Friday, February 12, 2016

Emotions, Events, Depression, and More

PROMOTING "GROWTH MINDSET." A newly published study indicates that high school students exposed to the struggles of prominent scientists in history as well as their accomplishments improved their science grades but also that the students "related" better to those scientists, seeing them as "people, like themselves, who had to overcome failure and obstacles to succeed," according to a write-up of the study. Seems to us that highlighting the struggles as well as the successes highlights the growth mindset absent in many students of all abilities. Read more.

EMOTIONS aren't something we usually think about as a topic, rather as something that happens as the result of something else. An article at the site of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation provides a larger perspective, profiling a researcher on the topic and some of her findings. Some of the information in the article is general, some of it is specific to depression, including her discovery of a set of molecules that seem to be linked to depression in humans. Find the article.

MORE PLAY, FEWER LESSONS for preschoolers,suggests educator and author Erika Christakis. A press release from Yale University says this about her views: "She argues that preschool children would be better served if educators get 'out of their way' by allowing for more play-based — and less formally scripted — educational experiences, and by creating less cluttered and visually demanding environments in which these naturally curious youngsters can explore and 'think out loud.'" Find the press release, or listen to an NPR interview with Christakis.

U.S. EDUCATION DOLLARS for 2017 are covered at Education Week. Special ed gets more. Gifted ed stays the same. Find out more at Education Week.

TEMPLE GRANDIN IN SPOKANE. Author, speaker, and autism activist Temple Grandin is scheduled to present three lectures in Spokane, Washington, this month on the 19th and 20th. You can find out more about her views and about the lectures at

THE 2016 NAGC CONVENTION isn't until November, but the organization is already providing some interesting details about it. It's being held at Disney World, and some of the programming will take advantage of the Disney organization's expertise in learning and entertainment, according to Rene Islas, Executive Director of NAGC. You can find out more in a short YouTube "voicemail" from Islas.

UNDERSTOOD is offering a Twitter chat called "Debunking Dylexia Myths" on February 17 at noon Eastern time. Find out more.

EXERCISE, MEDITATION. A mind and body combination of exercise and meditation, done twice a week for two months, reduced depressive symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent, according to a study from Rutgers University. The study's lead author is quoted as saying, "It is the first time that both of these two behavioral therapies have been looked at together for dealing with depression." Read more.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie, has a scheduled screening at the Princeton, New Jersey, public library on March 6 at 3 p.m. In the area? Find out more at this page. (Scroll down to March 6.)

AND FINALLY, THIS. How's your memory? In particular, how's your memory for U.S. presidents? (International readers are excused from responsibility here.) We're talking about presidents like Alexander Hamilton. What? He wasn't a president? A study from Washington (he was a president) University in St. Louis found that many people will mistakenly identify certain people as past presidents, even some guy named Thomas Moore. The main lesson from the study seems to be that "our ability to recognize the names of famous people hinges on those names appearing in a context that's related to the source of their fame." But maybe you can use these findings to win some bets with your 2e kiddo about the presidency of, say, Alexander Hamilton. Read more.

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