Check out my interview with Mike Shaughnessy, Professor in Educational Studies at Eastern New Mexico University Portales, New Mexico, and a Consulting Editor for Gifted Education International and Educational Psychology Review, at Education News.
His comment: "If interested parents get ahold of this---you will be flooded."
I've started a weekly cartoon hosted at Edreach.us on technology and education. Here's the first issue. Enjoy! (FYI, A "MOOC" is a Massive Open Online Course, a university level course anyone can sign up for worldwide).
Reports of a study are making the rounds about how simply being poor discombobulates your cognitive abilities. The poor can't help it, they're too busy worrying about finances to bring up their kids right.
O. M. G.
In the study in question, two experiments were done. In the first, people in a suburban mall were classified as high-income vs. middle income and asked to do cognitive tests while thinking about a hypotheical car repair. In the second, people in a rural, cyclical economy (in India) were asked to do similar tests before and after the harvest, when they were relatively "poor" or "rich". In each case, people in the "poor" condition did worse.
Who wouldn't do poorly on any kind of test while you're preoccupied with money? To conclude from this that poor people are cognitively inferior in general is specious. Though it makes a good headline and will serve the agenda of proponents of universal income schemes, the talk of "cognitive bandwidth" being impaired by poverty is bogus.
The position of the authors seems to be that people in poverty are always so preoccupied with finances they can't think straight. If so, they provide no proof for their thesis. I'd like them to go down to Wall Street and ask stock brokers to do these cognitive tests while thinking about government bailouts, or ask a restaurant chef to do them while contemplating that night's specials. It's a slippery slope: it seems to me that using this method you can pretty much prove anything you like about anyone.
Mitch Moldofsky is founder of the Thinking Skills Club, a computer game club that helps develop cognitive functioning for kids. He hold a B.Sc. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of Toronto.