The Secret to Raising Smart Kids

Many people assume that superior intelligence or ability is a key to success. But more than three decades of research shows that an overemphasis on intellect or talent—and the implication that such traits are innate and fixed—leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unmotivated to learn. Teaching people to have a “growth mind-set,” which encourages a focus on “process” rather than on intelligence or talent, produces high achievers in school and in life. Parents and teachers can engender a growth mind-set in children by praising them for their persistence or strategies (rather than for their intelligence), by telling success stories that emphasize hard work and love of learning, and by teaching them about the brain as a learning machine.

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The Tree of Knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan

In European societies, knowledge is often pictured as a tree: a single trunk – the core – with branches splaying outwards towards distant peripheries. The imagery of this tree is so deeply embedded in European thought-patterns that every form of institution has been marshaled into a ‘centre-periphery’ pattern.

Knowledge should indeed be thought of as a tree – just not this kind of tree. Rather than the European fruiter with its single trunk, knowledge should be pictured as a banyan tree, in which a multiplicity of aerial roots sustains a centreless organic system. The tree of knowledge has a plurality of roots, and structures of knowledge are multiple grounded in the earth: the body of knowledge is a single organic whole, no part of which is more or less dispensable than any other. ‘Stands an undying banyan tree,’ says Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gītā, ‘with roots above and boughs beneath. Its leaves are the Vedic hymns: one who knows this tree knows the Vedas. Below, above, its well-nourished branches struggle out; sense objects are the twigs. Below its roots proliferate inseparably linked with works in the world of men.’

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When is Stress good for you?

The subtle flows and toxic hits of stress get under the skin, making and breaking the body and brain over a lifetime. Stress pervades our lives. We become anxious when we hear of violence, chaos or discord. And, in our relatively secure world, the pace of life and its demands often lead us to feel that there is too much to do in too little time. This disrupts our natural biological rhythms and encourages unhealthy behaviors, such as eating too much of the wrong things, neglecting exercise and missing out on sleep.

Racial and ethnic discrimination, along with lack of educational opportunities and economic advancement take their toll on a large segment of the population in the United States. Incarceration is the rule rather than the exception for some of the most vulnerable. Adverse experiences in infancy and childhood, including poverty, leave a lifelong imprint on the brain and body and undermine long-term health, increasing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, substance abuse, anti-social behavior, and dementia. How does all of this stress ‘get under our skin’? What does it do to our brains and our bodies? What can we do about it? And is stress so multifaceted and pervasive that we could have trouble controlling it at all?

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Growing Rhizomes and Collapsing Walls: Postmodern Paradigms for Design Education

The system and structure of architectural education is a resultant of two sets of forces. On one side, we have the inherent characteristics and peculiarities of architectural profession that drive its academic component and remain the same at any given point of time. I will call these factors intrinsic factors. On the other side, we have numerous contextual and environmental (cultural, technological, sociopolitical) factors whose essence is change. I will call these the extrinsic factors. Technology, and in particular digital technology, is one of those extrinsic factors that I will specifically address in this paper. My effort here is to bring a theoretical basis to understand how digital technology impacts the organization, transmission, dissemination, and composition of knowledge that could, in turn, affect architectural education. My proposition in this paper, which is based on Deleuze and Guattariís notions of rhizome and Jean-FranÁois Lyotardís ideas on postmodern pedagogy, is for a curricular direction that opens the walls of the schools of architecture and particularly the design studios. I call for a move toward ìwall-less studiosî that fuel a ìrhizomatic pedagogy.

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Posted in Rhizomatic learning, Rhizomatic pedagogy, Rhizomes | Tagged , ,

Beyond Urban Subcultures: Urban Subversions as Rhizomatic Social Formations

The article discusses what we term urban social formations and expands on prior work that predominantly examines urban ‘subcultures’ as opposed to the world city paradigm and homogeneous cityscapes. We describe the process of ‘subculturalization’ through which urban social formations after they have been marginalized and illegalized, become formalized as subcultures and incorporated into the fabric of consumption and profit making. The article proposes that these ossified moments of crystallized practice are only part of wider rhizomatic territories that remain open fields for urban engagement, inviting fluid urban identities and creative states of becoming. The article concludes by exploring the challenges and opportunities of conceptualizing urban social formations as rhizomes.

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Rethinking Education through Contemporary Art

This article is part of a broader investigation exploring how contemporary art allows us to think about the process that underpins our teaching and learning in order to change it. We are tutors in initial teacher education and we teach, learn and communicate through contemporary art for a pedagogical module. In the following article, we will show how teaching, learning and communicating through contemporary art helps future teachers to be aware of their educational models. Art encounters generate new learning and teaching experiences by allowing students and teachers to make various rhizomatic wanderings. The rhizomatic wanderings are diverse with the content and the form depending on the personal experience. The article concludes that the more rhizomatic wanderings future teachers make, the more they will be able to rethink the process of teaching and learning in order to attend to the diverse situations of classrooms of the twenty-first century.

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The evolution of animal ‘cultures’ and social intelligence

Decades-long field research has flowered into integrative studies that, together with experimental evidence for the requisite social learning capacities, have indicated a reliance on multiple traditions (‘cultures’) in a small number of species. It is increasingly evident that there is great variation in manifestations of social learning, tradition, and culture among species, offering much scope for evolutionary analysis. Social learning has been identified in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate species, yet sustained traditions appear rarer, and the multiple traditions we call cultures are rarer still. Here, we examine relationships between this variation and both social intelligence—sophisticated information processing adapted to the social domain—and encephalization. First, we consider whether culture offers one particular confirmation of the social (‘Machiavellian’) intelligence hypothesis that certain kinds of social life (here, culture) select for intelligence: ‘you need to be smart to sustain culture’. Phylogenetic comparisons, particularly focusing on our own study animals, the great apes, support this, but we also highlight some paradoxes in a broader taxonomic survey. Second, we use intraspecific variation to address the converse hypothesis that ‘culture makes you smart’, concluding that recent evidence for both chimpanzees and orang-utans support this proposition.

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Posted in Animals, Culture, Evolution, Social intelligence | Tagged , , ,

Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

The central argument of this book is that cognition is not the whole story in understanding intellectual functioning and development. To account for inter-individual, intra-individual, and developmental variability in actual intellectual performance, it is necessary to treat cognition, emotion, and motivation as inextricably related.

*represents a new direction in theory and research on intellectual functioning and development;
*portrays human intelligence as fundamentally constrained by biology and adaptive needs but modulated by social and cultural forces; and
*encompasses and integrates a broad range of scientific findings and advances, from cognitive and affective neurosciences to cultural psychology, addressing fundamental issues of individual differences, developmental variability, and cross-cultural differences with respect to intellectual functioning and development.

By presenting current knowledge regarding integrated understanding of intellectual functioning and development, this volume promotes exchanges among researchers concerned with provoking new ideas for research and provides educators and other practitioners with a framework that will enrich understanding and guide practice.

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Posted in Cognition, Emotions, Motivation | Tagged , ,

Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding

This ground-breaking handbook provides a much-needed, contemporary and authoritative reference text on young children’s thinking. The different perspectives represented in the thirty-nine chapters contribute to a vibrant picture of young children, their ways of thinking and their efforts at understanding, constructing and navigating the world. The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding brings together commissioned pieces by a range of hand-picked influential, international authors from a variety of disciplines who share a high public profile for their specific developments in the theories of children’s thinking, learning, and understanding. The handbook is organized into four complementary parts:

* How can we think about young children’s thinking?: Concepts and contexts

* Knowing about the brain and knowing about the mind

* Making sense of the world

* Documenting and developing children’s thinking

Supported throughout by relevant research and case studies, this handbook is an international insight into the many ways there are to understand children and childhood paired with the knowledge that young children have a strong, vital, and creative ability to think and to understand, and to create and contend with the world around them.

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Posted in Children, Children's learning, Children's thinking | Tagged , ,

The Socratic Classroom: Reflective Thinking Through Collaborative Inquiry

This book provides a framework for a collaborative inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning suitable not only for formal educational settings such as the school classroom but for all educational settings. For teachers, educationalists, philosophers and philosophers of education, The Socratic Classroom presents a theoretical as well as practical exploration of how philosophy may be adopted in education. The Socratic Classroom captures a variety of philosophical approaches to classroom practice that could be broadly described as Socratic in form. There is an exploration of three distinct approaches that make significant contributions to classroom practice: Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry, Leonard Nelson’s Socratic Dialogue, and David Bohm’s Dialogue. All three models influence what is termed in this book as ‘Socratic pedagogy’. Socratic pedagogy is multi-dimensional and is underpinned by ‘generative, evaluative, and connective thinking’. These terms describe the dispositions inherent in thinking through philosophical inquiry. This book highlights how philosophy as inquiry can contribute to educational theory and practice, while also demonstrating how it can be an effective way to approach teaching and learning. Audience This publication is suited to educators, teacher educators, philosophers of education and philosophers in general. It has a theoretical and practical focus, making it truly interdisciplinary.

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