Tag Archives | Education

Why meditation should be taught in schools

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0

Lea Waters, University of Melbourne

New research in the fields of psychology, education and neuroscience shows teaching meditation in schools is having positive effects on students’ well-being, social skills and academic skills.

A recent meta-review of the impact of meditation in schools combined the results from 15 studies and almost 1800 students from Australia, Canada, India, the UK, the US and Taiwan. The research showed meditation is beneficial in most cases and led to three broad outcomes for students: higher well-being, better social skills and greater academic skills.

Students who were taught meditation at school reported higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and took better care of their health as well as experiencing reduced anxiety, stress and depression. This was compared to before the meditation programs and compared to peers who were not taught meditation.

The review also showed that meditation helps the social life of students by leading to increases in pro-social behaviour (like helping others) and decreases in anti-social behaviour (like anger and disobedience).… Read the rest

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Chiara Marletto: The Code of the Cosmos

In this article Oxford Physicist Chiara Marletto explores whether we should consider information, rather than matter as the fundamental building block of the universe.

593 The Universe Code.cxjIII

Information has come to play an increasingly fundamental role in our lives during the last few decades: billions of computers are now interconnected over the world, and our technology – and hence our survival and well-being – crucially rely on them.

It is much harder to argue that information plays a role in fundamental physics.

Traditionally, fundamental physics expresses predictions about where, say, a particle will go, given its initial state and its laws of motion. This paradigm has been the prevailing one since Galileo and Newton and has been extremely successful – allowing us to formulate deeper and deeper explanations of the physical world, of which quantum theory and general relativity are the current best examples. Yet, there are things in the physical world that this mode of explanation cannot adequately capture for us.

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Better Living Through Technology


Evolver has recently announced their newest learning lab course, Better Living Through Technology. Join Disinformation author, R.U. Sirius, as he explores the limits of human potential.

Discover the new drugs, machines and techniques that are extending the horizon of human potential.

Humanity is on the cusp of an extraordinary leap. New and emerging technologies promise an unprecedented wave of human self-enhancement. Advances in the areas of longevity, creativity, and biology will enable you to have a quality of experience that previous generations barely conceived possible.

Course details:

Guests: Steve Kotler, Dr. Terry Grossman, Dr. Andrew Hill, James Kent, Tim Cannon, Jay Cornell
5 Sessions • Starts June 24
Free Introductory Session: June 17
$149 + $30 discount if you signup by June 17 with code TRANSHUMANISM

If you’re hesitant about forking over $149 for this course, we urge you to at least checkout the Free Introductory Session this Wednesday.… Read the rest

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Masked Serbian schoolchildren, armed with plastic pistol, steal grade book

Ski Mask Kid (CC BY 2.0)

NOT one of the Serbian students. Ski Mask Kid (CC BY 2.0)

Two Serbian 7th graders stormed a classroom armed with a plastic pistol and knife to steal a grade book.

via Reuters:

Police in Serbia have arrested two schoolboys they accuse of having stormed a Belgrade classroom masked and armed with a plastic pistol and making off with their teacher’s grade book.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday they had apprehended two unidentified Grade 7 pupils and seized a replica handgun, a knife, a balaclava cap and pair of sunglasses after the incident on Tuesday during school hours in the Belgrade suburb of Kotez.

School crime and violence have soared in Serbia since the war years of the 1990s when societies across old socialist Yugoslavia frayed under the pressure of gangsterism, corruption and nationalism.

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Teacher Fired For Reading Allen Ginsberg Poem to Class

In yet another overreaction by education administrators, Connecticut teacher, David Olio, was fired for reading Allen Ginsberg’s “Please Master” to his AP English class. A student brought the poem into class and Olio “[hoped] to discuss in the waning moments of the period how the poet uses language in his work.”

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Student Resistance: Targeting Individual Educators and Administrators

student resistance“When I say I hate school it doesn’t mean I hate education and knowledge. It means that I hate the selfish and ignorant people there. It means that I hate stress and high expectations. It means that I hate being treated like shit. It fucking means that I hate feeling like a failure all the time.”



Public Information

Each state has a Department of Education that oversees the schools and handles licensing for educators and administrators. The websites contain information on teachers and administrators who have been disciplined and investigated for unprofessional behavior. A shockingly large number have been written up for inappropriate behavior such as theft, sexual contact with students, and public drunkenness.

Some other information that can be obtained includes the school district budget, which includes teachers’ and administrators’ salaries. Acquiring this information will make the environment that much more unpleasant for those who control you.

Information uncovered about faculty who work at your school should be made public via the aforementioned means of distribution.… Read the rest

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Science Community Guilty of Hypocrisy when Criticizing the Teaching of Creationism


John Glenn

John Glenn’s pronouncement that evolution should be taught in schools overlooks some uncomfortable truths. While defending John Scopes for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act by teaching evolution, Clarence Darrow proclaimed: “we have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.” Despite Darrow’s efforts, bigots and ignoramuses still struggle for ascendancy within America’s education system. Although these invectives were levied exclusively towards the defenders of Creationism, an important distinction delineates bigots and ignoramuses. Bigots champion an ignoble agenda – one that is biased and intolerant — while ignoramuses blindly undermine noble agendas.

Bigots are easy to recognize. They consist, in part, of the policy-makers in at least 16 states who have acted to impede the teaching of evolution and to, instead, promote Creationism or its variants, such as Intelligent Design, which argues that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”

The ignoramuses stay under the radar.Read the rest

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Citing Soaring Student Debt, Sanders to Pitch Tuition-Free Higher Education

The average class of 2015 borrower will graduate college with just over $35,000 in debt. (Photo: teofilo/flickr/cc)

The average class of 2015 borrower will graduate college with just over $35,000 in debt. (Photo: teofilo/flickr/cc)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Deirdre’s posts here.

With student debt figures continuing to climb, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to unveil legislation this week to provide tuition-free higher education for students at 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.

The proposal, which Sanders plans to introduce on Tuesday, would eliminate undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities and expand work-study programs.

“Countries like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and many more are providing free or inexpensive higher education for their young people,” Sanders, who is running for president as a Democrat, said in a news release. “They understand how important it is to be investing in their youth.  We should be doing the same.”

Earlier this year, in a speech at Johnson State College in Vermont, Sanders called for a “revolution” in the way higher education is funded in the U.S.… Read the rest

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Middle schoolers: Uncle Sam wants you

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Seth Kershner via In These Times:

Last year, Henry F. Moss Middle School in Bowling Green, Ohio, offered students a brand new course. And, as a headline in the local newspaper proclaimed, this was “not your traditional class.” For starters, the teacher—an army sergeant—had told the Bowling Green Daily News that one of his goals was to expose these seventh- and eighth-graders to “military values” that they could use as “building blocks” in life. To that end, students in the class earn military style ranks, engage in army-style “PT” (physical training) and each Wednesday, wear camouflage pants and boots.

This is the Moss Middle School Leadership Corps, part of the growing trend of military-style education for pre-adolescents.

Middle school military programs are younger cousins of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon program taught by retired military officers and present in more than 3,500 high schools nationwide.

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