Chutes and Ladders

Educating the Mathematical Brain
UWMadisonEducation. Nov 29, 2012

21:34 How much do we need to worry about molecular issues when we’re constructing bridges or space stations?
Science is always dealing with issues of levels

59:19 mental number line: Chutes and Ladders
Siegler & Ramani, 2009
Playing  linear  numerical  board  games  promotes  low-income children’s  numerical  development
Developmental  Science  11:5  (2008),  pp  655– 661
Robert  S.  Siegler  and  Geetha  B.  Ramani
Department  of  Psychology,  Carnegie  Mellon  University,  USA

Promoting broad and stable improvements in low-income children’s numerical knowledge through playing number board games.
Ramani GB1, Siegler RS.
Child Dev. 2008 Mar-Apr;79(2):375-94.

Numerical Activities and Information Learned at Home Link to the Exact Numeracy Skills in 5-6 Years-Old Children.
Benavides-Varela S, Butterworth B, Burgio F, Arcara G, Lucangeli D, Semenza C.
Front Psychol. 2016 Feb 11;7:94.

When kids can identify numerals quickly, they have more working memory available to devote to solving math problems (Geary 2006)

Learning From Number Board Games: You Learn What You Encode.
Dev Psychol. 2013 Oct 7
Laski EV and Siegler RS.

impulse control
M J Nathan

finding neuromarkers: the new eugenics


Large Cross-National Differences in Gene × Socioeconomic Status Interaction on Intelligence.
Psychol Sci. 2016 Feb;27(2):138-49.
Tucker-Drob EM1, Bates TC2.
A core hypothesis in developmental theory predicts that genetic influences on intelligence and academic achievement are suppressed under conditions of socioeconomic privation and more fully realized under conditions of socioeconomic advantage: a Gene × Childhood Socioeconomic Status (SES) interaction. Tests of this hypothesis have produced apparently inconsistent results. We performed a meta-analysis of tests of Gene × SES interaction on intelligence and academic-achievement test scores, allowing for stratification by nation (United States vs. non-United States), and we conducted rigorous tests for publication bias and between-studies heterogeneity. In U.S. studies, we found clear support for moderately sized Gene × SES effects. In studies from Western Europe and Australia, where social policies ensure more uniform access to high-quality education and health care, Gene × SES effects were zero or reversed.
behavior genetics; intelligence; open data; socioeconomic status

The impact of poverty on the development of brain networks.
Lipina SJ, Posner MI.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Aug 17;6:238.

Intellectual humility

How Google’s Laszlo Bock Is Making Work Better
June 7, 2016·

structured interview questions, which are proven in the academic research to be an accurate way of predicting how someone’s going to perform.

And we boiled it down to four attributes:

  1. general cognitive ability – so that’s smarts but it also relates to learning ability and general problem-solving
  2. emergent leadership. So it’s not were you captain of a football team, were you promoted to vice president quickly?
    It’s when you see a problem, do you step in to help fix it and, just as importantly, do you relinquish power and let go of it?
  3. The third is what we call Googleness … what it boils down to is conscientiousness, which gets to this question of what people think like owners once they’re here? And the second element of Googleness is intellectual humility, not real humility.
    We have people with big personalities and sometimes bruising personalities – but the kind of humility that lets you say, if I get new facts, I’m going to revise my opinions and perspectives in light of those new facts.
  4. And then the last and least important thing is actually can you do the job? – ’cause we figure if you have all the other attributes, you’ll figure out the job.

Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness

Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness
American Journal of Public Health. July 16, 2015
Damon E. Jones, et al

Objectives. We examined whether kindergarten teachers’ ratings of children’s prosocial skills, an indicator of noncognitive ability at school entry, predict key adolescent and adult outcomes. Our goal was to determine unique associations over and above other important child, family, and contextual characteristics.

Methods. Data came from the Fast Track study of low–socioeconomic status neighborhoods in 3 cities and 1 rural setting. We assessed associations between measured outcomes in kindergarten and outcomes 13 to 19 years later (1991–2000). Models included numerous control variables representing characteristics of the child, family, and context, enabling us to explore the unique contributions among predictors.

Results. We found statistically significant associations between measured social-emotional skills in kindergarten and key young adult outcomes across multiple domains of education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health.

Conclusions. A kindergarten measure of social-emotional skills may be useful for assessing whether children are at risk for deficits in noncognitive skills later in life and, thus, help identify those in need of early intervention. These results demonstrate the relevance of noncognitive skills in development for personal and public health outcomes.

other versions:
Teachers of 753 kindergartners were asked to rate each student’s skill level in eight areas:

● Resolves peer problems on his/her own.

● Is very good at understanding other people’s feelings.

● Shares materials with others.

● Cooperates with peers without prompting.

● Is helpful to others.

● Listens to others’ point of view.

● Can give suggestions and opinions without being bossy

● Acts friendly toward others.

Should Schools Teach Personality?

Should Schools Teach Personality?
By Anna North
January 10, 2015

Self-control, curiosity, “grit” — these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they’re now part of the regular curriculum. Some researchers say personality could be even more important than intelligence when it comes to students’ success in school. But critics worry that the increasing focus on qualities like grit will distract policy makers from problems with schools.

In a 2014 paper, the Australian psychology professor Arthur E. Poropat cites research showing that both conscientiousness (which he defines as a tendency to be “diligent, dutiful and hardworking”) and openness (characterized by qualities like creativity and curiosity) are more highly correlated with student performance than intelligence is. And, he notes, ratings of students’ personalities by outside observers — teachers, for instance — are even more strongly linked with academic success than the way students rate themselves. The strength of the personality-performance link is good news, he writes, because “personality has been demonstrated to change over time to a far greater extent than intelligence.”


Sting: Don’t believe in miracles, success is about perseverance

10 Questions for Sting
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011,9171,2099139,00.html
Singer, activist and former Police man Sting is 60.

You say in your book and box set Sting: 25 Years that you don’t believe in miracles, that success is about perseverance. Was there never a song that just came as a gift?

Some do come already wrapped in ribbon–probably the most successful ones. “Every Breath You Take,” for example. Or “Roxanne.” Not that there’s anything particularly original about those songs. I don’t think there’s such a thing as composition in pop music. I think what we do in pop music is collate. It’s like folk music. It makes copyright a bit interesting and difficult. I’m a good collator.

in many ways, acknowledging that sense of mortality enriches the life you have left. My dad and I had the same hands. I hadn’t really noticed that until he was on his deathbed, and I mentioned it. And he said, “You used your hands better than I did.” My dad was a milkman. And I realized that was probably the first compliment he’d ever paid me

I understand the realpolitik of being President.

A high IQ and a subway token will only get you into town

What Does IQ Really Measure?
April 25, 2011

in his 2009 book “Intelligence and How to Get It,” Richard Nisbett, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, argued that differences in IQ scores largely disappear when researchers control for social and economic factors.

Nisbett agrees that the study is “tremendously important in its implications.”
Motivation, along with self-discipline, “are crucial,” Nisbett says.
“A high IQ and a subway token will only get you into town.”

Lex Borghans, an economist at the Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who has also studied the relationship between intelligence tests and economic success, says the new report shows that “both intelligence and personality matter.”
Even if native intelligence cannot be increased, Borghans says, “there might be other routes to success.”

this article is based on the original paper:

Games and Apps, Social Skills, and Schooling

Games And Apps Will Push Social Skills Back To The Center Of Schooling
August 19, 2013

Games and apps begin to unchain us from the outdated educational conventions of the 20th Century.

During the last century, schools mastered the process of brick and mortar teaching. Students learned to line up against cinderblock walls and follow rigid schedules. The school day mimicked the work day. Children sat in rows and responded to bells. Practically automated like a factory, teachers–expected to act more like foremen than educators–herded kids from classroom to cafeteria, from gym to playground. Skilled teachers were reduced to attendance-takers and grade-stampers. The lines between “schooling,” “conditioning,” and “brainwashing” remained fuzzy and ambivalent.

In 1954 Michel Foucault wrote that “in its education a society dreams of its golden age.” So presumably, at some point the United States envisioned our rich way of living modern life and, perhaps unintentionally, we created a training program to make it a reality.

And one could easily argue that it worked perfectly. Private schools nurtured budding executives. Magnet schools crafted bright kids into middle managers. The rest of the institutions catered to the labor class.
It was a “know-your-place” kind of education. It reinforced a world of haves and have-nots.

“The education system is essentially a socio-economic class system,” said Susan Crown.
Schools teach not only reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also cultural and social behaviors.
The prioritization of cognitive skills, test scores, and easily quantifiable information only veils the even bigger achievement gap in interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

Michel Foucault also asked, “Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?”

Foucault wasn’t the only one who noticed. After all, in The Republic, Plato also illustrated how ways of thinking can be confining.
He used the image of prisoners chained in a cave in his discussion of the essence of education.
He wrote about the inherent tensions of schooling, between creating good citizens rather than simply creating good conformists.
Is teaching about igniting the passion that comes from within the individual, or putting in place the social conformity that is a prerequisite for civilization? Both, of course.

see also: