American Educator: Summer 2005

  • Season of Inequality

    Exploring the Summer Activity Gap Tiffani Chin, Meredith Phillips

    We had sleep-away camp for two weeks—that was so great [to have the boys away]. Then Vacation Bible School for a week. Then I think we had a free week. This week, they had Boy Scout Camp and swimming lessons—next week, just swimming lessons. Then, after their grandparents come, they have...

  • High-Quality Programs Help Bring Greater Equity to the Summer Season

    The season of inequality—and the achievement gaps that result—won't be eliminated by summer programs alone. But, academically rigorous and enriching full-day programs that span most of the summer break would make an enormous difference. Low-income children clearly need more...

  • The Opportunity Gap—A National Problem

    Tiffani Chin and Meredith Phillips followed a small group of children all summer and, based on that, present a vivid picture of the disparities in summer opportunities between lower- and higher-income children. Are their findings relevant to communities across the country? Two nationally...

  • Tribute to Paul Gagnon

    Paul Gagnon, the passionate history educator and great scholar behind much of the AFT's work on education for democracy, passed away in April 2005. Serving in the Navy in WWII sparked Paul's fascination with history: He wanted to know, "What caused the war?" And he wanted everyone else to know,...

  • Surviving the Underground

    How American Unions Helped Solidarity Win Arch Puddington

    Twenty-five years ago, a group of shipyard workers launched a strike that united Poland and, eventually, toppled the Communist government. The Polish people had lived under Soviet rule since the end of World War II; by 1980, they had endured decades of corrupt officials and economic decline—...

  • Notebook

    NCLB—Let's Get It Right

    The majority of AFT teachers say they want the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB) fixed—not eliminated. That's why the AFT recently launched a nationwide campaign to educate the public and elected officials about details of the law that hinder school improvement. The campaign, "NCLB—Let's Get It...

  • How Has Modality Theory Been Tested?

    Daniel T. Willingham

    The most comprehensive review of studies testing the effect of matching modality of instruction with students' modality preference was a meta-analysis conducted by Kenneth Kavale and Stephen Forness (1987). The study concluded such instruction produced no educational benefit. Here are three...

  • Ask the Cognitive Scientist

    Do Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learners Need Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Instruction? Daniel T. Willingham

    Question: What does cognitive science tell us about the existence of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners and the best way to teach them?

    The idea that people may differ in their ability to learn new material depending on its modality—that is, whether the...

  • Finding Who and Where We Are

    Can American History Tell Us? Paul Gagnon

    A few years ago, David Donald, professor of American history at Harvard, stirred up a little storm on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times by wondering whether his courses were still worth teaching. Students expected, he said, to understand how their American past related to the present...

  • The Content's Best Modality Is Key

    Daniel T. Willingham

    The research presented in this article boils down to this: Modality of instruction is important, but it is equally important for all students—not more or less important depending on students' modality preference. There are several important implications for educators. First, teachers need not...

  • Vote Solidarity