Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16. 2009

EDNEWS INTERVIEWS JEAN PETERSON. Michael Shaughnessy of EdNews.org recently interviewed Professor Jean Peterson of Purdue University. Peterson may be familiar to readers of 2e Newsletter for her work with gifted underachievers. In the interview, she describes her work, her latest book (The Essential Guide to Talking with Gifted Teens), and what she sees as concerns of gifted young people today. Find the interview.

ARTS, ATTENTION, COGNITION. In a newly-posted article at Cerebrum, two researchers argue that arts training can strengthen attention spans, improving cognition. The core of the argument: "We know that the brain has a system of neural pathways dedicated to attention. We know that training these attention networks improves general measures of intelligence. And we can be fairly sure that focusing our attention on learning and performing an art—if we practice frequently and are truly engaged—activates these same attention networks." Read the article.

PREPPING ASPIES FOR COLLEGE. A handful of college campuses in the US provide a college internship program to help young people with high-functioning autism prepare for college. The programs allow the young people to attend college while at the same time getting support in academics and social skills. Read the article.

THE PROBLEMS WITH SPECIAL ED is the title of an article in the National Review Online. The author points out discrepancies among states in the percentages of children placed in special education; the growth over the years in only two of the 13 federal categories of LDs (specifically, SLD and AD/HD); and what he calls "the misuse of special education." An example of the last point: schools that obtain extra funding from state and federal governments to address the problem. The author asserts that some special ed students struggle not because of LDs, but because of poor previous instruction or a difficult home life. Find the article.

DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES ARE BUNK? A couple weeks ago we noted in this blog a Washington Post column about Daniel Willingham and his book Why Don't Students Like School? This week, Willingham makes a guest appearance in the column to make his case against the belief that students learn best when they are taught in a way that matches their learning styles. He says, "
There just doesn’t seem to be much evidence that kids learn in fundamentally different ways." Read his argument. And if he's right?

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON AD/HD. Do you raise or teach a gifted young person with AD/HD? David Rabiner alerted us to an upcoming conference on AD/HD scheduled for October 5-7. The fee: $197 or $297, the higher amount including transcripts of all sessions and a set of CD recordings of all sessions. On their website, the organizers offer a long list of reasons why you should attend -- including a virtual conference goodie bag.


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