How East and West think in profoundly different ways

As Horace Capron first travelled through Hokkaido in 1871, he searched for a sign of human life among the vast prairies, wooded glades and threatening black mountains. “The stillness of death reigned over this magnificent scene,” he later wrote. “Not a leaf was stirred, not the chirping of a bird or a living thing.” It was, he thought, a timeless place, straight out of pre-history.

“How amazing it is that this rich and beautiful country, the property of one of the oldest and most densely populated nations of the world… should have remained so long unoccupied and almost as unknown as the African deserts,” he added.

This was Japan’s frontier – its own version of the American ‘Wild West’. The northernmost of Japan’s islands, Hokkaido was remote, with a stormy sea separating it from Honshu. Travellers daring to make the crossing would have then had to endure the notoriously brutal winters, rugged volcanic landscape and savage wildlife. And so the Japanese government had largely left it to the indigenous Ainu people, who survived through hunting and fishing.

 

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Here is how to focus and use more of your brain

It’s a myth that humans only use 10% of their brains. “That idea is not only inaccurate, it doesn’t make any sense,” says Earl Miller, a professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Even the simplest behaviours engage much of our brain.”

But while that old 10% dictum is bogus, it’s true that many of us have some untapped reserves of mental acuity that, if harnessed, could sharpen our powers of insight and analysis. The key to accessing those reserves, Miller says, is to stay focused. “The main thing that impedes our cognition is distraction.”

Distractions are powerful drains on the brain’s ability to focus, and one of the best ways to get more from your mind is to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted stretches of time.

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A futilidade afeta o desenvolvimento de um indivíduo humanista

Exercer a parentalidade na sociedade atual é uma tarefa complexa: as orientações sobre o que é ‘certo’ e ‘errado’ divergem, falta tempo, sobram responsabilidades e a rotina de trabalho é cada vez mais exaustiva.

Diante desse cenário truncado, é importante detectar onde estão as maiores fragilidades do cuidado com as crianças, e assim buscar o caminho que seja mais possível de acordo com a realidade de cada família e de cada criança. E, o mais importante: não culpabilizar os pais como únicos responsáveis pela educação de uma criança é peça-chave do acolhimento da infância no âmbito social.

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Puberty Hormones Trigger Changes in Youthful Learning

A UC Berkeley study of mice reveals, for the first time, how puberty hormones might impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.

“We have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a ‘switch’ in the brain’s frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning,” said study senior author Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley.

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Failure Is Essential to Learning

One of my favorite things to say when doing strategic planning with teachers is that the plan has a 50 percent chance of success and a 100 percent chance of teaching us how to get “smarter” about delivering on our mission.

I love saying this because it conveys an essential truth: Failure is not a bad thing. It is a guaranteed and inevitable part of learning. In any and all endeavors, and especially as a learning organization, we will experience failure, as surely as a toddler will fall while learning to walk.

 

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