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21st Century Parenting
What do you need to know to be an effective parent in the 21st century
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Reducing pressure on children to eat may help prevent obesity

An educational program for parents helps to reduce pressure on children to eat—which may reduce the child's risk of obesity, according to a new study.
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Thinkering: Mobile Maker Lab Hits the Road To Find High Demand

Thinkering: Mobile Maker Lab Hits the Road To Find High Demand | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

While budget cuts leave schools struggling to fill classrooms with bare essentials—including paper and ink—it’s a challenge for many teachers to bring creative activities into the classroom. To fill this void, in zooms SparkTruck, a DIY modern crafters' fantasy on wheels. This educational build-mobile arrives filled with an arsenal of paints, cardboard, adhesive googly eyes, craft feathers, glue guns, sewing machines, 3D printers, and even a laser cutter. The SparkTruck is touring schools across the country, on a mission to put the spotlight on hands-on learning.

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Psychologist Philip Zimbardo Says to Young Men: You’re Educationally and Sexually Doomed

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo Says to Young Men: You’re Educationally and Sexually Doomed | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

In “The Demise of Guys?“, the TEDtalk embedded above, he argues that “guys are flaming out academically,” that “they’re wiping out socially with girls, and sexually with women.” He sees them laboring under “a new fear of intimacy,” of “physical, emotional connection with somebody else, especially with somebody of the opposite sex who gives off ambiguous, contradictory, phosphorescent signals.” Outperformed by girls “at every level,” guys would rather play video games or watch football with a barful of strangers than engage in direct, meaningful human contact.

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Ray Bradbury: “The Things That You Love Should Be Things That You Do.” “Books Teach Us That”

Ray Bradbury: “The Things That You Love Should Be Things That You Do.” “Books Teach Us That” | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

“I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve called you all here,” says Ray Bradbury above, in a lengthy interview with the The Big Read project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Breaking the ice with this stock phrase, Bradbury–author of Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles, and several dozen more fantasy and sci-fi novels and short story collections (and some truly chilling horror)–begins to talk about… Love. Specifically a love of books. “Love,” he says, “is at the center of your life. The things that you do should be things that you love, and the things that you love, should be things that you do.” That’s what books teach us, he says, and it becomes his mantra.

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Five Games to Play Today that’ll Produce College Graduates!

Five Games to Play Today that’ll Produce College Graduates! | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

Want your toddler to become a college graduate? Play games! Research shows that games, not flashcards, are better predictors of student success. An Oregon State study found that a 4-year-old child’s ability to pay attention, skills learned in game play, are the greatest indicators of completing college by age 25. Games like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ develop children’s focus, self-control, memory and mental flexibility (to do the opposite.)

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Working Out Doesn’t Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter

Working Out Doesn’t Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

First, let’s review the facts. Children--who should be buzzing about with so much energy that we have to ask them not to exercise--aren’t moving around that much anymore. (Ironically, part of the problem is the diminished role of phys ed in many public schools.) Only one in four children get 30 minutes of daily exercise, and by the time they’re teenagers, only 12% are getting their daily recommended amount of physical activity.

This applies to adults, as well. Exercise improves memory, releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (a protein that makes your neurons healthier), and has been shown to potentially increase the size of your hippocampus--the part of the brain responsible for memory and spatial recognition. It’s no surprise, then, that college students who work out before class do better on tests, and workers who also work out are more efficient.

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Young children share rewards based on merit

Young children take merit into account when sharing resources, according to new research.

The study, conducted by Patricia Kanngiesser and Felix Warneken at Harvard University, showed that 3 and 5-year-olds considered both the amount of work they contributed themselves and their partner's contribution level when doling out rewards.

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Totally Addictive Education: The Future of Learning

Totally Addictive Education: The Future of Learning | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
Today, most educational systems are designed to work from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Students learn facts and figures and tiny fractions of knowledge long before anyone really puts things into a larger context.

Via Susan Bainbridge, Pepe Crespo
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Helping students build self-confidence and create positive lasting change within themselves and their communities.

We demonstrate how students can cultivate compassion, peace and wellbeing through learning how to develop positive attitudes, resolve conflicts, cope with difficulties, develop self-motivation and self-confidence, feel willing, able and equipped to...

Via SustainOurEarth
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Kindergarten readiness: Are shy kids at an academic disadvantage?

Kindergarten readiness: Are shy kids at an academic disadvantage? | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

Parents of young children hope for a successful kindergarten experience that will set their youngsters on the right path of their educational journey. Some worry about their kids not adapting to the school environment, particularly when the children are talkative and overactive. Yet, a new study by the University of Miami (UM) shows that overly shy preschool children are at greater academic risk than their chatty and boisterous peers.

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Speaking two languages also benefits low-income children

Living in poverty is often accompanied by conditions that can negatively influence cognitive development. Is it possible that being bilingual might counteract these effects? Although previous research has shown that being bilingual enhances executive functioning in middle-class children, less is known about how it affects lower income populations.

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Adolescent pot use leaves lasting mental deficits; Developing brain susceptible to lasting damage from exposure to marijuana

Adolescent pot use leaves lasting mental deficits; Developing brain susceptible to lasting damage from exposure to marijuana | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
The persistent, dependent use of marijuana before age 18 has been shown to cause lasting harm to a person's intelligence, attention and memory, according to an international research team.
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Breast milk promotes a different gut flora growth than infant formulas

Breast milk promotes a different gut flora growth than infant formulas | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
The benefits of breast milk have long been appreciated, but now scientists have described a unique property that makes mother's milk better than infant formula in protecting infants from infections and illnesses.
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Can Reality TV Convince Students to Become Scientists?

Can Reality TV Convince Students to Become Scientists? | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

If high school students see becoming involved in STEM "as this messy, creative interesting thing, that it's an OK-to-make-mistakes-type field, I think it makes it more attractive," creator and MIT alumnus George Zaidan told the Boston Globe. Indeed, the show features all the confessional booth diaries and alliance-building strategizing we've come to expect from reality TV. Featured sophomore Emily Yau says episodes like the one where students had a crystal-growing competition for the prize of dinner with the lab's professor and teaching assistants unexpectedly brought "a ton of drama."

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Do Early Experiences in the Natural World Help Shape Children’s Brain Architecture?

Do Early Experiences in the Natural World Help Shape Children’s Brain Architecture? | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

A growing body of primarily correlative evidence suggests that, even in the densest urban neighborhoods, negative stress, obesity and other health problems are reduced and psychological and physical health improved when children and adults experience more nature in their everyday lives. These studies suggest that nearby nature can also stimulate learning abilities and reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and we know that therapies using gardening or animal companions do improve psychological health. We also know that parks with the richest biodiversity appear to have a positive impact on psychological well-being and social bonding among humans.

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Artful Thinking: Maryland Middle School Proves Arts Ed Improves Grades and Behavior

Artful Thinking: Maryland Middle School Proves Arts Ed Improves Grades and Behavior | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
Wouldn't you rather learn fractions by examining composition in Warhol's Campbell's soup paintings?
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Traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction

Previous research has shown that personality traits such as impulsivity or compulsiveness are indicators of an increased risk of addiction. Now, new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that these impulsive and compulsive personality traits are also associated with a traumatic upbringing during childhood.

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Chemical exposure in the womb from household items may contribute to obesity

Chemical exposure in the womb from household items may contribute to obesity | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
Pregnant women who are highly exposed to common environmental chemicals -- polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) -- have babies that are smaller at birth and larger at 20 months of age, according to a new study.
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What babies eat after birth likely determines lifetime risk of metabolic mischief and obesity, rat studies suggest

Rats born to mothers fed high-fat diets but who get normal levels of fat in their diets right after birth avoid obesity and its related disorders as adults, according to new research.
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When to worry about kids' temper tantrums

When to worry about kids' temper tantrums | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
Temper tantrums in young children can be an early signal of mental health problems, but how does a parent or pediatrician know when disruptive behavior is typical or a sign of a serious problem?
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Raising Successful Children

Raising Successful Children | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it

In a typical experiment, Dr. Dweck takes young children into a room and asks them to solve a simple puzzle. Most do so with little difficulty. But then Dr. Dweck tells some, but not all, of the kids how very bright and capable they are. As it turns out, the children who are not told they’re smart are more motivated to tackle increasingly difficult puzzles. They also exhibit higher levels of confidence and show greater overall progress in puzzle-solving.

This may seem counterintuitive, but praising children’s talents and abilities seems to rattle their confidence. Tackling more difficult puzzles carries the risk of losing one’s status as “smart” and deprives kids of the thrill of choosing to work simply for its own sake, regardless of outcomes. Dr. Dweck’s work aligns nicely with that of Dr. Baumrind, who also found that reasonably supporting a child’s autonomy and limiting interference results in better academic and emotional outcomes.

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Pretend play may not be as crucial to child development as believed, new study shows

Pretend play may not be as crucial to child development as believed, new study shows | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
Pretend play that involves uses of the imagination to create a fantasy world or situation can be fun for preschool children, but a new study finds that it is not as crucial to a child's development as currently believed.
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Parents and readers: Beware of stereotypes in young adult literature, researcher says

A newly defined genre of literature, "teen sick-lit," features tear-jerking stories of ill adolescents developing romantic relationships. Although "teen sick-lit" tends to adhere to negative stereotypes of the ill and traditional gender roles, it also explores the taboo realm of sexuality, sickness and youth, says the University of Missouri researcher who named the genre in a recent study. Readers and their parents should be aware of how the presentation of disease and disability in these stories can instill prejudices and enforce societal norms in young adults, notes the researcher.

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What's the Mindset of the Class of 2016?

What's the Mindset of the Class of 2016? | 21st Century Parenting | Scoop.it
For this fall's entering college freshmen, digital textbooks are the norm and Robert De Niro is a Focker, not a Corleone.
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Limiting TV time: An effective strategy for preventing weight gain in children

Reducing television viewing may be an effective strategy to prevent excess weight gain among adolescents, according to a new study released in the September/October 2012 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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