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Jun 26, 2017

How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children

On a summer day in 1968, professor Julian Stanley met a brilliant but bored 12-year-old named Joseph Bates. The Baltimore student was so far ahead of his classmates in mathematics that his parents had arranged for him to take a computer-science course at Johns Hopkins University, where Stanley taught. Even that wasn't enough. Having leapfrogged ahead of the adults in the class, the child kept himself busy by teaching the FORTRAN programming language to graduate students.Unsure of what to do with Bates, his computer instructor introduced him to Stanley, a researcher well known for his work in psychometrics — the ...


Dec 05, 2016

Beyond Grit: The Science of Creativity, Purpose, and Motivation

"Your interests and your passion develop over time. I want to disabuse people of this mythology of 'it happens to you and if you're lucky, you find it, and then that's all you have to do.'" Angela Duckworth is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She is the Founder and Scientific Director of a non-profit, Character Lab, and in 2013 was named a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. Recently, she joined Adam Grant for an evening of conversation as a part of the Authors@Wharton ...


Feb 17, 2017

Want to raise empowered women? Start in middle school.

When my girlfriends and I share stories about our first jobs, we shake our heads at our meekness. Susan recalls her boss at a company in Paris. "She would fly off the handle at the smallest things, screaming, 'Vous êtes nul!' — 'You are nothing!' " Susan would retreat to the bathroom to cry. "I was a good student and had never had an experience where I felt like I was failing all the time," she says. "I didn't have the confidence to fix it or leave."My friend Shari felt that paralysis when she was working at a magazine in ...


Mar 31, 2017

Reading, Writing, and Purpose: Why We Should Teach Kids Meaning at School

“Teaching children their purpose, getting them engaged in these bigger questions, can actually bolster and support their academic learning.” Scott Barry Kaufman is a cognitive psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, the scientific director of The Imagination Institute, and the author of Ungifted and Wired to Create. He recently joined Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, for a Heleo Conversation on the ways we can build meaning in schools.This conversation has been edited and condensed. Scott: You’ve just written this wonderful book on meaning, and I’m deeply interested in ...


Jun 26, 2017

Personalized learning – a data revolution

Who doesn’t want a world in which everything they interact with is tailored personally to them?The advent of big data and machine learning has moved us towards a place where this vision is being realized at an incredibly rapid pace, fueled by our ability to capture and store everything about ourselves – from the keystrokes on our computers to our genetic sequences and DNA. This has led to the rise of personalized medicine that selects procedures that work for our specific body chemistry, personalized advertising that shows us the brand of jeans that fits us best, and even learning ...


Jan 07, 2013

Understanding, Diagnosing, and Coping with Slow Processing Speed

It's not unusual for gifted students to have slow processing speed. Of itself, slow processing speed is not a formal learning disability, but having it can frustrate students, teachers, and parents. As a clinical child psychologist specializing in assessing and treating students with attention deficit disorders and other learning problems, I often hear parents tell me their very bright child isn't finishing her classwork or that homework takes hours and hours to complete. Through observation or formal assessment of their child, these parents have been told that the child has slow processing speed.Understanding the role of slow ...


Apr 29, 2016

7 lessons about finding the work you were meant to do

You don’t "find your calling," you fight for it — and other lessons from people who found their passion (sometimes late in life).Whether it was during a career aptitude test or in a heart-to-heart chat after getting laid off, chances are someone has talked to you about how to “find your calling.” It’s one of those phrases people toss about. But StoryCorps founder Dave Isay takes issue with it … specifically, the verb.“Finding your calling — it’s not passive,” he says. “When people have found their calling, they’ve made tough decisions and sacrifices in order to do ...


Mar 27, 2016

A Few Strategies to Help Slow-Working Students

A parent recently asked me for advice about her son. Although his academic skills are strong, he feels the need to complete every task to absolute perfection; this means he finishes his work long, long after the rest of his peers. Not only are his teachers frustrated by the time it takes him to complete assignments, he doesn’t especially enjoy spending hours every night making all of his work just right.It’s easy enough to say we want all our students to work at their own pace, and in most classrooms, some flexibility is built in to allow ...


Oct 23, 2016

How Audiobooks Can Help Kids Who Struggle with Reading

School librarian Mary Ann Scheuer remembers a second grader who couldn’t keep up with the class during reading time. The child was a grade-level behind in reading, and while the rest of the class could sit quietly for 30 minutes, engrossed in Horrible Harry, this child began to act out after ten frustrating minutes with the book. On Scheuer’s recommendation, the teacher introduced the student to the same story via an audiobook; he listened to the story, and then sat alone with the book to read on his own. Scheuer recalls the boy saying, “I read it so much ...


Nov 03, 2017

Information Processing Issues: What You Need to Know

If your child has a learning and attention issue, you may have heard the phrase information processing issues. That’s not a diagnosis. It’s a concept used in cognitive psychology as a way to understand several other learning issues. Here’s what it means.What Information Processing IsWhen psychologists use this term, they’re likening how the brain works to how a computer works. That includes how the mind collects information and how we use that data to do things.We collect information in many ways, including through sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. In computer terms, the information ...


Aug 26, 2017

Personalized Learning Is the Answer. (I Forgot the Question.)

The latest buzzword in U.S. public education these days is personalized learning.Depending on whom you ask, the term refers to a model, a strategy, a plan, or just plain old good instruction. Personalized learning is something teachers do, something students do, something teachers do with students, or something students do with one another. Personalized learning is a noun, a verb, and an adjective. It is either impossible without technology or requires no technology at all. For anyone seeking to label an ideal education experience or garner support for a new initiative, personalized learning provides the answer.The excitement ...


Sep 01, 2017

What Personalized Learning Is Not

“I really want to personalize learning for my students, but I just don’t see how it’s possible—there’s no way I can create individual lesson plans for all of my students everyday!” “I really like what you’ve shared with us today, but I can’t personalize my students’ learning because I don’t have enough devices for all of my students.” These are just two of the statements I hear from teachers about the challenges of facilitating personalized learning. As an instructional technology coach for a large district in the metropolitan Atlanta area, I serve several ...


Aug 09, 2016

What Teens Need Most From Their Parents

The teenage years can be mystifying for parents. Sensible children turn scatter-brained or start having wild mood swings. Formerly level-headed adolescents ride in cars with dangerous drivers or take other foolish risks.A flood of new research offers explanations for some of these mysteries. Brain imaging adds another kind of data that can help test hypotheses and corroborate teens' own accounts of their behavior and emotions. Dozens of recent multiyear studies have traced adolescent development through time, rather than comparing sets of adolescents at a single point.The new longitudinal research is changing scientists' views on the role parents play ...