Students in Finland have a reputation for doing well on international assessments in science and mathematics, an accomplishment that's long been of interest to educators and policy makers here in the U.S. A recent research collaboration between the two countries aims to advance the best ideas from both sides of the ocean, with the goal of bringing new innovations to STEM education in environments from kindergarten through undergraduate education. Read more in this news release.
Credit: Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago
Very young children's learning and thinking are strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science, according to Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Gopnik and her colleagues found that young children, in their play and interactions with their surroundings, learn from statistics, experiments and from the actions of others in much the same way that scientists do. Read more in this news release.
The mission of the Division of Human Resource Development in NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources is to grow the innovative and competitive U.S. STEM workforce that is vital for sustaining and advancing the nation's prosperity by supporting the broader participation and success of individuals currently underrepresented in STEM and the institutions that serve them.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neuroscientists have found significant differences in brain anatomy when comparing men and women with dyslexia to their non-dyslexic control groups. The study is the first to directly compare brain anatomy of females with and without dyslexia.
August 25, 2014
Smartphone beats paper for some with dyslexia
Seeing words two and three at a time improves focus, helps with comprehension
Matthew Schneps is a researcher at Harvard University with a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also happens to have dyslexia, so reading has always been a challenge for him. That is, until he got a smartphone. Schneps soon found that for him, a smartphone was easier to read than a paper or a book. But, was it just him? Or, had he stumbled onto something that could help others with dyslexia?
Schneps was at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at the time, specializing in how people learn science. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), he decided to put his smartphone theory to the test. The faculty and about 100 students at the Landmark School near Boston volunteered to take part. The high school specializes in helping students overcome learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.
Schneps and his team monitored students with dyslexia while the students read to see if reading off smartphones and tablets would improve the students' comprehension of STEM subjects--science, technology, education and math. He found that reading off an iPod benefitted those dyslexic students who exhibit signs of visual attention deficits. What helped was to show only two or three words on a line. Schneps says that in this age of electronic publishing, his research lends new hope to one out of every five people who currently struggles with reading. For many, simply reconfiguring the layout of the text on an electronic reader may make all the difference.
"NSF's investment in this educational research project reflects our commitment to advancing the learning and participation of students with disabilities in the STEM fields," says Mark Leddy, a program director, who manages NSF research on disabilities and STEM education within the agency's Directorate for Education and Human Resources.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.