This brain balancing act allows consciousness

Two types of thinking have a time-sharing deal going on in your brain.

Image source: paulaphoto/shjk/Big Think
  • Your DMN and DAT neural networks cooperate by staying out of each other's way.
  • FMRI scans reveal a surprising temporal dance.
  • When both systems are at the same activity level, boom, you're unconscious.
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Testing, testing: How will measurement change in the future of education?

When measuring for the future, there is much to consider.

  • We need to embrace a plethora of schooling options as necessary to help different types of learners get to success.
  • On top of testing for literacy and math competence, we should also test for other things that are clearly important to parents, such as whether kids feel safe and cared for. These things are softer but more difficult to assess.
  • To improve our education system, we need to understand we currently only have answers to some huge open questions right now. We are still figuring things out on how to enrich different people's lives as they find their positions in the economy — and society at large.
  • 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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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?

  • 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  • Things like school bells, siloed 'one-hour-one-subject' classes, traditional grades, and standardized testing are outdated design features of the education system.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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Did the U.S. weaponize ticks?

Considering the U.S.'s history of biological warfare, maybe this theory isn't as crazy as it sounds.

Image source: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP / Getty Images
  • Some believe that the Lyme-ridden ticks on the East Coast of the U.S. are the product of government experiments in biological warfare.
  • Under this theory, the ticks were released accidentally or on purpose, exposing millions to the extremely dangerous disease.
  • There's good cause to be skeptical, but the U.S. has a history of conducting biological warfare tests on its own civilians; maybe there's something to it?
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Finland’s education system is failing. Should we look to Asia?

Finland's recent decline in international test scores has led many to question whether its education system is truly the best.

  • Finland scored high on the original PISA education assessment, but its scores have slipped in recent years.
  • Critics argue that Finland's success came from earlier education models, not from headline-making features like late start times, lack of homework, and absence of test assessment.
  • Asia's rigorous education system is now eclipsing Finland's PISA scores. Which approach is the right one? Which is truly shortsighted?
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