Rebecca McMillan2014-02-21 21:09:52
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When life brings you puddles, be sure to splash!

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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-23 22:17:59
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-12 07:09:36
    Studying morality in infants is sticky. Morality is hard to define, even among adults. Still, researchers in this field have focused on a few key traits, including helpfulness, fairness and kindness. These "prosocial behaviors," research indicates, may be detectable in babies just a few months old.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-19 19:59:46
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-21 18:31:11
    +Scott Barry Kaufman's latest for SciAm Mind.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-02 02:20:15
    "But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that most kids first get noticed for ADHD in a classroom setting. So we wondered, are there policies about schooling that might be relevant?”

    What the team found was that high rates of ADHD diagnoses correlated closely with state laws that penalize schools when students fail. Nationally, this approach to education was enacted into law in 2001 with No Child Left Behind, which makes funding contingent on the number of students who pass standardized tests. In more recent years, similar testing-based strategies have been championed by education reformers such as Michelle Rhee. But many states passed these accountability laws as early as the 1980s, and within a few years of passage, ADHD diagnoses started going up in those states, the authors found, especially for kids near the poverty line.

    ADHD diagnoses of public school students within 200 percent of the federal poverty level jumped 59 percent after accountability legislation passed, Hinshaw reports, compared with less than 10 percent for middle- and high-income children. They saw no comparable trend in private schools, which are not subject to legislation like this."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-01 23:56:34
    Children who spend significant time outdoors could have a stronger sense of self-fulfillment and purpose than those who don’t, according to new Michigan State University research linking children’s experiences in nature with how they define spirituality.

    In the study, published recently in the Journal of the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, children who played outside five to 10 hours per week said they felt a spiritual connection with the earth, and felt their role is to protect it.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-05 05:23:08
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    "If happiness is about getting what you want, then meaningfulness is about expressing and defining yourself. A life of meaning is more deeply tied to a valued sense of self and one's purpose in the larger context of life and community."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-21 04:51:34
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-05 05:21:21
    From NECSS 2013; Heather Berlin, Steve Novella, Jon Ronson, & Brian Wecht.

    Are conditions such as psychopathy real "brain diseases" that can be reliably diagnosed? Or even defined? How do we ensure that public policy regarding mental illnesses and disorders are based upon science and not sensationalism?
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-11-06 03:38:28
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-06-27 06:28:10
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-04 00:28:36
    Awesome short film on creativity featuring +Scott Barry Kaufman, among others.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-15 03:40:56
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-01 06:25:55
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-09-28 09:40:03
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-17 07:29:43
    "In this climate, encouraging your kid to study the humanities—which are facing funding challenges, scrambling for students and under siege—can seem, at best, unwise or, at worst, reserved for elites unconcerned with earning a living. Only 8% of students now major in the humanities, down from a peak of more than 17% in 1967, according to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    But college is not vocational school. And promoting STEM subjects should not be society’s only answer to helping the next generation thrive in a competitive world."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-07-09 18:44:13
    "What’s the lesson here for schools? In short, standardization, repetition, and rigidity are deadly for the curious."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-07 20:58:42
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    Education is Curiosity, Enabled
    I'm of the opinion that we could teach our young children subjects like calculus, if only we had mechanisms through which to empower those with curiosity to play with them.  Then, the application of the effort to teach becomes one of rewarding knowledge, rather than repetitive structures of memorization and batteries of tests.

    Take, for example, these visualizations of various concepts in mathematics.  How enlightening would it be if we could play with these as we work through the process of learning the equations that describe them, letting our brain form the map between the system's description, its properties, and its behavior?
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-28 23:44:40
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-22 23:33:16
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-03 04:56:30
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-28 07:02:42
    RIP Pete Seeger. May your music live on in our hearts and consciences for generations to come.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-28 05:15:07
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-04 19:12:30
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-16 17:01:33
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-18 20:48:09
    "But one of the most surprising findings of recent mindfulness studies is that it could have unwanted side effects. Raising roadblocks to the mind’s peregrinations could, after all, prevent the very sort of mental vacations that lead to epiphanies."

    [...] 

    "Another potential drawback to mindfulness has been identified by researchers at Georgetown University. In a study presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in November, they found that the higher adults scored on a measurement of mindfulness, the worse they performed on tests of implicit learning — the kind that underlies all sorts of acquired skills and habits but that occurs without conscious awareness. In the study, participants were shown a long sequence of items and repeatedly challenged to guess which one would come next. Although supposedly random, it contained a hidden pattern that made some items more likely to appear than others. The more mindful participants were worse at intuiting the correct answers."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-25 07:48:06
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-26 06:22:51
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-21 07:10:30
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-05 17:58:37
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-20 01:23:34
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-17 05:53:18
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-28 19:39:30
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-17 05:10:01
    I disagree with the notion that gifted students will do fine if their educational needs are ignored. Some may, many won't. There's plenty of evidence showing that gifted students are vulnerable to a variety of educational issues. Also, plenty of kids from diverse economic, language, racial and cultural backgrounds SHOULD be receiving gifted services but aren't being identified for a whole host of reasons, none of them right or fair. 

    I do acknowledge that as currently practiced in many districts, gifted education seems to provide additional advantages to students who are advantaged to begin with (economically and/or cognitively). That is a real problem that calls for a real and meaningful solution rather than turning our backs on one group of students or another. 

    I think all students, no matter their background, strengths, challenges, or vulnerabilities, deserve an education that is appropriate to their own particular needs. If a student learns twice as fast in one subject area than another, we ought to find a way to accommodate that difference. If a 6th grader needs 8th grade language arts and 5th grade math, we ought to be able to find a way to accommodate those needs. 

    Education is not a one size fits all proposition. It's time for us to quit pretending it is. Doing so serves no one. 

    I long and will fight for an educational system that regularly takes a close look at each student, fairly and honestly assesses their needs, places them appropriately, and provides the services they need to learn and grow optimally. One that recognizes that students learn and grow at different rates from one subject to the next and from one student to the next. Educational needs aren't fixed according to age. They are determined by readiness (cognitive, social and emotional). We need to build FAR more flexibility into the system than we currently have.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-27 18:18:37
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-01 07:58:27
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-29 06:06:12
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    The old six degrees of separation has shrunk, and it's because of Facebook.
    The average number of acquaintances separating any two people no matter who they are . . . is not six but 3.9.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-05 04:32:16
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-06-24 17:14:32
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-18 08:07:04
    "Books in this rapidly expanding genre follow a common recipe. Infused with a breathless enthusiasm for the latest theories in evolutionary psychology, they use these speculations to present souped-up versions of long discredited philosophies. Revealing little knowledge or interest in the history of ideas, they go on to present these rejigged philosophies as providing solutions to age-old difficulties. Moral Tribes is no exception."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-06 19:28:06
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-08 19:12:21
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-09 05:25:38
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-13 20:02:54
    Novelty and challenge forestall cognitive decline. 
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-09 20:05:46
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-28 20:36:39
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-30 04:27:14
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-13 20:52:06
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-07 18:39:16
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-23 19:15:10
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-13 21:27:40
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-12 05:13:55
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-23 20:46:53
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-25 04:32:02
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-09 20:39:33
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    Beautiful article on shame, empathy & self-compassion ft./interview with Brené Brown 
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-09 02:56:05
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-21 06:26:45
    Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here's why, and what to do about it.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-05 05:07:42
    "According to a U.S. Department of Education report on grit, “persevering in the face of challenges or setbacks to accomplish goals that are extrinsically motivated, unimportant to the student, or in some way inappropriate for the student may potentially induce stress, anxiety, and distraction, and have detrimental impacts on students’ long-term retention, conceptual learning, and psychological well-being.”

    In other words, encouraging or forcing students to be “gritty” may, in some situations, do more harm than good."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-03 18:14:23
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-11 04:52:31
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    Fascinating debate about the concept of what constitutes a person...an important discussion led by bioethicist, George Dvorsky, IEET director James Hughes, dolphin expert Lori Marino and many others… including myself.  

    What is personhood? In the future, not only may animals receive special legal protection (particularly in the area of medical experimentation), but artificial intelligence (AI) creations, aka "machine persons," may also be provided rights to personhood. One grenade that I threw dealt with the matter of "uplift." Shall it be forbidden to share our gifts with others, just because they are "fine the way they are?"

    Yes!  Defend habitats, end cruelty! Protect our fellow creatures.  But ever more evidence shows DOZENS of other species clustered under the same Glass Ceiling or 500 "word" vocabularies and limited tool use or problem solving skills.  Only one species crashed through… big time.  Shall we hoard the gift to ourselves?

    http://io9.com/experts-gather-at-yale-to-discuss-whether-animals-are-1480618670
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-06-01 04:50:35
    "Terry Tao, a UCLA professor and a winner of the Fields Medal, the highest honor a young mathematician can achieve, once wrote: "I find the reality of mathematical research today—in which progress is obtained naturally and cumulatively as a consequence of hard work, directed by intuition, literature, and a bit of luck—to be far more satisfying than the romantic image that I had as a student of mathematics being advanced primarily by the mystic inspirations of some rare breed of 'geniuses.' "

    It isn't exactly wrong to say that Terry Tao and other former prodigies like him are geniuses. But it is more accurate to say that what they accomplished was genius. Genius is a thing that happens, not a kind of person."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-22 20:58:24
    "What is unknown is whether or not the public actually want to access peer-reviewed research directly."

    Hell yes we want direct access to peer-reviewed research!!

    The sequestering of research results and accurate scientific information behind pay walls and other impediments to open access is a huge bottleneck for individuals, societies, and human civilization as a whole.

    h/t +Andrea Kuszewski 
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-18 08:11:58
    Interesting idea: Crowd sourced journalism.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-17 06:14:45
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-22 06:49:55
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-10 19:56:55
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-09 06:50:33
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-07 16:59:24
    +Scott Barry Kaufman's latest for SciAm Mind.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-06 18:55:03
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-27 19:32:37
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-04 19:07:19
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-24 06:56:01
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-18 06:11:40
    "Here we replicate the association between intelligence and generalized trust in a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. We also show that, after adjusting for intelligence, generalized trust continues to be strongly associated with both self-rated health and happiness."
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-13 21:05:44
    P values, the 'gold standard' of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-18 23:10:44
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-15 06:38:12
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-28 22:01:41
    Wonderful hour-long conversation with +Scott Barry Kaufman  &  Mary Helen Immordino-Yang discussing the benefits of daydreaming.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Scott!
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-08 05:48:29
    More on the topic of the week from +Christian Jarrett @ Wired Science
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-15 23:29:52
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-23 08:16:32
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-14 20:07:10
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-22 22:40:46
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-03-02 07:56:33
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-12-18 05:44:26
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-11-15 19:54:07
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-21 22:03:34
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-02-10 18:22:44
    +Scott Barry Kaufman's latest for SciAm.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-01-25 23:55:53
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    Mario Capecchi (2007 Nobel) addressed the question "*What Motivates Scientists?*" at Brigham Young U on 2014.1.24. He gave 3 answers.
    1. Discovery: joy
    2. Utility: value
    3. The Sense of Community: No border even between countries of war.
    He is known for knockout mouse (gene targeting), once thought as impossible job by fund agency. 
    Long live Dr. Capecchi.
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  • Rebecca McMillan2013-10-04 00:32:30
    +Scott Barry Kaufman with another brilliant entry for today!
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-06-25 02:59:50
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-06-27 21:32:59
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-13 19:03:20
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-05-08 17:03:04
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  • Rebecca McMillan2014-04-14 06:28:29
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