“Also called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day,” or “Emancipation Day” (among other names), Juneteenth is the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. On June 19, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with General Orders, No. 3, declaring: “… in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’ This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” This came about two months after the war’s official end following surrender by the Confederate Army at Appomattox Court House, and more than two and a half years (Jan. 1, 1863) after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
“We discussed rather than debated. We opened up and shared, which would require some measure of vulnerability, a trait that is anathema to winning a debate. The desire for safe spaces, for warnings.. are really just a desire for a little understand, a little space to figure stuff out. Seeing the academic institution as a place of ideological debate and combat is not really conducive to that goal.”
“The great virtue of John Mauceri’s “The War on Music: Reclaiming the Twentieth Century” is that it acknowledges what many writers on the subject know but can’t say: that something went badly wrong in music in the 20th century, and especially after 1945. The time has come, Mr. Mauceri writes, “to ask why so much contemporary music played by our greatest musical institutions—and supported overwhelmingly by music critics—is music that the vast majority of people do not want to hear—and have never wanted to hear.””
“Exercise contributes to happiness. It blunts anxiety and thwarts depression. Even 30 minutes of daily “brisk walking,” the World Health Organization asserts, can lift the mood. A study comparing the brain MRIs of active and inactive nine and ten-year-olds found a higher volume of the “white matter” that’s associated with memory and learning among the fit children. In her book The Extended Mind, Annie Murphy Paul explains how moving at varied levels of exertion affects the brain: low-intensity enhances executive function; moderate improves problem-solving, focus, memory, and other cognitive advantages; and high-intensity exercise stokes creativity.”
“Teen sleep deprivation affects grades, attendance, and graduation rates. It leads to greater risk of injury for adolescent athletes, and more drowsy-driving crashes. And it worsens mental-health issues—including anxiety and suicidality.
“Two decades of child development research tell us that small kids need two things above all else to get off to the best possible start: nurturing interaction with caregivers and protection from toxic stress. Over the past five years a new wave of neuroscientific studies, highlighting the neurobiological effects of early experience, has strongly pointed toward ways of accomplishing these goals. Such research provides an early peek at what is happening in young children's brains. The studies show that environments and relationships we know benefit development are also associated with higher levels of activation and connectivity in parts of the brain that underpin language and cognitive development.”
“The way that realistic conflict functions in democratic life is that it can eliminate exclusions, hone and develop positions for the group, and bring about the change to individuals that makes them suited for living among each other. Excluding conflict from democratic life, then, not only risks giving into authoritarian tendencies to exclude, expel or annihilate, but also fails to recognise the subjective changes that are part of participation in democratic life.”
“If you spend too much time mulling trivial decisions, such as what to wear or how to respond to a tweet, the less amenable you are to change. Not to mention, the mental effort of poring over those small decisions will leave you exhausted. Focus your energy instead on important and consequential decisions, whether that means contacting a potential client or learning a new skill. Use your energy to make complex things more simple.”
“If you’re new here, here’s how it works: 1. I read all of the Most Anticipated and Best Summer Reading lists that flood the internet this time of year (or at least as many as I can find). 2. I count how many times each book is included. 3. I collate them for you in this handy list.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson