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Monthly Archives: February 2015

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8 Facts about Computer Usage in Palestine, 6 Ways TYO Fills the Gaps

Just recently, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published a report about access to technology in Palestinian homes entitled: Household Survey on Information and Communications Technology, 2014. At TYO, we understand the great value and importance IT literacy plays in today’s modern age. As such, the findings from the report are surprising – as access to technology around the world is growing, Palestine is still far behind. The following are 8 starling facts about the current computer usage in Palestine: 36.9% of households in Palestine don’t own a computer 51.7% of households have no internet access 20.4% of children ages 10-14 do not have any Continue reading…

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Youth in Focus: An Interview with Nour A.

Nour A. is a new volunteer in our Core Spring 2015 session. Born and raised in Nablus, Nour graduated from An-Najah National University in Spring 2014 with a major in Sociology and Social Service. 1. What made you apply to STEP!? Whenever people in Nablus hear the name Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, they recognize it as a leader in our city for supporting children and youth. I used to hear a lot about the STEP! volunteer program from other students in university and how it has helped them. I’m also someone who loves trying new things; during university, I volunteered on projects Continue reading…

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School Choice: Empowering Parents in their Child’s Education

On February 4, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings released its fourth annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI), which chronicles the progress across American school districts of ‘school choice’ – a system of primary and secondary school placement giving parents the freedom to choose their child’s school. The older, traditional model assigns students to local schools based on their residential address (often dividing children among schools along socioeconomic lines). Within that model, any parent wanting to exercise choice over their child’s placement must either change their home location or pay the high fees of private school tuition. Continue reading…

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Teacher Bias: Are we discouraging girls from math and science?

Have you noticed that women are often underrepresented in math and science jobs? Have you ever wondered why? A new study shows that early childhood experience make a substantial impact on higher education choices youth make. More specifically, “elementary school seems to be a critical juncture” for children and teacher bias. And while it may be unconscious, it plays a huge role in a child’s future. As a part of the study, researchers monitored school students over a period of seven years, from sixth grade until the end of high school. In the process, students took a series of various exams. One exam Continue reading…

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To Tech or Not to Tech? Technology’s Role in Parent-Teacher Communication

Silicon Valley has turned its eye towards education as a new and growing niche for tech startups. In the past year, investors bid nearly $1.87 billion on education-tech companies, up 55% from the year before. The market is now rife with fledgling ed tech businesses, and investors are more enthusiastic than ever to get in on the trend. More recently, apps for parent-teacher communication have taken front stage: take Remind, a free messaging service for teachers to send reminders and classroom news to students and parents. ClassDojo, a competitor of Remind now used in 1 out of 3 U.S. schools, Continue reading…

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Boys vs Girls: Who is Falling Behind?

Do boys outperform girls in school? Are girls more likely to continue higher education? Who is falling behind? According to NPR, girls are outperforming boys “in math, science and reading in 70 percent of the 70-plus countries and regions surveyed by the Organization for Economic Development Cooperation and Development.” The article continues, “Girls do better even in countries that rank low on U.N.’s gender equality index and that tend to discriminate against women politically, economically and socially — like Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.” This is a problem plaguing Palestine too. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that “8.9% of males Continue reading…

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4 Ways to Bring Joy Back into Your Classroom

In the age of education where buzzwords like “results,” “standardized,” “self-control,” and “college prep” are dominating the conversation, some educators say that we’re falling out of touch with the true purpose of education. One of those voices is Susan Engel, a developmental psychologist and Psychology lecturer at Williams College. In her recent Atlantic article Joy: A Subject Schools Lack, Engel argues that in our singular pursuit of making kids college- and workplace- ready, we’re overlooking their immense capacity for joy, and importantly, how we can use that joy to better engage kids in the classroom Last week, as TYO’s Core Continue reading…

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The MENA region’s investment in ECD is among the lowest in the world

Countless research shows that best investment a community can make is in early childhood interventions and early childhood development (ECD). In fact, according to the World Bank, research shows that “investments in ECD significantly improve a child’s health, learning ability, future earnings, and life expectancy.” However according to a recent publication by the World Bank Group, Expanding Opportunities for the Next Generation: Early Childhood Development in the Middle East and North Africa, “the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s investment in early childhood development is among the lowest in the world.” The research presents very sobering statistics about a substantial deterioration in children’s Continue reading…

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Should schools teach personality?

Earlier this month, Anna North’s New York Times opinion piece “Should Schools Teach Personality?” caused a stir in education circles. North posed the question and then explored how character development – specifically qualities like curiosity, consciousness, self-control, and the charter school favorite ‘grit’ – could fit into our approach to education. The debate stems out of recent research indicating that personality is a greater determinant of students’ success in school than traditional smarts, which has led many U.S. schools to incorporate these noncognitive traits directly into their teaching. The KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) system is a perfect example, where academics Continue reading…