How does stress affect a child’s development and academic potential?

Understanding cognitive development and stress in children can add context to systems of education.

  • The majority of growth of the human brain happens after birth.
  • While unrelenting stress can damage developing structures of the limbic system, calibrated challenge can positively stimulate brain growth. Teachers have an important role in assuring students of their safety when taking on new challenges.
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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Become an intellectual explorer: Master the art of conversation

Want to be smarter than you were yesterday? Learn to have better conversations using these 3 design principles.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • What is a great conversation? They are the ones that leave us feeling smarter or more curious, with a sense that we have discovered something, understood something about another person, or have been challenged.
  • There are 3 design principles that lead to great conversations: humility, critical thinking, and sympathetic listening.
  • Critical thinking is the celebrated cornerstone of liberalism, but next time you're in a challenging and rewarding conversation, try to engage sympathetic listening too. Understanding why another intelligent person holds ideas that are at odds with your own is often more enlightening than merely hunting for logic errors.
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You should be skeptical when it comes to hyped-up AI. Here’s why.

These questions can help us think more critically about new developments in artificial intelligence.

  • The media often exaggerate and overhype the latest discoveries in artificial intelligence.
  • It's important to add context to new findings by asking questions: Is there a demo available? How narrow was the task the computer performed?
  • A more robust approach to artificial intelligence involves solving problems in generalized situations rather than just laboratory demonstrations.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • For society to stay open and free, you don't need to eliminate prejudice. You need the opposite: All kinds of prejudice pitted against each other.
  • Intellectual diversity helps society as a whole learn the truth. And as long as society has rules that force ideas to be openly tested, the intolerant will not gain the upper hand.
  • "In America it's legal to be intolerant. It may not be right. It may not get you accepted or respected. But absolutely it's legal and it should be legal," says Jonathan Rauch.
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Why we mustn’t forget the effects of climate change on mental health

Suicide rates in Puerto Rico have risen by a third since Hurricane Maria.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, it didn't just flatten houses and flood hospitals – it plunged the island into a darkness that many islanders have yet to emerge from, both literally and metaphorically.

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Learn the art of conversation, with comedian Pete Holmes

We have a new range of skills coming to Big Think Edge this week, including communication, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.

Edge Weekly
  • At Big Think Edge this week, we delve into ways you can make your conversations sing. So to speak.
  • Learn a valuable lesson about psychopaths, from diagnosed psychopath (and neuroscientsit) James Fallon.
  • If you're not a subscriber yet, join Big Think Edge today. Boost your skills with our 7-day free trial.
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How can cognitive science inform the future of education?

The science of learning is decades ahead of the education system. How can we bring education into the present?

Sponsored by yes. every kid.
  • The education field has a wealth of cognitive science research that reveals how people learn, yet the applied practice happening is schools shows an enormous disconnect.
  • Things like school bells, siloed 'one-hour-one-subject' classes, traditional grades, and standardized testing are outdated design features of the education system.
  • Equitably educating all learners across diverse populations to help them be as successful as possible will require education innovators to put cognitive science to work in the field, and to re-educate policymakers on what school could look like.
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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‘I’ll have what she’s having’ – how and why we copy the choices of others

The choice of flavor may be up to you, but the number of scoops will depend on your friends.

Mind & Brain

Imagine you're dining out at a casual restaurant with some friends. After looking over the menu, you decide to order the steak. But then, after a dinner companion orders a salad for their main course, you declare: “I'll have the salad too."

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