IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

You, Me, and We Versus “They” in Attempts to Improve Education

Here is one of my most favorite quotes:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead; American cultural anthropologist; 1901–1978.)

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Optimism and Pessimism: Understanding Both Sides of a Possible Change

At one time in my life I played a lot of bridge. I still enjoy reading the newspaper Daily Bridge Club column by Frank Stewart. The 10/5/2010 column in my local newspaper began with the statement:

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society: Optimists invented the airplane, a pessimist the parachute. The bridge table has room for both approaches.

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: The Rapidly Approaching Category 5 Storm

In September, 2010, the National Academies made available a report titled: Rising above the gathering storm, revisited: Rapidly approaching Category 5. This is a follow-up to a much longer report published five years ago: Rising above the gathering storm. The new report can be downloaded free in PDF format from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12999.html. The 2005 report has a publication date of 2007 and is available for free download at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463.

In terms of hurricanes, a Category 5 storm is the worst it gets. The new report’s title is designed to tell its readers that we are in deep trouble. Here is a quote from the 2010 report, with bold added for emphasis:

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In the United States, One in Seven (and Well Over 20% of Children) Live in Poverty

Poverty is perhaps the best single predictor of future lack of success in our school system. A good introduction to this topic is available at:

Berliner, D.C. (March, 2009). Poverty and potential: Out-of-school factors and school success. Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice. Retrieved 9/19/2010 from http://greatlakescenter.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/Berliner_NonSchool.pdf.

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You Load 16 Tons (or 1 Million Tons), What Do You Get?

Recently I read a business magazine article reporting that China is importing 1 million tons of iron ore from Australia per day. I tried to wrap my head around the meaning of a million tons (2 billion pounds) of iron ore. Well, that is a little less than 5 ounces per day for each person on earth. In a year, this is about 114 pounds for each person on earth. Hmm. The yearly weight of iron ore being moved from Australia to China is perhaps 2/3 weight of the entire world’s population. I try to imagine 4.4 billion people a year moving to China.

All of this deep thinking reminded me of the “Sixteen Tons” song. Quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Tons:

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