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A Message From Our President
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I attended and spoke at the annual International Dyslexia Association (IDA) meeting in Dallas. IDA remains the best interdisciplinary conference for all professionals, advocates, and families concerned with reading, writing, and language difficulties.
Traditional algebra word problems have a bad rap and for good reason. Students are hardly enamored with content of the typical word problem, and its relevance to the real world is questionable at best.
Human beings were never born to read. Reading or written language is a cultural invention that necessitated totally new connections among structures in the human brain underlying language, perception, cognition, and, in time, our emotions. Reading represents one of the most important epigenetic breakthroughs in the history of the species; our very history was made possible by it.
When we think of the growth mindset, the two characteristics most often mentioned are intelligence and effort. What is just as relevant, but often overlooked, is intellectual curiosity. Sophie von Stumm and her colleagues have described it as “the hungry mind” and “the third pillar of academic success,” which are perfectly appropriate.
Much has been said about the state of American manufacturing in the last year, and a series of recent reports present an intricate picture that takes us beyond some of the confusion and common misconceptions. Except for the understandable decline in manufacturing during the recent recession, manufacturing productivity since 2000 has been surprisingly robust. Ball State University’s report even suggests that growth in manufacturing going forward is steady and on an upward path. With all of the news of outsourcing in areas such as textiles, furniture, and apparel, how can this be?
When most of us hear the word brilliant, we think of rare individuals who are exceptional in ways that set them apart. But what if that kind of thinking has held us and our children back? What if we reframed our focus in education to discovering, cultivating, and nurturing the brilliance in every child?