The 6 Most Enlightening Education Stories Of 2014

What happens when you pay teachers lots of money? And what happens when you put kids at a standing desk?


Our children have been called our greatest asset, and this year, we set upon making sure our assets were in the best possible shape. Not their minds, of course, but their bodies. Aside from constant partisan bickering about charter schools, core curricula, STEM funding, and standardized testing, we saw two odd projects get the most attention: Standing desks for students and–if that’s not enough–biking desks for students. The crazy part is, they might actually work.


What else might work? Paying teachers more money. A school that put that proposition into practice saw amazing results (and very happy teachers), but is it scalable to the rest of the education world?

What’s in store for the next year of education? More technology, surely. But does that actually create the kind of thinking students we want? One test of algorithms versus humans made it clear that computers maybe don’t have the lead yet, at least when it comes to cultural tastes.

Read all of our most popular education stories below (here’s what we were talking about last year, if you want to stay back a grade):

1: Here’s What Happens When A School Pays Teachers A Lot Lot More Money

What if teachers were paid salaries more on par with doctors and lawyers? Lo and behold, the teachers perform better and students learn more.


2: This School Has Bikes Instead Of Desks—And It Turns Out That’s A Better Way To Learn

Some schools are canceling recess. But this North Carolina grade school is going in the opposite direction: Kids ride bikes as they read.

3: 5 Bold Predictions For The Future Of Higher Education

What, where, and how will we learn?

4: What Book Should You Read Next? Putting Librarians And Algorithms To The Test


More and more, computer-generated recommendations run our lives. But are they really the best way to expand your cultural horizons?

5: Standing Desks Are Coming To Schools, To Cure Obesity And Increase Attention Spans

First they infiltrated our offices, and now they’re coming for our kids.

6: The Prison Coding Class That Might Have Inmates Making Six Figures On Their Release

At California’s San Quentin prison, inmates who never even used a computer before are learning software development and planning their apps.


About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Impact section, formerly Have an idea for a story? You can reach him at mclendaniel [at]