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Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The findings of the study, based on the Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher, help solve a debate about whether children learning to use tools are genuinely learning about physical causation or are just driven by what action previously led to a treat. Learning about causality – about the physical rules that govern the world around us – is a crucial part of our cognitive development. From our observations and the outcome of our own actions, we build an idea – a model – of which tools are functional for particular jobs, and which are not.” (more)

Building a Metacognitive Classroom

Edutopia – Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers

“Teaching students basic knowledge about the brain’s potential can have a positive impact on their motivation, grit, and achievement. In particular, explicitly teaching them that learning changes the structure and function of their brains can be transformational in building a stronger belief in the value of working hard to master new material. Teachers who explain these findings report that the knowledge has a positive effect on students’ perceptions of their abilities as well as on their expectations for success.” (more)

Progress in reading stalls at secondary school. It should be a priority

The Guardian – Keith Topping

“We have a persistent problem encouraging secondary school pupils to read challenging and age-appropriate books. The tenth annual What Kids Are Reading Report, which analysed the reading habits of almost one million school pupils from 4,364 schools that use the Accelerated Reader assessment programme, found that this is true across Britain and Ireland. The report revealed that progress made by pupils in primary school halts when they transfer to secondary school and, from then on, the gap between students’ reading ability and their age grows wider each year. Worryingly, by the later years of secondary school many students are reading books that are no harder than those in primary school.” (more)

Should there be a moratorium on high school football?

The District Administration – Mark A. Serva

“With the latest season of high school football concluded, now is perhaps an ideal time to consider whether or not there should be another. The game’s big hits generate excitement, but a growing body of research indicates that the human brain is not equipped to absorb such violent impacts. Microscopic tears and plaque (dubbed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE) gradually diminish the capacity of players’ brains. Early symptoms include dizziness and confusion, which can eventually progress to memory loss, tremors, speech impediments and even dementia.” (more)

Why Children Learn Foreign Languages So Easily?

Brain Blogger – Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD

“Many researchers believe that learning foreign language before the puberty and even better earlier allows children to speak more fluently, almost like native speakers. In addition, learning more than one language at early age improves lifelong ability to communicate with others and contributes to cognitive development and cultural awareness. Many studies suggest that the best time to introduce a foreign language is before the age of ten. At this early stage of life language is learned and acquired faster, retained better, and spoken with exceptional pronunciation. It is widely accepted that the younger the learners, the more successful they are at imitating new sounds.” (more)

The Gap Between The Science On Kids And Reading, And How It Is Taught

NPR – Claudio Sanchez

“Mark Seidenberg is not the first researcher to reach the stunning conclusion that only a third of the nation’s schoolchildren read at grade level. The reasons are numerous, but one that Seidenberg cites over and over again is this: The way kids are taught to read in school is disconnected from the latest research, namely how language and speech actually develop in a child’s brain.” (more)