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Study: Learning a second language at early age could provide long-term benefits

YLE – Staff Writer

“Learning and speaking a second language during early childhood may result in profound, long-term changes to brain development, newly-published research from the University of Helsinki shows. A researcher says that – in the case of recovery from a brain injury for example – people who learned a second language before the age of five could be better off than their single-language counterparts.”(more)

Study shows preschool benefits middle-class kids, with biggest boost for black youngsters

Medical X-Press – Kathleen Maclay

“Preschools that strongly promote academics boost the early literacy and math skills of children from middle-class families, according to a nationwide study released today by researchers at the UC Berkeley. “This is the first time that we have seen remarkable gains for the average preschooler nationwide,” said Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy, who directed the research. Educators and scholars have long agreed that quality preschool yields sustained benefits for poor children, while earlier studies revealed disappointing results from average pre-K programs for middle-class peers.”(more)

How art can build student leadership skills

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“Creative art experiences that challenge students to observe, articulate, reimagine, and take risks help build their confidence and leadership capacity, say experts. In “Art-Infused Student Leadership Projects,” Cheri Sterman, Crayola Education director; Nancy Horvat, Multi-Tier Support Systems specialist, Arts Academy, PA; and Jessica Lura, director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Bullis Charter School, CA discussed how to develop leadership qualities in students through art activities.”(more)

3 things schools must know about the rising “phigital” student

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“A major generational clash is underway, says a foremost expert, and it’s affecting all industries, including education. The clash is coming from so-called Gen Z, the first generation to be considered fully “phigital”—unwilling or unable to draw a distinction between the physical world and its digital equivalent. So what does that mean for educators? Well, buckle up and hold on. In an article published in, of all places, Delta’s Sky Magazine, writer Allison Kaplan details her interview with generational expert and author David Stillman on how Generation Z will begin graduating from college this year and what businesses should expect. Here’s a hint: Don’t expect Millennials.”(more)

Armed Forces see STEM education as ensuring a bright future

Education Dive – Pat Donachie

“Employers in fields that utilize science, technology, engineering and mathematics have consistently sounded a warning bell about the future of STEM in the United States, cautioning that there is a coming gap in qualified applicants for employers. The rates of STEM graduates are not keeping up with the amount of job openings in related fields, and the issue could worsen, as the U.S. will add about one million new STEM jobs by 2020. Data from nonprofit showed 607,708 open computing jobs in the country last year, though only 42,969 students with that expertise and background entered into the workforce in the year before. Further research in 2015 indicated that the gaps are even more pronounced between genders and ethnicities, and while STEM jobs and degrees have steadily increased since 2000, the STEM workforce was no more diverse than it was 14 years prior.”(more)