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  • This blog is written by specialists from the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. Its objective is to provide arguments and ideas that will spark debate about how to transform education in Latin America and the Caribbean. This blog is a call to action for the reader. An idea, a project, or a question can make a difference.

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    Las opiniones expresadas en este blog son las del autor y no necesariamente reflejan las opiniones del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, sus directivas, la Asamblea de Gobernadores o sus países miembros.

    The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Management, its Board of Executive Directors or its member Governments.

    Archive for June, 2011

    Strong Bodies, Stronger Minds

    By - 30 Jun 2011

    I read something recently that I found amazing. There is something that schools can do to increase education results by 20% and raise future employment by 40%. In addition, it boosts important social and emotional skills, as well as health prospects. No, it isn’t more computers, or high stakes testing, or even universal high quality early childhood development (a crusade of mine). Rather, it is school-based sports for girls.

    There is nothing new about the fact that sports are associated with higher grades and self-esteem. But, until recently, the chicken and egg question was never adequately resolved. Was sports driving these results or were those kids who were attracted to sports already high achievers with the ambition, resilience and opportunities needed to succeed? New research has untangled the direction of causality: controlling for self-selection (the chicken or egg), it finds that, for girls, participation in team sports can result in lifelong improvements in education, work and health.

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    Children who learn on their own

    By - 24 Jun 2011

    In 2006, a university professor in India named Professor Sugata Mitra decided to try an experiment. On a wall of his office, which overlooked a slum, he installed a computer that was connected to the Internet. He left it there so that children could use it as they wished. In subsequent years he repeated this experiment in some 20 communities in the country, and after refining the model, applied it in several other countries. “The adventure of children who learn on their own” is the title of an inspirational video on TED, where you can learn first-hand the details of this experience.

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    Teachers: Keeping children safe amidst violence

    By - 13 Jun 2011

    On March 31, 2011, a kindergarten teacher in the state of Nuevo León, México received an award for her bravery in keep her 5 and 6 year old students safe and calm as a gun battle broke out near the school. When the violence commenced, the teacher, Ms. Alanis, remained calm, had the students lie on the floor, reassured them and sang a song to soothe them. Remaining calm under emergencies is of course critical, not only since it allows us to respond more rationally, but also to help keep those around us calm, especially children. The question of course is always: when the time comes, can we truly remain calm? For Ms. Alanis and her students, the answer is a resounding yes.

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    Pills for curing school dropout?

    By - 8 Jun 2011

    I have an idea that someone has already had: a “pill” to prevent children leaving school. Let’s start with a look at the wonderful campaign shown in this magnificent video.

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    Unlocking the mystery of the brain and how we learn

    By - 1 Jun 2011

    Over the past 10 years, neuroscientists have been able to unlock some of the mysteries of the brain and learn a tremendous amount about brain development, mainly due to brain imaging abilities, which allow neuroscientists to see the brain in action (literally). These advances may offer insights for strengthening positive child/youth development, especially for vulnerable youth.

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