Why we must teach students to solve big problems

The future of education and work will rely on teaching students deeper problem-solving skills.

  • Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over.
  • Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it?
  • "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says.
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Six-month-olds recognize (and like) when they’re being imitated

A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.

  • Scientists speculate imitation helps develop social cognition in babies.
  • A new study out of Lund University shows that six-month-olds look and smile more at imitating adults.
  • Researchers hope the data will spur future studies to discover what role caregiver imitation plays in social cognition development.
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    Chemistry for kids: Make a DIY bubble snake!

    A fun and completely safe experiment for the family to try during quarantine.

    • Most of us are staying home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean there isn't learning and fun to be had.
    • It's important to take a break from screen time. Kate the Chemist, professor, science entertainer, and author of "The Big Book of Experiments," has just the activity: Creating a bubble snake using common household ingredients including dish soap, food coloring, rubber bands, a towel, and a small plastic bottle.
    • In this step-by-step tutorial, Kate walks us through the simple process of building the apparatus and combining materials to bring the fun snakes to life.

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    'Power posing' also boosts confidence in children, new study shows

    The study provides initial evidence that open, strong postures can improve children's mood and self-esteem.

  • Power posing grew in prominence in 2012 after social psychologist Amy Cuddy's famous TED Talk.
  • A new study found that power posing correlates with a positive boost in children's self-esteem and confidence.
  • The debate over power posing remains heated in psychological circles, but there are plenty of other ways parents and teachers can boost children's self-esteem.
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    Parents’ brains sync up when caring for children together

    New research suggests parenthood helps couples tune into each other's minds and emotional states.

  • Far from being a mental drain, parenthood seems to rewire gray matter for improved empathy and emotional regulation.
  • A recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports found that couples who co-parent together display similar brain activity, suggesting they become greatly attuned to each other.
  • These findings suggest time spent parenting together improves care, coordination, and empathy.
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