Alarms for Parents and Educators

Head Puzzle Shows Slipping Ideas Or Thoughts

“…sarcasm, criticism and put-downs increase abnormalities in heart rate… Allan Rozanski, PhD.(1988) reports in The New England Journal of Medicine that these aberrations are as significant and measurable as those from heavy workout or pre-attack myocardial chest pains.” (Jensen 2000 pg108)

“… to be grid locked or tarmacked is to be stuck in place, our fastest engines idling all around, as time passes and blood pressures rise… We are in a rush. We are making haste. A compression of time characterizes the life of the century now closing. Airport gates are minor intensifiers of the lose-not-a-minute anguish of our age… The DOOR CLOSE button in elevators, so often a placebo, with no function but to distract for a moment those riders to whom ten seconds seems an eternity. Speed-dial buttons on telephones: do you invest minutes in programming them and reap your reward in tenths of a second? Remote controls: their very existence, in the hands of a quick reflexed, multitasking, channel-flipping, fast-forwarding citizenry, has caused an acceleration in the pace of films and television commercials”
(Glick pg. 103)
“We therefore see two powerful factors, electronic connectedness on the one hand and social disconnectedness on the other, combining to create a modern landscape that induces the symptoms of ADD. While only 5 percent of the population had true ADD, I’d guess about 50 percent has pseudo- ADD.”
(Hallowell WYWACYL p 102,103)

“The enemy is ‘time poverty,” said Felton Earls, professor of human behavior and development at the Harvard School of public Health, and professor of child psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. Many parents, regardless of their income, do not have enough time to organize a stimulating environment for their children… Not only are more women working than ever before, but men are working longer hours. Children are often left to fend for themselves, surrendering to the passive habit of watching TV, instead of interacting with their environment.” (Kotuluk p55)

“A diminished home life and an ever more powerful media constitute a double blow against the conditions under which individuality flourishes.” (Hymowitz pg. 129)

“This whole generation of workers…weaned on video games, operates at twitch speed…” (Hymowitz pg. 170)

“Surprisingly, there is no absolute timetable for learning to read. Differences of three years are normal. Some children will be ready to read at 4 years: others, just as normal, will be ready at 7 or even 10 years. The child who reads at 7 might not be “developmentally delayed”as many have diagnosed…Wait until the brain’s ready to read, then you can’t stop it… There can be, in fact, a spread in differences from a few months to 5 years in completely normal, developing brains…” (Jensen 1998)

“Once a child learns to build bridges among symbols, he has attained a skill so formidable that he can begin to construct a cohesive internal world of his own. This effort ideally continues throughout life as the individual uses his ability to perceive connections to refine, enrich, correct, elaborate, and enlarge his map of reality as new experiences unfold.” (Greenspan p85)
“One of the critical factors of an enriched environment is one which is mostly taken for granted, the visual climate. Our eyes are capable of registering 36,000 visual messages per hour-a huge number when you stop to think about it…Between 80 and 90 percent of all information that is absorbed by our brain is visual. In fact, the retina accounts for 40 percent of all nerve fibers connected to the brain. With this enormous capacity, it is important to be aware of the environmental factors that influence how we see and process information.”
(Jensen 2000 p 55)
“We may be underutilizing the value of our brain’s visual system.
(Jensen 2000,p58)

Boredom is more than annoying.. it may be thinning their brains!!!
“…the brain’s outer layer can grow if a person… lives in stimulating surroundings, but the zone can shrink if the environment is dull or unchallenging. The implications of the discoveries are profound…” (Diamond & Hopson Intro p.2)
“What we are all beginning to conclude is that the bad environments that more and more children are being exposed to are, indeed, creating an epidemic of violence,” Kruesi said(Dr. Markus J. Kruesei, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Illinois Medical school’s Institute for Juvenile Research) “Environmental events are really causing molecular changes in the brain… It is frightening to think that we
may be doing some very dreadful things to our children” (Kotuluk p85)
“Chronic stress cannot only accelerate a host of illnesses but can also cause damage in parts of the brain that are associated with memory-a direct instance of bodily ills affecting cognitive abilities.” (Conlan p5)

“…when the brain senses danger, higher-order thinking skills take a back seat to survival concerns.” (Jensen 2000 p301)

Dehydration is a common problem that’s linked to poor learning. To be at their best, learners need water…Stress researchers found that within five minutes of drinking water, there a marked decline in corticoids and ACTH, two hormones associated with elevated stress. (Heybach and Vernikos- Danellis 1979)
“Generally speaking, learning results form the operation of neural linkages between global mappings and value centers. Learning is achieved when behavior lead to synaptic changes in global mappings that satisfy set points. In other words,we are learning when we can relate the knowledge form one area to another, then personalize it. Three essentials of heighten brain functions are categorization, memory and learning. The last depends on the first two; the second depends on the first. Perceptual categorization is essential for memory. The value centers are located in the hypothalamus and mid brain.” (Jensen 2000 p 82)
“Provide ‘settling time’…The best type of reflection time is not seatwork or homework, but rather a walk, stretching, rote classroom chores (i.e., clearing the bulletin board or hanging art), doodling, or merely resting. Breaks, recess, lunch and going home can also be considered downtime. Ideally, ‘brain-breaks’ ought to be built into your lesson plans every twenty minutes or so. The more intense the new learning, the more reflection time is necessary.” (Jensen 2000 p124)

Our average brain capacity is 2.8 x 10 to the twentieth, or approximately ten million volumes (books) of a thousand pages each…..Each memory seems to be stored throughout the brain, rather than in a single confined location. Apparently, memories hook on to related networks of other memories…So there appears to be no one location within the cortex for memory storage; instead, each memory seems to have an extensive set of backups…..After a learning episode of an hour or so, take a break and do something to pump up your epinephrine levels: walk about, do isometrics, climb some stairs, do laundry, move some boxes-anything that will generate epinephrine and norepinephrine to help fix the memory. Then go back and review the old material before going on to something new….Making the effort to reorganize new material you’ve read or heard about is, in itself, a form of stress that will help you convert the material to long-term memory….Take notes on material you wish to remember.” (Howard pg. 244-245)

“The Brain simultaneously operates on many levels of consciousness, processing all at once a world of colors, movements, emotions, shapes, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings, and more. It assembles patterns, composes meaning, and sorts daily life experiences from an extraordinary number of clues.It’s so efficient at processing information that nothing in the living or man-made world comes close to matching human learning potential. Knowing this, perhaps, it is easier to conceive how this amazing multi-processor, called our brain, is undernourished, if not starved in the typical classroom. Many educators unknowingly inhibit the brain’s learning ability by teaching in a ultra-linear, structured, and predictable fashion. The result is bored or frustrated learners who then perpetuate the underachievement cycle.” (Jensen 2000 p12)

Scientists daily are discovering and refining their knowledge of the brain and daily they make astounding discoveries that are important for educators to take note of.
“Brain-based learning emerged in the 1980s as whole new breed of science was quietly developing. By the 1990s, it had exploded into dozens of mindboggling subdisciplines. Suddenly, seemingly unrelated disciplines were being mentioned in the same science journals. Readers found immunology, physics, genes, emotions, and pharmacology seamlessly woven into articles on learning and brain theory. The voices that we were hearing were those of biochemists, cognitive scientist, neuroscientists, psychologists, and educational researchers…From this broad multi-disciplinary body of research about the brain came a new way of thinking about learning.’ (Jensen 2000 p3)
“No other time in history has offered such promise because no other time has had the technology to probe the brain’s mysteries.”
(Kotuluk Intro xvi)
“University of Wisconsin psychology professor Dr. Denney says…problem-solving is to the brain what aerobic exercise is to the body. It creates a virtual explosion of activity, causing synapses to form, neurotransmitters to activate, and blood flow to increase…the brain that is worked out with mental weights, remains younger, smarter, and more creative longer in life. Especially good for the brain are challening, novel, and complex tasks that require intense thinking and multi-tasking (doing more than one type of thinking at a time). (Jensen 2000 p191)

“Learners today are often on stimuli overload- jaded or ‘ over shocked’ by television and tabloid news. As a result, in a sedate learning environment, they may feel bored, listless, and detached. Teachers(parents) who know how to capitalized on the brain’s attentional biases, however, can get and keep their students’ attention longer” (Jensen 2000 p121-2)

Boredom is more than annoying.. it may be thinning their brains!!!

“…the brain’s outer layer can grow if a person… lives in stimulating surroundings, but the zone can shrink if the environment is dull or unchallenging. The implications of the discoveries are profound…” (Diamond & Hopson Intro p.2)

“Eliminate groupings by age or grade. They tend to cause feelings of inadequacy. Learners are being measured against those with developmental advantages instead of by effort. Change expectations. Keep students in age clusters, such as ages 2-4, 5-7, 8-10.11-13, and 14-17. Become informed. Learn the difference between culturally-reinforced stereotypes and real physical differences. Keep expectations high and avoid stereotyping. Many problems may not be problems at all. They may simply be an expression of the natural time line along which one’s developmental process is unfolding.” Jensen 2000 p98)


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