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My Recent Blog Posts

Physical therapy, not a knee brace, aids in ACL recovery

Soccer and Baseball Queue

Wearing a knee brace following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery has no effect on a person’s recovery. However, strength, range-of- motion, and functionality exercises provide significant benefits, and other new therapies may show promise. In a new literature review recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), a team of orthopaedic surgeons reviewed 29 studies regarding treatment following reconstructive ACL surgery. They found that physical therapy, begun shortly after surgery, can bring about very good outcomes for patients. Bracing, though, did not seem to improve results.

Why does having a full classroom matter?

Education Research Report

How often do your child’s classmates go to school? Whether fellow students show up for class matters more than you think, especially if your son or daughter is in middle school, according to Robert Balfanz, a research professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Education. While it’s natural for parents to focus their attention solely on their own child’s attendance, Balfanz said it is also critically important that they start paying attention to what he calls the chronic absentee rate: the percentage of children who miss a month or more of the school year, as detailed in hi… more »

How teachers can increase students’ interest and engagement in the classroom

Education Research Report

The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that only 73% of high school freshmen graduate within four years. For those students who continue their education at the collegiate level, slightly more than half (57%) earn a bachelor’s degree and over 18% will leave college altogether. Although many factors can contribute to students’ academic risk, negative emotions associated with learning—such as a lack of interest and engagement in their courses—could be a vital reason for students’ disengagement, withdrawal, and failure in school. Joseph Mazer’s article, published toda… more »

Academic achievement improved among students active in structured after-school programs

Education Research Report

School-age children who participate in structured after-school activities improve their academic achievement, according to a new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The study by researchers in SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development measured academic performance of students enrolled in Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. “Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and other structured programs are really having a positive impact,” said Ken Springer, an associate professor. “We believe that the homework support that the clubs consistently provide stud… more »

Chagall, Léger, Modigliani in Paris During the Early 20th Century

Art History News

*Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle*, ran from April 7 to May 1, 2011 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a center of cosmopolitan culture and a symbol of modernity, Paris held a magnetic attraction for artists from Eastern Europe during the early decades of the 20th century. Most painters and sculptors settled around Montparnasse, which was sprinkled with cafes, and art galleries. It was here that Alexander Archipenko, Marc Chagall, Moïse Kisling, Jacques Lipchitz, Louis Marcoussis, Amedeo Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Jules Pascin, Margit Pogany, Chaim Soutine, a… more »

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Acquired 3,000 Photographs by Paul Strand

Art History News

*Paul Strand’s “Blind Woman” (negative 1916, print c. 1920s), “Mlle. Pogany, New York (Brancusi)” (1922), and “Man Carving Chair II, Mr. Bolster, Vermont” (1943) are among the more than 3,000 works acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.* The Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired, through several gifts and a purchase agreement with the Aperture Foundation, the core collection of photographs by Paul Strand, one of the pre-eminent photographers of the 20th century. Through the generosity of philanthropists Lynne and Harold Honickman, Marjorie and Jeffrey Honickman, and H.F. “Ger… more »

Postsecondary Enrollment, Graduation Rates, and Student Financial Aid

Education Research Report

By extending the time students were tracked for program completion from within 100 percent of normal time to within 200 percent of normal time, graduation rates for undergraduates who were full-time, first-time students in 2007 increased from 21 percent to 37 percent at 2-year institutions and from 46 percent to 69 percent at less-than-2-year institutions, according to new data released by the National Center for Education Statistics. Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2011; Financial Statistics, Fiscal Year 2011; and Graduation Rates, Selected Cohorts, 2003-2008presen… more »

Lead Policy and Academic Performance: Insights from Massachusetts

Education Research Report

Childhood exposure to even low levels of lead can adversely affect neurodevelopment, behavior, and cognitive performance. This paper investigates the link between lead exposure and student achievement in Massachusetts. Panel data analysis is conducted at the school-cohort level for children born between 1991 and 2000 and attending 3rd and 4th grades between 2000 and 2009 at more than 1,000 public elementary schools in the state. Massachusetts is well-suited for this analysis both because it has been a leader in the reduction of childhood lead levels and also because it has mandated … more »

Zoe Strauss, photographer: Ten Years

Art History News

Zoe Strauss, a Philadelphia photographer with a growing international reputation, was the subject of a major exhibition January 14 – April 22, 2012 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. *Zoe Strauss: Ten Years* was a mid-career retrospective of this acclaimed artist’s work, representing the first critical assessment of her decade-long project to exhibit annually in a public space beneath Interstate-95 (I-95) in South Philadelphia. The exhibition included 170 prints and a selection of artist-created slideshows, one of which will be projected on the Museum’s exterior façade during the … more »

Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art

Art History News

The exhibition *Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art*reunited, for the first time in 80 years, five “portable murals,” freestanding frescoes with bold images addressing the Mexican Revolution and Depression-era New York that Rivera created at the Museum for his 1931–32 MoMA exhibition. The exhibition was on view at MoMA from November 13, 2011, to May 14, 2012. The murals, which are up to six feet by eight feet in size and weigh as much as 1,000 pounds, are made of frescoed plaster, concrete, and steel. Comprising five of the eight murals that were shown in the 1931 exhi… more »

Testing Can Be Useful for Students and Teachers

Education Research Report

Pop quiz! Tests are good for: (a) Assessing what you’ve learned; (b) (b) Learning new information; (c) (c) a & b; (d) (d) None of the above. The correct answer? According to research from psychological science, it’s both (a) and (b) – while testing can be useful as an assessment tool, the actual process of taking a test can also help us to learn and retain new information over the long term and apply it across different contexts. New research published in journals of the Association for Psychological Science explores the nuanced interactions between testing, memory, and learni… more »

School Readiness and Early Childhood Success among Young Children in Black Immigrant Families

Education Research Report

This report examines levels of school readiness among young children by race/ethnicity and nativity, helping fill a significant gap in knowledge about the early childhood experiences of young children in Black immigrant families. Using a nationally representative US birth-cohort study (the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort), the authors identify the contextual factors – such as family circumstances, parenting practices, and enrollment in center-based child care – that encourage early school success. They conclude that these immigrant children do quite well. more »

A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences

Education Research Report

The Supreme Court of the United States will hear the Fisher v. Texas argument on October 10. The case could dramatically alter or eliminate race-based admissions policies at colleges and universities. In a new report, A Better Affirmative Action, Senior Fellow Richard Kahlenberg and Policy Associate Halley Potter of The Century Foundation look at socio-economic solutions to racial preferences in Affirmative Action. more »

Parent-teacher communication

Education Research Report

Communication between K-12 teachers and parents has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Parent-teacher communication represents a primary form of parental support or involvement, elements which have recently received much attention given the connections between parental support and academic achievement. In fact, parental involvement at the K-12 level represents a major component in recent education policies at the national level. Mazer and Blair Thompson (Western Kentucky University) published an articlein the April 2012 issue of Communication Education in which they dev… more »

What Makes Self-Directed Learning Effective?

Education Research Report

In recent years, educators have come to focus more and more on the importance of lab-based experimentation, hands-on participation, student-led inquiry, and the use of “manipulables” in the classroom. The underlying rationale seems to be that students are better able to learn when they can control the flow of their experience, or when their learning is “self-directed.” While the benefits of self-directed learning are widely acknowledged, the reasons why a sense of control leads to better acquisition of material are poorly understood. Some researchers have highlighted the motivati… more »

Factors to Help Parents and Professionals Recognize Teens in Distress

Education Research Report

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a University of Missouri public health expert has identified factors that will help parents, medical professionals and educators recognize teens at risk for self injury and suicide. “For many young people, suicide represents an escape from unbearable situations—problems that seem impossible to solve or negative emotions that feel overwhelming,” said Lindsay Taliaferro, an assistant professor of health sciences at MU. “Adults can help these teens dissect their pr… more »