Education

Stories related to teaching on all levels, from pre-K through college.

The spread of the coronavirus has surprising similarities to the spread of fake news, gun violence and even social media fads. What they all have in common is that mathematics plays a role in predicting how things "go viral," whether it's a germ, a rumor or an internet trend.

In his new book, The Rules of Contagion, Adam Kucharski, associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, talked about how to understand all types of contagion.

The Trump administration kicked off a day of programming Tuesday aimed at pushing for the reopening of schools this fall, despite a spike in COVID-19 cases around large parts of the country.

On Feb. 9, 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a junior senator from Wisconsin, stunned the nation — and stoked the paranoia of the Cold War — when he alleged that there were 205 spies working within the U.S. State Department. It was the beginning of a four-year anti-Communist, anti-gay crusade, in which McCarthy would charge military leaders, diplomats, teachers and professors with being traitors.

I always remember how a beloved college professor of mine responded when I told him the news that I'd gotten a fellowship to a Ph.D. program in English. "Well," he said, "at least you'll be able to read Finnegans Wake in the unemployment line."

At the time, I laughed along; I, too, believed literature would be enough of a consolation were I ever to find myself jobless and broke. But no more. The passing years and the present economic crisis make Finnegans Wake seem like cold comfort.

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I think about her when I'm getting into a strange car, or meeting a source alone. I think about her when I'm flying to a new part of the world, when I take an assignment on spec, when a story seems too good to be true. Like most reporters, I would have gotten on the submarine. That is the whole point of this job, this embattled, brittle, irreplaceable profession: the way it offers access to invisible worlds, right down to the bottom of the sea.

It is one of the most intimate and complicated relationships around, and for many women — and yes it's mostly women — an all-important one.

I'm talking about the relationship between a mother and her child's caregiver. And that's the relationship at the heart of author J. Courtney Sullivan's new novel, Friends and Strangers. She says the idea for the book came from her own experiences.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. Let's settle something here. The word irregardless - is it a word or is it not a word? Well, this is a debate that Merriam-Webster is now weighing in on in a tweet saying that it is, in fact, a word. And that has led to a whole lot of reaction online.

Gail Caldwell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former book critic for the Boston Globe and author of the 2010 Let's Take the Long Way Home, a gorgeous elegy of a special friendship, has become what is known as a serial memoirist.

It's a term that smacks of crime or perhaps narcissism — but the most serious charge against Caldwell might be repetitiveness concerning her boundless love of dogs.

As the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. surpasses 50,000 new cases a day, colleges and universities around the country are trying to figure out how to educate their students this fall while still keeping their campus communities safe.

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