Monday, August 14, 2017

Neuromyths, Back to School, Mental Health Programs, and More

NEUROMYTHS. A survey has shown that many educators, and even those with neuroscience training, believe in neuromyths -- common misconceptions about the brain and learning, and that that neuromyth beliefs are remarkably prevalent. One example of a neuromyth: that kiddos with dyslexia will commonly write letters backwards. According to Science Daily, "The public believed 68% of the neuromyths, educators 56%, and surprisingly, respondents with neuroscience training endorsed 46%." Find the Science Daily write-up. Find the study article itself, or the list of neuromyth questions. Separately, find an article at TED on why some children write "mirror" words or even sentences. Separately again, read a short article in Costco Connection about dyslexia that includes common misconceptions about the condition, eg that dyslexics see things backwards. 

BACK TO SCHOOL.
  • Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities offers four tips for "easing back-to-school jitters; find it
  • Evolved.com provides a parent to-do list; find it
  • And the University of Alabama/Birmingham offers a brief article titled "Easing the Back-to-School Transition for Children with Special Needs"; find it
RESEARCH ABOUT ONLINE LEARNING for students with LDs is the topic of an article from the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). The research, according to LCIRT, is to "explore how our students most effectively communicate in online classes and explore ways to improve student effectiveness in these spaces." Read more.

SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS can be effective in improving mental health and related outcomes, according to a research review in the September/October issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The programs deal with problems such as anxiety, behavior disorders, ADHD, and depression. The eight largest such programs have reached tens of millions of children. Read more at Science Daily. Separately, The CT Mirror notes that budget cuts in Connecticut might adversely affect gains that state has made in school mental health services; find out more.

THE G WORD is a documentary in production about giftedness, learning and high intelligence. Some of the content is drawn from Big Minds Unschool in California. Find out more about the documentary, whose producer was at the recent SENG conference.

EDUCATION LAW AND POLICY.
  • We've written on the topic of reduced civil rights enforcement before, but an article at Politico notes that the current U.S. Department of Education administration is closing lots of education-related civil rights complaints. According to Politico, investigators have been told to "narrow their focus to the merits of a particular claim, rather than probing systemic issues." Read more
  • The Washington Post provides a summary of the accomplishments and agenda of the secretary of education over the past six months; find it
  • And the Associated Press recently interviewed the education secretary; find a transcript
AND FINALLY, THIS. Science Daily tells us that in the largest functional brain imaging study to date, researchers compared 46,034 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging studies provided by nine clinics, quantifying differences between the brains of men and women. One conclusion? "The brains of women in the study were significantly more active in many more areas of the brain than men, especially in the prefrontal cortex, involved with focus and impulse control, and the limbic or emotional areas of the brain, involved with mood and anxiety." Read more.

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