Check out this essay by Andrew Pudewa on teaching writing.  I've been perusing his site, which I find very interesting, and was struck by this common-sense view of how to encourage children to develop good writing skills.  I'm especially pleased that he managed to drag in most of my favorite writers of educational philosophy:  Dorothy Sayers, Maria Montessori, Glenn Doman, and Arthur Robinson by name—and John Holt is well represented, though anonymously.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 10:40 am | Edit
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Category Education: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Jon alerted me to this performance by a man singing a duet with himself as a young boy soprano.  The idea itself is moving, and the arrangement lovely, but both are eclipsed by the boy's incredibly beautiful treble voice.

Why do I post it, other than to share the pleasure?  Because the song had barely begun when I knew that I knew that voice! Anyone who grew up in the 80's, or who had children at that time, has a good chance of recognizing it also.

Anyone accept my challenge?  I have a couple more hints I can give, but I doubt you'll need them.

Warning: don't read the comments until after you've made your guess.
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Edit
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Category Everyday Life: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
Taking up Janet's challenge, I'm attempting to put a YouTube video in this post.  Being perennially out of date and out of touch, I think this was my first venture into YouTube-land.  As one of those whose lives are still affected, for better or (and) for worse, by Judge Green's decision to break up AT&T, I found it hysterical.

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Edit
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I wonder how much of the harm in the world has been done to people "for their own good."  I think of the Crusades, forced conversions, overzealous social workers who have ripped children from their families without cause (and, when proven wrong, without apology), the punishment of Native American and Deaf children who dared speak their mother tongues in school, and court-ordered therapy against the will of the patient.  One might argue that there were mixed motives on the parts of the do-gooders in these cases, but always the benefit of the victim was used as an excuse, and I believe in most cases the confidence of doing a good thing was truly a major motivating factor. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 10:59 am | Edit
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Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

A Candian study indicates that knowledge of two or more languages can play a significant role in staving off dementia.  Multilingual people in the study began showing dementia symptoms an average of 4.1 years later than their unilingual counterparts.  "How you learn the language probably doesn't make much difference; how good your grammar is probably doesn't matter." said principle investigator Ellen Bialystok. "What matters is that you have to manage two complete language systems at once."

Since previous research has found other mental workouts, like crossword puzzles, to be helpful as well, I'm now looking for a multi-lingual version of my World of Puzzles magazine....
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 12, 2007 at 9:30 am | Edit
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According to this WebMD article, napping helps babies process and retain new information.  Extrapolating to all ages, maybe a good book or educational video, or a stimulating intellectual discussion, would be a profitable pre-bedtime ritual.  And maybe we should stop being so hard on students who snooze during class....
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 9:53 am | Edit
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