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American Educator
Fall 2012


Table of Contents


Measured Approach or Magical Elixir?
How to Tell Good Science from Bad 
By Daniel T. Willingham

Teachers are always looking for ways to improve. But when they go searching for help, it's almost impossible to sort out which programs have solid evidence and which are just well-packaged elixirs. Online, in the mail, at conferences, they are bombarded with slick presentations of the "facts" about America's educational troubles, followed by compelling tales of children "saved" by teachers who bought the latest program or attended Professor X's new workshop.

Only a knowledgeable scientist could thoroughly sort through all the claims—but teachers need help now. They need a shortcut to strip claims down to their essentials, trace claims back to their origins, analyze the claims' plausibility and research base, and finally decide what—or what not—to do.

Worlds Apart 
One City, Two Libraries, and Ten Years of Watching Inequality Grow
By Susan B. Neuman and Donna C. Celano

Studies of two Philadelphia libraries show that equal resources alone do not create equal opportunities. To close the growing achievement gaps between students from affluent and low-income families, we must invest more in families, neighborhoods, libraries, preschools, and schools in high-poverty areas, 
and also create more avenues to eliminate socioeconomic segregation.

Dan, the "Science in the Summer" Man

Don't Level the Playing Field: Tip It Toward the Underdogs

The Professional Educator 
Leading for Learning
By Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas

A study of effective administrators finds that they support teachers by creating time and space for educators to collaborate, and by focusing on instruction.

Want to Improve Teaching? Create Collaborative, Supportive Schools
By Elaine Allensworth

More Than Words 
An Early Grades Reading Program Builds Skills and Knowledge
By Jennifer Dubin

The gains in reading, science, and social studies made by young students in a Core Knowledge language arts pilot show that the language arts block can be used to develop both the reading skills and the knowledge of the world that are essential to later reading comprehension.

 All articles available in PDF format only.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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