How the Stress of Racism Affects Learning…and more in this week’s news roundup!

How the Stress of Racism Affects Learning
(The Atlantic)

A team of researchers found that the physiological response to race-based stressors—be it perceived racial prejudice, or the drive to outperform negative stereotypes—leads the body to pump out more stress hormones in adolescents from traditionally marginalized groups.

Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs
(Washington Post)
Programs that fall short of new expectations will lose access to some federal aid.

What obsessive-compulsive disorder does to a young mind when it grows unchecked
(Washington Post)
A case study.

Teachers could be making students’ anxiety worse
(Science Daily)
The anxiety that comes with feeling like an outsider in the classroom can hinder students’ learning and, ironically, teachers could be making it worse, according to a new study by a Michigan State University researcher. 

6 Questions Every Critical Thinker Should Ask
(Educational Technology And Mobile Learning)
Today I am adding to this discussion this beautiful visual created by Learningcommons which features the 6 questions a critical thinker asks. This could be used as a poster in your classroom to remind students of the kind of questions they need to ponder about and develop. Have a look and share with your colleagues.

Successful Community Efforts to Prevent Bullying
The strongest anti-bullying campaigns include students, faculty, parents — and the larger community as well.

The Emotional Weight of Being Graded, for Better or Worse
(Mind Shift)
As most parents know, kids respond emotionally to the grades they receive — and well beyond the jubilation that goes with an A+ or the despair that accompanies a D. When Jessie, an eighth-grader, got an uncharacteristically low score on a Spanish test, she felt not only embarrassed — “because I’d never done that badly before” — but lousy as well: “I didn’t feel as good about myself,” she said.

Return to the Teenage Brain
(New York Times)

Until recently, the conventional wisdom within the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry has been that development is a one-way street, and once a person has passed through his formative years, experiences and abilities are very hard, if not impossible, to change. What if we could turn back the clock in the brain and recapture its earlier plasticity? 

Here’s How Schools Can Soften The Blow Of Sixth Grade
(NPR Ed)
Middle school is tough. Bodies change. Hormones rage. Algebra becomes a reality. But there are things schools can do to make life easier for students.

Trace The Remarkable History Of The Humble Pencil
(NPR Ed)

A class of fifth-graders from Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Ore., asked us to find out how pencil lead is made. That quest took us all the way back to the dawn of the universe and then all the way up to a factory in Jersey City, N.J.

Why Engaging More First Gen Students in Higher Education Matters
(Huffington Post)
In this special time of demagoguery and democratic politics, much is made of the need to sustain the nation’s competitiveness in an ever increasing global economy. But as most states know quite well, the competitiveness of any community rests primarily on the education and training of their workforce. And so goes the competitiveness, and eventually the continued success, of the United States.

Teens’ Penchant For Risk-Taking May Help Them Learn Faster
(NPR Shots)

The teenage brain has been characterized as a risk-taking machine, looking for quick rewards and thrills instead of acting responsibly. But these behaviors could actually make teens better than adults at certain kinds of learning.

Ivy League Men Really Didn’t Want Women on Their Campuses
(The Atlantic)
While the first women showed up as enrolled students at schools like Dartmouth, Yale, and Princeton nearly 50 years ago, their experiences may seem eerily similar to the women who are still becoming “firsts” today—including, perhaps, Hillary Clinton.

About the Author

Amanda Macchi, MPH
Amanda comes to the APA as a recent graduate of the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. During her time at GW, Amanda studied global health, focusing on the challenges facing mental health in low-and middle-income countries. She received her undergraduate degree in marketing from Emerson College in Boston, Mass. In her free time Amanda loves pyrography, furniture making and spending time with her dog, Becky.