Making Curriculum Pop

OK, folks - after much surfing here is a list of resources I mentioned on Day 4&5. I'm certainly missing a few things but I'll try my best here. I've read / watched / heard 90% of the stuff below so if you want more info do ask..

1. Research on who the brain appears to be have more neuroplasticity than once assumed…
A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond
Of course, certain capabilities fall off as you approach 50. Memories of where you left the keys or parked the car mysteriously vanish. Words suddenly go into hiding as you struggle to remember the guy, you know, in that movie, what was it called? And calculating the tip on your dinner check seems to take longer than it used to.

Yet it is also true that there is no preordained march toward senescence.

2. Q&A: What We Can Learn From the Dutch About Teen Sex
Teen birth rates are eight times higher in the U.S. than in Holland. Abortion rates are twice as high. The American AIDS rate is three times greater than that of the Dutch. What are they doing right that we’re not?

and the related book: Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex

3. On Intrinsic Motivation
Two of the best books dealing with student intrinsic motivation to lean are the following: Flow: the psychology of optimal experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the book called Mindset: the new psychology of success by Carol Dweck Ph.D.

Mindset is essential teacher reading..
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

About the famous "marshmallow study" in the New Yorker - On Motivation - DON’T!The secret of self-control.

4. This American Life Breaks Down the Financial Crisis (amazing/mindbending stuff if you make time for it)
As a CD set: Your Guide to the Meltdown 4 CD Set

Individual Episodes (free online)
"The Giant Pool of Money"
"Another Frightening Show about the Economy"
"Bad Bank"
"The Watchmen"

5. The Nature Deficit Disorder Guy (two books)-

6. Some interesting stuff about addiction / AA from Wired Magazine -
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don't Know How It Works

7. As Laura P mentioned - lots on the value of college of late in the news. Here are some whoppers from the New Yorker and The Atlantic...

- What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College
- Does It Matter Where You Go to College?
Years of research show that, when it comes to your future paycheck, the name on your degree really does count.
The protesters at Occupy Wall Street may not have put forth an explicit set of demands yet, but there is one thing that they all agree on: student debt is too damn high. Since the late nineteen-seventies, annual costs at four-year colleges have risen three times as fast as inflation, and, with savings rates dropping and state aid to colleges being cut, students have been forced to take on ever more debt in order to pay for school. The past decade has seen a student-loan binge, so that today Americans owe well over six hundred billion dollars in college debt. That’s a burden that’s hard to carry at a time when more than two million college graduates are unemployed and millions more are underemployed
- Live and Learn: Why we have College by Louis Menand

8. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
Sir Ken Robinson's new book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, first published in January 2009, is a collection of real stories of highly successful people, just as ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, actress Meg Ryan, cartoonist Matt Groening, choreographer Gillian Lynne, author Arianna Huffington, physicist Richard Feynman and many others who are "passionate about what they do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else."

As the author says, "...too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don’t know what they’re really capable of achieving. In that sense, they don’t know who they really are".

"Most of us lose our confidence in our our imagination as we grow up. [...] I believe that their stories have something important to teach all of us about the nature of human capacity and fulfillment."

9. I mentioned Alex Kowitz re: city gangs...

The Radio Show (Awesome) Ghetto Life 101

In March, 1993, LeAlan Jones, thirteen, and Lloyd Newman, fourteen, collaborated with public radio producer David Isay to create the radio documentary Ghetto Life 101, their audio diaries of life on Chicago's South Side. The boys taped for ten days, walking listeners through their daily lives: to school, to an overpass to throw rocks at cars, to a bus ride that takes them out of the ghetto, and to friends and family members in the community.

Related, There are no Children Here and The Interruptors (Ebert's Review is your best way in on that one).

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey!! I listened to the Ghetto 101 show today. It brought me to tears, seriously. Very worth listening to.

Also, spinning off the value of college discussion, Larry Ferlazzo in his awesome blog did a post on that topic not too long ago. Might be helpful for some of you!!  

Thanks for that blog post Kell, I shared it with my undergrads (as that topic just came up).  So glad you liked 101 - powerful stuff, eh?  Would be cool to do a then and now research on the story with kids.  I haven't listened to it in awhile.  Could you do it with 6th Graders?



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