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Children's Learning & Development

Compulsory Education: When it starts and how long it lasts

Around the world, for the most part, compulsory schooling starts at 6, although some start at 7, and a very few at 5 or even younger. There is less consensus about how long compulsory education should last, but 9 years is the most…

Some comments on the commonalities between the Suzuki approach to learning music and the Montessori approach to education.

My sons have both been in Montessori since they were three (they are now 8 and nearly 11, respectively). My elder son started learning the violin from a Suzuki…

In the education world, fixed mind-set is usually contrasted with growth mind-set. In this context, fixed mind-set refers to students holding the idea that their cognitive abilities, including their intelligence, are set at birth, and they just have to accept their limitations. With a growth…

While parents and teachers have always strongly supported small class sizes, their belief has not always been supported by evidence. Part of the problem lies in that word “small” — what constitutes a small class? Different interventions have looked at reducing class sizes from 40 to 30, or 30 to…

Children’s understanding, and their use of memory and learning strategies, is a considerably more complex situation than most of us realize. To get some feeling for this complexity, let’s start by looking at a specific area of knowledge: mathematics.

Children's math understanding

Here’s…

The conventional view of brain development has been that most of this takes place in utero and in the first three years, with the further development continuing until the brain is fully mature at around 10-12 years of age. The turbulence of adolescent behavior has been deemed to be mostly caused…

I want to talk to you this month about an educational project that’s been running for some years here in New Zealand. The Project on Learning spent three years (1998-2000) studying, in excruciating detail, the classroom experiences of 9-11 year olds. The study used miniature videocameras,…

A number of countries have national curricula: France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom. Most States in the U.S. follow common guidelines for a core curriculum, although there is no national curriculum as…

Types of reading disability

A longitudinal study that used imaging to compare brain activation patterns has identified two types of reading disability:

  • a primarily inherent type with higher cognitive ability (poor readers who compensate for disability), and
  • a more…

Most people believe that an adult learner can't hope to replicate the fluency of someone who learned another language in childhood. And certainly there is research to support this. However, people tend to confuse these findings - that the age of acquisition affects your representation of grammar…