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Stories by Lory Hough

By Lory Hough 05/30/2017 8:20 AM EDT
Annice Fisher
Annice Fisher knows that when it comes to education, most parents want what’s best for their kids. She experienced it growing up after her mother moved their family from Englewood, a deeply troubled neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, to the North Side so that Annice and her brother could go to better schools. More recently, Fisher witnessed it after spending 10 months at the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) for her third-year residency, where she helped the famed organization examine student preparation for high school and college, including what was working and what wasn’t. The parents...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 3:16 PM EDT
Tony Jack
When Tony Jack started his freshman year at Amherst College in 2003, something seemed off. He looked around and saw a diverse group of students, but unlike him, none seemed poor. They talked about study abroad programs and boarding schools like Andover and Groton. Back at home, in Miami, summer was just a season. At Amherst, he quickly learned, it was also a verb. “I kept asking myself, am I really the only poor black person here?” The answer was no. Some of his classmates had grown up the way he did — barely making ends meet, the first in their families to go to college — but they had taken...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 2:42 PM EDT
Two Rabbits and a Hand-Crank MP3
It was one of those ideas that happened by chance. A couple of years ago, Sarah Strader, Ed.M.’17, was in Cameroon, conducting research on education among the Baka, a group of nomadic hunter-gatherers living in the eastern forests of the country. Strader learned that Baka children rarely attend formal schooling, especially in the early years, in part because of their nomadic lifestyle, but also because of language barriers — the Baka speak Baka while in most schools in the region, lessons are in French and Bantu. But Strader also learned that families wanted — and needed — their children to...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 1:57 PM EDT
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
In her new book, Growing Each Other Up, Professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Ed.D.’72, tells a story about reaching out to a friend when her then-teenaged daughter was leaving her feeling frustrated and exhausted. Hungry for advice, Lawrence-Lightfoot assumed the friend would share her own war stories and even, perhaps, rescue her. Instead, the friend said something that at first left Lawrence-Lightfoot even more frustrated: “Your daughter is living on another planet, and she has a lot to teach you about it. …Listen to her.” As Lawrence-Lightfoot writes, “For weeks, I brooded about her take on...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 1:50 PM EDT
Domonic Rollins
Not long after Domonic Rollins started at the Ed School in the fall as the first diversity and inclusion officer, he held a series of get-to-know-you workshops for managers and staff. It was his way of saying hello to the community and also a way to get a pulse on what people were thinking around topics like race, gender, and inclusion — the very topics he was tasked to work on. At one of the meetings, a woman asked which constituency they should be focused on: student needs? staff concerns? faculty? It was a good question, one that Rollins knew the answer — all of the above — wasn’t going to...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 1:42 PM EDT
How to Solve for x Multiple Ways
After spending six years in the classroom and decades researching how children learn math, Professor Jon Star knows there are times when teachers just need to tell students what to do. But, he says, sometimes, especially when it comes to teaching algebra, there are two other approaches that are more effective: show them multiple ways to learn and have more class discussions. These are the foundations of a project Star started working on this school year with middle and high school algebra 1 teachers in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, public schools. Over the next three years, teachers who...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 1:30 PM EDT
Ethan Smith
The first time Ethan Smith went with a friend to a poetry group at Berklee School of Music, he wasn’t sure he was going to like it. The sax was his thing and had been since the eighth grade. “I was in love with the sax,” he says. “It was everything I did in high school.” But listening to other students at the poetry group, he found the experience incredibly inspiring. “It was amazing how honest everything was.” Smith changed course and ended up minoring in spoken word. “It became what I devoted most of my time to.” Some of this time included helping Boston teenagers perform spoken word poetry...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 10:13 AM EDT
The Doctor Is In
It’s an interesting dilemma for Associate Professor Meredith Rowe, Ed.M.’99, Ed.D.’03. In order to do some of her research, which looks at literacy and vocabulary development from birth until age 3, she needs to study little kids. But as she has found over the years, recruiting families, at least on a large scale, isn’t always easy. She would send out mailings or email parent groups. They would even post signs around town. Eventually, they’d find families, maybe 40 or 50 kids, but getting hundreds was always harder. That’s why, when pediatrician Barry Zuckerman from Boston Medical Center...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 10:06 AM EDT
Jobs for the Future at Five
Five years ago, it started with one report from the Ed School that revealed that the majority of young people in America were not being prepared for success. As Pathways to Prosperity noted, fewer than half of all teens in the country reach their 20s with marketable college degrees despite 65 percent of jobs requiring postsecondary credentials by 2020. Unfortunately, as the report also found, more attention is given to college readiness than to career readiness. The need to address this skills gap, they found, was urgent. In response, the Ed School joined forces with Boston-based Jobs for the...
By Lory Hough 05/20/2017 9:18 AM EDT
Book covers
YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING: My bedside table is mostly aspirational, and I have far more books on it than I’m actually engaged with, but the two I am currently reading are Walkable City by Jeff Speck and Granta magazine’s India issue of stories. THE THING THAT DREW YOU TO THEM: Walkable City came about from a conversation with my roommate who is an urban planner. I asked him what the 21st-century follow-up to The Death and Life of Great Cities was, a book I loved that helped me understand what is great about urban areas. Granta’s India issue has been on my list ever since it came out. Granta...

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