It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
Let the child touch the TV remote and you know that's their first brush with technology. Children take to technology like fish take to water. Even as debates rage over how much technology we should let our children use, it comes down to one inescapable fact that the society of today and tomorrow is totally…
This year’s “The Learning Curve” report from Pearson takes a look at education across the globe. One of the main things the report does is rank the world’s educational systems (which we’ll talk about in a different post). What I find even more interesting is the focus on what skills current students need to meet …
"Poverty shapes people in some hard-wired ways that we're only now beginning to understand. Back in August, we wrote about some provocative new research that found that poverty imposes a kind of tax on the brain. It sucks up so much mental bandwidth – capacity spent wrestling with financial trade-offs, scarce resources, the gap between bills and income – that the poor have fewer cognitive resources left over to succeed at parenting, education, or work. Experiencing poverty is like knocking 13 points off your IQ as you try to navigate everything else. That's like living, perpetually, on a missed night of sleep." | by Emily Badger
"Brain research is helping scientists tease out subtle differences in how teenagers learn. John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He knew intelligence has a strong biological component. If your parents are smart, you'll probably be smart — even without a lot of fuss about the right schools and learning environments. But recently, Hewitt discovered something that surprised him. 'Well, I may have been wrong,' he admits. 'It may well be that the environmental boost you can get, or the detriment you can suffer through adversity, may indeed be a little more important at a critical period in adolescence than I had previously thought. And this may especially be true for parents of very bright children.' What Hewitt, director of the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, is talking about is a new understanding of the interplay between your genetic inheritance and how you learn from the environment. He credits another researcher, Angela Brant, for coming up with a new insight into this critical period in development. So what is it about children that allows them to grasp the 'deep' knowledge of syntax more quickly than do adults? Neuroscientists think the reason children do better at such challenges is that young brains are more receptive to learning. The study, published in Psychological Science, suggests that for many children it may be a mistake to stop learning new things. Even if you're a teenager, it might not be too late to start learning Chinese, chess or the cello." | by Shankar Vedantam
The same devices that are used to consume art have also allowed students to create on their own, often with little instruction or direction. This trend of interest-driven art creation comes at a time when public schools are cutting art programming, and it offers a promising new way to reach and mold budding artists.
"Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled." | via TED Talks
"'I’m just not a math person.' We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of 'math people' is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children—the myth of inborn genetic math ability. Is math ability genetic? Sure, to some degree. Terence Tao, UCLA’s famous virtuoso mathematician, publishes dozens of papers in top journals every year, and is sought out by researchers around the world to help with the hardest parts of their theories. Essentially none of us could ever be as good at math as Terence Tao, no matter how hard we tried or how well we were taught. But here’s the thing: We don’t have to! For high school math, inborn talent is just much less important than hard work, preparation, and self-confidence." | by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith