Category Archives: Education

Being part of the solution

Efforts to end illegal music downloading continue to point towards college campuses. This semester, Vanderbilt students are taking matters into their own hands in a class designed to come up with solutions to battle the practice and support musicians. What better place than Music City to have this discussion?

First-year students in the “Stealing in Music City” seminar at Vanderbilt University must devise a workable system for distributing music that delivers content for a reasonable price and allows songwriters, artists and other stakeholders to get paid.

“We are challenging the students to re-invent the music industry for a fair model of music distribution to compensate artists, consumers and labels,” said Holling Smith-Borne, director of the music library at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. The class, divided into three groups, will propose three solutions during class on Dec. 2.

Illegal downloading by students is the focus of new requirements for Tennessee’s public and private higher ed institutions signed into law by Gov. Phil Bredesen Nov. 12 and is addressed in the recently reauthorized Higher Education Act.

Vanderbilt has been working for several years to combat the problem by partnering with student leaders to educate the campus about intellectual property laws, offering multiple legal downloading alternatives, such as Ruckus and Joost, through VUMix, and including a policy against illegal downloading in the student code of conduct.

Read more on VUCast.

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Athletics, Education, Government & Politics, In The News

Respect in the classroom starts with teachers

Vanderbilt professor Donna Ford speaks to Baltimore teachers. (Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum / August 20, 2008)

Vanderbilt professor Donna Ford speaks to Baltimore teachers. (Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum / August 20, 2008)

Vanderbilt Peabody’s Donna Ford was recruited by the Baltimore school system to share her wisdom about student achievement and motivation with all 7,000 of its teachers following attacks on teachers last year and continuing problems with disruptive students. Ford spoke for 2.5 hours yesterday to teachers at and will continue her presentations this week.
Getting a handle on classroom disruption must begin with respect and understanding by teachers of their students’ lives and motivations, Ford said. As reported by the Baltimore Sun:

“African-Americans have an attitude that says, ‘When you respect me, I will respect you,'” Ford said. When teachers seem detached or uninterested in their students, black students see that as a sign of disrespect, she said. Students who don’t feel the teacher likes or respects them are then more likely to talk back and be disruptive, leading to a classroom that can be more out of control.

It is up to teachers, she said, to get to know their students and the backgrounds they come from so that they do not fall back on preconceived notions of what it means to be poor or black. Baltimore schools are more than 90 percent African-American and have a high percentage of children who qualify for federally subsidized school meals.

“The less we know about each other, the more we make up,” said Ford, who added that a teacher’s race doesn’t guarantee understanding of low-income students.”

Read the full story.

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Vote for Peabloggy

The clever, substantive and diverse Peabody College blog, Peabloggy, is up for an ED in ’08 best education blog of the year award. Vote for Peabloggy! Ballot box closes May 14.

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In the whirlwind that was Friday I didn’t get a chance to shout from this virtual rooftop what you surely have heard by now: our fantastic college of education and human development, Peabody, continued its upward trajectory this year, coming in at No. 2 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s graduate schools. Coming back from a week in New York at the American Educational Research Association conference where I had a chance to sample over 100 Peabody faculty and graduate students showing their stuff – and by showing their stuff I mean presenting and discussing their wide-ranging, innovative and policy-driving research – I have to say I wasn’t surprised by this external recognition. But delighted? Most definitely. Congratulations, Peabody. Get the whole story about this year’s rankings on VUCast.

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Filed under Administration, Education

On the board he is

Congratulations to Vanderbilt special education prof Ted Hasselbring for being named to a six-year term on the national advisory board of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which sponsors the cool Web site and publication Edutopia. May the force be with you, Professor Hasselbring.
Ted Hasselbring and a statue of Grand Master of the Jedi Order Yoda at the George Lucas Foundation’s digs

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Want more? Expect more

Read this op-ed by Jim Guthrie, professor of education and public policy in Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education on human development, calling for higher expectations of Tennessee students by teachers, administrators, policy makers and parents. “Tennessee expects too little of its students. Consequently, our students learn too little. This is not opinion. This is fact,” Guthrie writes. Take a look.

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Filed under Education, Government & Politics

If you’re looking for the nation’s ed school peeps this week, they’re here

Representatives from over 25 U.S. education schools will be on the lovely Peabody campus this week discussing how to improve the education doctorate, or Ed.D. Peabody is a national model for how to get this program right – and differentiate it from the Ph.D., a problem that has been of concern for years in ed. circles. The Peabody program, ranked in the top 10 nationally, focuses on mid-career pros looking to strengthen their understanding and skills in education leadership and policy. The Carnegie Foundation is convening this week’s meeting as part of their project on the education doctorate. Learn more.

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