Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Safe for Quantum Mechanics
Contributor(s): Susskind, Leonard
"The Black Hole War" is the thrilling story of Susskind's effort to
reconcile Stephen Hawking's revolutionary theories of black holes with
his own sense of reality--an effort that would eventually result in
Hawking admitting he was wrong.
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pub Date: 07/2008
US SRP: 27.99
BISAC Categories: Science | History; Science | Astrophysics & Space
Science; Science | Cosmology; Science | Astronomy | Universe; Science |
Quantum Theory; Science | Mathematical Physics
By LAURA PAPPANO
REREADING class notes with highlighter in hand may not be the best way to study. New research suggests that frequent testing — even self-testing — is a better bet for retaining information.
Henry L. Roediger III, professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, says his study of 180 students shows the benefits of “the testing effect.”
Students were asked either to study a passage four times, study it three times and take a test on it once or study it once and take a test on it three times. They were then retested on the material after five minutes and after a week. Those who only studied — O.K., crammed — did slightly better after five minutes, but a week later the three-time test takers outscored the other groups significantly. “Just repeatedly looking at something doesn’t mean you own it,” Dr. Roediger says. “The act of retrieval is a very active memory enhancer.”
In addition, says Dr. Roediger, frequent testing has the practical effect of breaking material into chunks, which helps students keep up in courses that cover lots of ground.
His study will be included in “Psychology and the Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to Society” (Worth Publishers); a related study, by Dr. Roediger and Jeffrey D. Karpicke, was recently published in the journal Science.
Do the findings suggest that standardized testing improves student performance?
Dr. Roediger says he doesn’t take a position on policy debates. But then he adds: “The bottom line is yes.”
Friday, May 01, 2009
"During April, we anticipate "The Soloist," a film about a student
afflicted with schizophrenia who grew up to be a homeless street
musician - then was befriended by members of the LA Philharmonic and an
LA Times columnist. Meet the real people, hear the music which helps
"The Soloist" stay calm and watch him play various instruments in this
story behind the movie.
In addition, we're thinking about the earthquake of April 6th (in which
"a jewel of medieval Italy collapsed"), Mahatma Gandhi (who "broke" the
unfair salt laws by following non-violent resistance), the San
Francisco earthquake and fire (which devastated the city on April 18,
1906), the Chernobyl meltdown (which remains the world's worst nuclear
accident) and "the miracle" at the water pump (when Annie Sullivan made
a startling breakthrough with her pupil, Helen Keller). Learn the
details of those, and other events, in this summary of April
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Grand Valley State University