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In the Age of Google, Should Schools Teach Memorization Skills?

As school is about to resume, peo­ple are remind­ed of their strong opin­ions about how to fix schools: more fund­ing, bet­ter teach­ers, less gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence, more gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence, etc. But the one obvi­ous, and nev­er-stat­ed prob­lem, is that stu­dents don’t remem­ber what they are taught. In spite of all the “teach­ing to the test” that par­ents and teach­ers com­plain about, stu­dents still don’t remem­ber the very things they were taught as answers to test ques­tions.

The rea­son they don’t remem­ber is that they are not taught how to mem­o­rize. Why is that? Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance Metacognition and Problem-Solving by Talking Out Loud to Yourself

The MC at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan’s reunion din­ner encour­aged audi­ence mem­bers to reveal the most sig­nif­i­cant take-away from their under­grad­u­ate nurs­ing edu­ca­tion. The great­est ben­e­fit was quick­ly clear to me — prob­lem-solv­ing think­ing. Mem­o­ry pro­duced a mind video: a short, dark-haired, nurs­ing instruc­tor lec­tur­ing a small group of first year stu­dents in an emp­ty patient room. “Don’t mem­o­rize the steps of ster­ile tech­nique. Use a prob­lem-solv­ing think­ing process.” She described the sequen­tial, cycli­cal process: define the prob­lem, gath­er infor­ma­tion, devel­op a solu­tion strat­e­gy, allo­cate resources, mon­i­tor progress, and eval­u­ate the solu­tion. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Contrasting Brain Growth in Baby Humans and Baby Chimpanzees

Chart­ing Brain Growth in Humans and Chimps (New York Times):
— “Although baby humans and baby chim­panzees both start out with unde­vel­oped fore­brains, a new study reports that the human brain increas­es in vol­ume much more rapid­ly ear­ly on.”
— “The growth is in a region of the brain known as the pre­frontal cor­tex and is part of what makes humans cog­ni­tive­ly advanced com­pared with oth­er ani­mals, includ­ing the chim­panzee, our clos­est rel­a­tive. The pre­frontal cor­tex plays a major role in deci­sion-mak­ing, self-aware­ness and cre­ative think­ing.”

–> To learn more about study Dif­fer­en­tial Pre­frontal White Mat­ter Devel­op­ment in Chim­panzees and Humans: click Here (requires sub­scrip­tion).

–> To explore what may have hap­pened oth­er­wise, you may want to watch the new movie Rise of the Plan­et of the Apes.

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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