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Same behavior problems hinder boys more than girls

The Seattle Times – John Higgins

“In the past several decades, women have not only caught up to men in earning college degrees, they have surpassed them. Men made up 43 percent of the students enrolled in college in 2015, and were awarded 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees, according to federal data cited in a new study that traces the gender gap all the way back to preschool. The study, done by the American Sociological Association, finds that boys start kindergarten with fewer of the behaviors that teachers want — such as paying attention, controlling emotions and playing nice with others, and that difference partly accounts for higher high school and college completion rates for women. The study also finds that schools respond more harshly to boy’s transgressions and that difference also contributed to men not getting as far in their educations.”(more)

Study: Fathers’ Lifestyles Can Affect Health of Unborn Babies

Education News – Grace Smith

“For decades, expectant mothers have been cautioned about smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol, but now an expanding body of research suggests that men who are trying to have children should be just as careful as mothers. Carina Storrs, writing for CNN, reports that what fathers are exposed to can also have lasting effects on their youngsters’ health…If a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol crosses the placenta and can result in inferior coordination, delays in cognitive development, heart defects, and low birth weight. But research over the past ten years suggests that fathers who drink alcohol regularly before conceiving also increase the risk of their child having fetal alcohol syndrome. In fact, alcoholism or heavy drinking by men before conceiving has been linked to as many as 75% of affected babies. Drinking, smoking, or engaging in other risky behaviors seem to mark their progeny through epigenetics, which are the biological processes that finely adjust genes without mutating them.”(more)

High School Suspensions Cost The Country $35 Billion Annually, Report Estimates

NPR Ed – Anya Kamenetz

“When students get suspended from school for a few days, they may not be the only ones who miss out. A report released today by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project tries for the first time to quantify the full social cost of so-called “exclusionary discipline.”…The authors calculate that suspensions in just one year of school — 10th grade — contributed to 67,000 students eventually dropping out of high school. And that, they conclude, generates total costs to the nation of more than $35 billion…The study concludes that in-school suspensions are just as bad when it comes to their impact on dropout rates. And in places like LA Unified, teachers have complained that class disruptions go up when they don’t have the power to remove certain students. What works instead, says the report, are evidence-based practices like restorative justice and social and emotional skill-building, where educators actively help teenagers resolve conflicts and manage tough emotions to get at the roots of misbehavior.”(more)

4 Signs You Have Grit

Education Next – Robin Hilmantel

“When Angela Duckworth talks about grit, most people assume she just means persistence—but there’s more to it than that, the MacArthur “Genius” Award winner and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania told Motto. “I do mean hard work and not quitting things when they’re hard, but I also mean passion,” said Duckworth, who became interested in the subject while teaching middle school and high school students and realizing that the most talented ones often weren’t the ones who performed the best academically. Duckworth has since gone on to give the wildly popular TED Talk “The key to success? Grit” and is the author of the new book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”(more)

CDC: Teen Sleep Deprivation Correlates With Riskier Behavior

Education News – Grace Smith

“A recent report from the CDC found that over 75% of public schools in 40 states begin the school day earlier than 8:30 a.m., with high school students not getting the eight to ten recommended hours of sleep each night because teens have a built-in biological inclination to fall asleep later in the evening…teenagers who were getting under seven hours of sleep on school nights were also more apt to take risks such as drinking and driving, texting and driving, riding with someone who has been drinking, and not wearing a seat belt…In 2014, the AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics] issued a statement recommending that American schools begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. so that teens could get the suggested 8.5 to 9.5 hours of nightly sleep. A majority of schools did not comply.”(more)

5 Ways to Build a Child’s Emotional Literacy

Educare – Colin Gasamis

“Developing the ability to identify, describe, and understand a feeling is termed emotional literacy. Think of feelings words. Children who learn to describe their feelings as well as the feelings of others have better outcomes in school and other areas of life. These children also display less challenging behavior, get into fewer fights, and deal with frustration better. When adult caregivers take time to explicitly engage children in activities that build emotional literacy they ensure a brighter future. While we may have a vague understanding of what emotional literacy is, it can be difficult to know ways we can build this capacity in children. Here are 5 easy ways to build the emotional literacy of children…”(more)