Tag Archives: the brain

A Year of Wonder: The Neuroscience of Empathy

If a person wishes to wonder deeply about the world, which ingredient is more important – the person, or the world?

Until recently, our answer was clearly the latter.

For the great majority of our time on this planet, human beings have viewed the world almost entirely through the prism of “we,” not “me.” As foragers, we lived in unquestioning obedience to the unknowable marvels of the natural world. And in the earliest civilizations, we lived to serve the needs of our Gods in Heaven – and then, later on, their hand-chosen emissaries on Earth.

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Categories: Learning

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Big Bird Can Close the Achievement Gap? Not So Fast . . .

Don’t get me wrong: I love Big Bird as much as the next guy. But when people start talking about how Sesame Street is just as effective at closing the achievement gap as preschool, I start to worry that we’re becoming enamored with a seductively simple characterization of a deeply complex problem.

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Categories: Equity, Learning

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This is how intelligence works

Courtesy of Annie Murphy Paul. Good stuff for anyone interested in learning more about the brain and the social construction of intelligence (although does it still make sense to use IQ as a yardstick?).

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The social origins of intelligence

There’s a fascinating new study out in which researchers studied the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds. Among their findings? That “the ability to establish social relationships and navigate the social world is not secondary to a more general cognitive capacity for intellectual function, but that it may be the other way around. Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities.”

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Hybrid thinking? That’s a thing?

Get ready, people . . . our brains are about to change in a major way.

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The Neuroscience of Democracy

In the ideal educational future, is there a single design principle that matters most in establishing the optimal learning environment for children? That seems like a pretty important question to consider. And if you were to go by today’s leading reform strategies, you might conclude that the answer is, variably, greater accountability, better use of […]

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Categories: Democracy, Learning

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Want to Get Smarter? Be More Childlike.

Interesting piece on NPR this morning in which Shankra Vedantam reviews some of the recent research in neuroscience.

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Categories: Learning, Parenting

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The Science of Learning (and of School Reform)

Here’s a strange but illustrative little animated short based off a short clip of a David Brooks speech, in which he lays bare one of the false assumptions about the brain that has led us down the wrong path for generations.

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