For years we’ve thought that all parents needed to know the research on the 30 million word gap. This concept is now on the White House’s radar. New initiatives from government and non-profits will surely spread the word, helping parents gain cortical mass! ● Have we reached a tipping point about the use/overuse of standardized tests for NCLB accountability? Read Lyndsay Layton’s summary of who is saying what now.
A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too. In
“A growth mindset is the best gift we can give our children,” says Jessica Lahey. Read her smart tips on helping kids deal with criticism. This is an all-important parenting skill. Get informed. ● You’ve seen those diagrams of brain scans with colorful patches. But what do they mean? Watch the TED Talk by Nancy Kanwisher, a prominent MIT neuroscientist, and get the basics of brain scan research. Her engaging 17-minute talk makes it completely understandable! Really. ●
Students are protesting in Jefferson County, Colorado. Why? Their school board wants to make changes to the new AP History class which would downplay civil disobedience. (Yes, ironic.) Follow that article with the one discussing progressive vs. conservative bias in the new history curriculum. Should this matter to parents? ● Heard about Massive Online Open Courses, known as MOOCs? Read how China is using them. You know about Finland’s top education system, but what about Poland’s?
This is the first year that schools will publish student test scores tied to the Common Core initiative. Critics argue that implementing these new standards cause overtesting that rob teachers and students of valuable teaching time. Judy Woodruff gets debate from Kathleen Porter-Magee of the Partnership for Inner-City Education and Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho. Continue reading →
Remember the Marshmallow Test? The professor who developed it has published his first non-academic book. He's 84. He's got good news for concerned parents. Maybe you’ve already heard about lithium in the water. If not, here's your chance. The global achievement gap gets two articles this week. There's an argument for why you should not admire China's top ranked school system. And, if you're curious, peek at the graph to find out how U.S. elementary students time-in-school compares to other nations. Ann McCormick, founder of The Learning Company and developer of Reader Rabbit, has a new reading app. Check it out!
At age 84, Mr. Mischel is about to publish his first nonacademic book, “The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control.”
He says we anxious parents timing our kids in front of treats are missing a key finding of willpower research: Whether you eat the marshmallow at age 5 isn’t your destiny. Self-control can be taught. Grown-ups can use it to tackle the burning issues of modern middle-class life: how to go to bed earlier, not check email obsessively, stop yelling at our children and spouses, and eat less bread. Poor kids need self-control skills if they’re going to catch up at school.
A new study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that reading the Harry Potter books in particular has similar effects, likely in part because Potter is continually in contact with stigmatized groups. Tales of the young wizard instill empathy, a study finds
Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize! Last year we published her moving speech to the UN, given on her 16th birthday. Imagine what she could do for women and global education in the years ahead? ● Do violent video games contribute to youth violence? Parents must set (and carry out) the household policy on playing video games with violence. ProCon.org can help. They’ve collected excerpts from smart sources, and put 11 in the “yes” column and 11 in the “no” column. The positions quote diver...
Let's imagine for a minute that family resources had no impact on the likelihood that an American student would graduate high school and go on to earn a college degree or beyond. In this idealized world, which factors would influence a student's likelihood of academic achievement, and how do nature and nurture conspire to dictate those outcomes?
Elementary school student who engage in regular physical activity and exercise after-school get a significant brain boost, according to a new study, making it easier for them to focus and stay on task in class.