September 30, 2008

THE NEW IQ: Why Your Child May Be Smarter Than You Think [Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Dr. Tracy Alloway, a leading researcher in the field of cognitive development. Apart from being featured in the BBC, US News, ABC, NBC, Forbes and other major news networks for her groundbreaking research, tests, and intervention programs, she is also my older sister!] Have you noticed that your daughter is a whiz at remembering lyrics to a song yet can never remember her multiplication tables? Do you find that your son can recite lines from a movie but can’t follow simple instructions? Why is it that your child can spend hours playing a video game but gets frustrated after a short time on their homework? Working Memory is the answer. Working Memory is our brain’s ‘post-it note’. We make mental scribbles of bits of information we need to remember and also work with that information. For example, if you were baking a cake that fed only two people, but you had four people coming to dinner, you need working memory to remember the ingredients and to multiply them in your head so that everyone gets a slice. Without it we would be lost literally, we wouldn’t be able to juggle directions in our head to get to that important meeting at a new location and would forget important phone numbers and contacts. Working memory is just as critical for a variety of activities at school, from complex tasks like reading comprehension and mental math, to simple activities such as navigating around the school and taking the right books for homework. There are three key facts about the impact of working memory on learning: 1. Working memory is the #1 predictor of learning success. IQ tests only measure knowledge that a child has already learned, while working memory tests are a pure measure...
From Moses to Google: When Unity Isn't the Answer The most common way we become an obstacle to Christ’s work is actually disguised as Christian virtue. It stirs the emotions of tender-and-almost-bleeding-hearted believers everywhere. It comes in the language of unity. No doubt you’ve heard it. “All denominations should go away; we should all just work as one.” “We should just have one main church, one main missions organization, with one person in charge, or a committee where everyone has a say. We don’t need all these different ministries or organizations.” “We need a city-wide rally where all the churches come together for a night of worship.” The list is long. But if you listen closely, the plea is not truly for unity; it is for uniformity. It is not for collaboration; it is for control. It is not for single-mindedness; it is for “sameness”. When unity comes to mean sameness, unity is no longer the answer. When unity is about one method, one organization, or one event, it elevates a person. When unity is about one desire, one mission, or one goal, it elevates a purpose. The diversity and dissimilarity of the Body of Christ is not its weakness; it is its greatest strength. We don’t all need to follow the same methods or the same human leader, or participate in the same program or campaign. We don’t even need to sing the same songs. [Ouch. That one’s going to hurt me personally.] Diversity—whether applied to races, cultures, or ways of following Christ—is an idea we love to talk about and swear allegiance to with our lips, but one that we have great difficulty actually embracing. We like the way we are. And deep down we wish everyone else could be as wonderful as we are. It’s one thing when we choose our friends by the things we...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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