The Power of Bad

31st January 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It, by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister. Unlike many optimists, Barb has always been the kind of person who anxiously anticipates possible bad outcomes. Since she’s a contrarian, however, she faces life with a relentlessly positive attitude that not only belies, but helps her overcome those anxious feelings.  Teirney and Baumeister’s wonderful book helps give a scientific perspective about why people can often focus on the negatives in their lives, even when positives abound. What we really like about this book is that it gives concrete strategies for overcoming negativity and moving forward in a positive way, whether in relationships, work, or life in general. Highly recommended—also a good book for audio listening.

Barb in Columbus, Ohio March 5th speaking for Nationwide

Barb will be happy to be in Ohio in March, discussing innovative learning with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, one of the largest U.S. insurance and financial services in the country. Nationwide is keenly interested in upskilling and reskilling their employees—here is an article about the $160 million dollar investment Nationwide is making in their associates’ learning.  Key grafs: “All workers will receive training in what the company is calling “digital literacy” — knowledge that Nationwide believes each worker should have when it comes to technology and innovation… Workers who participate will get increases in their bonuses…

“On top of that, Nationwide has identified about 7,000 jobs, including those in call centers and underwriting, that are threatened by automation. Those workers will get the opportunity to be retrained in what the company believes will be the jobs of the future. Those include cybersecurity and data analytics… Nationwide wants to keep workers….‘These are people who know our culture and proved their commitment to us…’”

Nationwide is an unusually forward-looking company—kudos!

Two Minute Neuroscience

We stumbled onto a wonderful YouTube channel by neuroscientist Marc Dingman filled with short (yes, two minute) videos about how the brain works.  We’ve been enjoying the website in bits and pieces for weeks—if you have any curiosity about how the brain works, you’ll really like these videos!

Barb to Accept an Honoris Causa Doctorate from Universidad Francisco Marroquín

Barb will be in Guatemala City, Guatemala on May 9th to accept an Honoris Causa Doctorate in social sciences from one of the most beautiful and intriguing universities in the world—Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

How to Detect Bias in Education-Related Reporting

Think reporters are playing fair when they report on education-related issues?  Think again—here’s a useful description of commonly used reporter tricks to mislead the public about teachers and schools, especially charter schools, and subliminally defend the educational establishment. (One can imagine a similar article about the reporter bias in support of the traditional face-to-face education and against online learning.)

Why Math Is the Key to a More Equitable Society

This article in the Globe and Mail by John Mighton makes powerful observations about a new program, Jump Math, that has proven itself in rigorous research studies. Mighton notes:

“Research in cognitive science also suggests there are more and less efficient ways to learn math. Lessons that cause ‘cognitive overload’ by pushing learners too far outside of their comfort zone, or that fail to provide consistent feedback and support (called ‘scaffolding’) for learners, can be highly inefficient.

“Teachers are sometimes blamed for poor results in math, but in my opinion they are not ultimately responsible for these problems. I believe teachers should be commended for helping their students as much as they do, especially when the resources and methods of instruction that they are required to use are not typically designed to close the gap between students.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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