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Myth-conceptions: How myths about the brain are hampering teaching
Teachers in the UK, Holland, Turkey, Greece and China were presented with seven so-called ‘neuromyths’ and asked whether they believe them to be true.
A quarter or more of teachers in the UK and Turkey believe a student’s brain would shrink if they drank less than six to eight glasses of water a day, while around half or more of those surveyed believe a student’s brain is only 10 per cent active and that children are less attentive after sugary drinks and snacks.
Over 70 per cent of teachers in all countries wrongly believe a student is either left-brained or right-brained, peaking at 91 per cent in the UK.
And almost all teachers (over 90 per cent in each country) feel that teaching to a student’s preferred learning style - auditory, kinaesthetic or visual - is helpful, despite no convincing evidence to support this approach.
The new research from the University of Bristol, published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, calls for better communication between neuroscientists and educators.
Dr Paul Howard-Jones, author of the article from Bristol University’s Graduate School of Education, said: “These ideas are often sold to teachers as based on neuroscience – but modern neuroscience cannot be used support them. These ideas have no educational value and are often associated with poor practice in the classroom.”
The report blames wishfulness, anxiety and a bias towards simple explanations as typical factors that distort neuroscientific fact into neuromyth.
Such factors also appear to be hampering recent efforts of neuroscientists to communicate the true meaning of their work to educators.
Dr Howard-Jones added: “Although the increased dialogue between neuroscience and education is encouraging, we see new neuromyths on the horizon and old ones returning in new forms.
“Sometimes, transmitting ‘boiled-down’ messages about the brain to educators can just lead to misunderstanding, and confusions about concepts such as brain plasticity are common in discussions about education policy.”
The report highlights several areas where new findings from neuroscience are becoming misinterpreted by education, including brain-related ideas regarding early educational investment, adolescent brain development and learning disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD.
Hopes that education will draw genuine benefit from neuroscience may rest on a new but rapidly growing field of ‘neuroeducational’ research that combines both fields.
The review concludes that, in the future, such collaboration will be greatly needed if education is to be enriched rather than misled by neuroscience.

4 days ago with 196 notes » Permalink


Theoretical Psychologist Questions the Reality and Purpose of Consciousness


New works by Nosego, now on view at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles.

4 days ago with 456 notes » Permalink


Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in as Afghanistan’s new president, replacing Hamid Karzai in the country’s first democratic transfer of power.

Did you know that Ashraf Ghani is an academic and author? He taught at Johns Hopkins and Berkeley, and co-wrote Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World with Clare Lockhart.

3 weeks ago with 44 notes » Permalink


The silly logic that congress has about climate change

You may have already seen the full segment on The Daily Show (you should if you haven’t) where John Stewart critiques a recent hearing held by the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. It echoes a commencement speech that President Obama gave last spring at UC Irvine:

Today’s Congress is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change.  They will tell you it is a hoax, or a fad.  One member of Congress actually says the world is cooling. There was one member of Congress who mentioned a theory involving “dinosaur flatulence”—which I won’t get into.

As for the ice in the glass concept, mounting evidence finds large swaths of land ice melting into the ocean.  A recent study that incorporates 40 years of observations from a joint effort with NASA and UC Irvine has found that the West Antarctic glacier will contribute to a 4 foot rise in sea level.  

You can read more about that study here →

3 weeks ago with 1,502 notes » Permalink

Chris Pratt Hosts ‘Saturday Night Live’ and Spoofs Marvel’s Box Office Success During ‘Marvel Trailer’ Sketch

1 month ago with 14,190 notes » Permalink



#ItsOnUs to stop sexual assault. Take the pledge to be part of the solution.

If you or a friend is a victim of sexual assault, there are resources out there to get help. You can chat anonymously with trained professionals at RAINN, and find support services in your area.

Take care of yourself and each other, Tumblr.

1 month ago with 263 notes » Permalink


Actress Nasim Pedrad Impersonates Comedian Aziz Ansari


But the wage gap varies significantly by race, according to an analysis from the research organization AAUW. While white women experienced that 78 percent figure, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women made 65 percent of what white men made in 2013, African-American women made 64 percent, American Indian and Alaska Native women made 59 percent, and Hispanic women made just 54 percent. Asian-American women are the only group doing better than white women, making 90 percent of white men’s earnings.

Woah, staggering.

— (the best advice a teacher has ever given me)

(Source: soooooothe)

2 months ago with 237,002 notes » Permalink


Artist Vik Muniz uses thousands of torn scraps of paper to recreate classical, 19th-century paintings from the likes of Van Gogh, Manet, and Degas.

2 months ago with 750 notes » Permalink

— William Mulligan, in his article “The Trial Continues: New Directions in the Study of the Origins of the First World War,” published in the The English Historical Review. (via oupacademic)

2 months ago with 67 notes » Permalink


Italian photographer Alessio Albi captures stunningly atmospheric portraits filled with subtly subdued tones and beautiful natural light.

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