QUOTE: Richard Rorty on Rational Argument

"What counts as rational argumentation is as historically determined and as context-dependent, as what counts as good French."

INTERACTIVE MEDIA: What will shape the future of Education? The 2006-2016 Education Map

Here's a research-based interactive and participatory map of the predicted major influences on education over the coming decade... more»

RESOURCE: Project Implicit - Online Implicit Association Tests (IATs)

This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. This new method is called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT for short... more»

STUDY: Understanding the Building Blocks of Language and Thought

Infants comprehend spatial relationships such as "in" and "on" through language input from caregivers and the babies' own play behaviors... more»

ARTICLE: Japanese scientists develop robo-toddler

A group of scientists in Japan have developed a robot that acts like a toddler to better understand child development... more» more» movie»

RESEARCH GROUP: Harvard Family Research Project

The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) strives to promote more effective educational practices, programs, and policies for disadvantaged children and youth by generating, publishing, and disseminating our and others’ research. Their complementary learning model focuses on how school-based and non-school-based supports can be linked and can all work toward consistent learning and developmental outcomes for children. They have developed a set of Family Involvement Teaching Cases that relate to dilemmas in family educational involvement. more»

REPORT: Catalyzing the Development and Innovative Use of Open Educational Resources

Here's a proposal about Open Educational Resources from the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL) at Utah State University. Their mission is to facilitate the provision of high quality learning opportunities. We accomplish our mission by promoting open education and by building tools to catalyze the creation, sharing, and reuse of open educational resources... more»

QUOTE: Jerome Bruner on Design Research in Education

"Rather, the master question from which the mission of education research is derived: What should be taught to whom, and with what pedagogical object in mind? That master question is threefold: what, to whom, and how? Education research, under such a dispensation, becomes an adjunct of educational planning and design. It becomes design research in the sense that it explores possible ways in which educational objectives can be formulated and carried out in the light of cultural objectives and values in the broad." - Jerome Bruner from Issues in Educational Research (1999)

ARTICLE: When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten?

Here's an article on the "graying of kindergarten." Some argue that one way to help solve the accountability crisis (i.e., poor performance on high-stakes achievement tests) is to just have parents hold back (or "red-shirt") their children. Of course, we could also get a bump by just pushing off the testing and not starting it in the third grade. How about we let kindergarten be kindergarten and allow instruction to be guided by children's development and interests rather than attempting to reverse-engineer a solution to this heavily manufactured crisis... more»
In a report on kindergarten, the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education wrote, "Most of the questionable entry and placement practices that have emerged in recent years have their genesis in concerns over children's capacities to cope with increasingly inappropriate curriculum in kindergarten.

STUDY: New Adult Brain Cells May Be Central To Lifelong Learning

In a recent study, researchers have shown that "new adult neurons showed a pattern of changing plasticity very similar to that seen in brain cells in newborn animals. That is, the new adult brain cells showed a 'critical period' in which they were highly plastic before they settled into the less plastic properties of mature brain cells. In newborn animals, such a critical period enables an important, early burst of wiring of new brain circuitry with experience..." more»

STUDY: Children can perform approximate math without arithmetic instruction

"Study shows that children spontaneously show a sense of number when presented with symbolic math." This work will no doubt feed the nativist developmental camp. It is quite striking that so many programs of developmental psych research are built upon the assumption that if a child has not attended school yet then they must not have been taught in any formal way -- say in the home by parents, siblings, or media. This is especially not true in these academically fueled times we live in. But their assumption allows them to claim things are "spontaneous" or taught "implicitly" -- when the fact of the matter is that they just never empirically look at actual early childhood development in naturalistic settings... more»

STUDY: Thinking straight while seeing red?

New studies claim that: "Anger is appropriately blamed for flawed thinking since it tends to alter perception of risk, increase prejudice, and trigger aggression... Anger can actually prompt more careful and rational analysis of another person’s reasoning." But they apparently cue anger that is orthogonal to the task subject matter at hand -- so it supports the idea that reflecting on a prior event that angered you somehow gets you more focused in your reasoning. I wonder if there an associated physiological arousal response that would helps explain the effect... more»