Outliers, Summer, and Education

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In Malcom Gladwell's Outliers, I found some interesting studies and ideas about all-year education in the chapter about KIPP, the amazingly successful school program that's found in many of our country's low-income neighborhoods. One thing KIPP does to make sure their students succeed is to extend the school year into the summer.

According to research done by Karl Alexander, the amount of learning that gets lost during summer break can be significant, though families who make a conscious choice to fill their children's time with enriching activities see much less knowledge lost between school years. In fact, their children often will learn more during the summer than they do while in school.

This summer, make sure that visits to libraries, natural history museums, art museums, historical sites, and natural wonders are a part of your family's fun. There are even great self-paced educational materials out there that can fit into a summer schedule. Getting a head start on a high-stakes class like AP Chemistry or catching up on the math that was so much trouble last year could make all the difference when the end of August comes around.

We've all heard that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; it turns out that all play and no work can be just as bad.

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This page contains a single entry by Hank Cathey published on June 10, 2009 9:31 AM.

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