How Empathy Affects Learning, And How To Cultivate It In Your Students

“The education system forces people to unlearn the empathy they were born with. It’s a system based on always seeming strong, contributing to the economy, and being number one. Being number one is the rule of game, and how we relate to others is fundamentally dismissed.” –Bernard Amadei, Ashoka Fellow and founder of Engineers Without Borders USA More than two decades ago, scientists made a discovery that fundamentally altered the way we think about empathy. While observing monkeys, they noticed that certain brain cells responded both when a monkey performed an action and when that monkey watched another monkey perform the same action. The same cells can be found in the human brain. These cells, called mirror neurons, fire when we see something happening to someone else that we could imagine happening to ourselves, from stubbing a toe to winning the lottery. The discovery of mirror neurons was a significant... Read more

As Acceptance Rates Fall, Soft Skills Matter More Than Ever

As Acceptance Rates Fall, Soft Skills Matter More Than Ever

Admissions rates are falling quite dramatically, and not just at the nation’s top 10 schools. Mt. Holyoke’s overall acceptance rate dropped 15 points, from 51% in 2017 to 36% in 2019. NYU’s fell from 28% to 16% in the same two years. For a survey of some of the [...] Admissions rates are falling quite dramatically, and not just at the nation’s top 10 schools. Mt. Holyoke’s overall acceptance rate dropped 15 points, from 51% in 2017 to 36% in 2019. NYU’s fell from 28% to 16% in the same two years. For a survey of some of the most significant reductions between 2017-2019 as indicated in the chart below. One could respond to the data with renewed conviction that your child must work even harder to get good grades, increase extracurricular engagement, find leadership opportunities, do research, get an internship, play a sport, etc. Yet the latest trends in... Read more

Twice exceptional, doubly disadvantaged? How schools struggle to serve gifted students with disabilities

Twice exceptional, doubly disadvantaged? How schools struggle to serve gifted students with disabilities

Before kindergarten, Jennifer Choi’s son was denied special education services despite a diagnosis of ADHD. NEW YORK — To Eva Santiago, her son’s education has always felt like an impossible dilemma. This story also appeared in Chalkbeat and Mind/Shift Before elementary school, the boy was diagnosed with autism, ADHD [...] Before elementary school, the boy was diagnosed with autism, ADHD and anxiety, and in kindergarten he was placed in a small, self-contained class for kids with disabilities. But he was articulate and curious, so when he was 6, Santiago took him to be tested for the city’s exclusive gifted-and-talented program. She was pleased when his score earned him one of the coveted spots. But in his larger gifted-and-talented class, he became anxious and easily upset. He fought with students and teachers and spent most of the school day roaming the halls. After he kicked a security guard and the school... Read more

7 Myths About Twice-Exceptional (2E) Students

7 Myths About Twice-Exceptional (2E) Students

Some students with learning and thinking differences have outstanding skills in certain academic areas. These kids are often called “twice-exceptional” (or 2E) learners. They’re exceptional in two ways. They’re gifted, and they have learning differences. They also face unique challenges, not the least of which are myths and misconceptions about being 2E. If you have a 2E child, you may hear all kinds of things that give you pause. Here’s the reality behind seven common misconceptions. Twice-exceptional students can be confusing to teachers (and to parents). It can be hard to recognize or understand the signs. Sometimes giftedness may mask learning and thinking differences. Other times the extreme strengths and weaknesses “cancel each other out.” In either case, 2E students can look as if they have average abilities. It can be hard to realize that a child who understands some things on such a profound level can have trouble with... Read more

Twice-Exceptional Kids: Both Gifted and Challenged

Twice-Exceptional Kids: Both Gifted and Challenged

Some children are highly gifted in areas such as math, writing or music. Then there are those with challenges that affect learning: They could have ADHD, dyslexia or dyscalculia, or perhaps they’re autistic or have sensory processing issues. But there are also kids who fit both categories. They’re called twice-exceptional, or 2e, which means that they have exceptional ability and disability. They are gifted in some way but they also face learning or developmental challenges. Children who are both gifted and challenged can be tough to understand. Gifted kids can use their strengths to compensate for the special need, and in the process mask their learning problems. Or the special needs can mask the giftedness. In some cases, neither the disability nor the giftedness is recognized. Once 2e kids are identified, it can still be difficult to get the supports these children need in school. If they’re in a gifted... Read more

Resilience Skills, Factors and Strategies of the Resilient Person

Resilience Skills, Factors and Strategies of the Resilient Person

Resilience Strategies Mental health encompasses far more than the mere absence of disorders. There are a number of dimensions when it comes to positive mental health, one of which is resilience. Resilience is the process of being able to adapt well and bounce back quickly in times of stress. [...]Click here to view original web page at positivepsychology.com

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