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Eight Tips To Understand and Remember What You Read — Especially As You Read Nonfiction

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Despite Insta­gram, YouTube, Face­book, Twit­ter, and tele­vi­sion, (or per­haps pre­cise­ly because of all of them) tra­di­tion­al read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is mag­a­zines, pro­fes­sion­al man­u­als or fas­ci­nat­ing books, peo­ple still need to read, now and in years ahead. And much of it is non­fic­tion mate­r­i­al, where it’s impor­tant to real­ly under­stand and then remem­ber what you are read­ing.

An unfor­tu­nate rea­son why many peo­ple don’t read much these days is that they don’t read well. Read­ing, for them, is slow, hard work and they don’t remem­ber as much as they should. They often have to read some­thing sev­er­al times before they under­stand and remem­ber what they read.

Why? You would think that every­one learns how to read well at school. Schools do try, but I work with mid­dle-school teach­ers and they tell me that many stu­dents are 2–3 years behind grade lev­el in read­ing pro­fi­cien­cy. Some of the blame can be placed on fads for teach­ing read­ing, such as phon­ics and “whole lan­guage,” which some­times are pro­mot­ed in shal­low ways that don’t respect the need for both approach­es. And much of the blame can be laid at the feet of par­ents who set poor exam­ples and, of course, on the young­sters who are too dis­tract­ed by social media and tele­vi­sion to learn how to read well.

Now the good news. For any­one who missed out on good read­ing skills, it is not too late to improve now. I sum­ma­rize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and com­pre­hen­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Helping bridge neuroscience and education: 30+ experts debunk the theory of fixed, rigid “learning styles”


No evi­dence to back idea of learn­ing styles (OpEd in The Guardian co-authored by 30+ neu­ro­sci­en­tists and psy­chol­o­gists):

There is wide­spread inter­est among teach­ers in the use of neu­ro­sci­en­tif­ic research find­ings in edu­ca­tion­al prac­tice. How­ev­er, there are also mis­con­cep­tions and myths that are sup­pos­ed­ly based on sound neu­ro­science that are preva­lent in our schools. We wish to draw atten­tion to this prob­lem by focus­ing on an edu­ca­tion­al prac­tice sup­pos­ed­ly based on neu­ro­science that lacks suf­fi­cient evi­dence Read the rest of this entry »

ADHD @ high schools: Clear mismatch between the Evidence and the Practice

Study: High School­ers with ADHD Receiv­ing Few Evi­dence-Based Sup­ports (Edu­ca­tion Week):

A lit­tle over half of high school stu­dents with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der are receiv­ing some kind of ser­vices from their schools, such as addi­tion­al time on tests or extend­ed time to com­plete home­work assign­ments, a recent study finds. But those par­tic­u­lar sup­ports have no report­ed effec­tive­ness in improv­ing the aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance of stu­dents with ADHD, accord­ing to the study pub­lished Read the rest of this entry »

Our culture seems obsessed with violent sports…Don’t mess with a brain!”

Ques­tion by Janet:
Giv­en the grow­ing con­cern about sports-relat­ed con­cus­sions, what do you think schools should be doing? abol­ish or severe­ly reduce var­si­ty teams? spon­sor only “safe” sports? Is there research on how con­cus­sions may inter­fere with learn­ing and aca­d­e­m­ic results?

Robert_Sylwester

Answer by Dr. Robert Syl­west­er:
I don’t know how to respond respon­si­bly to your ques­tion, except that I share what I think are your con­cerns. Our cul­ture seems obsessed with vio­lent sports (and per­haps mak­ing sports that aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly vio­lent into becom­ing vio­lent). To be frank, as much as I enjoy watch­ing sports, I’m pleased that none of our grand­chil­dren have got­ten into any of the more vio­lent school-lev­el sports.

I expect that changes will occur, and they’e over­due. Don’t mess with a brain!

> Read full tran­script of Q&A with Prof. Syl­west­er
> Read full Q&A series
> Read The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness

Brain Study Links Emotional Self-Regulation and Math Performance

Brain Study Points to Poten­tial Treat­ments for Math Anx­i­ety (Edu­ca­tion Week):

  • The study, pub­lished this morn­ing in the jour­nal Cere­bral Cor­tex, is a con­tin­u­a­tion of work on high­ly math-anx­ious peo­ple being con­duct­ed by Sian L. Beilock, asso­ciate psy­chol­o­gy pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, and doc­tor­al can­di­date Ian M. Lyons. In pri­or research, Beilock has found that just the thought of doing math prob­lems can trig­ger stress respons­es in peo­ple with math anx­i­ety, and adult teach­ers can pass their trep­i­da­tion about math on to their stu­dents.” Read the rest of this entry »

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