Welcome Back, CEC, & IMBES

Welcome Back, CEC, & IMBES

Educational Research High School Middle School The Study Academy Report

Greetings! Welcome back! I hope your summer was everything you’d ever hoped it would be and more.

First off, please let me introduce myself: My name is Ariana. I enjoy long walks on the beach, sunsets, and filing OSRs. In other words, I am the new School Administrator, and I am pleased to handle all of your administrative needs. I have also assumed the role of Blog Master, so here we go:

Once again, welcome back! We’re glad to see so many new and returning faces, and we’re excited about everything that this year has in store. Already, we’ve had our high school trip to the Canadian Ecology Centre, Parent Welcome Meeting, taken student card photos, had our first assembly and fire drill of the year (which everyone aced), and will soon begin our extracurricular clubs and activities. We’re powering through and loving every second of it. On to thing two!

Various balls on the groundDuring the first week back, we had our start-of-year high school trip to the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC). For those of you who don’t know, the CEC is a non-profit environmental science education and research facility. They share the landscape with Samuel de Champlain Park, as well as the goal of “conserving and protecting our natural environment.” Their aim is to “[facilitate] informed choices [for all of their visitors] – presenting a better understanding of the conservation and development issues related to the environment and [associated] sectors. The CEC is also home to the Canadian Institute of Forestry”, and from September 6th to 9th, they housed our high school students. During that week, Grades 9 – 12 got to engage in some awesome activities, including: Team building and other group exercises, swimming, canoeing, drumming, astronomy, night vision and campfire construction, wilderness survival, stream and aquatic study, Creatures of the Night and Living Discovery Lab, orienteering and introduction to GPS, and intro to GIS. It was a packed week, but the group had a great time and learned some important information about our environment, and themselves, in the process. Trips like this are a great way to supplement classroom learning, facilitate teamwork, and present an opportunity for students to participate in outdoor education, but they also provide a practical understanding of nature and the environment, situating it in a context that then becomes more relatable and, thus, more actionable. We are dedicated, through these experiences, to the growth of our students both in the classroom and beyond; at present and into the indefinite future.

Lastly, we are very pleased to announce that our very own Jason Krell, Patrick Dolecki, and Anderson Todd have been accepted to present their research at the International Mind, Brain, & Education Society’s (IMBES) 2016 conference here in Toronto! IMBES’ mission is to “facilitate cross-cultural collaboration in biology, education, and the cognitive and developmental sciences.” They aim to “improve the state of knowledge in, and dialogue between, education, biology, and the developmental and cognitive sciences; create and develop resources for scientists, practitioners, public policy makers, and the public; and create and identify useful information, research directions, and promising educational practices. [They] invite researchers and practitioners at all levels of education to explore the questions and proposed solutions that emerge at the intersection of mind, brain, and education.” This year’s conference featured keynotes from Dr. Clancy Blair, on The Development of Self-Regulation in Early Childhood; Dr. Tania Lombrozo, on The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful (evidence for broad/simple explanation preference in children and adults); Dr. Marla Sokolowski, on Gene-Environment Interplay in Individual Differences in Behaviour; Dr. Janet Werker, on Perceptual Foundations of Language Acquisition; and Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, on About the Facts and the Myths about Education in Finland: Mind, brain, and smart education policies.

Neurofeedback schematic diagramKrell, Dolecki, & Todd (2016)’s poster, Executive Functions Through Attention, covered their research on the effects of neurofeedback training (NT) on attention and executive functioning (e.g., self-regulation, cognitive flexibility, reasoning, problem-solving, planning) in Gr. 5 – 8 students. NT teaches individuals to self-regulate by providing direct feedback on temporal and spatial patterns in brain activity. Using EEG measurement, it rewards individuals for attending effectively, encouraging them to attend further. In their presentation, they noted the changing landscape of education, with increasingly personalized learning, expanded accessibility, and new desired learning outcomes centred on adaptive competencies. Despite this, as well as the promising evidence of its effectiveness for individuals with and without ADHD, educational research on NT is presently scarce. This motivated them to examine the relationship between the use of this specific technology and student attention/executive functioning. After acquiring the appropriate assent and consent, data was gathered from semi-weekly, 30-minute training sessions, and performance was assessed by parents and teachers. Results support that both teachers and parents observed decreases in the relative occurrence of inattentive behaviours over the course of the NT sessions. This supports the hypothesis that NT can be effectively used in a classroom setting to supplement student learning and existing growth, and improve attention, planning, and organizational skills. In short, we’ve not seen the end of NT at The Study Academy, and we’re excited to see what else we can do with it moving forward.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more exciting news and events.

Survey Results: Educational Expectations and Opinion of Teachers

Survey Results: Educational Expectations and Opinion of Teachers

Educational Research

Hello Readers,

As promised, I am going to have today’s blog post be about the results of the Teachers Opinion survey. Like in my  previous post about the Student Opinion results, this survey reflects how individuals, in particular Educators,  feel about their experiences within the Educational system. Overall, the survey asked for the opinions on varying subject matter and included a mixture of both male and females teachers with an age range of 25 to 50. So let’s get started shall we?

http://joshsherin.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/self_improvement.jpg

http://joshsherin.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/self_improvement.jpg

Teachers do indeed want to see their students prosper, especially when it comes to their students’ future career path. Similar to the opinions of the students, there was a strong agreement that Education should be a tool for career preparation. However, teachers felt more strongly that Education should also be a place where one can develop intellectually (83.3%) and foster self improvement (66.3%). In fact, 60% agreed that Educational institutions should spend more time and resources assessing and addressing each student’s needs. This paralleled the agreement that there needs to me more classroom aids.

All agreed there should be greater communication between parents and themselves regarding the child’s learning development as well as greater communication between parents and child to reinforce their efforts as Educators. It is, however a very careful line to tread for parents when getting involved with their child’s education and teachers do recognize this. One reported that, “As an educator, I found that parents who where actively involved in their child’s education performed better at school. However, the parents should not be so involved that they become a hindrance to their child’s education. I have also believed that both parents and educator should be scaffolds for the children.” So you see, there needs to be a healthy balance between all three participants for the child to grown and prosper in their school environment.

Neurofeedback training for ADHD

An example of how The Study Academy implements research into our school!

Educators who took the survey all felt that they should only be educated in the field, but  also agreed that schools should be completing research in the classroom as another way of providing an enriching educational environment for students. However, while there was agreement that schools should be implementing new research findings into teachings, there was still 17% that disagreed with this.  One possible explanation of this can be found in the response of one of the survey participants: “I agree schools should be implementing new research findings into teaching practice. However, teachers need to be properly in-serviced to implement these new practices. Too many times, teachers are left on their own with insufficient training to interpret new findings.  As a result, these practices fall to the wayside because the teachers were not properly prepared.” So in this way, research can indeed be useful,  but must be carefully implemented to ensure the best possible outcome.

Overall I hope these results have given you, my readers, a good perception of how Educators truly feel about the current Educational System. Perhaps some of the results even gave you a pleasant surprise? Well. I certainly tip my hat off to these diligent individuals who serve future generations through their guidance and instruction. Don’t you?

 

The Study Academy Lab Campaign : Turning Science into Smarts

The Study Academy Lab Campaign : Turning Science into Smarts

Educational Research High School Middle School

Hello Readers,

I also wanted to mention to you all the exciting news about The Study Academy Lab’s campaign to build the first Canadian K-12 Educational Research Lab! In an interview with Principle Jason Krell, he states that “there has been some considerable work going on to initiate funding for not just research activities, but for a fully operational lab at The Study Academy.”

Neurfeedback training for ADHDWell, today they have launched their campaign with an Indiegogo crowd-funding platform and an additional video to communicate their vision (http://vimeo.com/69015735) .The footage was taken by Vlad Lunin (http://vladlunin.com/)  at the school and is a mixture of the old and new; old in the images of the building and in the personal interaction between student and teacher, and new in the implementation of novel and groundbreaking technologies (Neurofeedback headsets in school).

The video conveys The Study’ Academy’s Lab’s motto of turning “Science into Smarts”. The lab will work on the premise that change in Education must be recognized from the grass-root level, with the emergence of empirical evidence. In fact, it is the Study Academy’s vision to develop such empirical evidence with tools and methods for training wisdom through developing cognition, training attention, and goal setting.

The three main goals of the lab are

  1. To bridge the gap between research and pedagogy which the public and private school systems have ignored. We will be researching methods and tools that will augment traditional learning processes and replace worn out teaching models.
  2. To give students the ability to better use their brains to allow for more effective learning. In other words, we want to train students to intelligently use their intelligence.
  3. To design tools and better implement technology that will train students’ attention, problem solving abilities, thinking and rationality. In essence, we want students to gain not only knowledge but wisdom as well.

The research lab will offer an unprecedented opportunity to work with existing basic research findings from the fields of Cognitive Science, Psychology and Neuroscience and to generate and test hypotheses in the classroom.

Also,w e have a great team to head this growing research lab, including Patrick K Dolecki as the Research Coordinator, Jason Krell, John Vervaeke  (http://www.newcollege.utoronto.ca/academics/new-college-academic-programs/buddhism-psychology-and-mental-health/centre-for-buddhism-and-psychology/the-buddhism-psychology-mental-health-program/faculty/dr-john-vervaeke/), a University of Toronto Professor and our Research Advisor and Anderson Todd as our Creative Advisor. They have all been working hard to create this facility from the ground up!

John Vervake giving a talk about Mindfulness Meditation at a Ted Talk at U of T

That is why we need your help, Readers. Through the website Indiegogo, The Study Academy hopes to raise money that will assist their researching and designing projects.The funding will contribute to such things as providing wages for the research team, pay for a 3D printer, new hardware (including neurofeedback, headsets, eye tracking devices and motion detection cameras), cloud back up services to secure data, software and a small business server to handle such lab software.

The Study Academy Lab will be of great interest to a rather wide audience including families of school aged children who have an interest in new educational model that will empower their children and prepare them for the careers and independence that await them; to educators and school administrators who support the need for the educational reform and progressive and evidence based teaching methods; and to students who have an interest in participating in learning activities directed towards their specific profile.

Thus, it is the hope of The Study Academy to join the conversation of what education “should be” and how it will reform in the coming years. Here at The Study Academy  “we not only want to teach students, we want to make them smarter.” Please help support our cause so we can create a better tomorrow for students. They deserve it.

Survey Results: Educational Expectations and Opinions of Students

Survey Results: Educational Expectations and Opinions of Students

Educational Research The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

As promised, I come to you today with the results of last week’s Education Opinions Survey. However, due to the incoming data, I will be splitting the results over the span of three weeks, so I can discuss them from the point of views of the student, the parents as well as the teachers.

Social Studies teach critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.So, today’s results reflect students’ opinions on varying subject matter, ranging from class subjects, teachers, educational research and the future of schools. I would like it to be known that these were general feelings regarding education and do not necessarily reflect opinions regarding The Study Academy. The survey targeted current students within Toronto and recently graduated students from highschool. The reason for this is because they would have had ample amount of experience within the Ontario Educational system from which to draw their opinions. This is also the reason why younger middle school students were not used.

Considering the results all together, students thought of education in a diverse and complicated manner. While they believed education should be a tool for career preparation, they also strongly felt education should be a place of self discovery and where one can develop intellectually. It was also interesting to see that fifty percent said they saw education as stepping stone to more academic opportunities later in life.

Middle School classes are taught in small classesIn terms of how students saw their teachers, majority of the participants in the survey also strongly agreed that teachers need to be educated in the main subject field in which they teach. Furthermore, teachers should continually upgrade upon these skills by attending courses.

Students believed the communal efforts between parents, teacher and child, as well as the focused resources on a child’s learning development was indeed important. students feel there needs to be more communication between their parents and teachers about their learning development, as well as communication between their parents and self (as a student) to reinforce teacher’s effort. However, only sixty percent thought these changes was likely to happen any time soon. In addition, students also felt that it was unlikely that the current educational system would have the resources to assist troubled students sooner so that they do not fall behind.

Perhaps in response to this pessimism in Ontario’s educational system, majority of sample thought private Education was a good alternative method.  However, eighty percent of students thought home schooling was not a good alternative means of education.

Neurfeedback training for ADHDNevertheless, now we come to the most interesting part of the data! As many of my readers know The Study Academy is hoping to become the first  K – 12 Educational Research facility, therefore I thought it was necessary to ask students how they would feel if they had the opportunity to have research more intertwined within their educational experience. In terms of education structure and teaching methods, I was quite happy to find that 100 percent agreed that schools should be completing research in the classroom, which is precisely what The Study Academy intends to do! Everyone also agreed Educational institutions should be implementing new research findings into teaching practice. These results bode quite well for the continuing campaign to fund the future lab. That being said, if you are interested please visit the below website to find out more about The Study Academy Research Lab and perhaps even donate to a lab that will harness the power of neuroplasticity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity) to develop smarter students:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-study-research-lab

Also stay tuned for the next two weeks as you discover the results for Teachers and Parents Education Opinions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of Nature AND Nurture on Your Child’s Reading Development

The Impact of Nature AND Nurture on Your Child’s Reading Development

Educational Research

Hello Readers,

I want to tell you about one of the first studies to show their relative roles of nature and nurture in how quickly or slowly children’s reading skills improve over time (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/49/10/1971). Dr. Sara Hart (http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/hart.dp.html) and colleagues from The Ohio State University they tested the environments and reading abilities of children to discover the differences in children’s reading abilities. 371 twin pairs of fraternal and identical twins from ages 6 to 12 were put into groups and tested every year for six years. Each child was given a 90-minute battery of reading-based measures including word and letter identification, the ability to sound out words and the speed at which children could name a series of letters.

http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/92785/file-5415157-jpg/images/nature-vs-nurture-resized-600.jpg

http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/92785/file-5415157-jpg/images/nature-vs-nurture-resized-600.jpg

The researchers compared how twins scored on the tests and then used a statistical analysis to determine how much growth in their performance could be explained by genetics and how much by environmental factors.They used a technique “phenotypic and genetically sensitive latent growth modeling” to pull apart the influences of  nature and nurture on kids’ reading levels”. Essentially what this means is that the inclusion of fraternal and identical twins allows for them to discover how much was due to genetics and how much was due to environmental reasons for a child’s reading development. If identical twins read identically while fraternal read differently than the difference would be genetics as opposed to environment.

The results found that when children start out reading, both genetics and environment play a role in reading skills. For example in their tests word and letter identification, genetics explained about one-third, while for vocabulary and sound awareness, it was 50/50 for genetics and environment. However, the author commented that, “ the genetic influences related to how quickly or slowly a student grows in their reading skill are not the same as the genetic influences on their skill at the first assessment. In other words, some new genetic component related to growth is coming online after that first assessment wave, and it is influencing development.” This means that some another genetic reason for reading development activates at a later point in at child’s educational years, in particular around kindergarten age.

Afterwards, however when “environmental factors increase mean reading performance across all children”. For reading skills that are taught, such as words and letters, the environment is almost completely responsible for growth.In addition, the awareness of sounds in reading, 80 percent of growth was explained by the environment.The authors of the study commented that it is indeed quite critical in the early years to choose a school that will serve your child’s reading development well. The moral, i suppose, is to choose a school and to choose it very wisely!

A Year in Review at The Study Academy

A Year in Review at The Study Academy

Educational Research High School Middle School

Hello Readers,

with classes ending, its been making me think of all that’s happened through the year. I’ve tried to share them all with you each and every week. We have also discussed many of the recent and pressing issues in Education and research. I must say, it  has definitely been quite exciting each and every week.

When I first was approached to write for The Study Academy’s blog, I was shocked. The first concern that came to my mind was how could I make these posts relevant to you, the Reader. I knew it had to be about The Study Academy, but I felt there just had to be something more. It came to me one morning- Theoretical Thursdays!  In addition to Tuesday’s The Study Academy Reports, Theoretical Thursdays has come to comprise the basis for this blog.Neurfeedback training for ADHD

The posts these past few months have been diverse, but I hope they have been informative. On every Tuesday’s The Study Academy Report I tried to detail to you all the exciting happenings going on at school, both in the Highschool and Middle School sections. In some of my posts, I’ve written about the Neurofeedback training at The Study Academy lab, or the Study Academy’s small class sizes.  I also detailed to you about the exciting volunteering abroad opportunity that some of the students took in Nicaragua and the array of activities during Inspire Week. In the last remaining weeks, as things slowed down I spoke about the music classes available, the anti bullying policies at the school, the structured educational system, the theatrical performances by students, and the exciting new work happening at The Study Academy lab.

Teaching methods based on graduate research in action!Likewise , every Theoretical Thursday you, the Reader, were provided with the exciting research happening around the world and its relevance to Education and your child. You learned about the lasting effects of smaller class sizes, the self control technique of Mindfulness, the importance of divergent thinking in children, and the exciting new method of detecting autism.  In addition, I discussed the importance of music and goal setting for children, while using the most up to date and relevant research. Those who read my previous posts also learned the dangers of stereotype threat for young girls who like Math and the ways to prevent their impact, as well as how to use the structure of memory to one’s advantage so children will not forget their lessons over the break.

To say the least, we have had some very good time this year at The Study Academy, however summer is finally here, so we are going to have to say goodbye to our regular Tuesday posts, The Study Academy Report. The final The Study Academy Report will be next week . It will be detailing the last days of Brain Camp. However, it will be replaced with a new opinion section. All my readers will now get an opportunity to interact and really give your opinions about Education and Research. So, definitely don’t stop dropping by on Tuesday; instead come as you are and bring your opinions with you!

Theoretical Thursday: Preventing Female Students from Losing their Love of Math!

Theoretical Thursday: Preventing Female Students from Losing their Love of Math!

Educational Research

Hello Readers,

Do any of you have or know little girls who like math? Are they good at math? The reason why I am asking you these questions is because there has been a growing concern that young girls are shying away from mathematics as they grow older. In this month’s journal of Child Development (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12128/abstract) , it was shown that girls as young as six subconsciously bias themselves away from mathematics, which negatively impacts the development of their math ability. Essentially, her confidence fades and eventually her skills and drive to learn fade away too.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Stereotype_threat_-_osborne_2007.png

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Stereotype_threat_-_osborne_2007.png

One of the reasons postulated was based off the idea of Stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is the idea that one becomes fearful that one will act in ways that confirm the perceived stereotype. Girls, therefore, may be anxious that they may act according to the stereotype of girls being poor of math, and therefore shy away from the subject. Studies have shown this to be the case. Stereotype threat claims space in one’s working memory and therefore leaves one with less space for the mental manipulation that express themselves through intelligent thought patterns.

Researchers from this month’s Child Development worked with 276 first-graders to examine the boundaries of Stereotype threat and how girls can overcome it. The children were divided into groups and were asked to colour a picture. Simple enough, right? Well wait, there’s more. A third of the children colored a picture showing a girl solving a math problem at a blackboard while a boy sat in the front row watching, while another third colored a picture of a boy solving a math problem while a girl watched, and lastly another third colored a landscape. After the students were done then the researchers had students do a few math questions .

The results indicated that girls who felt they were under stereotype threat were negatively impacted by colouring the picture of a math-active boy and a math-passive girl. They added numbers more slowly and with less accurately. A little girl’s love and confidence in her math skills should not be dictated by her social surroundings. It only takes an active approach from a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, or even her teachers to help feed the young girl’s thirst for knowledge and confidence so she can succeed!

Till next time!

Theoretical Thursday: The Use of Standardized Testing

Theoretical Thursday: The Use of Standardized Testing

Educational Research

Hello Readers,

In today’s issue of Theoretical Thursday I would like to talk to you about a rather controversial issue that intersects all levels of education- standardized testing.

Standardized tests have been around since the late 20th century. They are designed with the intention of giving all test takers the same test conditions. The questions, conditions for administering, scoring and interpretations are consistent to a single standard which allow the assessment to be empirically documented.Students’ scores on such tests are influenced by three things: what students learn in school, what students learn outside of school, and the students’ innate and malleable intelligence. However, the school system only has control over one of these three factors, and I’m sure you can guess which.

Nevertheless, despite the consistency, efficiency and general simplicity that standardized testing can provide, there is a growing concern amongst educational professionals that the misuse and overuse of standardized tests misses out on the fundamental understanding of the student. If you will allow me to quote Bill Ayers, American elementary education theorist, that these tests “can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes.” Instead, he goes on to say that the only thing they can measure are  “isolated skills, specific facts and function, content knowledge, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.” If you are interested in learning more about Bill Ayers and his theories please check out the following link:

http://socialistworker.org/2010/09/28/why-testing-fails-our-schools

In addition, in a standardized test there can be scoring information loss. By this I mean, the teacher can obviously see what question the student got wrong by looking at what answer he chose; however the teacher does not know how the student ever arrived at answer without asking. Who is to say it wasn’t a guess. an error, a misunderstanding or maybe even, dare I say, a differing of opinion!

The overuse and misuse of standardized testing can really develop an atmosphere in the educational institution to “teach to test”, which essentially disfavors any aspirations of higher order learning. Studying becomes a means to an end, to get a score, to get a good report, etc. While there is no problem with wanting to do well academically, the pursuit for knowledge is entirely the reason large scale educational institutions came to be in the first place! To merely learn what is to be tested means you lose out on learning many other interesting subject matters that could spark long term interests in a student.

Another concern with the misuse and overuse of standardized tests is perfectly expressed by Rhona Weinstein (http://psychology.berkeley.edu/people/rhona-s-weinstein) in her recent book “Reaching Higher: The Power of Expectations in Schooling” (Harvard University Press, 2002) : “In this testing and sorting culture, achievement differences on tests are made even more salient to children, and the gap in motivation will grow between the high and low performers.” She goes on to say that “children as young as six know where they stand academically, especially in classroom settings that make such so-called achievement differences very obvious and this means they are vulnerable to not believing in themselves from an early age.”

So you see, dear Reader, that the use of standardized testing can be quite a complicated matter. To ignore a student’s needs and interests in academics for the sake of efficiency can lead to a student feeling their opinion and even their own sense of self as less valued. It is important in a school setting, to help a child  realize their drive for learning and to foster this in the long term, however for the sake of numbers, it still must be done efficiently . For this reason, Educational research must continue to strive to find the proper measures that can truly understand all aspects of a student.

Till next time!

 

 

 

 

Theoretical Thursday: Enriching Benefits of Drama Education

Theoretical Thursday: Enriching Benefits of Drama Education

Educational Research High School

Hello Readers,

I hope you booked some time off work either Monday or Tuesday next week to see the Highschool students’ performance! If not, then hop to it ladies and gentleman because you have the great opportunity of seeing the enriching benefits of Drama education. Speaking of which, in today’s post I hope to demonstrate the benefits of Drama education in a child’s development.

What I have found through a meta analysis of research is that Drama Education can have a highly positive impact on a student’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development. Being on stage and acting as whole, requires a great amount of movement! With practice it has been shown to improve flexibility, coordination, balance and control. These physical activities can also reduce the pain of physical stress that would otherwise negatively impact a child’s physical development. Not bad, eh? Well, I’m not done yet, so keep reading, my fellow Readers.

http://www.meaningcentered.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Figure3.jpg

http://www.meaningcentered.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Figure3.jpg

Emotionally, a child also benefits from being engaged in Dramatic education. For instance, acting roles from different time periods, situations and cultures promotes tolerance of other people’s feelings, as well as a a deeper understanding of child’s own emotions. It will encourage self understanding as well as self confidence in a child’s own ideas and abilities which can be applied apply to all aspects of their lives.

There has indeed also been experimental results on benefits of theatre on a child’s cognitive development as well. Studies have indicated that children who were involved in theatre show higher levels in concentration & self discipline, problem solving as well as memory. There are various reasons for this, but I will keep it short and sweet.  While rehearsing and performing, memory is strengthened no differently than like a muscle. it also requires a good deal amount of focus attention & self control, both of which help students, especially those who experience attentional difficulties.

Probably the most obvious benefit theatre has is to a child’s social development. A child involved with theatre develops both their cooperative as well as communicative skills. Verbal and non verbal expression, as well as, listening and observation skills are key skills when rehearsing or performing. This also requires cooperation while negotiating ideas and boundaries. In addition, children can experience an increase in social awareness beyond their self. In this way, Drama can teach a child of the world and help them put things into perspective.

I know that I have written quite a bit today, so I would like to provide you with a link for point form note son the many benefits of a drama education. You can find it at the following link:

http://www.dramaed.net/benefits.pdf

In addition, if you are a teacher and would like to learn more on how to integrate drama into your classroom, may I suggest you check out the wonderful magazine article from Canada’s educational magazine:

http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/dramatic-ways-engage-every-student

 So, taking into consideration all the benefits Drama can provide a child, don’t you think it’s about time to get your child on stage? Tell me what you think, Readers!
Theoretical Thursday: The Importance of Developing Goal Setting Skills in Children

Theoretical Thursday: The Importance of Developing Goal Setting Skills in Children

Middle School

Hello Readers,

Taking into consideration my most recent The Study Academy Report, I wanted to discuss with you today the current research on goal setting in children. It is such a large topic area in Developmental Psychology that I could not fathom how to fit it all into one blog post, therefore I decided to condense my idea. Today, we will be discussing the difficulty children with learning disabilities have forming goals. So, let’s get started, shall we?

http://heidipowell.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Goal-Setting.jpg

http://heidipowell.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Goal-Setting.jpg

Research has shown that a possible reason why certain children experience difficulty setting goals and sticking to their plan is because there is a sort of “mis-wiring” of the brain which then make it hard for the child to plan ahead and self monitor. As a result, one can encounter barriers that often others do not, which means perseverance is quite an important asset to develop in their education. It is essential that in developing their educational goals a student is shown that their mistakes are not failures, but instead opportunities to learn from their experiences.

Numerous studies have also shown that, so far, the most effective way to encourage goal setting and adhering to such goals is to follow the SMART method: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time- bound. Studies have shown that goals that incorporate specific outlines lead to higher performance than general goals, such as, “do your best”.

However, an important component in ensuring a child can adhere to such goals is that they have the ability to also self monitor themselves. What does this mean? Well, this refers to the ability to essentially watching themselves take one step at a time towards their goal. In fact, self monitoring has a long standing record of effectiveness for increasing on task behaviour for child with learning difficulties.

http://www.tomharveytraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/setting-smart-goals.jpg

http://www.tomharveytraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/setting-smart-goals.jpg

In one study by Briesch and Chafouleas (2009) they tested the hypothesis that participation in goal setting enhances self-efficacy and skills. Subjects were sixth-grade children who previously had been classified as learning disabled in mathematics. Children received subtraction training that included instruction and practice opportunities over several sessions. Some children set proximal performance goals each session, others had comparable proximal goals assigned, and children in a third condition received the training but no goals. Although proximal goals promoted motivation more than no goals, participation in goal setting led to the highest self-efficacy and subtraction skill. What I’m trying to say with this example is that having a child actively involved in the goal setting process is just as important to them accomplishing the goal. Both goal setting skills and the skill necessary for the task at hand are trained in the process, and for a child who has difficulty with goal planning, this is incredibly important skill to train. So, this sort of research looks quite promising, don’t you think so?

Well, at The Study Academy, we are trying just as hard to ensure that any child who experiences such a difficulty setting goals, will be able to hone in and develop their skill as well. So, dear Readers, I hope that you have gained a bit of perspective on some of the challenges a student can experience in school when they have problems with setting goals and also understand how critical the research The Study Academy’s lab is in providing children with the correct tools to overcome such challenges and succeed academically.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the Educational Research conducted by Briesch and Chafouleas or more Educational Research in general I suggest you check out the following two links:

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/spq/24/2/106/

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232565239_Review_and_analysis_of_literature_on_self-management_interventions_to_promote_appropriate_classroom_behaviors_(19882008)