Education can make you taller in old age

The Telegraph reports that researchers found that those who had completed secondary education shrank nearly 2cm less in their dotage than the illiterate, who had not even completed primary school. The team from the Universities of Southern California, Harvard, and Peking say it is the first time it has been shown that choices we make later in life, rather than in early childhood, can influence our height. All humans go through physical changes with age, including an increase in body fat and decrease in bone mass. Previous studies have suggested that we start to get smaller as early as in our 30s, with changes to the spine and bones all having an effect. Men lose on average 3.3cm by their deaths. Using data from a survey of 17,708 adults beginning at age 45, the researchers showed a number of new influences – including eductation – which determined how much we shrank…

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Study questions learning-style research

Learning styles, including visual or auditory, have become widely popular in education.
Teaching to different learning styles, such as visual or auditory, has become widely popular in education.

As educators struggle to define effective 21st-century instruction, one practice that many have viewed as fundamental to teaching and learning has come under new fire: catering to different learning styles.

According to a new review of existing research, scientists have yet to show conclusively that students learn better when they are taught according to their preferred modality—and the study’s authors say it’s time to stop funding a technique that hasn’t been proven effective.

Commissioned by Psychological Science in the Public Interest, the main journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the study is called “Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence.” It was written by Harold Pashler, professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego; Mark McDaniel, professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis; Doug Rohrer, professor of psychology at the University of South Florida; and Robert Bjork, distinguished professor and chair of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.…Read More

Teachers’ digital media use on the rise

More teachers are adopting digital technology into their instruction, according to a PBS survey.
More teachers are adopting digital technology into their instruction, according to a PBS survey.

Teachers are making significant progress in adopting digital media and using the internet for instruction, according to findings from a new survey released Jan. 5 by PBS.

The survey, “Digitally Inclined,” aims to provide information about instructional needs and trends to education leaders, policy makers, and the media industry.

The survey, compiled by education research group Grunwald Associates, includes data collected from pre-K educators for the first time. The annual survey has been conducted since 2002 to examine educators’ media use.…Read More

ED: Blended learning helps boost achievement

A new analysis of existing online-learning research by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) reveals that students who took all or part of their class on line performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.

Most of the studies examined by researchers dealt with college-level courses, and ED officials cautioned against generalizing the report’s findings to the K-12 level. Still, the report could help educators as they seek to create effective learning environments for all students.

The detailed meta-analysis is part of a broader study of practices in online learning being conducted by SRI International for ED’s Policy and Program Studies Service. The goal of the study is to “provide policy makers, administrators, and educators with research-based guidance about how to implement online learning for K-12 education and teacher preparation,” says the report.…Read More