What’s Science Got to Do With Teaching and Learning?

For decades, cognitive scientists slowly accrued a solid understanding of how people learn but never bothered to tell teachers and students what they had found.

It is as if, says author Benedict Carey, “doctors had discovered a cure for diabetes and spent 50 years characterizing its molecular structure before giving it to a patient.”

He is attempting to rectify that with his book How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens. Teachers, students, parents — anybody, really — should find it not just fascinating but useful.

For example, say you need to learn something — the names and dates of the presidents, the key characteristics of different artistic movements, Spanish verb declensions, musical scales, the state capitals, you name it.

What’s one of the best ways to learn? If you just need it for a test, you can always cram the night before. Of course, as any desperate student who has practiced this technique can tell you, you’ll be lucky to remember any of it a week later.

But if you space out your studying — that is, study the material today and then again in a few days and then again a week later — the same amount of —> Read More Here

This 2-Minute Test Helps Parents Easily Figure Out If A Child Has A Concussion

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A quick and simple test can identify concussions in children as young as 5 with an astonishing rate of success, according to a new study. So why aren’t people talking about it more?

The King-Devick test, as it’s called, was originally developed in the 1970s as a way to detect dyslexia. But a new study out of New York University’s Langone Concussion Center and published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology has found convincing evidence that it can also detect when athletes of all ages suffer a concussion — and that it can do so even better than other commonly used tests.

What’s most notable about the King-Devick test is its simplicity: It requires only a stopwatch (read: smartphone) and a few printed-out pieces of paper, and it can be administered by someone with no professional medical experience whatsoever in less than two minutes.

Yes, that means moms and dad can do it themselves whenever they’re concerned about that last hit their child took on the field.

The test requires children to read a series of numbers from left to right off of three different pieces of paper as fast as they can, while someone else times them —> Read More Here

Happy 40th Birthday to Hōkūleʻa, the Canoe That Revived a Culture

When Hōkūleʻa entered the water for the first time in Kualoa 40 years ago, it was the beginning of a sail plan that has spanned generations and taken us on a 150,000-nautical-mile journey to reconnect the Pacific Ocean family that shares a common history of voyaging and exploration. Here on our island home, Hōkūleʻa became part of a movement to revive Hawaiʻi’s culture, language, and way of life, which is now cherished around the world.

On March 8, 1975, below the peak of Kanehoalani (“Kane, Heavenly Companion”) and the broad cliffs of Mo’o Kapu o Haloa (“Sacred Section of Haloa”) at the north end of Kane’ohe Bay, Hōkūle’a was launched for the first time. The site in Kualoa Regional Park in windward O’ahu, at the border of the ahupua’a of Kualoa and Hakipu’u, was chosen for the launching because of its importance to the voyaging traditions of Hawai’i. (Photo courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society)

Hōkūleʻa brings people together from all walks of life in a way that very few things can. There is something special about the human effort she represents. It brings together people of different ages, ethnic groups, geographies, and professions.

Mau Piaiulug was the bridge between the —> Read More Here

‘Diagnosisgate’ Deconstructed and Debunked

Paula Caplan has been peculiarly furious at me for more than 20 years. The enduring chip on her shoulder first formed when I didn’t take seriously her written proposal that ‘Delusional Dominating Personality Disorder’ be considered for DSM IV. I honestly thought she had submitted ‘DDPD’ as a clever satire intended to illustrate how silly DSM diagnoses can sometimes be — it made no sense to me in any other way. I misunderstood. Dr. Caplan was serious in suggesting ‘DDPD’ for inclusion in DSM IV and was understandably offended when I took it as a joke.

Realizing my error, I apologized to Dr. Caplan, but she has apparently continued to feel offended ever since. She has repeatedly written a distorted, self-dramatizing version of the event, greatly exaggerating her role in the DSM IV process (which was minimal) and posing as an expert on the flaws in psychiatric diagnosis (which she is not).

Now in her usual dramatic and distorted way, Dr. Caplan feels she can score points and gain public attention by exposing a supposed, creatively named, “Diagnosisgate.”

Dr. Caplan, as always, is careless with facts, quick with misinterpretations, and filled with wild accusations. I will first debunk what is simple —> Read More Here

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