The Benefits of Movement in Schools

"Most schools not only ignore the latest research on best teaching practices, but the teacher-centric, “sit still and listen” method of teaching still employed is one of the main reasons so many special needs children are not able to be in regular schools to begin with,[1] why so many children are said to have “behavioral problems” in schools in general, and why so many school children are being diagnosed with ADHD[2].  It seems that the problem is less with the children, and more with the way schools are typically organized and run. Schools need to change with the times, become more flexible, more relevant, and more engaging, so that all students can connect with and learn from the material presented to them more effectively."

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Want Children to “Pay Attention”? Make Their Brains Curious!

Want Children to “Pay Attention”? Make Their Brains Curious!

A few thousand years ago, in 360 B.C., Plato advised against force-feeding of facts to students. "Elements of instruction...should be presented to the mind in childhood; not, however, under any notion of forcing education. A freeman ought not to be a slave in the acquisition of knowledge of any kind. Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind."

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Research shows that video-game play improves basic mental abilities.

Research shows that video-game play improves basic mental abilities.

In two previous articles  (here and here), I summarized evidence countering the common fears about video games (that they are addictive and promote such maladies as social isolation, obesity, and violence).  I also pointed there to evidence that the games may help children develop logical, literary, executive, and even social skills.  Evidence has continued to mount, since then, concerning especially the cognitive benefits of such games.

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The analogy of “videogame addiction” to gambling addiction is misleading.

The analogy of “videogame addiction” to gambling addiction is misleading.

"Experts," especially those quoted frequently by the media, are constantly warning us of dangers to our kids. What usually grabs our attention and instills fear in our hearts are the case stories they present. Some child, somewhere, was out playing without a parent nearby and was abducted and murdered. Therefore, anyone who allows his or her child to play outside, not closely watched by an adult, is a negligent parent. Some distraught young man in South Korea plays a video game for fifty straight hours without stopping to sleep or eat, goes into cardiac arrest, and dies. Therefore, video games are addictive, dangerous, and we must either ban them or curtail their use so our children don't die like that poor South Korean.... read more

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The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child

The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child

Many parents don't realize that the education world has changed drastically since they were in school. Schools and class sizes used to be smaller, dropout rates lower, in-school violence almost unheard of, and teachers weren't terrified of showing affection to their students, or of discussing moral values. Of course, even then, school was far from perfect, but at least the teachers—and usually the principal—knew every student by name, something that is increasingly rare today.

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New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire.

"Adults often assume that most learning is the result of teaching and that exploratory, spontaneous learning is unusual. But actually, spontaneous learning is more fundamental. It's this kind of learning, in fact, that allows kids to learn from teachers in the first place."

[...] "Knowing this, it's more important than ever to give children's remarkable, spontaneous learning abilities free rein. That means a rich, stable, and safe world, with affectionate and supportive grown-ups, and lots of opportunities for exploration and play."

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/03/why_preschool_shouldnt_be_like_school.html

School negativity can be evidence of a healthy brain.

School negativity can be evidence of a healthy brain.

 

If your child hates school it is probably not his fault, nor that of his teacher, but rather it can be evidence that his brain is functioning appropriately. Healthy brains protect their owners from perceived threat. School today is stressful, often threatening, as a result of the high-stakes standardized testing that challenges students, teachers, and school administrators. There is so much information mandated as required "knowledge" for these tests (that determine federal funding), that for many children school seems more like a feedlot force-feeding them facts without adequate time or resources to make them interesting or relevant.

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