School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor
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Plans unveiled for world's first X-ray frequency comb

Plans unveiled for world's first X-ray frequency comb | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

Device could put fundamental physics to the test.

 

A design for what would be the world's first X-ray frequency comb has been unveiled by physicists in Germany. The team believes that its comb – which would be used to measure the frequencies of X-rays – can be built using existing technologies. A working device could be used to make fundamental measurements in atomic physics with much greater precision than is possible today. The design could even be extended to produce gamma-ray combs, say the physicists.

 

Conventional frequency combs are short laser pulses comprising light at a number of well-defined frequencies. When plotted as intensity versus frequency, the light is represented by a series of sharp, equally spaced peaks that together resemble the teeth of a comb. Combs are used as a ruler to measure with great accuracy an unknown frequency relative to a precisely defined reference frequency, such as an atomic clock. Combs can therefore detect tiny changes in the frequency of a light signal that is associated with a physical phenomenon. For example, the gravitational tug of an exoplanet causes a periodic change in the Doppler shift of the light from its companion star's light.

 

Combs working at optical frequencies were first developed in the 1990s by John Hall at the JILA Lab in Boulder, Colorado, andTheodor Hänsch at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, – who shared a Nobel prize for their efforts. Since then, physicists have been extremely keen to produce combs at higher frequencies. Ultraviolet combs have been produced by high-harmonic generation, in which a lower-frequency laser excites electrons in a gas and causes them to accelerate and emit light at higher harmonics of the original laser frequency. However, the intensity of successive harmonics decreases, so generating pulses in the X-ray region would require an impracticably powerful driving laser.

 

Now, Stefano Cavaletto and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg have come up with a more subtle approach. They propose using three energy levels of the Be2+ ion to create an X-ray comb. The upper excited state lies 123.7 eV above the ground state – a gap that corresponds to low-energy or "soft" X-rays. This state is unstable, and so electrons decay rapidly back to the ground state. The third, metastable state lies just below the main excited state. Electrons in this state remain excited much longer. The group's idea is to use an X-ray free-electron laser to pump electrons from the bottom state to the top state. Another applied laser pulse then leads the excited electrons to the metastable state, where they remain. If an optical frequency comb irradiates the ion, then with every pulse, some of the photons are promoted from the metastable state to the unstable state, before decaying almost immediately to the ground state with the emission of an X-ray pulse. This produces a series of X-ray pulses modulated at the same rate as the original optical pulses, forming an X-ray frequency comb.

 

Such a device could have numerous applications in fundamental physics. For example, it would become possible to measure precise values of the transition energies of the inner-shell electrons in highly charged ions. This would allow for stringent checks on the predictions of quantum electrodynamics and whether the fine-structure constant varies over time. "There are papers predicting that such measurements may be more sensitive at higher energies," explains Cavaletto.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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excerpt: "A working device could be used to make fundamental measurements in atomic physics with much greater precision than is possible today. The design could even be extended to produce gamma-ray combs, say the physicists."

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School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor
Tools, tips, resources, advice, and humor to support today's school leader and leaders, in general
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“Teaching Kids to Code” Guide: A Fantastic Resource - GeekDad (blog)

“Teaching Kids to Code” Guide: A Fantastic Resource - GeekDad (blog) | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
“Teaching Kids to Code” Guide: A Fantastic Resource GeekDad (blog) As GeekDads we are probably more aware than others of the increasing interest from parents, schools and businesses of teaching kids to code.
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7 Characteristics of complex systems | More Beyond

7 Characteristics of complex systems | More Beyond | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
I have been re-reading the work of Prof Paul Cilliers, who truly was a pioneer in complexity thinking. I came across this summary of the general characteristcs

Via Jürgen Kanz
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architects of our future

architects of our future | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change the way things work in an organization. The problem may be the organizational model itself and it may be better to leave and create an alternative model than help keep a flawed one going. We are the architects of our future.

Via Jim Lerman
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10 Secrets To Sounding Confident

10 Secrets To Sounding Confident | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Those people who own a room every time they speak? They have mastered these skills.
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Jillian Schaibly's curator insight, July 28, 2017 9:53 PM
Great communication skills and leadership skill article. As a administrator you need to excel in these categories. You are always presenting yourself and great leaders display confidence.
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The Art of Self-Renewal: The Pioneering Social Scientist John Gardner on How to Keep Your Work and Your Spirit Alive Over the Long Run

The Art of Self-Renewal: The Pioneering Social Scientist John Gardner on How to Keep Your Work and Your Spirit Alive Over the Long Run | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Gardner explores what it takes for us — as individuals, as a society, even as a civilization — to cultivate the capacity for self-renewal so vital to countering “the dry rot produced by apathy, by rigidity and by moral emptiness,” which often comes with attaining a certain level of complacent comfort or success. Referencing his previous book, Excellence — an equally prescient exploration of the educational system, its promise and its limitations, and the role of high standards in cultivating character — Gardner writes:

High standards are not enough. There are kinds of excellence — very important kinds — that are not necessarily associated with the capacity for renewal. A society that has reached heights of excellence may already be caught in the rigidities that will bring it down. An institution may hold itself to the highest standards and yet already be entombed in the complacency that will eventually spell its decline.
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Report: To lift kids out of poverty, you have to help their parents too - The Hechinger Report

Report: To lift kids out of poverty, you have to help their parents too - The Hechinger Report | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
In order to help its many low-income families, Mississippi must focus on aiding the family as a whole and take a “two-generation approach” to ending poverty, a new report says. More than half the state’s children are members of low-income families, a status that has far-reaching consequences beyond poor housing and poor schools. It traps …

Via Velvet Martin
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How To Give Feedback People Actually Respond To

How To Give Feedback People Actually Respond To | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
I once worked with an executive many in the company felt was a bully, but he didn’t see anything wrong with his behavior.

One day his aggressive style pushed a team member to tears. I asked him:

Was your intention to make someone cry or simply to get everyone on board with your plans?

He responded defensively:

I can’t help how she takes things. If she’s sensitive, that’s on her.

So I focused on the intention-outcome gap.

Maybe, but was that your main goal? If it was, you’re doing a great job. But it probably wasn’t, so what is? What’s a faster way to get to your goal while bringing people with you?

Notice I didn’t tell him to stop being a bully. In a perfect world, bullies would cut it out after seeing the damage they cause to others. But that seldom happens. Instead, you need to show them the space between what they wanted to accomplish and what actually happened in order for them to consider changing ways.
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How Can You Tell You're a Good Leader? You Motivate Others By Doing These 4 Things Daily

Thinking of motivation simply as, for example, "the energy a person has to act on something," doesn't take into account the nature of human motivation -- the very reasons we behave when we are "motivated."

In other words, it's not IF, but WHY people are motivated.

And when we think about our own motivation as leaders, and align that with the reasons others are motivated at their core as followers, we can understand how to provide the right kind of leadership.

Lets look at the leadership behaviors that consistently inspire and motivate people at the core of their human design.
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3 habits that evidence-based leaders master

How an organisation performs is evidenced by what it achieves, not by the work it does. To know what results an organisation is achieving, those results must be measured. Performance measures are through time evidence of how well we’re achieving results. Without good performance measures, we have no evidence. With no evidence, we can’t know. If we can’t know, we’re guessing. Evidence-based leaders don’t guess.

There are three habits that separate evidence-based leaders – leaders of successful organisations – from the rest. These three habits are the foundation of how to inspire an organisation to perform with excellence.
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What I’ve learned about effective data visualisation

What I’ve learned about effective data visualisation | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
These are a good grounding in what makes a data visualisation effective.
Your brain recognises visual shapes far faster than text or numbers.
You can understand complex data more efficiently as a visual pattern
You can present significant results clearly
Visuals allow your writing to provide a deeper analysis
Relevant, informative visuals are critical for your outreach efforts
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What to Pursue, the Ed.D or the Ph.D? I Have Your Answers. (You Better Read This)

What to Pursue, the Ed.D or the Ph.D? I Have Your Answers. (You Better Read This) | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
There are plenty to choose from as there are fields of academic study. But the two most commonly referred to doctorate degrees are the Ph.D and Ed.D. The next question is usually, what’s the difference between the two? Is one better than the other? Is the Ph.D more prestigious? Is the Ed.D not rigorous? Which one will accelerate my career? Which one is quicker to attain? These are all valid questions and questions that I too once had before pursuing and attaining my doctorate. So I will give you a brief run down on six of the most noteworthy question and answers between the two degrees.
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The Right Approach to Reading Instruction

The Right Approach to Reading Instruction | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
The student-led approach to reading and writing known as balanced literacy is making a comeback in New York City schools. But critics say students need closer instruction from teachers and more work on phonics and facts.

What is the right approach to improving student literacy?
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The prison reformer’s dilemma | The University of Chicago Magazine

Pfaff concludes that prosecutors need charging guidelines similar to judges’ sentencing guidelines—scoring systems that weigh elements in a case so that similar offenders are treated equally. Currently they have “unfettered discretion” over how to handle a case in which, for example, a dozen different statutes might apply.

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What Does Leadership Mean? Hiring Managers Reveal the Qualities They Actually Look For

What Does Leadership Mean? Hiring Managers Reveal the Qualities They Actually Look For | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
What does leadership actually mean? Find out from hiring managers.
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Iatrogenics: Why Intervention Often Leads to Worse Outcomes

Iatrogenics: Why Intervention Often Leads to Worse Outcomes | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

Iatrogenics is when we cause more harm by intervention than we do good. Read this article to learn why this happens and what to do about it.


The first thing that goes through my mind is incentive caused bias. What is the incentive for action? Is there an agency gap where the outcome from person doing the intervention is disconnected from the outcome for the person experiencing it? Does the healer have skin in the game? Another reason is time. When there is a lack of clear feedback loops between action and outcome it's hard to know you're causing harm. This allows, even encourages, some self-delusion. Given that we are prone to confirming our beliefs—and presumably we took action because we believed it to be helpful—we're unlikely to see evidence that contradicts our beliefs. We should be seeking disconfirming evidence to our actions but we don't because if we did, we'd be a lot less smart than we think we are. And the third major contributor, I'd say is our bias for action (especially what we consider positive action). This is also known as, to paraphrase Charlie Munger, do something syndrome. If you're a policy advisor or politician, or heck, even a modern office worker, social norms make it hard for you to say “I don't know.” You're expected to have an opinion on everything.

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How to Organize a Paper: The Indirect Method (for Writing Bad News)

How to Organize a Paper: The Indirect Method (for Writing Bad News) | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
What Is the Indirect Method for Communicating Bad News? The Indirect Method is an organizational strategy that prepares readers for news or information that they will likely be unhappy about. Following a simple, four-step structure, you
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Do This, Not That: 10 Ways You Accidentally Contribute To Employee Disengagement

Do This, Not That: 10 Ways You Accidentally Contribute To Employee Disengagement | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Employee disengagement may be a serious issue, but there’s no reason why your team couldn’t join that minority of cheerfully engaged employees in America.
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Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, blames this troubling statistic on poor management. As Clifton sees it, an employee’s manager is the number one factor that influences their engagement. I also find that the same can be said about education and educational settings, not just for teachers, but for learners as well.
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[FAO - News Article] World hunger falls to under 800 million, eradication is next goal

[FAO - News Article] World hunger falls to under 800 million, eradication is next goal | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
72 countries have achieved the Millennium Development target of halving proportion of the chronically undernourished.

27 May 2015, Rome - The number of hungry people in the world has dropped to 795 million – 216 million fewer than in 1990-92 – or around one person out of every nine, according to the latest edition of the annual UN hunger report (The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 - SOFI).

 

In the developing regions, the prevalence of undernourishment - which measures the proportion of people who are unable to consume enough food for an active and healthy life – has declined to 12.9 percent of the population, down from 23.3 percent a quarter of a century ago reports SOFI 2015, published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

 

A majority – 72 out of 129 – of the countries monitored by FAO have achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the prevalence of undernourishment by 2015, with developing regions as a whole missing the target by a small margin. In addition, 29 countries have met the more ambitious goal laid out at the World Food Summit in 1996, when governments committed to halving the absolute number of undernourished people by 2015.

 

"The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime. We must be the Zero Hunger generation. That goal should be mainstreamed into all policy interventions and at the heart of the new sustainable development agenda to be established this year," said FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva.

 

"If we truly wish to create a world free from poverty and hunger, then we must make it a priority to invest in the rural areas of developing countries where most of the world's poorest and hungriest people live," said IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze. "We must work to create a transformation in our rural communities so they provide decent jobs, decent conditions and decent opportunities. We must invest in rural areas so that our nations can have balanced growth and so that the three billion people who live in rural areas can fulfil their potential."

"Men, women and children need nutritious food every day to have any chance of a free and prosperous future. Healthy bodies and minds are fundamental to both individual and economic growth, and that growth must be inclusive for us to make hunger history," said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.

 

Striking advances, given challenging environment

Progress towards fully achieving the 2015 food security targets was hampered in recent years by challenging global economic conditions. 

Extreme weather events, natural disasters, political instability and civil strife have all impeded progress – 24 African countries currently face food crises, twice as many as in 1990; around one of every five of the world's undernourished lives in crisis environments characterized by weak governance and acute vulnerability to death and disease. 

 

SOFI 2015 notes that over the past 30 years crises have evolved from catastrophic, short-term, acute and highly visible events to protracted situations, due to a combination of factors, especially natural disasters and conflicts, with climate change, financial and price crises frequently among the exacerbating factors.

 

Hunger rates in countries enduring protracted crises are more than three times higher than elsewhere. In 2012 some 366 million people were living in this kind situation – of whom 129 million were undernourished – 19 percent of all food-insecure people on the planet.

Yet, alongside these challenges, the world population has grown by 1.9 billion since 1990, making reductions of the number of hungry people all the more striking, the report says.

 

Bright lights and darker shadows on the hunger map

Large reductions in hunger were achieved in East Asia and very fast progress was posted in Latin America and the Caribbean, southeast and central Asia, as well as some parts of Africa, showing that inclusive economic growth, agricultural investments and social protection, along with political stability makes the elimination of hunger possible. Above all, the political will to make hunger eradication a paramount development objective has fostered progress.

 

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the world – at 23.2 percent, or almost one in every four people. However, African nations that invested more in improving agricultural productivity and basic infrastructure also achieved their MDG hunger target, notably in West Africa. 

 

The proportion of hungry people in Latin America and the Caribbean has dropped from 14.7 percent to 5.5 percent since 1990, while the share of underweight children (below 5 years of age) also declined sharply. A strong commitment to hunger reduction was translated into substantial social protection programmes which, coupled with strong economic growth, drove continent-wide progress. 

 

Diverse trends were observed in different parts of Asia. Countries in Eastern and Southeast Asia have achieved steady and rapid reduction in both malnourishment indicators, buoyed by investment in water and sanitation infrastructure as well as favourable economic prospects.

In southern Asia, the prevalence of undernourishment has declined modestly, to 15.7 percent from 23.9 percent, but much greater progress was made in reducing underweight among young children.

 

Severe food insecurity is close to being eradicated in North Africa, with the prevalence of undernourishment below 5 percent, while dietary quality is of growing concern in the region, where there is a rising prevalence of overweight and obesity.

In West Asia, where hygiene conditions are generally advanced and child underweight rates low, the incidence of hunger has risen due to war, civil strife and consequent large migrant and refugee populations in some countries. 

 

Lessons from the MDGs experience 

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for how to improve food security, the SOFI report outlines several factors that played a critical role in achieving the hunger target. 

 

First, improved agricultural productivity, especially by small and family farmers, leads to important gains in hunger and poverty reduction. High performers on that front in Africa met the MDG hunger target while those that made slower progress did not. 

 

Second, while economic growth is always beneficial, not least because it expands the fiscal revenue base necessary to fund social transfers and other assistance programmes, it needs to be inclusive to help reduce hunger. Inclusive growth provides a proven avenue for those with fewer assets and skills in boosting their incomes, and providing them the resilience they need to weather natural and man-made shocks.  Raising the productivity of family farmers is an effective way out of poverty and hunger. 

 

Third, the expansion of social protection – often cash transfers to vulnerable households, but also food vouchers, health insurance or school meal programs, perhaps linked to guaranteed procurement contracts with local farmers – correlated strongly with progress in hunger reduction and in assuring that all members of society have the healthy nutrition to pursue productive lives.

 

Some 150 million people worldwide are prevented from falling into extreme poverty thanks to social protection, according to SOFI – but more than two-thirds of the world's poor still do not have access to regular and predictable forms of social support. Transfers help households manage risk and mitigate shocks that would otherwise leave them trapped in poverty and hunger


 


Via Eric O. Verger
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Eric O. Verger's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:31 AM

What a good news! Let's keep fighting against hunger, and let's be sure the levers are sustainable.

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Studying or Seeking Wisdom - Defining Wisdom | A Project of the University of Chicago - News

Studying or Seeking Wisdom - Defining Wisdom | A Project of the University of Chicago - News | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

‘Experts’, in the sense people complain about, are those with fixed ideas about what should be done in specific situations, working from recipes with the aim of instant results. They avoid or prohibit dialogue, and tend to ignore not only that deliberation takes time but also that it entails the capacity to recognise others’ positions.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, July 12, 2017 1:33 PM
An essential point is we are not born wise. There is a practical essence to wisdom. Aristotle wrote about becoming better as an uncertain process with no well-defined goal. More recently, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur used the concepts of phronesis and phronimos as an ethical way of being in the world.
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Growth mindset for a more empathetic and collaborative world

Growth mindset for a more empathetic and collaborative world | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

"Much of the polarization in today’s world may be rooted in fixed mindsets. When people believe in fixed traits, they look to assign traits to other people rather than consider the psychology behind others’ behaviors. Once they assign a trait or quality to someone, they hold onto it.This can happen to people of any religion and across the political spectrum. When it happens to us, we tend to make blanket judgments and use negative labels to describe others rather than ask questions to try to better understand what has led others to their current beliefs." (from the article)

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, July 10, 2017 1:18 PM
A growth mindset is one that is holistic, including physical, cognitive, and affective aspects.
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10 Stupid Phrases the Worst Bosses Love to Use

These platitudes have been used, misused, and abused--especially by terrible bosses.
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A guide to being a change leader

The threat of change can trigger the stress response with that horrible stomach churn, pounding heart and sweaty feeling along with a hearty side-serve of fear and anxiety. We each have a unique perspective on what we consider stressful. Organisational change presents a challenge not least because of the diversity of the modern workplace.

The “Old Guard” dislikes change as it poses a threat to what was previously accepted as valid, challenges their status and can be viewed as unfair.


The “New Kids On The Block” see change as an opportunity to show others what they’re worth, and to boost their standing they want to see change happen.


The “Middle Earthers” are often lackluster in their response to yet more change. They’ve seen it all before and know it well for the extra work it entails, the times when the change didn’t work and wonder if they can be bothered to deal with yet more, especially if there is no obvious benefit.


The “Change Leaders” while enthusiastic, may lack experience, be unsure of the level of anticipated resistance and lack clarity in how to put a change framework together.

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Leaders Must Do More Than Inspire—We Must Shape Networks | Digital Tonto

It is never enough to gather together a small cadre of true believers, because to achieve anything of any significance, larger networks must be brought to bear
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8 Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools | Education Articles

8 Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools | Education Articles | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals.

Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.”

A great number of benefits have been reported to support the theory of teaching kindness in schools
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, July 3, 2017 12:52 PM
Teaching kindness is more than words. It is actions and showing the words mean more than just what is said. Kindness is not prescribed. It is performed. Kindness does have many benefits i.e. acceptance, reduced depression, less bullying, etc.
CCM Consultancy's curator insight, July 6, 2017 1:34 AM

"Being kind produces endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, and it’s proven that these feelings of joyfulness are contagious, encouraging more collaboration and consequently achievement"

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Update: Teachers want, and deserve, more than a paycheck - Trusted

Update: Teachers want, and deserve, more than a paycheck - Trusted | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
As we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, here’s 3 ways school leaders can ensure teachers feel supported and empowered.
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Leaders who listen create space for great ideas to emerge

At your next meeting, take a page from my mentor Jack and remember that the best way to learn something is to shut up and listen. If inspiration strikes you in the middle of the team meeting, and you’re worried you’ll forget that great thought, jot it down. If the idea is truly that fantastic, it can wait. And it’s highly probable that in the silence of your listening, an even better idea will soon emerge from the group.
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