"Psychological science has much to contribute to enhancing teaching and learning in the everyday classroom by providing key insights on:
* Effective instruction
* Classroom environments that promote learning
* Appropriate use of assessment — including data, tests, measurement and research methods that inform practice.
We present here the most important principles from psychology — the Top 20 — that would be of greatest use in the context of pre-K to 12 classroom teaching and learning. We encourage consideration and practice of the Top 20 throughout all teacher preparation programs to ensure a solid foundation of psychological knowledge in pre-K to 12 instruction."
“From ways to eavesdrop on brains and learn what advertisements excite consumers, to devices that alleviate depression, the number of U.S. patents awarded for “neurotechnology” has soared since 2010, according to an analysis released on Wednesday.
That expansion into non-medical uses, said SharpBrains Chief Executive Alvaro Fernandez, who presented the results at the NeuroGaming conference in San Francisco, shows we are at the dawn of “the pervasive neurotechnology age,” in which everyday technologies will be connected to brains.
“Neurotech has gone well beyond medicine, with non-medical corporations, often under the radar, developing neurotechnologies to enhance work and life,” he said.
Patents for neurotechnology bumped along at 300 to 400 a year in the 2000s, then soared to 800 in 2010 and 1,600 last year, SharpBrains reported.”
By Antonia Malchik "Two years ago, the Albermarle County school system in Charlottesville, Virginia, moved forward with a rather bold experiment: They abandoned traditional explicit instruction in all summer school classrooms, replacing classic lesson plans with student-directed summer making programs, run as part of Maker Ed's Maker Corps program—an educational subset of the “maker movement” (a widespread cultural push to teach both kids and adults more hands-on and do-it-yourself skills).
“I have never believed that literacy is a matter of decoding alphabetic text,” says Ira Socol, Assistant Director for Educational Technology and Innovation for Albermale. And so far, he says, the summer making programs seem to be proving him right. “I was having this conversation with a child from rural poverty who was at summer school because he’d failed (badly) the state’s third-grade reading assessment,” Socol says. “He was building a suspension bridge from newspaper, and he said to me, ‘You have to understand, when you’re making a suspension bridge, the cables always have to be taut.’”...
"Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) and the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) have teamed up to bring you this ground-breaking policy brief that examines the role of school districts in promoting family engagement.
Seeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement spotlights how six school districts across the country have used innovative strategies to create and sustain family engagement “systems at work.” Our findings point to three core components of these successful systems: creating district-wide strategies, building school capacity, and reaching out to and engaging families.
Drawing from districts’ diverse approaches, we highlight promising practices to ensure quality, oversight, and impact from their family engagement efforts. We also propose a set of recommendations for how federal, state, and local policies can promote district-level family engagement efforts that support student learning."...
For full post, main link to Harvard Family Research Project, and to download report, click on title above or here:
By Holly Korbey "For the typical American kindergartner, unstructured free play during the school day consists of 20 to 30 minutes of recess, and perhaps some time at indoor “stations” — perhaps creating with building blocks, costumes, or musical instruments. But what if there was more? What if the answer to “what did you do in school today?” was, “I climbed a tree, played in the mud, built a fire”?
That is exactly the kind of learning going on in the Swiss Waldkindergartens, or forest kindergartens, where children ages four to seven spend all of their school days playing outdoors, no matter the weather. With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name.
They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play. With many parents and educators overwhelmed by the amount of academics required for kindergartners — and the testing requirements at that age — it’s no surprise that the forest kindergarten, and the passion for bringing more free play to young children during the school day, is catching on stateside. Free play and inquiry learning are the cornerstone of Canada’s new all-day kindergarten program; forest kindergartens are popping up in Washington state, Vermont, and even Brooklyn."...
[Hillary is a fellow with the OpEd Project and an associate professor in the College of Education at DePaul University in Chicago.]
"Helicopter parents and teachers, stand down. Kids of all ages need time to learn through play in school."
"In classrooms across the country, the countdown to summer vacation has begun. The winter doldrums have always taken a toll, but in the era of test-dominated schooling and the controversial Common Core, it seems increasingly that it’s not until summer that teenagers have any prospect for having fun any more.
One of the casualties of current education reform efforts has been the erosion of play, creativity, and joy from teenagers’ classrooms and lives, with devastating effects. Researchers have documented a rise in mental health problems—such as anxiety and depression—among young people that has paralleled a decline in children’s opportunities to play. And while play has gotten deserved press in recent months for its role in fostering crucial social-emotional and cognitive skills and cultivating creativity and imagination in the early childhood years, a critical group has been largely left out of these important conversations. Adolescents, too—not to mention adults, as shown through Google’s efforts — need time to play, and they need time to play in school.
Early childhood educators have known about and capitalized on the learning and developmental benefits of play for ages. My five-year-old daughter has daily opportunities to play dress-up in her preschool classroom, transforming into a stethoscope-wearing fairy princess and tending to the imaginary creatures in her care. Her work during “center time” has all the hallmarks of what experts like psychologists David Elkind and Peter Gray define as play: she has choice in her pursuits, she self-directs her learning and exploration, she engages in imaginative creation, and she does all these things in a non-stressed state of interest and joy."...
Exercise tones the legs, builds bigger biceps and strengthens the heart. But of all the body parts that benefit from a good workout, the brain may be the big winner.
(Selected quote) "Pre-adolescence: In a new twist in the debate over physical education in schools, researchers are asking an intriguing question: What if exercise improves academic success?
Some research suggests it can. Hillman’s team at the University of Illinois’ Neurocognitive Kinesiology Laboratory found that children aged 7 through 9 who participated in a 60-minute after-school exercise programme had better focus, processed information more quickly and performed better on cognitive tests than children who didn’t exercise. The researchers also found a dose effect: The more days the children attended the exercise programme, the greater the changes in their brain function or cognition, according to the nine-month randomised trial, published in the journal Pediatrics in 2014.
“We didn’t take low-fit kids and make them highly fit,” Hillman said. “We took low-fit kids and made them a little less low fit. These aren’t massive changes.” The effects were seen only on tasks that required executive control, “which is related to attention, behaviour and obviously germane to success in school,” Hillman said. “It’s our working memory and cognitive flexibility - often called multitasking - the ability to take information, put it on hold and go back and forth.”...
New research shows that people with autism have enhanced movement integration that can make them better or worse at seeing motion, depending on what they are asked to do. This challenges previous research showing that people with autism generally see visual motion poorly. This increased ability to pool motion information, in combination with fewer restraints …
From classroom management to working with parents, lesson planning to learning environments, this compilation of blogs, videos, and other resources provides an array of tips and advice for teachers just starting out.
Co-authored by the Alliance for Childhood, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment
"This guide is designed to help educators and parents make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children. Just because products are marketed as “educational” doesn’t mean they are. How do we best support children’s growth, development, and learning in a world radically changed by technology?
"Rebecca Davis sets up a coordinate plane on the floor of her classroom. Groups of 3 or 4 students are assigned equations in slope-intercept form and graph them using their bodies on the giant coordinate plane. As extensions, Ms. Davis changes the slope or y-intercept of the original equation and makes the activity into a race."
Free lesson plans with great audio stories for your Science, Social Studies, or ELA classroom. We curate the best of public radio to keep teaching connected to the real world and build student listening skills at the same time.
"Discretionary screen time (ST) is now the main waking activity of children: a lifestyle factor as relevant to health as nutrition and physical activity. High ST is increasingly considered an independent risk factor, often exhibiting a dose–response relationship with cardiometabolic disease, unfavourable child development outcomes, and adult morbidity and mortality, ultimately placing greater pressure on primary care services.1 The US Department of Health has issued ‘recommended limits for screen time’ as one of its national ‘health improvement priorities’ and a key ‘disease prevention objective’.2 Public Health England recently reported their concern over: ‘Increased screen time … evidence suggests a “dose-response” relationship, where each additional hour of viewing increases the likelihood of experiencing socio-emotional problems’.3
As concern grows over the amount of ST, the term ‘addiction’ is increasingly used by physicians to describe the rising number of children engaging in a variety of screen activities in a dependent, problematic manner. The diagnostic vernacular is still evolving: internet addiction disorder (IAD), at-risk/problematic internet use (ARPIU), pathological video game use, video game addiction, pathological technology use, online game addiction, and more. Although the current medical focus is on ‘video gaming’, other forms of screen use, from excessive messaging and social networking to ‘porn addiction’, can also become highly problematic. While there is a lack of consensus as to whether such screen use constitutes a formal psychiatric disorder, the NHS doesn’t consider it a passing phase, stating ‘as computer use has increased, so too has computer addiction’.4
Involving primary care in this emerging problem should not be construed as medicalising a popular pastime, the thin end of the wedge leading GPs to meddle in patient lifestyles. ST is a health issue and the GP’s surgery is the entrance hall through which patients seek authoritative guidance, referral, and where education can take place. Raising parental awareness of both excessive ST and problematic, dependent screen use is vital. As the guardians of family health, GPs’ views on child health hold currency.
Unfortunately, families are courted and bedazzled, child development research is funded, and governments are lobbied by a well-heeled, highly influential technology industry. It is, therefore, incumbent on GPs to confront the iridescent elephant(s) in the room.
Irrespective of the formal status of screen ‘addictions’, those in primary care must step back and simply consider the extent to which excessive, seemingly dependent, non-work-related ST affects the health and wellbeing of patients, and ST’s impact on functioning including work, study, relationships and finances. In this rapidly developing field, a better understanding of the subject will enable physicians to make clinical and policy decisions."...
"One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.
A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.
The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.
How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the age of 4-6."...
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