5. Laboratories, gyms, and other facilities provided by school authorities may not be accessible from home.
6. A child's progress will not be adequately monitored, especially as they do not have to follow the National Curriculum or take SATs.
Home Education in UK - Legal Aspect
The UK is divided into different legal jurisdictions. For instance, there are different sets of laws applicable in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. However, substantially, all these jurisdictions follow similar legal principles and postulates, with minor variations.
Home Education has legal sanction in all three regions in the UK. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 (England and Wales), Sections 30 of Education (Scotland) Act 1980, and Article 45 of Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, are the relevant legal provisions that provide the requisite teeth to the concept of Home Education in the UK.
Here is the summary of these legalities as applicable in the UK:
Only 'education' is compulsory under UK laws and not 'schooling.'
No qualification is prescribed for the parents desirous of giving Home Education to their child.
Parents are at absolute liberty to decide how they want their child to be educated at home.
No compulsion of following the National Curriculum or observing school hours.
Parents must ensure that their child receives an efficient full time education, suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs the child may have.
Parents are not legally obligated to inform the Local Education Authority (LEA) when they decide to educate their children at home. If the child has never been registered at a State school, or if you move to an area served by another LEA, you are not obliged to notify the LEA, although you may do so if you wish. If you are taking your child out of a state school in England or Wales, the head teacher must remove the child's name from the register and inform the LEA. If your child has special needs and attends a special school, you need permission to deregister.
However, if you are withdrawing your child from a State school in Scotland, the LEA must be informed.
No special Government grants are available for Home Education in UK.
No formal tests are required to pass by the child. However, the LEA may ask for information informally at intervals to monitor your child's progress.
There is no prohibition on the Home Education of a statemented child provided he/she is not attending a special school, in which case you need the consent of the LEA.
Home-Educated children can take GCSEs as private candidates or as students of correspondence courses. However, it is not compulsory to take GCSEs.
To address the concern for social deprivation of Home-Educated children, in many areas, home educators meet regularly for social, educational, and other activities. Children also attend clubs, classes, sporting and leisure activities in the community. Children get to interact with people of all ages as well as their peers.
Educational Adventures [http://www.educationaladventures.co.uk/index.html] a family portal.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bringing the Learning of Immaculate Quality at Your Doorstep by an Education Loan

The world grows in might and also in complexity with the creation of advancements in the various fields of human activity. Hence for a child, education has now become a volatile term which is constantly changing with the need to learn new things gaining more importance with every passing moment. Some of the facets are there to be learned and ultimately mastered on home soil and some of them require traveling to distant lands and acquiring those facets while staying there.
Money is therefore now an important factor for a good education considering the reality factors involved in human existence. Hence fees are required to be paid sometimes in advance amounts which are quite large and boarding amounts as well as travelling amounts are also there to be taken care of. These are some of the basic facets which are required to be fulfilled although there may be many more which may arise in unforeseen situations and are required to be solved immediately.
The reality check conducted in the above paragraph may have a tinge of uncertainty but this very tinge is now liable to be removed with the provision of student education loans which give the required amount of money needed to fulfilll all the primary as well as the secondary factors.
Financially there are many benefits for taking the option of a student loan and this is an important consideration due to the common perception of getting a larger monetary sum in the case of a personal loan. The person taking this option would be missing the interest rate advantage in the sense that personal loan interest rates are quite higher compared to the interest which is charged in the case of a education loan.
The student who wants to take an education loan has to fulfill certain requirements which are however very simple and not brain haggling. Hence he has to have an age which lies between the age band of 16 years to 26 years. He is required to be an Indian national and should have one of his/her parents to be involved in an activity which serves as a regular mean of income.
The Indian scenario, moreover the Indian financial scenario is now a proud beholder of banks which are involved in the process of giving student education loans. Hence the person who is applying for this type of a loan needs to have the basic minimum documents like age proof, address proof etc. If the student has to go to a foreign location then he needs to provide a copy of his passport & visa. Apart from this the student also needs to give a proof of achieving the required marks in the selection examination for the course that he has applied for. Furthermore a prospectus is also required to be given for the bank to have a detailed idea about the fees structure in terms of the charges regarding hostel, examination fees other associated things.
If one takes a detailed look at the different types of offers of student loans that are being given by different banks in India, then the picture that is created is full of many financial factors. Most of the banks that are giving these loans have low processing fees and the EMI that is associated is also quite manageable for the person taking the loan. Furthermore the interest rate is also indicative of the need to take an education loan, by being lower than the interest associated with a student loan. The event of taking an education loan is also free from the need of credit checking.
Student education loans are therefore one of the major tools for making a talented students dream of having the best possible education, come true and hence these loans are now being taken by more and more students in India. The recent situation is indeed telling the success student education loans in the form of more and more students applying for it.