Reading Experience May Change the Brains of Dyslexic Students

Among the many challenges faced by children with dyslexia (and by their parents and teachers) is the nagging fear that their difficulties with reading are entirely hard-wired: predetermined by their genes and impossible to change. Recent research offers a balm for that fear. It suggests that experience plays a big role in dyslexia, both in exacerbating reading problems and, potentially,
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When the Teacher Is Depressed

The toll that a mother’s or father’s depression takes on children has been well documented: Children of depressed parents may become anxious or withdrawn, may have trouble regulating their emotions or dealing with challenges, and may develop behavior problems or even become depressed themselves. But mothers and fathers are not the only adults who spend significant time with kids. What
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Thirteen in Years, but 10 or 15 in Thoughts and Action

Gather together a random assortment of 13-year-olds, and you’ll likely find yourself looking at a group of people who have only their age in common. Some will be way into teenage culture, into hanging out and hooking up, even into alcohol and drugs; others will be little changed from the children they were at 12, 11, even 10 years of
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Harry Potter Casts a Spell for Tolerance

Parents often seek diversity in their children’s classmates and playmates, and with good reason: The most direct way to discover that members of other groups are people just like us is to spend time learning, playing and talking with them. But there’s an additional, more subtle way of getting the same message across, by cultivating what might be called a
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Feedback From A Computer Reduces Students’ Anxiety About Learning

In April of 2012, Mark D. Shermis, then the dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, made a striking claim: “Automated essay scoring engines” were capable of evaluating student writing just as well as human readers. Shermis’s research, presented at a meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, created a sensation in the world
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Your Two Kinds Of Memory: Electronic And Organic

A young doctor-in-training examines a new patient. Should she draw information for the diagnosis from her “E-memory”—electronic memory, the kind that’s available on a computer? Or should she dip into her “O-memory”—organic memory, the old-fashioned sort that resides in the brain? Research shows that apprentice doctors are increasingly relying on E-memory, often in the form of a digital resource called
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A Wonderful New Book: “Powers Of Two”

Today is the publication date of a very special book: Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs. Its author, Joshua Wolf Shenk, is a friend of mine, but I can honestly say that Powers of Two is, objectively speaking, a great read. (Just look, on the book’s Amazon page, at all the writers and reviewers who
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And The Moral Of The Story Is…Keep It Positive

The slower pace of summer means more time to tell stories to our kids, whether it’s around a campfire or in a car on the long, long trip to our vacation spot. We tell these stories for many reasons: to entertain, to pass the time, to share adventures from our own past. And sometimes we tell stories in order to
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Want To Get Teens’ Attention? Tell Them They’re Being Manipulated

Many a parent and teacher has despaired over how easily young people’s attention is diverted, especially when they’re online. Stay focused! we urge them. Don’t let yourself get distracted! Our admonitions have little sway against the powerful temptations of the Internet. But there may be a better way to help teenagers resist the web’s lures: let them know that their
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Are You an Autodidact? Or Do You Need Other People To Learn?

When Bill Gates was still a teenager, he would sneak out of his family’s house before dawn and ride his bike to a building on the campus of the University of Washington. He had discovered that the university’s huge supercomputers were idle between the hours of three and six in the morning, allowing the budding computer enthusiast to teach himself
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