Monday, September 10, 2012

Two interesting articles...

Here are two interesting articles to peruse (both courtesy of Cheryl Klein). You don't need to read all of both, but they might make you rethink how you spend some of your time and how your children spend a great deal of their time.

For anyone who loves Jane Austen, or for those who question the relevance today of classic literature:

How reading Jane Austen closely affects the brain thanks to a study using MRIs.

And here's the second article which should make all of us pause and rethink the way public education is delivered in this country.

It's about what people who succeed in the future will look like—and it doesn't say a word about standards. In fact, if you read the article carefully, I think it's pretty easy to see that the last thing we want are standards in public education. We want to break out of standards into creativity, creativity, creativity. The ability to learn and to reinvent. The ability to think outside the box, not inside the bubble of a multiple choice test. We want kids with passions for life and for learning (and for reading!!!).

It's so interesting to me that research is proving again and again that we need to teach our kids the skills that will make them stand out in this incredibly open, competitive world. And yet we tell them all day long, they must all look like this **** at the end of fourth grade.

And here's one more article, while I'm at it. It's an interview with a man named Paul Tough. He wrote a book called,
How Children Succeed

Here's the link to the interview:

And here's a quote from the interview:

Absolutely, cognitive skill and IQ make a big difference; vocabulary matters. But the scientists, the economists and neuroscientists and psychologists who I've been studying and writing about are really challenging the idea that IQ, that standardized test scores, that those are the most important things in a child's success. I think there's lots of evidence out there now that says that these other strengths, these character strengths, these noncognitive skills, are at least as important in a child's success and quite possibly more important. 

"Right now we've got an education system that really doesn't pay attention to [noncognitive] skills at all. ... I think schools just aren't set up right now to try to develop things like grit, and perseverance and curiosity. ... Especially in a world where we are more and more focused on standardized tests that measure a pretty narrow range of cognitive skills, teachers are less incentivized to think about how to develop those skills in kids. So it's a conversation that's really absent I think in a lot of schools, to the detriment of a lot of students."

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