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American Educator
Fall 2006


Table of Contents


Farewell, Andy (PDF)

The Neglected Muse
Why Music Is an Essential Liberal Art
By Peter Kalkavage

"Music shapes us," says our author. Today, young people are bombarded with popular music that venerates violence, drug use, and promiscuity. How can we help students to better understand the power that music has over their emotions? By introducing them to great, enduring works of music. Through these, students can develop a taste for true beauty and reflect on what popular music does—and does not—offer.

Wynton Marsalis on America's Musical Classics
What They Are and Why We Need to Share Them with Our Kids
Q&A with Wynton Marsalis

Balancing the Educational Agenda (PDF)
Parents Are Pleased with Schools' Higher Standards—but Now They're Focused on Funding, Class Size, and Behavior
By Jean Johnson, Ana Maria Arumi, and Amber Ott

In the early 1990s, parents consistently said that raising schools' academic standards was a top priority. Today, standards are higher—and parents know it. As a result, parents' priorities have shifted to issues such as securing more funding for schools, reducing class size, and improving student behavior.

Minority Students and Parents See More Problems (PDF)

Ask the Cognitive Scientist
"Brain-Based" Learning: More Fiction than Fact
By Daniel T. Willingham

Neuroscientists are making great leaps forward in understanding how the brain works. Unfortunately, when neuroscientific claims jump to the classroom, the facts often get lost and the science misapplied. Our cognitive scientist explores a few such misapplications and explains why neuroscience is not likely to provide answers to teachers in the near future.

How Neuroscience Could Help…
By Detecting Learning Disabilities

Motivating Young Minds (PDF)
The Best Kids' Magazines Turn Natural Curiosity into Exceptional Knowledge

Kids are naturally curious about science, history, art, current events, ancient peoples—anything they encounter. Keeping up with their interests, answering their questions, and searching for new topics to introduce are, to put it mildly, daunting tasks. For help, turn to the two great magazines highlighted here: ASK (for elementary school) and Kids Discover (for middle school).

A Ticket for Ms. Miles
How One Teacher Helped a Student Write Her Way Out of Poverty
By Michael Winerip

American Educator offers this true story as a tribute to all of the students who need someone to believe in them and to the dedicated teachers who gladly accept the challenge.

This article is available here.

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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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