Tag Archives: Johns Hopkins

Even America’s Top Students are Ill-Prepared for College

Elaine Tuttle

Elaine Tuttle

I have had the privilege of working for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program for 7 years and have never been more amazed by the level of brilliance and ingenuity amongst America’s Youth.  In her piece at the Chronicle of Higher Ed, their Executive Director, Elaine Tuttle Hansen, highlights the fact that it is not only America’s low achieving students that are struggling to acquire core skills necessary for success in college, but our top students as well.

She notes that: “What’s changed is that today, college readiness is more often a hot topic for educators and policy makers focused on at-risk students.” This focus, for laudable reasons, on at risk children has largely left gifted and advanced students out in the cold. This is especially problematic for bright children in disadvantaged homes.

“…the focus on low­-achieving students in public schools has disproportionately left more smart minority and low-income kids behind, creating a well-documented ‘excellence gap.'”

Elaine highlights programs, like CTY, help to engage and promote gifted youngsters  thus giving them a leg up when it comes to college life.

“Take David, a college student I heard from recently, who loved the summer program he took at the Center for Talented Youth a few years ago. But it wasn’t enough to save him from being so bored in school that he “coasted” through elementary, middle, and high school and his first two years of college. ‘By the time I found academic work that challenged me, … I realized my work ethic and study skills were atrocious, in large part, I believe, because I had never been forced to use them,’ he said. ‘I would like to know the person I would have become had I been engaged as a young learner.'”

Unfortunately, gifted summer programs (even those with generous outreach and scholarship programs) remain out of reach for many underprivileged children. To read Elaine’s argument, see her article in the Higher Ed Chronicle as well as her interview on NPR’s “Tell Me More”.

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Johns Hopkins University: The History of Public Health

Jonas Salk administering the Polio vaccine.

Jonas Salk administering the Polio vaccine.

Today, I highlight the Johns Hopkins University course “The History of Public Health.”  The open courseware material is presented on the webpage and iTunes U.

Description:

In the History of Public Health we will examine the historical experience of health and illness from a population perspective. This material seeks to reveal how the organization of societies facilitates or mitigates the production and transmission of disease. It also asks how do populations and groups of individuals go about securing their health? One key theme is the medical management of space in one form or another – from the public space of the environment through institutional spaces such as schools and workplaces to personal/individual body space. The progression of the lectures reflects this, working “inwards” from the environment to individuals.

The content provides an historical interpretation of how the theory and practice of public health in today’s world has come to be what it is. We will concentrate primarily on the modern world (i.e., 1750 onwards) and omit detailed examination of public health in antiquity and the middle ages, although these time periods will be alluded to frequently. A thematic rather than chronological structure will be adopted so that comparisons can be made across the centuries and between different parts of the globe.