How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Math, According to a Brain Scientist

How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Math, According to a Brain Scientist


For all that education has changed in recent times—from the disappearance of cursive lessons to the rise of computer science in classrooms to pandemic-forced remote learning—one thing has remained stubbornly unchanged.

That’s stress and anxiety over math.

Even before worries mounted over “learning loss” and the ongoing youth mental health crisis, researchers observed math anxiety in children as young as 6.

EdSurge caught up with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock, author of books “Choke” and “How the Body Knows Its Mind,” to talk about how anxiety can impact students’ math performance—and how adults can help them. Beilock is also the president of Barnard College, and the president-elect of Dartmouth College.

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Ask an MIT Professor: What Is System Thinking and Why Is It Important?


Ask an MIT Professor: What Is System Thinking and Why Is It Important?

Look around you, and you’ll see: life as we know it is becoming more and more complex.

From the iPhone in your pocket to the organizations driving public health, national defense, finance, criminal justice, and [insert just about anything else you can imagine], the world is powered by increasingly intricate systems working behind the scenes to integrate countless moving pieces into a meaningful whole.

“One of the characteristics of the 21st century is that we’re investing more in complexity, and things are just getting damn complicated,” says Professor Edward Crawley, Ford Department of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT.

Professor Crawley is one of the MIT lead faculty instructors for MIT xPRO’s online course on system thinking, a skill that helps organizations examine and simplify complexity, recognize patterns, and create effective solutions to challenges. He considers system thinking “the cognitive skill of the 21st century.” We recently sat down with Professor Crawley to discuss system thinking and what learners can expect from his course.

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Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done

Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done

He went on to observe that the question was not whether the presence of the deputy clerk had influenced the decision or whether his firm, being involved in the civil case, had any role to play in the conviction. Lord Hewart went on to observe that what was important was not what was actually done, but what might appear to have been done and held :

“Nothing is to be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been an improper interference with the course of justice.”

His view was concurred with by the other two judges (Justice Lush and Justice Sankey). Justice Lush observed that even though the trial judges did not intend to do anything irregular or wrong, they placed themselves in an impossible situation by allowing the clerk to retire with them to the consultation room. As the presence of the clerk had not been waived by the solicitor for McCarthy, the conviction had to be quashed.

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Is the world retracting from globalisation, setting it up for a fifth wave?


Is the world retracting from globalisation, setting it up for a fifth wave?

Over the past 25 years there has been lots of research and debate about the concept, the history and state of globalisation, its various dimensions and benefits.

The World Economic Forum has set out the case that the world has experienced four waves of globalisation. In a 2019 publication it summarised them as follows.

The first wave is seen as the period since the late 19th century, boosted by the industrial revolution associated with the improvements in transportation and communication, and ended in 1914. The second wave commenced after WW2 in 1945 and ended in 1989. The third commenced with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disbanding of the former Soviet Union in 1991, and ended with the global financial crises in 2008.

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A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6


A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6

The Supreme Court’s announcement on Thursday that it will hear Moore v. Harper, a case that could concentrate an unprecedented amount of power in gerrymandered state legislatures, should alarm anyone who cares about democracy.

The case is perhaps the gravest threat to American democracy since the January 6 attack. It seeks to reinstate gerrymandered congressional maps that were struck down by North Carolina’s highest court because they “subordinated traditional neutral redistricting criteria in favor of extreme partisan advantage” for the Republican Party.

The plaintiffs argue that the state supreme court didn’t have the authority to strike down these maps, and rest their claim on legal arguments that would fundamentally alter how congressional and presidential elections are conducted.

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Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights


Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights

The Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. in 1973.

The court’s controversial but expected ruling gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of Roe, which for nearly half a century had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

Almost half the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision. Other states plan to maintain more liberal rules governing the termination of pregnancies.

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Britain has a decision to make: the rule of Boris Johnson – or the rule of law?

Britain has a decision to make: the rule of Boris Johnson – or the rule of law?

Don’t succumb to Johnson derangement syndrome, they tell us. Stay calm. Keep a sense of proportion. Don’t get carried away. As a matter of self-care, that might be good advice for those at risk of bursting a blood vessel in their rage at this government and its leader. But learning to shrug off Boris Johnson’s conduct carries risks of its own.

It can mean missing, or underreacting to, acts that merit furious opposition – such as when, before our very eyes, the prime minister destroys the principle that sits at the very foundation of a free society, a principle first codified in this country eight centuries ago and without which a life free of fear is impossible. I’m talking about the rule of law.

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After the Hammer: Six Years of Meads v. Meads, 2019 CanLIIDocs 2094- Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argum ents” (OPCA)

After the Hammer: Six Years of Meads v. Meads, 2019 CanLIIDocs 2094- Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments” (OPCA)

Six years after Meads Vs Meads, this survey remains a highly useful description of the OPCA phenomenon and has not been the subject of any substantive criticism. That said, Meads’ profile of the OPCA phenomenon has some factual issues and limitations. One error in Meads is that the Freemen-on-the-Land were described as being “strongly anti-government” with “libertarian and right-wing overtones. Christian rhetoric is common.” Subsequent investigation, including a recent sociological profile of this population, has instead concluded that while this community is indeed extremely hostile to state and institutional actors, politically this population is predominately “left-leaning”

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What happened in the Meads case……….. The aim of the so-called OPCA arguments is to “ to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals” The Redemption theory is related to the “strawman” theory, stating that each individual has two personalities: One of them is the tangible human person whereas the other one is a legal fiction, created by the State through certain documents (issuing of birth-certificate, ID or social security number). Tax-resistance partisans often argue that State documents are issued to the “wrong” or “false” person in order to escape tax liabilities or other forms of the State’s authority (ID or driving license inspection, etc.): This strawman theory is embodied in what is known as the “capital letter argument”, stating that “JOHN DOE” and “John Doe” are not the same person(!). From views expressed by Jacques Bellezit.

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One in 500 men carry extra sex chromosome, research suggests

One in 500 men carry extra sex chromosome, research suggests

Twice as many men carry an extra sex chromosome as previously thought, according to researchers who called for more genetic testing to identify people at greater risk of related medical problems.

Research on more than 200,000 men enrolled with the UK Biobank suggests that about one in 500 in the general population has an extra X or Y chromosome, double the number found in earlier work, though only a fraction are likely to be aware of it.

While most men have one X and one Y chromosome, some are born XXY or XYY, putting them at increased risk of health issues ranging from type 2 diabetes, blocked blood vessels and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung condition, the study found.

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Drumming Improves Behavior and Brain Function in Autistic Adolescents

Drumming Improves Behavior and Brain Function in Autistic Adolescents

Drumming for just 90 minutes each week can improve the life quality of young people diagnosed with autism, a new study has revealed.

Scientists found that learning to play the instrument tuned brain networks in autistic adolescents in as little as eight weeks.

The study was undertaken by experts from the universities of Chichester, King’s College London, Hartpury, and Essex working under their collective group the Clem Burke Drumming Project, named after its co-founding member and famed Blondie musician.

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Negative feelings of body image linked to weak gut-brain signals

Negative feelings of body image linked to weak gut-brain signals

A compelling new study led by researchers from Anglia Ruskin University has identified an association between negative body image and weak brain responses to signals from the gut and heart. The researchers hypothesize these findings could lead to objective diagnostic biomarkers for mental health disorders and potentially novel treatments.

“We experience our body both from the inside and out: we can be aware of how our skin and limbs look, but also of how hungry we feel or how strongly our heart is beating during exercise,” explains lead author on the new study, Jane Aspell. “The brain also continuously processes internal signals that we are not conscious of.”

The study of interoception, which is how the brain perceives internal body states, has rapidly advanced in recent decades. Just recently the US National Institutes of Health awarded more than US$18 million in funding for studies particularly focused on interoception

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AEROBIC EXERCISE CAN IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY — IF YOU START BEFORE THIS AGE

AEROBIC EXERCISE CAN IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY — IF YOU START BEFORE THIS AGE

Still, several meta-analyses — studies that synthesize the results of many clinical trials to come to a larger conclusion from current research — “found no benefits of [aerobic exercise] on [episodic memory] among older adults with or without cognitive decline,” according to the new paper. The researchers, working from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, looked at the results for a certain age segment. For inclusion in their meta-analysis, studies had to have a participant pool that had a mean age younger than 55 and no dementia diagnosis. They found 36 studies with data from a total of 2,750 participants.

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The Search for Meaning in a Mysterious Brain Signal at Death

The Search for Meaning in a Mysterious Brain Signal at Death


In 2016, an 87-year-old man went to the emergency room at Vancouver General Hospital after falling down. A CT scan showed that his brain was bleeding, and he needed surgery. After the operation, the man was stable for two days, but then he started to decline and have seizures.

Because of the seizures, his doctors measured the electrical signals from his brain using an electroencephalogram, or EEG. While the electrodes were on his head, the man had a heart attack and died.

A study published at the end of February documented what was found during the recording: In the 30 seconds before and 30 seconds after the man’s heart stopped, there was a surge in brain activity—and not just any activity, but gamma waves. Brain oscillations, or waves, are patterns of coordinated brain activity; gamma waves are associated with conscious states, including learning and memory, and have also been observed in meditative states.

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Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky in 1879- some insights


Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky

Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky in 1879 became an all-time best-seller which also provides us even today many useful insights into the field of “Therapeutic Jurisprudence”. Until recently there has been no general theory concerning the impact of legal processes upon participant wellbeing and its implications for attaining justice system objectives.

Admirers of the book include scientists such as Albert Einstein, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger, as well as many other famous writers.

Sigmund Freud called it “the most magnificent novel ever written” and was fascinated with what he saw as its Oedipal themes. In 1928 Freud published a paper titled “Dostoevsky and Parricide” in which he investigated Dostoevsky’s own neuroses.

Dostoevsky considered the introduction of the European Jury trial and its adversarial justice and the alleged discovery of the truth would supplant Russia’s pure, Christian attitude to truth.

The Brothers Karamazov is a message for Russians and also all of us not to accept the court as the most civil and equitable means of achieving justice. Looking into the attorney’s statements, the lay and expert witnesses, the introduction of dubious expert witnesses on both sides of the trial, the judge, and public response to the trial, all capture well author’s disillusionment with Western Judicial reforms of the nineteenth century.

The experts contradict one another, and the doctor from Moscow and Doctor Herzenstube take the case to pursue their personal vendettas against each other, overall making “the expert testimony appear ludicrous.”

It is here that the value of Therapeutic jurisprudence becomes useful. TJ says that the processes used by courts, judicial officers, lawyers, and other justice system personnel can impede, promote or be neutral in relation to outcomes connected with participant wellbeing such as respect for the justice system and the law, offender rehabilitation, and addressing issues underlying legal disputes.

The fact that evidence can be misconstrued to deny the truth and the fact that evidence is essential to proving the truth indicates Dostoevsky’s belief that “evidence…is a two-edged sword that can cut either way.

It is also our goal to propose new processes to be added to the range of existing processes—such as in the use of mediation in civil, criminal, and family law cases and the establishment of special intervention courts or lists to address broader issues underlying legal problems where such an intervention is consistent with other justice system principles.

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“I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong”:


I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong

In a recent paper authored by Michael Perlin and Alison Lynch titled “ “I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong”: Psychopathy and Punishment in the Context of Racial Bias, the authors stated that there can no longer be any question that issues of race are essential in efforts to understand criminal sentencing. A slew of studies makes clear that, despite federal sentencing guidelines intended to eliminate disparities in sentencing, unexplained disparities in sentencing lengths exist between defendants of different races.

The article adds more light that researchers have found that black defendants fare worse in court than do their white counterparts. Research on capital punishment shows that “killers of White victims are more likely to be sentenced to death than are killers of Black victims” and that “Black defendants are more likely than White defendants” to receive the death penalty.

These are great areas where Therapeutic Jurisprudence could make a positive contribution in the months and years to come.

Please also see: https://libguides.law.uconn.edu/implicit/courts

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