Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


The First Step Is Failure

Joanne Jacobs, edu­ca­tor, blog­ger and author of Our School: The Inspir­ing Sto­ry of Two Teach­ers, One Big Idea and the Char­ter School That Beat the Odds, par­tic­i­pates today in our Author Speaks Series with an excel­lent arti­cle on how “Schools won’t improve until admin­is­tra­tors and teach­ers can admit the prob­lems, ana­lyze what’s going wrong and try new strate­gies. Stu­dents won’t improve if they think they’re “spe­cial” just the way they are.” Enjoy, and feel free to add your com­ment to engage in a stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion.Our School: Joanne Jacobs

The First Step Is Fail­ure
By Joanne Jacobs

When self-esteem became an edu­ca­tion watch­word in 1986, I thought it was a harm­less fad. I was wrong: It wasn’t harm­less. Many teach­ers were per­suad­ed that stu­dents should be pumped up with praise, regard­less of their per­for­mance. Schools low­ered expec­ta­tions so stu­dents couldn’t fail. Every­one got an “I Am Spe­cial” stick­er. Till the stan­dards and account­abil­i­ty move­ment kicked in, stu­dents often were judged by how they felt about learn­ing not by whether they’d actu­al­ly learned some­thing.

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Theater for brain fitness

Cog­ni­tive Dai­ly brings an intrigu­ing arti­cle titled Is the­ater the ulti­mate brain fit­ness prod­uct?, based on research pub­lished in 2004 by Hel­ga and Tony Noice.

Very inter­est­ing results on mem­o­ry and prob­lem-solv­ing. Will inves­ti­gate whether that exper­i­ment has been repli­cat­ed since then and we can rec­om­mend such a fun (and demand­ing) brain fit­ness activ­i­ty!

If you live in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area, you may be inter­est­ed in the Geezer The­ater orga­nized by one of our part­ners, the Osh­er Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute.

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