Friday, December 30, 2016

The Difference Teachers Can Make, Gifted and Well Adjusted, Year-end "Best of," and More

THE DIFFERENCE A TEACHER CAN MAKE. A teacher tells in a blog posting about a student who entered his school as a freshman. "He was intelligent but feared school, and as a result, he under-achieved. On the first day of enrollment at Midwest Academy he was unable to leave his parents’ car to enter the building. I was sent to fetch him." What happened next was the start of a long process by which the student eventually overcame his fear of school and found some success. Read more, and thanks to Nancy M for pointing us to this story.

OVERCOMING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Carrie Fisher was noted as a mental health advocate, speaking candidly about bipolar disorder and how it affected her life. Read more.

GIFTED ... AND WELL ADJUSTED? Gifted individuals are more likely to be well adjusted, according to research recapped in a Psychology Today piece posted earlier this year. Two caveats:
  • "...specific subgroups of gifted children that teachers fail to identify, due to underachievement or in education undervalued talents such as creativity, are at risk for lower levels of psychological well-being.”
  • "Overall, gifted students go on to be high achieving well-adjusted adults. However... this does not mean gifted student’s don’t face problems or challenges. Many do, and without appropriate academic challenge and acknowledgement of the psychological issues they might face, this can potentially do harm."
Find the article.

WHEN IS THE BRAIN "DONE"? There's no simple answer, according to an article in The New York Times. The ongoing development of neural networks confers different capabilities at different times. An expert quoted in the article said, “Sixteen-year-olds are just as good at logical reasoning as older people are." But not when it comes to keeping their emotions under control. And, "In the frontal lobe, in the front of the brain, new links are still forming at age 30, if not beyond." So when will that 2e kiddo's brain be "done"? Who knows. Find out more.

IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR, and lots of media outlet compile "best of" or "most read" lists. Here are a few that might be of interest to the curious, intelligent members of the 2e community:
  • The Washington Post "On Parenting" column shared the 10 most-read pieces of 2016. One was "6 ways good parents contribute to t heir child's anxiety." 
  • The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation chose the top 10 advancements and breakthroughs by those who received foundation grants. Research findings were in the areas of treatment-resistant depression, ketamine for depression, the gut-brain connection in certain psychiatric disorders, how treating metabolic deficiencies can help depression, and more. 
  • Education Week posted its most-viewed education stories (including one on the growth mindset and a couple on the potential effects of the election on education in the U.S.) and top education commentaries (including iconoclast Jim Delisle on "Why I'm Tired of Grit"). 
TEN YEARS AGO, the November/December issue of 2e Newsletter featured the topic of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. See what we included in that issue. And if you want to see what we were writing about in this blog five years ago, at the end of 2011, you can find that here.

DON'T FORGET the set of videos on 2e topics we've posted. You can access them here.

AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Back in January. 

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