Mbesc is delighted to have Professor John Dixon (Open University) visiting us tomorrow (29 January 2015, 2.30 PM Room 3.13, 35 Berkeley Square). Professor Dixon will be discussing the ‘contact hypothesis’ – which proposes that interaction between members of different groups reduces intergroup prejudice and discrimination, particularly when it occurs under favourable circumstances. See Events for more details!!
Thanks to the many who attended this event last night and made it such a success. I will amend this post soon by adding powerpoint slides, but here is the YouTube video (I forgot to turn the mike on for the first minute – apologies!)
I’ve been a bit slow pasting up something about this article “Neuroscience and Education: Myths and Messages” that I authored in NRN 2 weeks ago. It created a lot of social media impact, and due to this NRN have made it free access – you just have to register. It is also featured in Nature’s October podcast (Neuropod). Another unexpected consequence of all the tweets is that The Graduate School of Education is to have an event discussing neuromyths and this is also a chance to discuss the new Neuroscience and Education projects due to start around the UK- including how schools can get involved (see the Sci-napse project for more about the Bristol-Manchester project). More info about this event will follow, but keep 27th November 5.15-17.00 in your diaries!
We’re delighted to have won new funding for an innovative new project, investigating whether the uncertainty inherent in games can increase the rate at which children learn science. This will get underway in the South West thanks to a £650K funding boost. It’s one of six new projects funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to investigate a variety of ways neuroscience might improve teaching and learning in the UK. Paul Howard-Jones will be leading the project
Many thanks to Tim Jay, Jo Rose and Ben Simmons for a great seminar on The Everyday Maths Project yesterday – and thanks everyone for coming along. M-besc wishes Dr Tim Jay all the best for his new job (as Reader) at Sheffield University – and we’re also looking forward to carrying on working together on many projects across the internet!
29 September, 5pm – 6:30pm in room 4.10.
Dr Tim Jay, Dr Jo Rose and Dr Ben Simmons will be presenting a seminar on the content and preliminary findings of the Everyday Maths project “It’s helping your child experience the world”: How parents can use everyday activities to engage their children’s mathematical learning” on 29 September, 5pm – 6:30pm in room 4.10.
Radio 4 are broadcasting my interview with Sarah Montague this Wednesday Sept 10th at 4pm. It’s a half-hour distillation of an interrogation that lasted 1.5hrs (!). I think it did focus on the controversial aspects of neuroscience and education – but i guess that was to be expected….
Many thanks to all our participants yesterday at CRIC when we started “Brain School” in which volunteers competed to learn while having their brains scanned! Here we see the nail-biting contest between the Carolinas!
We had a fascinating debate about genetics and education last month when Kathryn (co-author of “G is for Genes”) and Nic Timpson (Reader in Genetic Epidemiology at Bristol) came to visit us. I asked Kathryn in the tea-break whether genetics had implications for education and what these might be:
I also managed to corner Nic with my camera and asked him whether there was such a thing as “genes for education”. Note that he’s talking about population studies here:
Some messages I took away were:
1. It’s a good time to start discussing genetic perspectives in relation to education. We can benefit from understanding what we know and don’t know, and from trying to anticipate how genetics may impact on education in the future.
2. Genetics doesn’t currently help us diagnose or categorise/label children in terms of learning disorders, and isn’t likely to in the future. It supports the idea that we are all on a continuum.
3. It can help us understand the contribution of shared and non-shared environments in explaining the differences between children.
4. Preschool children appear particularly susceptible to their shared environment but, interestingly, significant shared environments are now emerging at Key Stage 4.
5. Although overall heritable effects are high, effects of individual candidate genes are very low. This makes headlines of a “gene for intelligence”, “gene for maths” etc rather misleading.