Myth or Truth? Accepting Cultural Differences for a Global Mindset

A guest post by Deborah Cochran

ESOL Teacher for grades K-5 at Craig Elementary School, Parkway School District in St. Louis, MO

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

*The following article is an updated version of a prior post by the author.

 

Multiculturalism is a hot topic in education today; just ask any teacher.

As more multicultural students enter the classroom, educators have to continually challenge old ways of thinking about culture. But where to start?

Like it or not, most assumptions about other cultures arise from cultural stereotypes or complete myths. And debunking those myths is an important first step when entering the pathway to a global mindset.

Multicultural celebration, Cochran, Imagine This, global

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Teach Children Math the Fun Way

teaching children math

Mention the words “math” and “fun” in one breath and you might prompt a few raised eyebrows from those around you. But the truth remains that math actually can be fun. All the same, a negative view of math tends to prevail in America; even in the latest flurry over STEAM-based learning initiatives.

For one thing, too many parents’ own experiences with math were less than stellar. Similarly, teachers may feel anxious about motivating youngsters in their classrooms if they aren’t already huge math fans themselves.

What to do?

Don’t worry. Here are a few ways you can help children (and yourself) see math as a fun experience right from the start. Read more »

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Can Technology Stimulate Mental Development in Young Children?

A guest post by Dr. Eugene Emmer, medical entrepreneur and author

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

lab rat, enriched environment, brain research, learning, hippocampus, Imagine As a physiologist and parent, I have long been interested in the impact of early childhood education on the child’s developing brain.

Over the years, an increasing number of scientists have devoted lab research to brain development and function. Their findings are not only fascinating, they also show how important proper stimulation is for the developing brain.

For example, years ago I read an intriguing study that demonstrated a marked increase in hippocampal neurons in adult mice living in an enriched environment.

Basically, the study showed that young rats raised in a stimulating environment had better-developed brains than rats raised in unstimulating environments.

During this study, scientists raised two groups of rats. One group lived in an enriched environment that included toys, tunnels, wheels, and so on; the other group was raised in an empty cage with only food.

Scientists showed that the rats raised in the enriched environment developed more hippocampal neurons than the rats raised in an empty cage. The stimulating environment had developed each rat’s young brain much the same way that lifting weights develops muscle. Read more »

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How to Choose a Fun and Effective Math Video Game

video games, math fluency, Big Brainz, Timez Attack, choose best learning, effective math video, success, math fact automaticityLet’s face it—not many kids are interested in reciting their multiplication tables or practicing addition when they’ve got video games to play, TV to watch, and technology to explore.

Unfortunately, too many parents and educators automatically assume that video games are mere time wasters, as mentioned in our earlier discussion about game-based learning.

Of course, sorting out the effective math games from the mediocre ones can be a challenge. Not every game is equal when it comes to producing lasting learning. So, what to do? Read more »

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How Do You Say Your Name? Thoughts on Student Identity

My Name My Identity, Imagine Learning blog, name pronunciation, classroom, teachers, educatorsA new boy shows up at school. As he walks through the classroom door, the teacher welcomes him by saying, “Tell us your name.”

The boy, who has just moved to America from the Philippines, announces his name as Banoy Pamatmat. Whereupon the teacher asks, “Could you repeat that?”

Welcome to an increasingly common scenario in today’s schools.

As more immigrants relocate to America, educators encounter a wider array of new names and faces. And many of those names are challenging to pronounce. Read more »

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