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Presents a nine-step model for teaching character, designed to integrate academic, social, and emotional learning; anticipate problems; and hold students to high standards.

Presents a nine-step model for teaching character, designed to integrate academic, social, and emotional learning; anticipate problems; and hold students to high standards.

This study investigated the effect of a social and emotional learning skills curriculum, the "You Can Do It! Early Childhood Education Program" (YCDI), on the social-emotional development, well-being, and academic achievement of 99 preparatory and grade 1 students attending a Catholic school in Melbourne, Australia. One preparatory and one grade 1 class were randomly chosen to receive structured lessons in YCDI, delivered by their classroom teachers over a period of 10 weeks, while the remaining preparatory and grade 1 class served as the control group. The lessons were designed to teach young children confidence, persistence, organisation and emotional resilience. The educational program consisted of explicit, direct instruction lessons drawn from the YCDI Early Childhood Curriculum taught three times a week, supported by a variety of additional social and emotional teaching practices. The results indicated that YCDI had a statistically significant positive effect on levels of social-emotional competence and well-being for the preparatory and grade 1 students, a reduction in problem behaviours (externalising, internalising, and hyperactivity problems) for the grade 1 students, and an increase in reading achievement (decoding text) for the lower achieving grade 1 students. These findings are discussed with regard to issues concerning the role of explicit instruction in social and emotional learning for the early years.

Social epistemology is a broad set of approaches to the study of knowledge and to gain information about the social dimensions. This intellectual movement of wide cross-disciplinary sources reconstructs the problems of epistemology when knowledge is considered to be intrinsically social. In the first chapter, "Social Epistemology and Social Learning," Olivia Saracho and Bernard Spodek discuss the social and historical contexts in which different forms of knowledge are formulated based on the perspective of social epistemology. They also discuss the emergence of social epistemology, which guides researchers to investigate social phenomena in laboratory and field settings. Social factors "external" to the appropriate business of science have a major impact in the social studies researchers' historical case studies. Thus, social studies researchers may be considered social epistemologists, because (a) they focus on knowledge of social influences and (b) they infer epistemologically significant conclusions from their sociological or anthropological research. In addition, analyses indicate that studies of scientific paradigms are basically a struggle for political power rather than reflecting reliable epistemic merit. Social studies researchers focus on knowledge of social influences on knowledge, which is analogous to the knowledge of the social epistemologists. They also use their sociological or anthropological research to infer epistemologically significant conclusions. Contents include: (1) Introduction--Social Learning in the Early Childhood Years (Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek); (2) Social Epistemology and Social Learning (Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek); (3) Social Dynamics of Early Childhood Classrooms: Considerations and Implications for Teachers (Kathleen Cranley Gallagher, Kimberly Dadisman, Thomas W. Farmer, Laura Huss, and Bryan C. Hutchins); (4) The Development of Social Identity and Intergroup Attitudes in Young Children (Kurt Kowalski); (5) The Development of Ethnic Prejudice in Early Childhood: Theories and Research (Drew Nesdale); (6) Executive Function, Behavioral Self-Regulation, and Social-Emotional Competence: Links to School Readiness (Megan M. McClelland, Claire E. Cameron, Shannon B. Wanless, and Amy Murray); (7) Capital at Home and at School as Determinants of Child Social Adjustment (Toby L. Parcel); (8) Parenting and Schooling Influences on Early Self-Regulation Development (Abigail M. Jewkes and Frederick J. Morrison); (9) Positive Parent-Provider Relationships: A Key to Healthy Parent-Child Relationships (Angela M. Tomlin); (10) Promoting School Readiness in Foster Children (Katherine C. Pears, Philip A. Fisher, Cynthia V. Heywood, and Kimberly D. Bronz); (11) Teaching History and Social Studies to Young Children (Gary Fertig); (12) Play as Group Improvisation: A Social Semiotic, Multimodal Perspective on Play and Literacy (Stacy L. DeZutter); (13) Social Aspects in Language and Literacy Learning: Progress, Problems, and Interventions (Adriana G. Bus, Maria T. de Jong, and Marinus H. Van IJzendoorn); (14) If You're Not Like Me Can We Play? Peer Groups in Preschool (Carollee Howes and Linda Lee); (15) Social Life of Young Children: Co-construction of Shared Meanings and Togetherness, Humour and Conflicts in Child Care Centers (Elly Singer and Dorian de Haan); and (16) Social Learning as the Basis for Early Childhood Education (Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek)

Contemplative practices like meditation and mindfulness have recently gained increased acceptance in science and clinical practice, although a number of issues related to their phenomenology and to experimental designs still remain.

Participants in the dialogue between science and Buddhism have long modeled their discussion primarily on the idea of convergence, the premise that the most significant comparisons are those that reveal common ground. This is by no means the only model for comparative discussion, and I would argue that in the case of Buddhism and science it is deeply flawed. Instead, another model—one based on mutual challenge, in which the two sides are able to shed light on each other precisely because of their differences—offers what I see as a more potentially fruitful alternative.
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Participants in the dialogue between science and Buddhism have long modeled their discussion primarily on the idea of convergence, the premise that the most significant comparisons are those that reveal common ground. This is by no means the only model for comparative discussion, and I would argue that in the case of Buddhism and science it is deeply flawed. Instead, another model—one based on mutual challenge, in which the two sides are able to shed light on each other precisely because of their differences—offers what I see as a more potentially fruitful alternative.
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This article discusses the non-academic, social-emotional factors that contribute to student academic achievement, including the cognitive-behavioral characteristics of underachieving students and those with learning disabilities; the "You Can Do It! Education" (YCDI) theory of achievement; derivative research on social-emotional capabilities, called the Five Foundations (Academic Confidence, Work Persistence, Work Organization, Getting Along, Emotional Resilience) that, when delayed, produce achievement problems; and recommendations for developing students' social-emotional competence. The research reviewed demonstrates that the Five Foundations and associated Habits of the Mind can be taught to young people, producing increased effort with schoolwork and better achievement.

This book discusses the theory and practice of labyrinth creation and use. From issues of design and cost, to how a labyrinth may be used as a university-wide resource and also be used for outreach to the wider community, it covers labyrinth use: • Within disciplines, such as initiatives to deepen reflection and explore contemplative approaches to learning• In wider university contexts, such as counselling; chaplaincy; learning and educational development; widening participation and student transition• Across the whole university, and reaching out to the wider community of which the university is a part, from the labyrinth as a conference resource (as well as topic), to festival contributions. Learning with the Labyrinth seeks to illustrate, inspire and share ideas that can be taken further by the reader.

The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) is a shell of GABAergic neurons that surrounds the dorsal thalamus. Previous work has shown that TRN neurons send GABAergic projections to thalamocortical (TC) cells to form reciprocal, closed-loop circuits. This has led to the hypothesis that the TRN is responsible for oscillatory phenomena, such as sleep spindles and absence seizures. However, there is emerging evidence that open-loop circuits are also found between TRN and TC cells. The implications of open-loop configurations are not yet known, particularly when they include time-dependent nonlinearities in TC cells such as low-threshold bursting. We hypothesized that low-threshold bursting in an open-loop circuit could be a mechanism by which the TRN could paradoxically enhance TC activation, and that enhancement would depend on the relative timing of TRN vs. TC cell stimulation. To test this, we modeled small circuits containing TC neurons, TRN neurons, and layer 4 thalamorecipient cells in both open- and closed-loop configurations. We found that open-loop TRN stimulation, rather than universally depressing TC activation, increased cortical output across a broad parameter space, modified the filter properties of TC neurons, and altered the mutual information between input and output in a frequency-dependent and T-type calcium channel-dependent manner. Therefore, an open-loop model of TRN-TC interactions, rather than suppressing transmission through the thalamus, creates a tunable filter whose properties may be modified by outside influences onto the TRN. These simulations make experimentally testable predictions about the potential role for the TRN for flexible enhancement of cortical activation.

Objectives: The objective of this pilot study was to compare the effects of two mind-body interventions: mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive-behavioral stress reduction (CBSR). Subjects: Fifty ( 50) subjects were recruited from the community and took part in MBSR (n = 36) and CBSR (n = 14) courses. Participants self-selected into MBSR or CBSR courses taught at different times. There were no initial differences between the MBSR and CBSR subjects on demographics, including age, gender, education, and income. Intervention: MBSR was an 8-week course using meditation, gentle yoga, and body scanning exercises to increase mindfulness. CBSR was an 8-week course using cognitive and behavioral techniques to change thinking and reduce distress. Design: Perceived stress, depression, psychological well-being, neuroticism, binge eating, energy, pain, and mindfulness were assessed before and after each course. Pre-post scores for each intervention were compared by using paired t tests. Pre-post scores across interventions were compared by using a general linear model with repeated measures. Settings/Locations: Weekly meetings for both courses were held in a large room on a university medical center campus. Results: MBSR subjects improved on all eight outcomes, with all of the differences being significant. CBSR subjects improved on six of eight outcomes, with significant improvements on well-being, perceived stress, and depression. Multivariate analyses showed that the MBSR subjects had better outcomes across all variables, when compared with the CBSR subjects. Univariate analyses showed that MBSR subjects had better outcomes with regard to mindfulness, energy, pain, and a trend for binge eating. Conclusions: While MBSR and CBSR may both be effective in reducing perceived stress and depression, MBSR may be more effective in increasing mindfulness and energy and reducing pain. Future studies should continue to examine the differential effects of cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions and attempt to explain the reasons for the differences.

There is growing recognition that humans are faced with a critical and narrowing window of opportunity to halt or reverse some of the key indicators involved in the environmental crisis. Given human activities’ scale and impact, as well as the overly narrow perspectives of environmental research's dominant natural sciences, a major effort is necessary to place the perspectives and insights of the humanities’ and social sciences’ perspectives and insights at the forefront. Such effort will require developing integrated approaches, projects, and institutions that truly do so. This article's goal is to help mobilize the social sciences and the humanities on the topic of sustainability transitions, but also call for a meaningful research agenda to acknowledge the profound implications of the advent of the Anthropocene epoch. We formulate the need for an innovative research agenda based on a careful consideration of the changing human condition as linked to global environmental change. The humanities and social sciences will need to change and adapt to this pressing, historic task.

The traditional animal model of instrumental behaviour has focused almost exclusively on structures within the cortico-striatal network and ignored the contributions of various thalamic nuclei despite large and specific connections with each of these structures. One possible reason for this is that the thalamus has been conventionally viewed as a mediator of general processes, such as attention, arousal and movement, that are not easily separated from more cognitive aspects of instrumental behaviour. Recent research has, however, begun to separate these roles. Here we review the role of three thalamic nuclei in instrumental conditioning: the anterior, the mediodorsal, and parafascicular thalamic nuclei. Early research suggested that anterior thalamic nuclei might regulate aspects of instrumental behaviour but, on review, we suggest that the types of tasks used in these studies were more likely to recruit Pavlovian processes. Indeed lesions of anterior thalamic nuclei have been found to have no effect on performance in instrumental free-operant tasks. By contrast the mediodorsal thalamus has been found to play a specific and important role in the acquisition of goal-directed action. We propose this role is related to its connections with prelimbic cortex and present new data that directly implicates this circuit in the acquisition of goal-directed actions. Finally we review evidence suggesting the parafascicular thalamic nucleus, although not critical for the acquisition or performance of instrumental actions, plays a specific role in regulating action flexibility.