Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Week in Ed Science Links

Rush, Little Baby

How the push for infant academics may actually be a waste of time - or worse.

What works in education: the lessons according to McKinsey

Now, an organization from outside the teaching fold—McKinsey, a consultancy that advises companies and governments—has boldly gone where educationalists have mostly never gone: into policy recommendations based on the PISA findings. Schools, it says*, need to do three things: get the best teachers; get the best out of teachers; and step in when pupils start to lag behind.

Social Decision-Making: Insights from Game Theory and Neuroscience

By combining the models and tasks of Game Theory with modern psychological and neuroscientific methods, the neuroeconomic approach to the study of social decision-making has the potential to extend our knowledge of brain mechanisms involved in social decisions and to advance theoretical models of how we make decisions in a rich, interactive environment.

Lifted from Bookforum.com: The tickle monster needs to lie down now

From Vision, a review of Nurture the Nature: Understanding and Supporting Your Child’s Unique Core Personality by Michael Gurian; Right From Wrong: Instilling a Sense of Integrity in Your Child by Michael Riera and Joseph Di Prisco; Raising Kids with Character: Developing Trust and Personal Integrity in Children by Elizabeth Berger; and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing by Michele Borba. The power of birth order: Parents insist that how kids turn out depends on when they were born, and more and more, science agrees. The tickle monster needs to lie down now: Why don't parents like to play with their kids? Snooze or Lose: Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.

Adventures in the wheel of consciousness

Ekai Txapartegi (UC-Berkley): Functionalism and the Qualia Wars. Tan Kock Wah (Sarawak): Heterophenomenology Debunked. A review of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness by Daniel C. Dennett. A review of Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World by Christopher D. Frith. An interview with Tim Crane on how the mind relates to the body. A review of When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-ordinary Reality by Stanislav Grof. With consciousness, there is no agreement on anything, except it's very difficult. An article on the ethics of erasing a bad memory. A review of The Head Trip: Adventures on The Wheel of Consciousness by Jeff Warren (and more).

Report: Are Private High Schools Better Academically Than Public High Schools?

This study, based on an analysis of the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988-2000, finds that, once family background characteristics are taken into account, low-income students attending public urban high schools generally performed as well academically as students attending private high schools. The study also found that students attending traditional public high schools were as likely to attend college as those attending private high schools. In addition, the report also finds that young adults who had attended any type of private high school were no more likely to enjoy job satisfaction or to be engaged in civic activities at age 26 than those who had attended traditional public high schools.

5 Myths About That Demon Crack

At the peak of the panic over crack cocaine in the mid-1980s, Congress passed a rash of laws requiring longer prison sentences. One such law created a 100-to-1 disparity between crack and cocaine offenses. You have to get caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine -- but only five grams of crack cocaine -- to get a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

A Sleepless Brain is a Sensitive, Angry Brain

On a poor night's sleep, tiny problems often seem large, and large problems become utterly defeating. That, at least, is how it feels -- and now neuroscientists have imaged the pessimism as it happens.

Ten Principles of Feminist Economics: A Modestly Proposed Antidote

Since such lists represent what are widely proclaimed (by their authors) as universally accepted principles and therefore worthy of teaching to students, we might also wonder about the missing or other perspectives. Despite the inherent dangers of constructing a list that purports to cover the key economic ideas of any perspective, in this paper we yield to temptation and offer a feminist alternative to these standard principles of economics.

The Economic Power -- And Pitfalls -- Of Positive Thinking

In general, people who are optimistic are more likely than others to display prudent financial behaviors, according to new research. In small doses optimism can lead to wise decision making, but extreme optimists "display financial habits and behavior that are generally not considered prudent," according to researchers.

Resistance To Thoughts Of Chocolate Is Futile

Thought suppression can lead people to engage in the very behaviour they are trying to avoid, according to new research. The study also found that men who think about chocolate end up eating more of it than women who have the same thoughts.

Brain Activity Differs For Creative And Noncreative Thinkers

Why do some people solve problems more creatively than others? Are people who think creatively different from those who tend to think in a more methodical fashion? Scientists found a distinct pattern of brain activity, even at rest, in people who tend to solve problems with a sudden creative insight -- an "Aha! Moment" -- compared to people who tend to solve problems more methodically.

Most Parents Can Accurately Evaluate Their Teen's Substance Abuse, Study Says

Addiction research suggests that most parents are aware of and accurately evaluate the extent of their teenager's cigarette smoking, marijuana use, drinking and overall substance use.

'Where Do I Know You From?' Recognition Shows Distinct Memory Processes

New research suggests that the sometimes eerie feeling experienced when recognizing someone, yet failing to remember how or why, reveals important insight into how memory is wired in the human brain.

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