Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ed Links

The Science Education Myth

Forget the conventional wisdom. U.S. schools are turning out more capable science and engineering grads than the job market can support. [AS: Like I said, education doesn’t create jobs.]

An Ounce of Prevention

A social program that works. Where's the funding?

Gangland USA

Map of gangs across America.

Policy brief links education to public safety

According to the Institute, the states that invest more in education have lower rates of violent crime and incarceration. Other briefs deal with the intersection of policy with housing, employment, and drug treatment with safety and crime rates.

From Rethinking commonsense psychology

I feel your pain: New proof of "mirror neurons" explains why we experience the grief and joy of others, and maybe why humans are altruistic — but don't call us Gandhi yet. Vilayanur Ramachandran explores how brain damage can reveal the connection between the internal structures of the brain and the corresponding functions of the mind. : New research shows how the prefrontal cortex handles the work of associating numerals with matching quantities. More and more on Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought. A review of Rethinking Commonsense Psychology: A Critique of Folk Psychology, Theory of Mind and Simulation by Matthew Ratcliffe. A review of A History of Social Psychology: From the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment to the Second World War by Gustav Jahoda.

Your Office? Undeserving Bosses Prefer Incompetent Employees

Executives who think they do not deserve their position tend to work among incompetent employees to justify themselves, according to new research. Qualified people prefer to work with competent and sociable partners in jobs that imply responsibility. However, persons who think they are unable to hold a specific job try to work with less competent and sociable partners. Researchers warn that people who have power do not always exercise it properly.

Why Poor Kids May Make Sicker Adults

Scientists have known for years that people living in poverty have poorer health and shorter lifespans than the more affluent. Now researchers have identified several key mechanisms in 13-year-olds that may help explain how low socioeconomic status takes its toll on health.

Why Teens Are Such Impulsive Risk-takers

Teenagers and adults often don't see eye to eye, and new brain research is now shedding light on some of the reasons why. Although adolescence is often characterized by increased independence and a desire for knowledge and exploration, it also is a time when brain changes can result in high-risk behaviors, addiction vulnerability, and mental illness, as different parts of the brain mature at different rates. Recent imaging studies in humans show that brain development and connectivity are not complete until the late teens or early twenties.

Benefits Of Online Interaction For Teens Outweigh Danger, Professor Says

Media reports warn of online predators, hate groups and other 'digital dangers' lurking in online social spaces, and those dangers are not to be taken lightly, says one educational psychology professor. "But we may do adolescents a disservice when we curtail their participation in these spaces, because the educational and psychosocial benefits of this type of communication can far outweigh the potential dangers," according to new research.

Program Reduces Weight Gain In Young African-American Girls

A community-based weight control program has succeeded in reducing the prevalence of overweight children for two years. Changes in dietary intake, particularly in the reduction of consumption of sweetened beverages (e.g., soda) made the biggest difference. The girls did not appear to significantly increase their physical activity, which suggests that even without increased exercise, a proper diet can control weight gain in high-risk young girls.

Mirror, Mirror In The Brain: Mirror Neurons, Self-understanding And Autism Research

A new class of brain cells -- mirror neurons -- are active both when people perform an action and when they watch it being performed. Some scientists speculate that a mirror system in people forms the basis for social behavior, for our ability to imitate, acquire language, and show empathy and understanding. It also may have played a role in the evolution of speech. Mirror neurons were so named because, by firing both when an animal acts and when it simply watches the same action, they were thought to "mirror" movement, as though the observer itself were acting.

Non-maternal Care Linked To Reduced Physical Aggression In Children Of Mothers With Less Education

Among children of mothers with low education levels, those who receive regular care from other adults during preschool years may be less likely to have problems with physical aggression, according to a new article.

Brain Chemical Underpins Social Interaction, And Why People Make Irrational Decisions

New research from the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics examining how people place value on money and other items is helping scientists to decipher how and why people make the decisions they do. Imaging studies of people experiencing real financial losses show activity in brain areas related to processing emotions, a finding that may account for the irrational behavior of financial professionals in high-risk settings. Additional imaging work shows that the same neural network responsible for rationally evaluating risky opportunities is also responsible for the irrational behavior of decision-makers when they face ambiguous situations.

Asthma Linked To Depressive Disorders, Study Suggests

Young people with asthma are about twice as likely to suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders than are children without asthma, according to a new study. Previous research had suggested a possible link in young people between asthma and some mental health problems, but this study is the first showing such a strong connection.

Teens Who Smoke Marijuana But Not Tobacco Are Different From Other Teen Groups

A Swiss study suggests that teens who use only cannabis appear to function better than those who also use tobacco, and are more socially driven and have no more psychosocial problems than those who abstain from both substances, according to a new report.

Equation can spot a failing neighbourhood [AS: behind pay wall]

If you worry that your neighbourhood is going downhill, there could be a way to spot the signs before it happens. You might unwittingly be living in an area designed to foster crime, deprivation and ghettoisation, according to two mathematicians who have developed a method to spot hidden areas of geographical isolation in the urban landscape.

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