AFT - American Federation of Teachers

Shortcut Navigation:

American Educator
Winter 2007-2008


Table of Contents


4,000 Meters Below
New Research Reveals the Wonders of the Deep Sea
By Claire Nouvian

The deep sea was once thought to be devoid of life. In fact, it is our planet's largest ecosystem, and it's teeming with life. This excerpt from a new book, The Deep, presents essays from leading scientists on bioluminescence, the seafloor, methane seeps, and the history of deep-sea exploration, as well as vibrant photographs of exotic marine life. You'll learn from it, so will your students.

The Exploration of the Deep
By Cindy Lee Van Dover

Living Lights in the Sea
By By Edith Widder

The Deep Seafloor: A Desert Devoid of Life?
By Craig M. Young

Gas Promotes Mass: Methane Seeps
By Lisa Levin

Conjuring Cut Scores (PDF)
Not New, but a Worthy Challenge
By Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli

If your students score at the "proficient" level in state A, will they do so in state B? If fewer students are "proficient" in middle school than in elementary school, does that mean students are learning less in middle school? Maybe, maybe not. According to a new report, states define proficiency in ways that often defy logic. As a result, parents, teachers, and students don't really know who's proficient—and who's not. And, improvement efforts may get targeted toward the wrong students, the wrong grades, or the wrong subjects.

The Proficiency Illusion (PDF)
By John Cronin, Michael Dahlin, Deborah Adkins, and G. Gage Kingsbury

Ask the Cognitive Scientist
Should Learning Be Its Own Reward?
By Daniel T. Willingham

In recent months, newspaper headlines have focused on a controversial approach to getting students to learn—paying them to take standardized tests, and paying them even more for a job well done. Teachers have long rewarded students with stickers and treats. But do such prizes motivate students? Or, is it actually harmful to reward them like this? Cognitive science sheds light on this growing debate.

A Child's Delight
By Noel Perrin

An American literature professor reflects on three wonderful, but not widely read, books from what he believes was the golden age of children's literature.

Navigating the Age of Exploration
By Ted Widmer

At a time when technology has given us MapQuest and GPS, a historian explains why the long ago discovery of the New World should still have the power to astonish us.

Previous Issue

Fall 2007

Next Issue

Spring 2008


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.

Email ShareThis

Speak Out (GEN)