"Join us for an interactive discussion about the meaning of success: What are the common beliefs about success we convey to kids in our overly scheduled and competitive society? What are the assumptions and misperceptions behind these beliefs? How can parents and educators help students design their own unique and authentic paths to success?"...
"We have all had to work on tasks we detest: Calculus homework, for example, is boring and hard. As soon as we start, we feel mentally exhausted, and the quality of our work suffers.
Now imagine you are an aspiring architect. Learning how calculus can help you design more creative and ambitious structures could be fascinating. Instead of feeling exhausted by your homework, you might feel energized and could work on it all night. The same work, but with a very different psychological effect.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist at the Claremont Graduate University, has been studying this latter phenomenon for decades. He calls it flow: the experience we have when we’re “in the zone.” During a flow state, people are fully absorbed and highly focused; they lose themselves in the activity.
But while we know intuitively that tasks we find interesting can feel effortless, what does it actually do to our mental gas tank? Can interest help us perform our best without feeling fatigued? My research with the psychologist Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia of Michigan State University, which we published recently in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests that it can.
In our research, we asked a group of undergraduates to work on word puzzles. Before they began, we had them tell us how exciting and enjoyable they thought the task would be."...
"Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better.
In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world."...
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"The Academy, in cooperation with Young Minds Inspired, produces a series of teacher's guides that explore the art and science of motion pictures. The activities are designed to capitalize on students' natural interest in current films and the excitement generated by the Academy Awards to teach valuable lessons in critical thinking and creative writing, and to develop visual literacy skills. Each teaching guide is available in its entirety to download and print."...
The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.
The UCLA researchers studied two groups of sixth-graders from a Southern California public school. One group was sent to the Pali Institute, an outdoor education camp in Running Springs, Calif., where the kids had no access to electronic devices. For the other group, it was life as usual.
At the beginning and end of the five-day study period, both groups of kids were shown images of nearly 50 faces and asked to identify the feelings being modeled. Researchers found that the students who went to camp scored significantly higher when it came to reading facial emotions or other nonverbal cues than the students who continued to have access to their media devices."...
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"This video introduces Depth of Knowledge as a tool to increase instructional rigor, and walks the viewer through the succession of a social studies task from DOK Level 1 to a DOK Level 4."
"Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) provides a vocabulary and a frame of reference when thinking about our students and how they engage with the content. DOK offers a common language to understand "rigor," or cognitive demand, in assessments, as well as curricular units, lessons, and tasks. Webb developed four DOK levels that grow in cognitive complexity and provide educators a lens on creating more cognitively engaging and challenging tasks." -from http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/CommonCoreLibrary/ProfessionalLearning/DOK/default.htm
By Katrina Schwartz: "Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis and the core of his book Building Resilience in Children and Teens.
Ginsburg, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who also works with homeless children, has spent a lot of time trying to help young people build tools they’ll need to succeed — even when trauma has marred early lives.
But the word “success” can be loaded, often carrying different connotations. To Ginsburg, a successful child is one who finds something he loves to do, is generous, empathetic and compassionate, committed to repairing the world, shows grit and the ability to collaborate, creativity and can take constructive criticism. These are what will serve young people as they move into the world on their own.
“Play is integral to being able to build resilience.” “So many of the things that we care about are completely learned through the creative process,” Ginsberg said at an event hosted by the Bay Area Discovery Museum. When kids are allowed free time to play, they learn how to work in groups, negotiate, share, self-advocate, and make decisions."...
"American history must play a central role in the curriculum. Our way of life is dynamic, and change is part of the fabric of life. Sense must be made of significant technological, demographic, economic, political, and social transformations, and no subject or discipline other than history can provide that sense. Social stability requires that it be a deliberate focus of study.
But there's a problem. American history as it's usually taught inundates learners with information far beyond their ability to cope. No "master" system of organizing ideas helps them grasp the "big picture," and the passive read-and-remember role they're forced to play ensures that most will see the course as irrelevant, unimportant, and boring.
Most attempts to improve historical study have relied on the potential of a good story to "make the past come alive." We advocate a different approach: "Make the learner come alive." The activities in the American History Handbook are active, engaging, and intellectually stimulating. Its "Investigations" focus on unusual primary sources, and provide systemically integrated concepts that give students a master information organizer they'll find useful for the rest of their lives.
As its name implies, the Handbook is not just a course of study. It provides a rationale, procedures, and student materials to transform students into active learners, and gives them the conceptual tools to analyze historical change. Materials are suitable for adolescents and above. It may be used to augment the standard American history course, or as the framework for a complete course.It's FREE--no strings, no signup."...
To view full page and download materials, click on title above.
"Relationships are too important to leave to chance.
Search Institute’s newest research-to-practice initiative focuses on studying and strengthening the developmental relationships that help young people succeed. A developmental relationship is a close connection between a young person and an adult or between a young person and a peer that positively shapes the young person’s identity and sense of a thriving mindset.
By Heidi Stevens [image by Heleen Sitter/Getty-Lifesize] "Forty-five minutes of daily recreational screen time is the maximum a child can handle before his or her educational, emotional and social development are affected, according to a new "super study" that polled 50,000 parents from 4,600 American cities over a three-year period.
Spelled out in the new book, "The Learning Habit: A Groundbreaking Approach to Homework and Parenting That Helps Our Children Succeed in School and Life" (Perigree), the study aims to guide parents through an academic landscape that barely resembles the one we knew as kids — starting, of course, with the number and ubiquity of screens populating it.
"What we observe," they write, "are children who can relate to screens with ease, but have few social or communication skills; kids who can play video games for hours, but can't read a book for longer than 10 minutes; kids who can text and tweet, but can't focus on a challenging math problem or make sense of a few paragraphs in a history book."
Sure, but they're going to college in record numbers!
"We are graduating children who lack the skills to survive, much less thrive, in college," write the authors. "Once first in the world in college-graduated students, the United States is now 10th. Almost half of our students who enter college do not graduate."
We've got a mess on our hands, Jackson told me by phone. And we're not, in many cases, eager to tackle it.
"Parents aren't looking to make lifestyle or habit changes unless something isn't working," said Jackson, a neuropsychological educator. "Many families are struggling with something they're not connecting with screen time: moodiness at bedtime, fighting to get out of the house in the morning, anxiety — which (are hallmarks) of too much screen time."...
..."The Learning Habit study found that students who spend 45 total minutes per day consuming media — computer, phone, tablet or television — can maintain an A average.
"After 45 minutes of use, however, grades slowly but steadily declined," write the authors. "After three hours of use, grades rapidly declined. … After four hours, children had virtually zero likelihood of academic success."
Parents who took part in the study reported their children used media for an average of 90 to 120 minutes per day. "Yet when asked specific questions about the devices, the total was commonly between six and eight hours per day," write the authors."...
"A vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on a foundation of healthy child development. Health in the earliest years—beginning with the future mother’s well-being before she becomes pregnant—lays the groundwork for a lifetime of vitality. When developing biological systems are strengthened by positive early experiences, children are more likely to thrive and grow up to be healthy adults. Sound health also provides a foundation for the construction of sturdy brain architecture and the achievement of a broad range of skills and learning capacities. This publication was co-authored by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs."...
For main webpage of Harvard's Center on the Developing Child with downloadable reports, videos, and resources, click on title above or here:
"Teaching Adolescents To Become Learners summarizes the research on five categories of non-cognitive factors that are related to academic performance: academic behaviors, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies and social skills, and proposes a framework for thinking about how these factors interact to affect academic performance, and what the relationship is between non-cognitive factors and classroom/school context, as well as the larger socio-cultural context.
It examines whether there is substantial evidence that non-cognitive factors matter for students' long‐term success, clarifying how and why these factors matter, determining if these factors are malleable and responsive to context, determining if they play a role in persistent racial/ethnic or gender gaps in academic achievement, and illuminating how educators might best support the development of important non-cognitive factors within their schools and classrooms.
The review suggests some promising levers for change at the classroom level, and challenges the notion that hard work and effort are character traits of individual students, instead suggesting that the amount of effort a student puts in to academic work can depend, in large part, on instructional and contextual factors in the classroom."...
..."Dissatisfaction with the frameworks currently available to evaluate whether technology is transforming learning prompted Graber and her colleagues, including Scott McLeod, to try and develop a new set of questions to help move past obvious qualities like student engagement to a deeper investigation of the pedagogy behind the activity.
Three of the most important traits they look at when evaluating a lesson are whether it is discipline specific, promotes critical thinking and whether technology is used in transformative ways."...
(Selected quote) "In the past two decades, neuroimaging and brain-mapping research have provided objective support to the student-centered educational model. This brain research demonstrates that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are relevant to students' lives, interests, and experiences. Lessons can be stimulating and challenging without being intimidating, and the increasing curriculum requirements can be achieved without stress, anxiety, boredom, and alienation as the pervasive emotions of the school day."...
"This Taxonomy wheel was first discovered on the website of Paul Hopkin’s educational consultancy website http://www.mmiweb.org.uk/web20/bloomweb20.html. That wheel was produced by Sharon Artley and was an adaption of Krathwohl and Anderson’s (2001) adaption of Bloom (1956). The idea to further adapt it for the pedagogy possibilities with mobile devices, in particular the iPad, I have to acknowledge the creative work of Kathy Schrock on her website Bloomin’ Apps."
Click here to see the wheel in full also download it. Please pay credit to Allan Carrington, the developer of Padagogy Wheel"
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"Life comes at us very quickly, and what we need to do is take that amorphous flow of experience and somehow extract meaning from it." In this funny, enlightening talk, educational psychologist Peter Doolittle details the importance -- and limitations -- of your "working memory," that part of the brain that allows us to make sense of what's happening right now.
"Millions of high school and college algebra students are united in a shared agony over solving for x and y, and for those to whom the answers don’t come easily, it gets worse: Most preschoolers and kindergarteners can do some algebra before even entering a math class.
In a recently published study in the journal Developmental Science, lead author and post-doctoral fellow Melissa Kibbe and Lisa Feigenson, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, find that most preschoolers and kindergarteners, or children between 4 and 6, can do basic algebra naturally.
“These very young children, some of whom are just learning to count, and few of whom have even gone to school yet, are doing basic algebra and with little effort,” Kibbe said. “They do it by using what we call their ‘Approximate Number System:’ their gut-level, inborn sense of quantity and number.”
The “Approximate Number System,” or ANS, is also called “number sense,” and describes humans’ and animals’ ability to quickly size up the quantity of objects in their everyday environments. Humans and a host of other animals are born with this ability and it’s probably an evolutionary adaptation to help human and animal ancestors survive in the wild, scientists say."...
"[There is] evidence that environments, schedules, and rituals restructure the writing process and amplify performance… The principles of memory retrieval suggest that certain practices should amplify performance. These practices encourage a state of flow rather than one of anxiety or boredom. Like strategies, these other aspects of a writer’s method may alleviate the difficulty of attentional overload. The room, time of day, or ritual selected for working may enable or even induce intense concentration or a favorable motivational or emotional state. Moreover, in accordance with encoding specificity, each of these aspects of method may trigger retrieval of ideas, facts, plans, and other relevant knowledge associated with the place, time, or frame of mind selected by the writer for work."...