Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

The Reading Brain: Two Chapters from the Book "Mind, Brain, & Education"

Two chapters from the book Mind, Brain, & Education: Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom (Sousa, 2010) focus on reading. As you know, a major goal in education is to help students learn to read well enough so they can learn in other curricular areas by reading. It is a major landmark in a child’s education when reading skills develop to a level that learning by reading begins to dominate other aids in formal schooling.

Chapter 6, "The Reading Brain," is written by John Gabrieli, Joanna A. Christodoulou, Tricia O'Loughli and Marianna D. Eddy (2010). Quoting from this chapter:

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Wide Variations in Public School Funding in the Various States of the U.S.

A September 2010 state-by-state report on funding levels for education is available at http://schoolfundingfairness.org/index.htm.

I enjoy browsing such reports, but I am always troubled by the very large differences among the states. Quoting from the report, here are some general data:

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The Speaking Brain: A Chapter from the Book "Mind, Brain, & Education"

This IAE Blog entry focuses on Chapter 5 of Mind, Brain, & Education edited by David Sousa (2010). "The Speaking Brain" chapter, written by Diane L. Williams (2010), begins with an interesting section on “early assumptions” about learning to speak that were put forth by researchers before the development of brain imaging instruments. Some of these have been supported by more recent research and some have been shown to be doubtful.

The topic that I found most interesting is bilingualism. There are many places in the world where children grow up in a bilingual, or even trilingual, community and/or home environment. Quoting from Williams:

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The Role of Emotion and Skilled Intuition in Learning and Problem Solving

The title of this IAE Blog entry is the same as the title of Chapter 4 in the book Mind, Brain, & Education edited by David Sousa (2010). Quoting from that chapter, authored by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Matthias Faeth (2010):

The message from social and affective neuroscience is clear: no longer can we think of learning as separate from or disrupted by emotion, and no longer can we focus solely at the level of the individual student in analyzing effective strategies for classroom instruction.

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Garbage in, Garbage Out—For Computer and Human Brains

The idea of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) is suggested by the following statement by Charles Babbage:

On two occasions I have been asked—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. (Charles Babbage; English mathematician, philosopher, inventor, and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer; 1791–1871).

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