Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009 -- An Event, Resources, and "Dysrationalia"

GIFTED ONLINE CONFERENCE PRESENTATION. On November 11, 6pm to 8pm, Judy Galbraith will present a webinar through Our Gifted and Talented Online Conferences, OGTOC. Galbraith is the founder of Free Spirit Publishing, which caters to gifted young people. The topic: recognizing and meeting the social and emotional needs of the gifted. A donation is requested. More information about the webinar. More information about Judy Galbraith.

PARENT GUIDE TO RTI -- that's what Wrightlaw's Special Ed Advocate is offering in the current edition of the newsletter. If you have a child who learns differently, chances are you should know about Response to Intervention. Find the newsletter.

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. David Rabiner's latest newsletter is now posted on his site, and in it he reviews a study in which he was involved, one that evaluated the effectiveness of computerized interventions in attention training. The study compared Computerized Attention Training and Computer-Assisted Instruction. The results showed mild improvement in classroom attention immediately following the training, no long-term benefits, and limited effects on academic achievement. Read the report.

HEAD TO THE LIBRARY and check out the November issue of Scientific American Mind for a couple of good articles, neither of which is currently available on the publication's website. One article is called "What Does a Smart Brain Look Like?" and it addresses how the brain's structure influences intelligence and abilities. Seems that an individual pattern of gray and white matter affects specific cognitive skills. For example, more gray matter in a particular brain area might boost spatial intelligence; in another area, it might boost the ability to retain factual information. Males and females have different architectures of these specific areas. The tissues in these specific brain areas may, according to the article, "predict a person's unique pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses across a range of mental abilities." Neuroimaging could conceivably help tailor learning programs based on students' individual brain characteristics... The second article in this issue of Mind is about rational and irrational thought, "The Thinking that IQ Tests Miss." The author uses the term "dysrationalia" for the condition of having "the inability to think and behave rationally despite having adequate intelligence." (Sounds familiar.)

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