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Cultivating Genius in the 21st Century. Illustration: Bartholomew Cooke Most economic growth has a very simple source: new ideas.

Cultivating Genius in the 21st Century

It is our creativity that generates wealth. So how can we increase the pace of innovation? Is it possible to inspire more Picassos and Steve Jobses? The answer to that question is hidden in history books. What causes such outpourings of creativity? And yet it’s not a total mystery: We can begin to make sense of the “clotting” of creative talent. The first pattern that becomes clear is the benefit of human mixing. Another recurring theme is the importance of education. The last meta-idea involves the development of institutions that encourage risk-taking. This might seem like an impossibly ambitious agenda. We’ve never needed geniuses more than we do now. Contributing editor Jonah Lehrer ( also writes about erasing memories in this issue.

Wendy Kopp: The Trouble With Humiliating Teachers. Survey: Teacher Job Satisfaction Hits a Low Point. Does Preschool Matter? For many kids, the most important years of schooling come before they can even read.

Does Preschool Matter?

Consider the groundbreaking work of the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, who has repeatedly documented the power of early childhood education. One of his best case studies is the Perry Preschool Experiment, which looked at 123 low-income African-American children from Yspilanti, Michigan. (All the children had IQ scores between 75 and 85.) When the children were three years old, they were randomly assigned to either a treatment group, and given a high-quality preschool education, or to a control group, which received no preschool education at all. The subjects were then tracked over the ensuing decades, with the most recent analysis comparing the groups at the age of 40. Why is preschool so important? His main finding might, at first glance, seem somewhat paradoxical.

How can preschool alter the relative contribution of nature and nurture? Browse: Subject Area: Social Sciences. SnappSchool. A startup called SnappSchool is compiling a weekly rundown of the Kindergarten to 6th-grade math curriculum — for parents.


The idea is that if parents understand more about what and how their children are learning, they can better support their children's education. Each digest contains a "quick refresher" about the topic, links to further resources and exercises, and a link to a news story or other information that connects the topic to the real world. SnappSchool hires certified teachers to write the digests, and they're based on Common Core Standards that all but five states use. Because the emails are not coordinated by your children's specific teachers, however, they might be paced slightly ahead or behind their actual classroom lessons. Parents simply sign up for the appropriate grade level to receive emails each week. "To do long division, I don’t need the full lesson my fourth grader needs to get through it, but I do need a little reminder.

Susan Cain: The power of introverts. MindSnacks Turns Learning a Language Into a Game. The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. Name: MindSnacks Quick Pitch: MindSnacks are language-learning games for your brains. Genius Idea: Fun, interactive games that help users learn 13 different languages and SAT vocabulary. Memorizing flash cards and reading from a textbook aren’t just ineffective ways to learn a new language – they’re also, well, really boring.

So to make learning a new language as much fun and as effective as possible, Jesse Pickard and two of his colleagues launched MindSnacks – an educational app that uses games to teach essential vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and conversation skills in 13 different languages. Each language app has six interactive games, 50 levels to complete and more than 1400 words to master. Although the first level is free, the price for all 50 levels is $5. Piggybackr. Teaching Channel: Videos, Lesson Plans and Other Resources for Teachers.

Santorum flunks the history of home-schooling - Education. At the Republican debate Wednesday night, Rick Santorum repeated a claim he’s been making, that the federal government, and the state governments, should “get out of the education business.”

Santorum flunks the history of home-schooling - Education

Last weekend, Santorum declared public education “anachronistic.” If elected, he would home-school his children in the White House, just like – he claimed – most presidents did in the first 150 years of our national life. “Where did they come up that public education and bigger education bureaucracies was the rule in America?” He asked. “Parents educated their children, because it’s their responsibility to educate their children.” The fraudulence of almost every single one of these claims makes Santorum himself a cautionary example of the failures of the American education system.

First of all, Santorum’s assertion that for the first 150 years, most presidents home-schooled their children at the White House is unfounded. But even if you give Santorum some leeway, things still don’t pan out. Resource Library - Gooru.