Thursday, July 22, 2010

"NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children", by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

"NurtureShock" is compulsory reading for those keenly interested in the inner workings of our brain. Vast new brain research from the past decade, done with MRI scans, shows exactly how and where our brain turns on to function in relation to most things: sleep, speech, visual learning, playing video games, receiving praise, etc. The book analyzes that research, stressing how biological processing is the foremost factor we should consider when trying to understand how children behave and learn. If we better understand how our brain functions in relation to age, sex, and task, then we are in a better position to teach and mentor our children - to guide them down the right path. I especially liked the chapters on speech/language development, the inverse effects of praise and the explanation of the dopamine "reward center", the benefits of constructive arguments, and the quantitative effects of sleep deprivation. Great read for teachers and parents.

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