Dr. Wilda Reviews Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at Seattle Art Museum

23 Nov

Moi attended the press viewing of Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Seattle Art Museum’s Asian Museum. Here are the details:

Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015

Asian Art Museum

Tateuchi Galleries

If possible, Mr. should be seen in conjunction with Pop Departures:

Pop Departures

Oct 9 2014 – Jan 11 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

The exhibition takes us beyond the pioneers of Pop and to the work of subsequent generations of artists for whom Pop art has been an inspiration or a vehicle for critique. See works from the 1980s and ’90s by artists such as Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, and Richard Prince. Continue with work made in the era of digital markets and social media by Margarita Cabrera, Josephine Meckseper, and Ryan Trecartin….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop

According to the Seattle Art Museum’s description of Mr.’s exhibit:

Live On, which is organized by SAM, presents Mr.’s art of the past 15 years and is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. Born in 1969, Mr. is a protégé of Takashi Murakami, internationally acclaimed icon of Japanese Pop art. He borrowed the name “Mr.” from “Mister Giants” (Shigeo Nagashima), the superstar clean-up hitter of the postwar Yomiuri Giants baseball team…                                                                                            http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/liveon

Lehmann Maupin has some very good information about Mr.

Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan) graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. Mr.’s work simultaneously studies and partakes in otaku, the Japanese “cute” subculture marked by fetishistic obsession with young adolescents, technology, sci-fi literature, manga, anime, and video games. Like his fellow Superflat artists, Mr. approaches the visual language of manga as a means of examining Japanese culture at large, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. Mr.’s paintings play with the hyper-sexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku; know in Japan as “lolicon,” the term is originally shorthand for “Lolita Complex” but in usage has come to refer to the otaku preference for explicitly fictional young girls.

Mr. has exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions including the acclaimed 2005 exhibition Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, Japan Society, New York; RED HOT: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas (2007); KRAZY! The Delerious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2008); Animate, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2009); Exhibition Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas, Grimaldi Forum (2010); Leeahn Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2010). Mr.’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide. The artist lives and works in Saitama, just outside of Tokyo, Japan.           http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/mr

Related:

Japanese Artist Mr. – Metamorphosis at Lehmann Maupin …

► 5:44► 5:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyPnFZZjtA

Sep 22, 2012 – Uploaded by VernissageTV

http://www.vernissage.tv | Japanese Artist Mr.: Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings / Lehmann Maupin Gallery ..

Aric Chen wrote an insightful analysis of Mr. in Art Crawl’s Candy Man:

Mr. is a Japanese artist whose cartoonish paintings and sculptures in bubblegum colors derive from Japan’s otaku (or “geek”) subculture. As such, he shares the otaku obsession with anime, manga comic books and what many have described as their unhealthy infatuation with little girls….

Mr.’s images are compellingly saccharine portraits of innocence taken to unsettling, seductive extremes. Admitting to a Lolita complex—though he says he doesn’t act on it—he maintains the line between fantasy and reality by realizing his fantasies through the medium of his work. All the while, his subject matter is both intensified and chastened, its dark desires illuminated by a sheen of cuteness, posing questions about the limits of acceptability, the boundlessness of imagination and the perversions hidden within all cultures, whether otaku or otherwise….   http://www.hintmag.com/artcrawl/artcrawl.php

See, Mr. ‘Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings’ at Lehmann Maupin Gallery (Video)       http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vernissagetv/mr-metamorphosis-give-me-_b_1907858.html

Live On is a sample of the past 15 years or so of Mr.’s work. It seemed to be divided into three periods. The first period was when Mr. was a struggling student artist and then working under the tutelage of Takashi Murakami. He explores themes of otaku culture, and lolicon themes using an anime/manga style. The periods flow into each. Mr. first period is typified by “Making Things Right” which depicts an uprising. This work is interesting because Mr. used scraps of canvas from Murakami to piece together a larger work. He was working as an apprentice and didn’t have much money.

Another period began in 2011 in response to the tsunami and nuclear accident. He mentioned that he explored themes of garbage when he was a student, but moved on. Japan and Italy were compared by Mr. because both suffered poverty after WWII. He mentioned the movement of Italian artists who explore the theme of garbage to express what is going on in their environment. See, In Naples, artists use irony to tackle festering trash crisis. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Living-Green/2008/0506/in-naples-artists-use-irony-to-tackle-festering-trash-crisis According to Mr. the garbage installation at SAM just came out of him. He ties the garbage period to current work by including newer work in the installation. Frankly, moi is glad Mr. got garbage out of his system and will hopefully move on.

The third period is a period of an artist refining his technique and using quality materials. There is a degree of control and intentionality in his exploration of anime/manga. The works can be appreciated on many levels and are more than just bright colorful pictures of girls. An element of Japanese culture which many will never explore or know is hiding there in plain view.

Mr. mentioned Hatsune Miku which is a virtual character during question period. Huffington Post reported about this trend in Meet Hatsune Miku, The Sensational Japanese Pop Star Who Doesn’t Really Exist:

Miku is a mascot for a product: a voice synthesizing software, through which users can write songs. In 2007, a company called Crypton Future Media released the software for purchase, built using Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology as well as a database of samples recorded by a voice actress. As with most of Japan’s entities (including the country’s police agencies), this offering came with a cartoon mascot. She was 16, liked pop music, and wore her hair in long pigtails. She was Hatsune Miku, a name that translates to “first sound of the future….” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/hatsune-miku-letterman_n_5956420.html

One can only wonder if this is the next path for Mr.

Dr. Wilda recommends Live On and if the reader can attend Pop Departures, it will simply enhance the enjoyment of both exhibits.

Resources:

What are Manga and Anime?

http://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html

The Truth Behind What “Otaku” Really Means

http://japaneselevelup.com/the-truth-behind-what-otaku-really-means/

Lolicon: The Reality of ‘Virtual Child Pornography’ in Japan

http://www.academia.edu/3665383/Lolicon_The_Reality_of_Virtual_Child_Pornography_in_Japan

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum’s Pop Departures                                                     http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-pop-departures/

Dr Wilda Reviews: Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 at the Seattle Art Museum                                                                                                                                                                 http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/dr-wilda-reviews-deco-japan-shaping-art-and-culture-1920-1945-at-the-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews art exhibit: ‘Hometown Boy: Liu Xiaodong’ at Seattle Art Museum           http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/dr-wilda-reviews-art-exhibit-hometown-boy-liu-xiaodong-at-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’                                                         http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-future-beauty-30-years-of-japanese-fashion/

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Dr. Wilda Reviews: Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology

18 Nov

Moi received a complimentary copy of Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology (Dinosaurs). Here are some details about the book from the publisher:

Excavate! Dinosaurs

Paper Toy Paleontology

Jonathan Tennant

http://www.storey.com/author.php?ID=503408

Illustrated by Vladmir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson

Jonathan Tennant is a science educator and paleontologist working on his PhD in tetrapod biodiversity and extinction at Imperial College in London, England. He co-hosts a podcast series called Palaeocast, tweets as @protohedgehog, and blogs at egu.eu/palaeoblog.

Download high-res cover Preview Book

http://www.storey.com/inc/pic_display.php?isbn=9781612125206&size=full 

The ultimate gift for dinosaur-loving kids ages 7 and up! With fun text and colorful illustrations, paleontologist Jonathan Tennant explains the anatomy, habits, and diet of 12 dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic eras and then provides pop-out pieces of their skeletons for kids to assemble into stand-up paper models. However, the pieces are mixed up! Before the puzzles can be completed, kids must apply their new knowledge about the dinosaurs to figure out which pieces go together. Kids will love the challenge of sorting out which bones belong to which dinosaur — just like real paleontologists do!

$ 12.95 US

Details

Although, primarily aimed at children, children from a precocious five to age six and above will have fun with Dinosaurs. NOTE: “CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.”

1. Marianne Richmond writes in What Makes a Good Children’s Book?1. Strong characters who evoke strong emotion Good children’s books, no matter how simple or complex, offer a sense of joy. They can make us laugh or cry by giving us a character we want to care about….

2. A Story that Teaches Good stories can teach simple concepts about numbers, letters or colors — OR they can teach about diversity, love, manners, and acceptance.

3. Mind-expanding illustrations, vocabulary or concepts                          http://thewritepractice.com/childrens-book/

The premise of the book is the child learns what it is like to be a paleontologist. The reader is guided to ask about what dinosaurs were, how we know they existed from the fossil record, and learn about the time periods dinosaurs lived. Tennant provides easily understandable answers and the illustrations clearly illustrate the text. The great thing about the book is children of all ages are given “3D paper models of 12 of the most amazing dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods.” Not only does the reader learn about dinosaurs, it is fun learning which involves a participatory activity.

The book is printed on quality paper with good understandable text and illustrations. Dinosaurs is just plain fun.

Dr. Wilda gives Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology a thumbs up.

Resources:

Dinosaur Facts for Kids                                                                                                               http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/dinosaurs.html

Dinosaur Games                                                                                                                             http://pbskids.org/games/dinosaur/

Other Reviews:

Review: Excavate! Dinosaurs Paper Toy Paleontology by Jon Tennant                                                              http://secondbookshelf.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-excavate-dinosaurs-paper-toy.html

Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson                                                                                                                               http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Excavate!_Dinosaurs:_Paper_Toy_Paleontology_by_Jonathan_Tennant,_Vladamir_Nikolov_and_Charlie_Simpson

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Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum upcoming 2015 -2016 season: SAM wants to be YOUR museum

16 Nov

Moi joined other media and supporters of Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for a complimentary lunch at the Triple Door which was catered by Wild Ginger. There was an air of anticipation in the crowd about what was next on the SAM agenda. The 2014 season had been very successful with international shows like Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon http://seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/peru The curator staff at SAM seems to be both imaginative and resourceful. Given the stratospheric prices art is going for at auction, the question is how resourceful and creative could the SAM staff be? The answer which came during the event was the SAM staff was just as resourceful as ever and they are making an attempt to be Seattle’s art museum by appealing to many different segments of the community.

There was the announcement that the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection gift to SAM’s permanent collection will be on display:

In celebration of this gift, SAM will be featuring highlights of the collection throughout the modern and contemporary galleries beginning in the spring of 2015. In addition, the museum is organizing a major exhibition for the summer of 2016 that will feature abstract works from the Wright Collection as well as works in the SAM collection and other key loans….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/about-sam/press-room/the-wright-collection-of-modern-and-contemporary-art-comes-to-seattle-art-museum

This gift is the backbone which will enhance exhibits like Pop Departures. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop and City Dwellers which showcases contemporary art from India. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27436 Future contemporary exhibits have a wonderful platform from which to launch. SAM is blessed with three great venues, SAM Downtown, Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Asian Museum at Volunteer Park. All three venues have some exciting exhibits coming up. Sam Vernon will be at Olympic Sculpture Park from Mar 28 2015 – Mar 6 2016 http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=28606

At the Asian Art Museum, there are two exhibits of note in addition to the permanent collection. Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop will be on view from Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015 in Tateuchi Galleries. Japanese artist, Chiho Aoshima will have an exhibit from April 25 – October 4, 2015. http://www.artspace.com/chiho_aoshima

Here are the highlights of the upcoming season:

  1. Native American Art

Indigenous Beauty

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/indigenous

  1. Native Coast Art

Seattle Collects Northwest Coast Native Art

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                             http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27983

  1. Global African Art

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art

Jun 18 – Sep 7 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/disguise

  1. Impressionism

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art

Oct 1 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                                        http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27987

  1. Samuel F.B. Morse

Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre

Sep 16 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Third Floor Galleries                                                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27988

  1. Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Feb 11 – May 8 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                         http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=29707

  1. Seeing Nature

Seeing Nature

Feb 16 – May 21 2017

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

Co-organized by the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=30737

The headline from the SAM preview is SAM wants to be YOUR museum. The upcoming exhibits have a strong ethnic component and hopefully will draw crowds that don’t necessarily come to SAM. Through loans, guest curators and strong collaboration, SAM is assembling art works which show very good examples of an art theme and there are various themes for the upcoming season. For those who don’t live in Seattle, but who may be planning a trip, you might want to come during an exhibit time.

The 2015 – 2016 and beyond season is definitely a thumbs up.

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Fonts to help dyslexics read

12 Nov

The National Center for Learning Disabilities described dyslexia in What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia at a Glance

Dyslexia is the name for specific learning disabilities in reading. Dyslexia is often characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, decoding and spelling. Dyslexia may cause problems with reading comprehension and slow down vocabulary growth. Dyslexia may result in poor reading fluency and reading out loud. Dyslexia is neurological and often genetic. Dyslexia is not the result of poor instruction. With the proper support, almost all people with dyslexia can become good readers and writers.

As with other learning disabilities, dyslexia is a lifelong challenge that people are born with. This language processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness. It is also not the result of impaired vision. Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently.

Dyslexia occurs among people of all economic and ethnic backgrounds. Often more than one member of a family has dyslexia. According to the National Institute of Child and Human Development, as many as 15 percent of Americans have major troubles with reading.

Much of what happens in a classroom is based on reading and writing. So it’s important to identify dyslexia as early as possible. Using alternate learning methods, people with dyslexia can achieve success….

http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/what-is-dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological and genetic disease.

NPR reported in the story, For Dyslexics, A Font And A Dictionary That Are Meant To Help:

A designer who has dyslexia has created a font to help dyslexic readers navigate text, designing letters in a way that avoids confusion and adds clarity. And in England, two researchers are compiling a dictionary that favors meaning over alphabetical order.

Roughly 10 percent of the world’s population is dyslexic. And as NPR’s Nancy Shute reported in 2012, “People with dyslexia are often bright and verbal, but have trouble with the written word.”

The people behind two new projects hope they can help change that.

Dutch designer Christian Boer’s Dyslexie font has been around for a while, but it’s been getting new attention thanks to being featured in the Istanbul Design Biennial.

The font defaults to a dark blue color, which Boer’s website says “is more pleasant to read for dyslexics.”

“When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,” Boer tells British design magazine Dezeen. “Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia.”

To avoid confusion, Boer designed letters that have a heavier bottom half, making it less likely that a reader might flip them. He also made some openings larger, and slightly tilted some letters that closely resemble others — such as a “b” and a “d.”

In that sense, Boer’s font uses a similar approach to another font developed with dyslexics in mind. OpenDyslexic is a free, open-sourced font that’s also designed to help prevent confusion, as NPR reported last year….

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/11/363293514/for-dyslexics-a-font-and-a-dictionary-that-are-meant-to-help

See, Wider letter spacing helps dyslexic children http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120607105712.htm

Citation:

Journal Reference:

  1. M. Zorzi, C. Barbiero, A. Facoetti, I. Lonciari, M. Carrozzi, M. Montico, L. Bravar, F. George, C. Pech-Georgel, J. C. Ziegler. Extra-large letter spacing improves reading in dyslexia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1205566109

The Dyslexie Font describes the font at its site:

THE DYSLEXIE FONT
The typeface Dyslexie is a revolutionary font, designed to simplify life for those who have dyslexia. With a heavy base line, alternating stick/tail lengths, larger-than-normal openings, and a semi-cursive slant, the dyslexia font ensures that each character has a unique form.

Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view, which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognise for people with dyslexia. Oftentimes, the letters of a word are confused, turned around or jumbled up because they look too similar.

When reading a text in the dyslexia font, people with dyslexia have a lot less trouble and fewer errors are made. Steadily, the font Dyslexie has acquired a large number of enthusiastic users, both private and business. Reading is faster, easier and above all more enjoyable.

The dyslexia font is primarily a functional font, but the importance of aesthetics has also been taken into account. The dyslexia font is therefore the perfect combination of form and function: optimal reading comfort with a great look….

http://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/dyslexia-font/

It can be downloaded for free:

http://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/order/home-use/

Abigail Marshall writes about the font in A Font for Dyslexia: To Pay, or Not to Pay?              http://blog.dyslexia.com/a-font-for-dyslexia-to-pay-or-not-to-pay/#.VGREjGet9dg

Getting a correct early diagnosis of dyslexia, which is a learning disability is crucial to a child’s academic success.

Resources:

From One Teacher to Another

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/1Teacher2Another.html

Dyslexia

http://www.readingrockets.org/helping/questions/dyslexia

Dyslexia and Reading Problems

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/dyslexia.htm

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University of Washington study: Classroom design affects student learning

11 Nov

Researchers are examining all aspects of student learning. Katie Lepi reported in the Edudemic article, How Does Classroom Design Affect Student Learning?

How Does Classroom Design Affect Student Learning?

  • Classroom design can improve students’ performance by about 25% Positive effects include:

  • Enhanced concentration

  • Helps support learning

  • Inspires students

  • Improves behavior

  • Better results

  • Reduce fidgeting

  • Increase attention span

  • Encourage healthy posture

  • Better communication between students and between teacher and students

  • Items to consider are:

  • Furniture

  • Layout

  • Color

  • Temperature

  • Acoustics

  • Lighting                                                                                                                                                              http://www.edudemic.com/classroom-design-infographic/

A University of Washington study looked at the effect of design elements on student learning.

Science Daily reported in the article, Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement:

A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success. The paper is published today in the inaugural issue of Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (PIBBS).

Surveying the latest scientific research, Sapna Cheryan, Sianna Ziegler, Victoria Plaut, and Andrew Meltzoff outlined the current state of U.S. classroom design and developed a set of recommendations to facilitate student learning and success. Improvements to the structural environment could be especially beneficial for schools with students from lower income families. For example:

  • Lighting: Students exposed to more natural light perform better than students who are not; however, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (2014), 16% of schools with permanent buildings and 28% of schools with portable facilities have unsatisfactory natural lighting.
  • Temperature: The optimal temperature range for learning is between 68 and 74 degrees F. Sixteen percent of schools with permanent buildings and 12% of schools with portable facilities have unsatisfactory heating.

What a classroom looks like, including how it is decorated, can also make a difference in student achievement. Symbols in the classroom can inadvertently signal who is valued. For example:

  • Classroom objects that depict achievement of groups traditionally disadvantaged in education (e.g. photographs of women scientists) can improve performance for these groups.
  • Classroom objects appealing to only some students (e.g. too many science fiction objects in a computer science classroom) prevent students who do not identify with those objects from enrolling in those courses.
  • “Token” symbols that represent a group (e.g. American Indian mascots) can cause students from those groups to express lower self-esteem.

The researchers wrote, “For students to learn to their full potential, the classroom environment must be of minimum structural quality and contain cues signaling that all students are valued learners….”                                                                 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141104083841.htm

See, Ditch tokens and increase light for optimal learning     http://www.washington.edu/news/blog/ditch-tokens-and-increase-light-for-optimal-learning/

Citation:

Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement

Date:             November 4, 2014

 

Source:         SAGE Publications

Summary:

With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn. A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success.

Designing Classrooms to Maximize Student Achievement

  1. Sapna Cheryan1
  2. Sianna A. Ziegler1
  3. Victoria C. Plaut2
  4. Andrew N. Meltzoff1

1.     1University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA 2.     2University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

  1. Sapna Cheryan, University of Washington, Guthrie Hall 236, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Email: scheryan@uw.edu

Abstract

Improving student achievement is vital for our nation’s competitiveness. Scientific research shows how the physical classroom environment influences student achievement. Two findings are key: First, the building’s structural facilities profoundly influence learning. Inadequate lighting, noise, low air quality, and deficient heating in the classroom are significantly related to worse student achievement. Over half of U.S. schools have inadequate structural facilities, and students of color and lower income students are more likely to attend schools with inadequate structural facilities. Second, scientific studies reveal the unexpected importance of a classroom’s symbolic features, such as objects and wall décor, in influencing student learning and achievement in that environment. Symbols inform students whether they are valued learners and belong within the classroom, with far-reaching consequences for students’ educational choices and achievement. We outline policy implications of the scientific findings—noting relevant policy audiences—and specify critical features of classroom design that can improve student achievement, especially for the most vulnerable students.

This study is in accord with the 2013 DeZeen magazine report, Well-designed schools improve learning by 25 percent says new study:

News: well-designed classrooms can improve the academic performance of primary school pupils by 25 percent according to a new study undertaken by the University of Salford and UK architects Nightingale Associates.

The year-long study assessed seven schools in Blackpool, where researchers surveyed pupils about age, gender and performance in maths, reading and writing. They also evaluated classroom environments by measuring factors such as natural light, noise levels, temperature, air quality and classroom orientation, before comparing the two sets of data.

“It has long been known that various aspects of the built environment impact on people in buildings, but this is the first time a holistic assessment has been made that successfully links the overall impact directly to learning rates in schools,” said Peter Barrett, a professor at the University of Salford. “The impact identified is in fact greater than we imagined…”     http://www.dezeen.com/2013/01/02/poor-school-design-can-affect-learning-says-new-study/

Optimum learning requires a quality teacher, student motivation, and a good basic curriculum which can be enhanced by a well-designed environment.

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University of Buffalo at State University of New York study: What baby eats depends on Mom’s social class

9 Nov

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices. The issue is helping folk to want to make healthier food choices even on a food stamp budget. See, Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/01/337141837/cheap-eats-cookbook-shows-how-to-eat-well-on-a-food-stamp-budget    A University of Buffalo study reports that what a baby eats depends on the social class of the mother.

Roberto A. Ferdman of the Washington Post wrote in the article, The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat:

The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl.
A team of researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found considerable differences in the solid foods babies from different socioeconomic classes were being fed. Specifically, diets high in sugar and fat were found to be associated with less educated mothers and poorer households, while diets that more closely followed infant feeding guidelines were linked to higher education and bigger bank accounts.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” said Xiaozhong Wen, the study’s lead author.
The researchers used data from the Infant Feeding Practices study, an in depth look at baby eating habits, which tracked the diets of more than 1,500 infants up until age one, and documented which of 18 different food types—including breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, other milk (like soy milk), other dairy foods (like yogurt), other soy foods (like tofu), 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and sweet drinks, among others – their mothers fed them. Wen’s team at the University at Buffalo focused on what the infants ate over the course of a week at both 6- and 12-months old.
In many cases, infants were fed foods that would surprise even the least stringent of mothers. Candy, ice cream, soda, and french fries, for instance, were among the foods some of the babies were being fed. Researchers divided the 18 different food types into four distinct categories, two of which were ideal for infant consumption—”formula” and “infant guideline solids”—two of which were not—”high/sugar/fat/protein” and “high/regular cereal.” It became clear which babies tended to be fed appropriately, and which did not….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/the-stark-difference-between-what-poor-babies-and-rich-babies-eat/

Citation:

What do American babies eat? A lot depends on Mom’s socioeconomic background
Date: October 30, 2014

Source: University at Buffalo
Summary:
Dietary patterns of babies vary according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers, pediatrics researchers have found. For example, babies whose diet included more breastfeeding and solid foods that adhere to infant guidelines from international and pediatric organizations were associated with higher household income — generally above $60,000 per year — and mothers with higher educational levels ranging from some college to post-graduate education. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030133532.htm
Sociodemographic Differences and Infant Dietary Patterns
1. Xiaozhong Wen, MD, PhDa,
2. Kai Ling Kong, PhDa,
3. Rina Das Eiden, PhDb,
4. Neha Navneet Sharmac, and
5. Chuanbo Xie, MD, PhDa
+ Author Affiliations
1. aDivision of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,
2. bResearch Institute on Addictions, and
3. cDepartment of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To identify dietary patterns in US infants at age 6 and 12 months, sociodemographic differences in these patterns, and their associations with infant growth from age 6 to 12 months.
METHODS: We analyzed a subsample (760 boys and 795 girls) of the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (2005–2007). Mothers reported their infants’ intakes of 18 types of foods in the past 7 days, which were used to derive dietary patterns at ages 6 and 12 months by principal component analysis.
RESULTS: Similar dietary patterns were identified at ages 6 and 12 months. At 12 months, infants of mothers who had low education or non-Hispanic African American mothers (vs non-Hispanic white) had a higher score on “High sugar/fat/protein” dietary pattern. Both “High sugar/fat/protein” and “High dairy/regular cereal” patterns at 6 months were associated with a smaller increase in length-for-age z score (adjusted β per 1 unit dietary pattern score, −1.36 [95% confidence interval (CI), −2.35 to −0.37] and −0.30 [−0.54 to −0.06], respectively), while with greater increase in BMI z score (1.00 [0.11 to 1.89] and 0.32 [0.10 to 0.53], respectively) from age 6 to 12 months. The “Formula” pattern was associated with greater increase in BMI z score (0.25 [0.09 to 0.40]). The “Infant guideline solids” pattern (vegetables, fruits, baby cereal, and meat) was not associated with change in length-for-age or BMI z score.
CONCLUSIONS: Distinct dietary patterns exist among US infants, vary by maternal race/ethnicity and education, and have differential influences on infant growth. Use of “Infant guideline solids” with prolonged breastfeeding is a promising healthy diet for infants after age 6 months.
Key Words:
• infant
• dietary patterns
• feeding
• nutrition
• growth
• epidemiology
• Accepted August 11, 2014.
• Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Here is the press release:

What do American babies eat? A lot depends on Mom’s socioeconomic background, UB study finds
Dietary patterns start developing as early as 6 and 12 months of age
By Ellen Goldbaum
Release Date: October 30, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. – You have to be at least 2 years old to be covered by U.S. dietary guidelines. For younger babies, no official U.S. guidance exists other than the general recommendation by national and international organizations that mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months.
So what do American babies eat?
That’s the question that motivated researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to study the eating patterns of American infants at 6 months and 12 months old, critical ages for the development of lifelong preferences.
The team found that dietary patterns of the children varied according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers.
For example, babies whose diet included more breastfeeding and solid foods that adhere to infant guidelines from international and pediatric organizations were associated with higher household income – generally above $60,000 per year – and mothers with higher educational levels ranging from some college to post-graduate education.
The study, “Sociodemographic differences and infant dietary patterns,” was published this month in Pediatrics.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” says Xiaozhong (pronounced Shao-zong) Wen, MBBS, PhD, assistant professor in the UB Department of Pediatrics and lead author on the paper.
Studying the first solid foods that babies eat can provide insight into whether or not they will develop obesity later on, he explains.
“Dietary patterns are harder to change later if you ignore the first year, a critical period for the development of taste preferences and the establishment of eating habits,” he says.
Wen conducts research in the UB Department of Pediatrics’ Behavioral Medicine division, studying how and why obesity develops in infants and young children.
In the study, babies whose dietary pattern was high in sugar, fat and protein or high in dairy foods and regular cereals were associated with mothers whose highest education level was some or all of high school, who had low household income — generally under $25,000/year — and who were non-Hispanic African-Americans.
Both the higher sugar/fat/protein pattern and the higher dairy pattern resulted in faster gain in body mass index scores from ages 6 to 12 months for the babies.
Babies who consumed larger amounts of formula, indicating little or no breastfeeding, were associated with being born through emergency caesarean section and enrollment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women and Infant Children (WIC). Wen notes that one possible reason for high formula consumption in this group is that WIC provides financial assistance for formula purchases.
Some of the unhealthy “adult foods” consumed by 6- and 12-month-old babies in the study included items inappropriate for infants, such as candy, ice cream, sweet drinks and French fries.
“There is substantial research to suggest that if you consistently offer foods with a particular taste to infants, they will show a preference for these foods later in life,” Wen explains. “So if you tend to offer healthy foods, even those with a somewhat bitter taste to infants, such as pureed vegetables, they will develop a liking for them. But if you always offer sweet or fatty foods, infants will develop a stronger preference for them or even an addiction to them.
“This is both an opportunity and a challenge,” says Wen. “We have an opportunity to start making dietary changes at the very beginning of life.”
The researchers also found that babies whose diets consisted mainly of high fat/sugar/protein foods were associated with slower gain in length-for-age scores from 6 to 12 months.
“We’re not sure why this happens,” explains Wen, “but it’s possible that because some of these foods that are high in sugar, fat or protein are so palatable they end up dominating the baby’s diet, replacing more nutritious foods that could be higher in calcium and iron, therefore inhibiting the baby’s bone growth.”
The UB researchers based their analysis on a subsample covering more than 1,500 infants, nearly evenly split between genders, from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2005 to 2007. In that study, mothers reported which of 18 different food types their 6- and 12-month old babies ate in a week; those data then were used to develop infant dietary patterns.
Co-authors with Wen are Kai Ling Kong, PhD and Chuanbo Xie, MD, PhD, of the Department of Pediatrics; Rina Das Eiden, PhD of UB’s Research Institute on Addictions and Neha Navneet Sharma of the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.
The project was funded by a seed grant from the UB Department of Pediatrics.

Media Contact Information
Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager, Medicine
Tel: 716-645-4605
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @egoldbaum

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/10/061.html

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth:

What are the effects of child poverty?
• Psychological research has demonstrated that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our nation’s children.
• Poverty impacts children within their various contexts at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
• Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and underresourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
• Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
• These effects are compounded by the barriers children and their families encounter when trying to access physical and mental health care.
• Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in lost productivity in the work force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system.
Poverty and academic achievement
• Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.
• Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
• School drop out rates are significantly higher for teens residing in poorer communities. In 2007, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 10 times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families (8.8% vs. 0.9%).
• The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.
• Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.
• Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty. http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Book: ‘Super Baby Food’

http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/dr-wilda-reviews-book-super-baby-food/

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Child poverty affects education outcome

2 Nov

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between education and poverty in Assessing Development Impact: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education http://www.adb.org/documents/assessing-development-impact-breaking-cycle-poverty-through-education There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country. See, http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2330/Poverty-Education.html

Eleanor Goldberg reported in the Huffington Post article, Child Poverty Has Spiked In The Richest Countries Since The Great Recession: Report:

Even the richest countries weren’t too big to fail their children after the Great Recession, a new study has revealed.

According to a recent UNICEF report, 2.6 million more children fell into poverty in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of impoverished kids up to 76.5 million.

And kids in the U.S. were among the hardest hit.

With 32.2 percent of children living below the poverty line, America ranked 36 out of the 41 well-to-do countries surveyed….                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/30/child-poverty-rich-countries_n_6070114.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Here is the press release from UNICEF:

Press release

2.6 million more children plunged into poverty in rich countries during Great Recession

Stronger social protection policies a decisive factor in poverty prevention

ROME/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 28 October 2014 – A new UNICEF report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.

Innocenti Report Card 12, Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries, ranks 41 countries in the OECD and the European Union according to whether levels of child poverty have increased or decreased since 2008. It also tracks the proportion of 15-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The report includes Gallup World Poll data on people’s perceptions of their economic status and hopes for the future since the recession began.

While early stimulus programmes in some countries were effective in protecting children, by 2010 a majority of countries pivoted sharply from budget stimulus to budget cuts, with negative impact on children, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

“Many affluent countries have suffered a ‘great leap backwards’ in terms of household income, and the impact on children will have long-lasting repercussions for them and their communities,” said Jeffrey O’Malley, UNICEF’s Head of Global Policy and Strategy.

“UNICEF research shows that the strength of social protection policies was a decisive factor in poverty prevention. All countries need strong social safety nets to protect children in bad times and in good – and wealthy countries should lead by example, explicitly committing to eradicate child poverty, developing policies to offset economic downturns, and making child well-being a top priority,” O’Malley said.

Other significant findings of the UNICEF report, released today at an event co-hosted with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, include:

  • In 23 of the 41 countries analysed, child poverty has increased since 2008. In Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Greece and Iceland, rates rose by over 50 per cent.
  • In Greece in 2012 median household incomes for families with children sank to 1998 levels – the equivalent of a loss of 14 years of income progress. By this measure Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain lost a decade; Iceland lost 9 years; and Italy, Hungary and Portugal lost 8.
  • The recession has hit 15-24 year olds especially hard, with the number of NEETs rising dramatically in many countries. In the European Union 7.5 million young people (almost equivalent to the population of Switzerland) were classified as NEET in 2013.
  • In the United States, where extreme child poverty has increased more in this downturn than during the recession of 1982, social safety net measures provided important support to poor working families but were less effective for the extreme poor without jobs. Child poverty has increased in 34 out of 50 states since the start of the crisis. In 2012, 24.2 million children were living in poverty, a net increase of 1.7 million from 2008.
  • In 18 countries child poverty actually fell, sometimes markedly. Australia, Chile, Finland, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic reduced levels by around 30 per cent.

“Significantly, the report found that the social policy responses of countries with similar economic circumstances varied markedly with differing impacts on children,” O’Malley said…..http://www.unicef.org/media/media_76447.html

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people. This economy must start producing livable wage jobs and educating kids with skills to fill those jobs. Too bad the government kept the cash sluts and credit crunch weasels like big banks and financial houses fully employed and destroyed the rest of the country.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families                                                                                                                                                http://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education                                                                                               http://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything                                                                                                                           http://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                                                                                               http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                                                                                                                                    http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                                                                                                 http://drwilda.com/

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