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: Making the Memories Last!

Theoretical Thursday: Making the Memories Last!

Middle School The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

Welcome to yet another Theoretical Thursday written by me, The Study Academy’s humble blogger. I felt that, considering how majority of you are probably deciding whether to sign up your child this summer for camp (hopefully Brain Camp), I wanted to give you a bit more incentive.  As I mentioned in this week’s The Study Academy Report, there is indeed a concern by many Educators that students forget the material taught during the academic year while they are on break. Actually, this has been termed as brain drain syndrome, but don’t be alarmed there are ways to prevent it!

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http://01.edu-cdn.com/files/static/wiley/9780470591963/WHY_DO_STUDENTS_REMEMBER_EVERYTHING_THAT_S_ON_TELEVISION_AND_FORGET_EVERYTHING_I_SAY_01.GIF

First, however, why is it happening? Well, the  Educational calendar has definitely changed over the years. For instance, there has been a gradual movement towards fewer school days in the classroom by having the children stay longer on school days to make up the minutes. Thus, with longer breaks between lessons children can fall prey to brain drain. On average, children can lose up to two months of what they were taught in school over the summer break. Why? Well this has a lot to do with the child’s memory. You see there are many different kinds of memories. Long-term memory is our brain’s system responsible for storing, managing, and retrieving information that we can keep for long periods of time. There are many different forms of long-term memory. explicit memory, or declarative memory, is a type of long-term memory, which requires conscious thought for us to retrieve it. We have to consciously think of what page of math we have in order to retrieve the memory and say, “Aha! It was page 102, questions 1 to 12!” Closely related to “working” memory, short-term memory is the very short time that you keep something in mind before either dismissing it or transferring it to long-term memory.

It takes, however, quite a bit of work for a memory to be transferred and stored in long term memory so that it can be kept for long periods of time. Memories can be encoded into long term memory most commonly through two ways: repetition and meaningful encoding. Repetition is probably the most used way. It is when you have your child review their material a bit each day or read a book each week during the summer break. I fondly recall how my parents had me write 2 to 4 book reports each summer, and this really helped to expand my vocabulary from an early age.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/teach/z-vthink.gif

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/teach/z-vthink.gif

However, getting a child to go back to the books after they have been looking so forward to the relaxing and fun times of summer may be a bit of a challenge, to say the least. Can you blame them? Both adults and children alike want to have a bit of fun after they work hard.  This is why, meaningful encoding may be the better option. Meaningful  encoding allows for memories of what your child has learned to reach long term memory by attaching relevance to the information. It is making the details personally important to the child. In this way, the memory can be encoded and transferred through what they refer to as dual encoding process- the memory is encoded through both as information and through the emotions the child relates to the information.

Well, children can certainly have a meaningful time at camp! Academic camps are structured around the idea of meaningful encoding and therefore are a great option for reducing brain drain! Studies have shown that students in academic camps, such as Brain Camp, benefit in a number of ways including enhanced problem solving skills and memory. In fact, 98% of campers continue to use these skills after camp is over. Children certainly gain invaluable knowledge and skills at such camps  that helps them succeed in school and later in the working world.

So, what’s your decision now going to be for your child this summer?