Here are nine questions for you this week. Are parents being guilted over children’s screen time? ● Should you let your kid use Snapchat? ● How can you tell if an app is really educational? ● How much help do teachers expect parents to provide their kids on school projects? ● Could you be confused about what a growth mindset really is? ● Do you know how the “testing effect” works? ● Does comparing U.S. and Chinese scores on international tests mislead parents? ● Are you familiar with the new college rankings...
On the most recent nationwide U.S. math test, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP, an eighth grader might have been asked a question about stem-and-leaf plots (see the sample question in the graphic on this page or here). Have no idea what those are? Probably the eighth grader didn’t either. It’s …
A persistent allegation in parenting journalism says that parents are overly cautious. Are parents really that risk averse? Richard Rende says it's not about parental fear and overprotection. It's something else. ● You’re familiar with the idea that parents need to talk to babies. But learning more about the why and how will make talking to your baby feel less like parent white noise. ● Get ready for Math Bedtime Story Problems. This is science, so don't be anxious. It's fun! ● David Brooks wrote...
Homework can be an effective way of making the information stick so long the amount doesn't surpass the point of diminishing returns. Uncover some common myths and see how American kids compare to their global peers.
Yippee, the kids are back in school! After our summer break, Parent Cortical Mass is back, too, and there's so much to cover. Parents, how many clever ways can you ask your kids that all-important question, “How was school today?” Getting kids to talk about what they're learning in school fortifies that learning. In this week’s batch of articles we revisit four of PCM’s Top 10 Learning Concepts: language dancing, the growth mindset, flow, and background knowledge. Four of our Top 10 Education Influencers -- E.D. Hirsch Jr., Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond and Diane Ravitch --have mentions this week.
Silly dads, you are vindicated. Putting that chicken on your head really does help your kids get smarter! ● Confused by that growing list of “non-cognitive” learning factors, like character traits, PERMA, grit, and mindsets? This is a good week to get clarity on these education buzzwords. ● Math is in the spotlight this week—common core math and preschool math. ● And if you’re looking for a way to brush up on your high school math, there are many online options. Here’s just one. ● Forever, a par
Are we expecting too much of our kids, or not enough? Give it some thought this week. ● Have you heard of Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow? Parents should know about him and his discoveries on humans’ bias to overconfidence. Really, read this one! ● Heard of Nicholas Christakis’ work on the impacts of our social networks? His article this week is a pitch to college freshman. He explains the informal learning of “peer effects” and describe
"Grit” is the featured topic this week. Can we help kids get more of it? Can it be taught in classrooms? Is it reliably measured? And...should the government collect the grit scores of students? ● The screen-time debate continues this week. The focus? How does parents' screen-time impact their kids? ● Congress is finally taking on the re-write of No Child Left Behind and its troublesome accountability system. Should parents be allowed to opt out their kids from mandated tests without risking federal sanctions...
Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and top scientist on human/technology interaction, published her ninth book this week. Her persistent question: Does our preference for digital technology deteriorate human capacities for conversation and empathy? Really, who has time for this, you say to yourself. Still, this is the first generation of parents to have to think this through. Below are four smart articles with different points of view. ● At the same time this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics...
The culture of America’s workplace is antiquated, “designed for the Mad Men era,” says Anne-Marie Slaughter. If the issues of family-work balance are important to you, this is an important article. ● We’ve said it here many times--it’s essential for parents to talk to their babies. A study published this week shows that repetition of words, not just the number of words, benefits babies language skills when they are toddlers. Good to know, good to know! ● We frequently feature articles about Caro
Do you wonder if the pressure to achieve academically is killing the joy of learning? Then do not miss this excerpt from Jessica Lahey’s new book, The Gift of Failure. ● You’ve heard the argument that because we can google anything, students no longer need to “remember” what they learn. They just need to learn how to think. Get savvier about this argument by reading Daniel Willingham’s article on the two components of intelligence. (In fact, google “Daniel Willingham” and learn more!) ● How is a
Such debate about the place and purpose of online searching in learning and assessments is not new. But rather than thinking of ways to prevent students from cheating or plagiarising in their assessed pieces of work, maybe our obsession with the “authenticity” of their coursework or assessment is missing another important educational point.
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