Brain-Based Carnival of Education, 186th Edition

Wel­come to the 186th edi­tion of the Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion, the week­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of dozens of blog­gers to dis­cuss all things education.

Q: Why do you say this edi­tion is “brain-based”?
A: Because the Q&A frame we are using is inspired by how Chris at Ouroboros recent­ly host­ed Encephalon Brain and Mind blog car­ni­val. (Is clas­sic Greek mak­ing a comeback?).

Q: As edu­ca­tors, what inspires us to do what we do?
A: Tra­cy sug­gests, “Hope for the future”.

Q: And what may hap­pen in the future?
A: Eric pro­pos­es that the field can learn much about how ath­letes train their minds and bod­ies to max­i­mize performance.

Q: What should not hap­pen in the future?
A: Dave hopes we stop the Text­book Insan­i­ty, killing trees to cre­ate books not every­one uses.

Q: What comes first, sub­ject or learner?
A: Bogu­sia has “switched sides”. She now cen­ters her teach­ing around her stu­dents, to make sure they appre­ci­ate the beau­ty of the subject.

Q: How do you know if some­thing is devel­op­men­tal­ly appro­pri­ate?
A: Sci­ence God­dess is still wait­ing for more of us to vis­it her blog and answer (btw, the vis­it is worth if only to admire her blog spec­tac­u­lar design).

Q: Should Social-Emo­tion­al Learn­ing be part of aca­d­e­m­ic curriculum?
A: Daniel intro­duces us to the research sup­port­ing that view.

Q: Why is NYC’s city’s grad­u­a­tion rate for ELLs so low?
A: Mary Ann shows that , who have to learn the lan­guage and the cul­ture on top of the aca­d­e­m­ic cur­ricu­lum. (Note: I added “in grades 8–12” as a cor­rec­tion, to reflect Mary Ann’s full quote accurately).
Q:  Now, are new­com­ers real­ly moti­vat­ed to learn and succeed?
A: Joanne responds that work is the moti­va­tor for low-income and work­ing-class Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can stu­dents, who want an edu­ca­tion so they can get decent jobs, live in a safe neigh­bor­hood and dri­ve a car that starts reliably.

Q: Who is the per­son behind Eduwonkette?
A: Jen­nifer Jen­nings, .

Q: Is col­lege a waste of time and resources?
A: Dana reminds us that the goal of lib­er­al arts edu­ca­tion is to “enable every man to judge for him­self what will secure or endan­ger his free­dom”. Hence, she dis­agrees with  the the­sis from Charles Mur­ray’s last book that asks for the sub­sti­tu­tion of the cur­rent sys­tem for a sys­tem of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion tests, mod­eled after the CPA (cer­ti­fied pub­lic accoun­tant) test.

Q: Is the book Sweat­ing the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Pater­nal­ism, by David Whit­man, any good?
A: Carey likes much of the thought-pro­vok­ing analy­sis and the focus on instill­ing self-dis­ci­pline, but is turned off by the “pater­nal­ism” word.

Q:What does “pater­nal­is­tic” real­ly mean in this context?
A: Michael sug­gests “author­i­ta­tive”.

Q: Will Google rev­o­lu­tion­ize edu­ca­tion by let­ting every­one write and access author­i­ta­tive con­tent for free?
A: Prob­a­bly not. At least not with the knols ini­tia­tive, Ben says.

Q: What does life­long neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis and neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty mean?
A: Let me show you these infor­ma­tion­al resources on the brain, begs Laurie.

Q: Is phys­i­cal exer­cise  that impor­tant for life­long learn­ing and brain development?
A; It is. Exer­cis­ing the body is exer­cis­ing the mind, says Adrian.

Q: Is the US school fund­ing sys­tem the most ratio­nal one?
A: Jim replies prob­a­bly not, which may result, in Illi­nois, in a boy­cott and lawsuit.

Q: How old are you in Jupiter years?
A: Cher­ish does­n’t know, and does­n’t even what to know. But  she shows us how to cal­cu­late it (Gov­ern­ment-Issued Warn­ing: “All you need are the fol­low­ing: your age in earth days, the mass of sun and the dis­tance between the plan­ets and sun. And Math!”)

Q: Is there real­ly some­thing called “ego­cen­tric spa­cial transformation”?
A: Indeed, Pas­cale assures us. Also called men­tal self-rota­tion. You can put the con­cept to prac­tice with this brain teas­er.

Q: Where do return­ing mil­i­tary vet­er­ans go and get their col­lege edu­ca­tion?
A: Dar­ren is hap­py to report that Sacra­men­to State is one good option.

Q: Why will 50% of today’s teach­ers have left the pro­fes­sion 5 years from now?
A: Travis sum­ma­rizes a num­ber of rea­sons and offers rec­om­men­da­tions to low­er turnover. 

Q: What hap­pens in a typ­i­cal First day of the school year?
A: Mis­ter Teacher shows us.

Q: What does “The Road to heav­en is Paved with Good inten­tions” mean?
A: Andrew pro­vides an exam­ple.

Q: How can we improve South Car­oli­na-Aus­tralia bilat­er­al relations?
A: Tech­nol­o­gy can help improve com­mu­ni­ca­tions among edu­ca­tors and stu­dents, says Pay.

Q: Is that Sales Rep your best friend?
A: Tween­teacheer, whose New Inter­ac­tive White­board will be deliv­ered with a sig­nif­i­cant delay, warns us not to think so.

Q: How will video be inte­grat­ed in class­room instruction?
A: First of all, by allow­ing edu­ca­tors use YouTube Videos, sug­gests Carol.

Q: Any new cool way to moti­vate my students?
A: Easy, says Lar­ry. Use a game like Mia Cadav­er’s Tomb­stone Time­out to cre­ate, with­in sec­onds, your pri­vate “vir­tu­al room” where only your stu­dents com­pete against each other.

Q: Has Open Court Read­ing been found to be effec­tive ?
A: Matthew reports that Open Court does­n’t have the research need­ed to qual­i­fy inclu­sion in the What­Works Clearinghouse.

Q: Can infor­mal learn­ing activ­i­ties sup­port school work?
A: Matt invites us to play Foot­ball. Sor­ry, soc­cer.

Q: Can you sug­gest oth­er infor­mal activ­i­ties more close­ly aligned with aca­d­e­m­ic standards?
A: Steve (the Men­tos Geyser Exper­i­ment guy), has a few DIY ideas to improve sci­ence education.

Q: Does home­school­ing make sense?
A: Suzanne reviews  Fam­i­ly Mat­ters: Why Home­school­ing Makes Sense by David Guterson.

Q: Who is Mar­va Collins?
A: An inspir­ing school pio­neer, Chris­tine tells us.

Q: Can teach­ers walk on water?
A: Many do every­day. But ask­ing them to walk across bricks as a team-build­ing exer­cise may be going too far, says Betty.

Q: How can I con­tribute to future Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion editions?
A: Easy! Sub­mit your posts using this form this handy sub­mis­sion form.

Have a great day!


  1. Steve Spangler on August 27, 2008 at 9:56

    Thanks for includ­ing us in your Car­ni­val… great job this week!


  2. CP on August 27, 2008 at 9:57

    It’s true, it’s true; it’s a pret­ty great for­mat for a carnival :-)

    Cheers and thanks for the great selec­tions, Alvaro!

  3. Mamacita on August 27, 2008 at 4:23

    STEVE SPANGLER is in the Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion???!!!! My kids love this guy! He’s done more to make them inter­est­ed in sci­ence than any­thing they’ve ever had in school! Thank you so much for includ­ing him!

    Maybe next week, I’ll be includ­ed, too! Wahh. :)

  4. Darren on August 27, 2008 at 4:23

    Thanks for includ­ing my post. I have linked to this post.

  5. tweenteacher on August 27, 2008 at 8:56

    Thanks for includ­ing me! Great for­mat, and I’m hap­py to have found your website.

  6. Alvaro Fernandez on August 28, 2008 at 9:18

    Thank you every­one for participating!

  7. Ella Pecsok on August 28, 2008 at 9:56

    please add me to your mail­ing list.


    Ella Pec­sok

  8. Pat on September 2, 2008 at 4:55

    Thanks for a great car­ni­val! I love how you put it all togeth­er and real­ize how much time and effort it took to put this together.

  9. Alvaro Fernandez on September 3, 2008 at 8:20

    Ella: I have added you (any­one can sub­scribe to our newslet­ter by using the box at the top of this page).

    Pat: thank you! it was indeed good brain exer­cise to put all this together.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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