Thinking about the science of education

One reason I started the Working/Learning blog carnival is that I’ve gotten so much out of other carnivals — like Encephalon, the neuroscience and psychology carnival, now in its 54th edition.

Two hops from the carnival, I learned about Brains R Us: The Science of Educating, a day-long conference last March at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The videos on the site are lengthy (over an hour each). I can’t find any hint of the content of each video other than a list of speakers (on the agenda tab, below the video window). (Maybe they should have looked at Jakobsen’s suggestions.)

That’s too bad, because I suspect there’s good stuff. For instace, about at about 5:30 into the Highlights video, you see an example of a baby learned to detect differences in tones that are 70 milliseconds apart.

So what? Well, a baby’s ability on this task at the age of six months accurately predicts a language impairment at 3 years — with 91% accuracy. Speech involves “a lot of rapid auditory transitions.” Training children on a task to distinguish different kinds of beeps and boops can bring their language ability to normal.

The other videos:

  • Brains
  • Schools
  • Children
  • Teachers
  • Transformation

Starting next Monday, I’m going to be doing intense research on North Carolina tides. I burn easily, though, so I’ll have to spend some time indoors, and so I may watch a couple of these and turn my notes into a series here.