Year End Rituals And Traditions

Human consciousness allows us to get beyond the here and now—to elsewhere, and into the past and future. Our ability to comprehend the conceptual breadth of space/place and time/sequence is thus a key cognitive capability. Space and time are basically nature’s way of keeping everything from being everywhere, and from happening all at once. Not…

The Creative Brain

The increased outsourcing and automation of production and technical support jobs is of necessity shifting America’s vocational focus. An earlier column (The Community Roots of the Arts) discussed urban theorist Richard Florida’s belief (2004) that enhanced support for the creative vocations now provides a major hope for maintaining a vibrant culture and economy during the…

The Effects Of Electronic Media On Cognition And Behavior – Part 2

Last month’s column described the cognitive systems that process our interactions with natural and electronic environments. Some recent provocative research rejects the conventional wisdom that extensive interactions with electronic media provoke culturally inappropriate behavior and reduce problem-solving abilities — dumb down society, as it were. This month’s column will thus focus on Steven Johnson’s analysis…

Single-Sex Classrooms

We educate students in groups. In addition to the obvious financial savings over individualized instruction, it makes sense for a social species to provide many opportunities for young people to interact with each other. Our K-12 school system thus provides 12,000 hours of non-kin social awareness and interaction that’s embedded within the curriculum and classroom…