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The Cognitive Efficiency of Rankings

Marshalling items into an order or ranking them seems to please our brains. There is a certain cognitive efficiency in such rankings.  After all, ranking reflects a type of organization and efficiency.  And a top ten list can potentially save a person a lot of time from having to perform individual research.  Such a predilection…
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Building Better Thinkers

Living in a world that so honors science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—often called the STEM disciplines—many of us desire a more balanced approach.   I found a kindred spirit in social scientist Howard Gardner, whose book Five Minds for the Future (Harvard Business Press, 2008) suggests that in order to live a well-rounded life, we need…
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The Reason for the Season Is in the Tilt

Science tells us that the season's changes are caused as the Earth, tilted on its axis, travels in a loop around the Sun each year. Because we have no control over those transitions, we humans simply adapt, often by putting on more clothes or taking them off. When I taught in the public schools, I took advantage…
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Kindness Reminders

Over the past few weeks while the winter holidays have consumed our lives, we might wonder: Why do we celebrate holidays?  Actually, that question makes a good Think About (Available at www.thinkingzone.org).  Teachers might invite their students to pen a list.  Just as there are as many different definitions for normal as there are people…
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