Category Archives: education

Student loans ‘heading for trillion pounds’

Student loans ‘heading for trillion pounds’
By Sean Coughlan BBC News education and family correspondent

The tuition fee system for England’s universities is ripping off students and giving taxpayers poor value for money, says a parliamentary committee.

The House of Lords economic affairs committee revealed evidence the student loan book would grow to over £1 trillion over the next 25 years.

The committee attacked a “deeply unfair” system of fees and loans.

But the Department for Education said its review of fees would “make sure students are getting value for money”.

Are you paying off a student loan? BBC News has set up a new UK Facebook group all about affordable living. Join the Affordable Living group here.

This hard-hitting report accuses the government of using “accounting tricks” to conceal the real cost of higher education and to pile up huge debts for future generations.

It calls for “immediate reforms” – such as cutting interest rates on repayments and restoring grants for disadvantaged students.
‘Astonished’

Committee chairman and former Conservative minister, Lord Forsyth, said they had also been “quite astonished by the complete collapse in part-time education”.

The report warns of the lack of funding for vocational training – and claims that the apprenticeship system has been damaged by artificial targets invented to sound impressive for a manifesto promise.
Image copyright PA
Image caption Peers say there have been “fiscal illusions” over the real cost of student borrowing

The cross-party committee, with two former chancellors and two ex-chief secretaries to the Treasury, says the student loan system seems to have been used for a “fiscal illusion” to make the deficit look smaller.

“The thing that shocked me – and I thought I was pretty unshockable – was that I had not understood that by moving to a system of funding through loans, because of the accounting methods of the Treasury, it was possible for George Osborne [then chancellor] to appear to increase funding for higher education by £3bn but at the same time cut his deficit by £3.8bn,” says Lord Forsyth.

The cost of unpaid loans will not be included until they are officially written off after 30 years.

Lord Forsyth says a parliamentary question revealed how much student borrowing was really piling up for the future.

By 2044, when many of today’s students will still be paying off their loans, the student loan book will have grown to more than £1tn, rising to £1.2tn by 2049.

“The public argument for cutting the deficit was so that debt wasn’t handed on to the next generation.

“But for this generation, being asked to pay these loans, when they’ve eventually paid them off, they’ll suddenly find there’s a bill for £1.2tn.

“I hadn’t realised that was happening.”
‘Devastating consequences’

But Lord Forsyth says this system has had “devastating consequences”.

It has produced excessive interest rates, set to rise again to 6.3%, which the committee says should be no higher than the rate at which the government borrows, at present 1.5%.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The committee heard that some existing training had been re-badged as an apprenticeship

The conversion of means-tested grants into loans has meant that the poorest students end up graduating with the biggest debts, says Lord Forsyth.

And he warns that the current repayment system was more expensive for people in middle income jobs such as nursing, rather than high-paid lawyers or financiers, who would pay off their debts more quickly.

“The people who get screwed by this are those in the middling jobs,” says Lord Forsyth.

“This was all done on the basis that it would create a market in higher education – and that has failed, there isn’t a market.”

Lord Forsyth says that there is no meaningful consumer choice or competition – and he dismissed the system for rating teaching quality in universities, the teaching excellence framework, as a “bit of a joke”.

“Because no-one ever turns up to look at the teaching,” says Lord Forsyth.
‘Quantity rather than quality’

The report says that the student finance system has failed to recognise the need to improve vocational skills and to help those wanting to re-train.

Part-time student numbers have fallen by about 60% over the past decade – with accusations that the funding system is based around school-leavers beginning full-time degree courses.

“There’s been a huge distorting effect. It’s a huge mistake,” says the committee chair.

Lord Forsyth says there have been concerns about the apprenticeship policy – and the committee heard suggestions that the target for three million apprentices was not the result of any strategy, but was chosen as an impressive number for a manifesto promise.

The consequence of such target setting, he says, is to “encourage quantity rather than quality”.

It means more attention is paid to the numbers starting than completing and there were signs that some employers were re-badging existing training as “apprenticeships” as a way of getting funding.

“There is clear evidence that what the economy needs is more people with technical and vocational skills. But the way that the funding for fees and maintenance operates makes it pretty well impossible for us to meet that demand,” says Lord Forsyth.
‘Value for money’

Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Edge Foundation, which promotes vocational education, said the report “clearly highlights how the funding bias in our higher education system has favoured universities at the expense of choice and opportunity for young people”.

The head of the MillionPlus group of new universities, Greg Walker, said the report had produced “robust evidence” to support the return of maintenance grants and to find ways to make universities more accessible to part-time students.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We agree that for too long young people have not had a genuine choice post-16 about where and what they wish to study.

“That is exactly why we have overhauled apprenticeships to focus on quality and why we are fundamentally transforming technical education, investing £500m a year in new T-levels that will provide a high quality, technical alternative to A-levels.

“On top of this, we are undertaking a major review of post-18 education and funding, to make sure students are getting value for money and genuine choice between technical, vocational and academic routes.”

Adoption and care rates higher in some areas

Adoption and care rates higher in some areas
By Sanchia Berg BBC News

For a child born in England in 2011-2012, the chances of being placed for adoption by the age of five varies starkly by local authority, research suggests.

For a child in Southampton, which had the highest rate, almost one in 50 children was put up for adoption.

For a child in Greenwich, an authority with similar socioeconomic profile, it was less than one in 600.

The findings come from Freedom of Information inquiries carried out by Professor Andy Bilson of the University of Central Lancashire, and shared with the BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

He focussed on two year groups of children, those born in 2011-12 and those born 2006-7, asking detailed questions about child protection.

Adoption is intended to take children out of care, because their chances of stability and success in education, and life, are better. But in the 20 authorities where adoption rose over five years, the number of children in care had risen as well.

The adopted children confused by love
‘We’re scared of our adopted son’
‘More than a quarter of adoptive families in crisis’

The FOI response showed that in Southampton, which had the highest adoption rate for the younger group, the authority had investigated many more families – a rise from 215 to 454.

“This is the exact opposite of what you’d expect,” Professor Bilson told the BBC.

“It points instead to a difference in the way that children are being removed from parents.”

The BBC asked Southampton why it had changed its approach.

The authority responded: “All children who were adopted were subject to rigorous scrutiny by the legal system and the Family Court, both of which agreed with the Local Authority that not only had the threshold for a Care Order been met, but that the Local Authority had exhausted all opportunity and support for any potential family or other carers: adoption was therefore the only realistic option.”

There may, however, be another influence at work in Southampton. In 2011, there were four child deaths, one especially high profile. Blake Fowler died of a head injury aged seven.

Concerns had been raised about him since he was a toddler. The authority was later severely criticised for failing to act.
‘Significant’ harm

Sir Mark Hedley, who for many years was a High Court judge in the Family Division, told the BBC: “It would be wrong to suggest that one is the cause of the other.

“But there is no doubt that public criticism of social workers if children have suffered will lead to an increased priority being given to child protection at the expense of maintaining family groups.”

Social workers have to intervene if they believe a child is at risk of “significant” harm. But significant is not defined in statute. Sir Mark says action will vary from one authority to another.

“There will inevitably be a wide range of views in relation to what is significant harm. Just as there will be a range of views about the desirability of intervening in families in the first place,” he said.

Professor Bilson found that far more children are being put on child protection plans because of “emotional abuse” and neglect – 82% of the children in the younger group. Again, these are terms which can be subject to interpretation.

Over the last decade, the number of children in care has risen by 134%. Many talk of the crisis in the care system, the family courts overwhelmed by cases.

Why this happens is less clear, though council support for families, so-called early intervention, has been dramatically reduced thanks to cuts, and rising poverty increases the pressure. For many months now local authorities have been warning that more families are in crisis, and that child protection is becoming an emergency service.

Professor Bilson’s research is a snapshot only, of two cohorts of children, covering half of England. But it provides a dramatic picture of varying approaches in different authorities, a starting point for further investigation.

The Department for Education said: “Every decision regarding adoption is made with the best interests of the child at its heart.

“Many children and their adoptive families have had their lives transformed by adoption, and we are determined to support them every step of the way.

“On top of this, there are of course a number of alternative options available, including long-term fostering and special guardianship, which may be chosen when it is best for the child.”

Half children’s services money ‘spent on 73,000 in care’

Half children’s services money ‘spent on 73,000 in care’
By Hannah Richardson BBC News education and social affairs reporter

Half of England’s £8.6bn children’s services budget is being spent on just 73,000 of the most serious cases – those in care, analysis reveals.

The rest of the money is spent on the remaining 11.7 million children, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The children’s commissioner said help reached many children too late, leading to more ending up in violent street gangs, in care or in the courts system.

The government said it was spending a record amount on education.

The report, Public Spending on Children in England: 2000 to 2020, commissioned by the children’s commissioner, is published at a time when gang violence is in the spotlight after a wave of shootings and stabbings in London.

It said while public spending on children overall had been broadly maintained over the past 20 years, millions of vulnerable children were missing out.

This was, it said, because of the huge cost of helping the relatively small number of children in extreme crisis and the fact authorities and agencies were focusing on providing the statutory services required by law. Meanwhile, the report added, spending on youth services and prevention had been cut by 60% over the past decade.
‘Helped too late’

Children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield said: “While every child should receive the support they need, the economic and social costs of this current strategy are unsustainable.

“The cost to the state is ultimately greater than it should be and the cost to those vulnerable children missing out on support will last a lifetime.

“Every day we are seeing the consequences of helping children too late – in pressures on the family courts system, special schools and the care system, and in the spiralling numbers of school exclusions and the consequent increase in younger and younger children linked to violent street gangs.

“Children do not arrive in extreme need overnight and many could be prevented from getting to that point if we helped them sooner in a more effective way.

“We are, in effect, attempting to manage and contain crisis in children’s lives after allowing it to escalate.”
‘Making up for cuts’

Councillor Richard Watts, who chairs the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, said it had warned that the current situation facing children’s services was “unsustainable”.

“Last year saw the biggest annual increase in children in care numbers since 2010, and councils are now starting more than 500 child protection investigations every day on average,” he said.

Nick Brook, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Schools and colleges are now using their own impossibly tight budgets to make up for cuts to children’s health and social care services. And most young people are losing out in some way or another.

“As the report says, we are attempting to manage and contain crises in children’s lives after allowing them to escalate.”

A government spokesperson said: “This report recognises the government is maintaining the amount spent on children’s services, spending a record amount on education and making more than £200bn available to councils up to 2020 for local services, including those for children and young people.

“We are reviewing school exclusions to make sure they are only used as a last resort and this government has launched a new Serious Violence Strategy which puts a stronger focus on steering young people away from violence through early intervention.

“A further £200m programme is supporting councils to develop innovative ways to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.”

Fake news harms children’s self-esteem and trust, say MPs

Fake news harms children’s self-esteem and trust, say MPs
By Judith Burns Education reporter

A few weeks ago, Chloe, 13, shared a hoax story about the alleged death of a favourite actor, Sylvester Stallone.

“I thought it was real and shared it with family members. A lot of people were quite upset,” she says.

When the truth emerged that Sylvester Stallone was alive and well, Chloe says she felt stupid.

“I should have looked into it a bit more before posting,” she adds.

Chloe is not alone, according to a report from a group of MPs which says that falling for fake news can harm children’s “wellbeing, trust in journalism and democracy itself”.

The all-party parliamentary group on literacy heard evidence that fake news could make children more anxious, damage their self-esteem and skew their world view.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The actor has confirmed he is still alive

In research for the report, the National Literacy Trust showed more than 2,000 UK eight to 16-year-olds six news stories, two of which were fake, and asked them to identify which were real and which were not.

Only 2% got all six right.
Missing plane ‘found’

When he was 13, Mitch spotted what he thought was a good news story on Twitter.

A missing airliner had been found and everyone on board was safe.

There were pictures, he liked it and retweeted it and several of his friends did the same.

But within hours it became clear the story was fake, the picture was an old one which had been reposted and Mitch and his friends had been conned.

Now 16, he says he still remembers how upset he was “to find it wasn’t true and the families hadn’t found their loved ones”.

He says he felt shocked, foolish and embarrassed.
Image copyright Getty Images

Of the children questioned in the survey:

almost half were worried about their inability to tell which stories in their social media feeds were false and which were real
almost two-thirds said fake stories made them trust the news less

TV is still the most popular source of news according to the survey.

three quarters watch TV news and 80% say they trust it
almost half listen to radio news and 75% say they trust it

However, almost half of the secondary age pupils said they got news from social media, particularly Snapchat, and only about a quarter trusted what they read there.

All of this contributes to a culture of fear and uncertainty among young people, says the report.
Literacy link

The report found that children with the poorest literacy skills, often boys and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, were least likely to be able to spot fake news.

Lucy Powell MP, who chairs the group, said the findings highlighted “a dangerous lack in the literacy skills that children and young people require to navigate our digital world and identify fake news”.

“This is causing them to mistake false news for fact, become anxious as they believe misleading stories, and risk exposure to malign agendas,” she added.

The report includes a children’s charter on fake news, developed with input from children and young people, which demands the right to accurate news from trustworthy media companies.

It also urges greater efforts:

to boost children’s critical literacy skills by discussing stories from a range of sources in lessons
to boost children’s understanding of how news is made

Presenter Mariella Frostrup said the report was “an important reminder of the need to equip young people with confidence and skills to chart their own cautious course through the acres of fake news and propaganda”.
Image copyright Getty Images

Head teachers’ leaders warned against putting additional demands on schools.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said schools once again found themselves “on the front line of trying to provide a solution to a society-wide issue”.

He said critical literacy was already taught through subjects including English and history and online safety in personal, social and health education.

“We would like to see more action from online platforms to prevent the proliferation of fake news stories in the first place.”

And Nick Brooke, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, called for protected time on the curriculum for non-exam subjects.

“Yes, we need to teach grammar and spelling, but we also need to instil a thirst for knowledge, a love of reading and the critical literacy skills that enable young people to make informed decisions as to what to believe and what to ignore.”

Mitch and his fellow sixth formers at St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe are keen to see better regulation of social media companies and would like it to be easier for people to report fake news stories and have them taken down.

Modern students ‘prefer work to drugs’

Modern students ‘prefer work to drugs’
By Sean Coughlan BBC News education and family correspondent

 

Students are more likely to want universities to take a tougher line against drugs on campus, rather than a more liberal response, say researchers.

The study – from the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and the University of Buckingham – found 71% of students had not taken illegal drugs.

But almost 40% thought their university had a “problem” with drug use.

Hepi’s director, Nick Hillman, said students were “more hardworking and less hedonistic” than was realised.

The study, which surveyed more than a thousand undergraduate students, rejects the image of students being sympathetic to drug use, and suggests a more clean-living generation.
‘Fewer drugs than previous generation’

It shows 62% wanting a “stronger line” from universities to stop the drugs trade on campus and 53% thinking that university authorities do not do enough to discourage drug use.

Drugs did not seem to be prevalent enough to be a major worry – with more students concerned about excessive alcohol consumption than illegal drug use.
Image caption Amy Watson says students are much less likely to be using drugs than the older generation think

The negative view of drugs saw them as causing mental health problems and encouraging criminality.

Last week an annual study of student attitudes from Hepi gave further evidence of a cultural shift towards a more hard-working approaching to student life.

It showed that students wanted to have more teaching hours, seeing a heavier workload as better value for money.

Paying tuition fees and the pressure to get a good degree seem to have influenced what students expect from their years at university.

Amy Watson, a first-year medicine student at the University of Southampton, thinks the previous generation was more likely to have taken drugs than current students.

She thinks that the expectations of older people and media stereotypes of students have created a false perception.

“My parents probably think more people take drugs than really do,” says Amy.

“People work a lot harder than I expected.”
Drugs ‘stigma’

She says there is a “stigma surrounding drug use” and she would support the university taking a tougher line on targeting drug dealers.
Image caption Sam Carmichael says she would support stronger efforts to stop drug dealing

But despite the negativity towards illegal drugs, she says the misuse of alcohol is still common in universities.

She also says the greatest stigma is now attached to smoking tobacco.

Sam Carmichael, a 19-year-old student finishing her first year at the University of Buckingham, says the survey results reflect her own views.

Students in her experience are a long way from any drugs culture.

She would prefer universities to “crack down” on drugs, rather than adopt a more tolerant approach.

But she says that there is still a persistent media image of students as drug takers.

“It’s less than people think. It’s not true,” she says.

She would prefer universities to make particular efforts to stop drug dealing.

“It makes us feel less safe,” she says.

But she also thinks there should be better “monitoring” of students who drink too much alcohol and “get off their faces”.
Counter-productive

The results from this survey do not agree with another recent piece of research from the National Union of Students, which suggested that about two in five students were drug users.

Cannabis, ecstasy, nitrous oxide and cocaine were the most widely used, according to a study which suggested that drugs were much more pervasive than claimed by the Hepi and University of Buckingham report.

The NUS says the approach of taking a tougher line on drug use could be counter-productive.

“Punitive approaches and taking a tougher stance on drugs can discourage people from seeking the help they need,” said NUS officer, Jess Bradley.

The differences in findings suggest how different individual experiences and peer groups can be.

But Mr Hillman says the “survey provides an important corrective to some of the wilder ideas about today’s students”.

Sir Anthony Seldon, vice chancellor of the University of Buckingham, says: “With illegal drugs, we have been fiddling while Rome burns.

“Illegal drug-taking causes mental health problems, and is a symptom of them. Even students themselves think there needs to be a stronger lead on drug dealing.”

Demistifying sports betting; How lucrative is it?

Demistifying sports betting; How lucrative is it?

Sports Betting How Lucrative is it

Sports betting has a unique appeal to it. This appeal is based on the fact that you are not betting in a setting where the house as an edge and shaves something off the top of your earnings. Here, you are dealing with cold numbers, and are in a certain amount of control regarding the choices you make. The major question for those starring is whether this type of wagering can serve up a consistent kind of winning pattern.
Is Sports Betting profitable?

Yes, it is. It all depends on how you go about it. See, the experienced handicapper does not respond to sentiment like the rest of the betting public. He uses a wide range of sources to determine what could sway things in a particular way and draws his own spreads. He tinkers with this until the last minute and then compares what he has with the bookmakers’ official figures. It takes some work, but it has the capacity to take you ever so closer to a win. Speaking from the perspective of cold numbers, you generally just need to be right a little over 50% of the time to be profitable.
Blind luck or cold skill?

Sports betting relies heavily on your skill. You are not taking shots in the dark like you would with online slots; you are making a calculated move based on a set of odds. It takes a lot more than just spinning reels to increase your bankroll. An experienced player looks at a particular event and considers the factors around it. This is why a small number of people will essentially bet on an underdog as the public turns its head.
What determines profitability?

It all boils down to the numbers. However, getting to these numbers is an activity you want to pursue with dedication. Keep your ears on the ground regarding events and work your numbers. You need a decent relationship with math to get over the finishing line. The best players are never afraid of breaking with logic-remember early this year when everyone thought that there was no way the Eagles would beat the New England Patriots?
If you are going to be successful in sports betting, then you might want to use sources with the most reliable information on the teams you want to bet on and their odds of winning. If you are located in Sweden or love to wager on Swedish events, then Matchtips.se is your best bet.

Dr. Claudio Cerullo discusses Bullying & Children With Disabilities

Dr. Claudio Cerullo discusses Bullying & Children With Disabilities

Students with ADD and Other Learning Disabilities are More Likely to be Bullied.

Children with emotional disorders and learning disabilities have a greater chance of being harassed, taunted & teased by bullies. Teaching subtle social skills can help.

Students are harassed and bullied every day in schools throughout the country, neighborhoods and playgrounds, but bullying is even more common in students with disabilities such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism or Asberger’s Syndrome, or other learning issues, behavioral or emotional disabilities.

Dr. Claudio V. Cerullo is considered to be an expert on bullying and bullying prevention programs; he defines bullying as “repeated exposure over time to negative acts on the part of one or more other students. It is a negative action when someone intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict, injury or discomfort upon another social, physically, or emotionally.”

Bullying can be physically aggressive (kicking, hitting or punching), verbally harassing (name calling or threatening), or psychologically hostile (spreading rumors or taking actions that socially isolate a child). Cyber bullying is a relatively new form of bullying that involves using the Internet and cell phone messaging to repeatedly intimidate, threaten or insult another child.

Many researchers also believe that bullying involves an imbalance of power either physical or psychological. For example, a larger, stronger student will often bully a child he perceives as weak. Similarly, children who seem to lack confidence, social intelligence or “emotional muscle” are often bullied by kids who are more confident and aggressive.
About Dr. Claudio Cerullo

Dr. Claudio V. Cerullo earned his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Social Science Education where he was elected President of the Student Government and Education Association. Dr. Cerullo earned his Master’s Degree in Professional Elementary and Secondary Education with his concentration in Educational Administration, earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration and has attended educational leadership training in Diversity/Multi-Cultural Education through Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

8 Important Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools

8 Important Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools

Most people have heard the phrase ‘random acts of kindness’, which refers to a selfless act of giving resulting in the happiness of another person. Terms like this are increasing in popularity around the world, as more people identify a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism.

It seems we just can’t get enough of those addictive feel good emotions and with good reason.

Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals.

Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.”

A great number of benefits have been reported to support the theory of teaching kindness in schools:
1. Happy Children

Science explains that the good feelings we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, and it’s proven that these feelings of joyfulness are contagious, encouraging more kind behaviour by the giver and recipient.
2. Increased Peer Acceptance

Research on the subject has determined that kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Studies show that kind, happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well-liked and that better than average mental health is reported in classrooms that practice more inclusive behaviour due to an even distribution of popularity.
3. Improved Health and Less Stress

It’s widely documented that being kind can trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin which has a number of physical and mental health benefits as it can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress. More recently though, it’s been found it plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, helping protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing free radicals and inflammation, which incidentally speed up the aging process.
4. Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem

Studies show that people experience a ‘helpers high’ when they do a good deed, a rush of endorphins that creates a lasting sense of pride, wellbeing and an enriched sense of belonging. Even small acts of kindness are reported to heighten our sense of wellbeing, increase energy and give a wonderful feeling of optimism and self worth.
5. Increased Feelings of Gratitude

When children are part of projects that help others less fortunate than themselves, it provides them with a real sense of perspective and helps them appreciate the good things in their own lives.
6. Better Concentration and Improved Results

As it increases serotonin, which plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion, kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel good. Having a positive outlook allows them greater attentions spans and enables more creative thinking to produce better results at school.
7. Less Bullying

Two Penn State Harrisburg faculty researchers, Shanetia Clark and Barbara Marinak say, “unlike previous generations, today’s adolescents are victimizing each other at alarming rates.” They argue adolescent bullying and youth violence can be confronted through in-school programs that integrate “kindness — the antithesis of victimization.”

Many traditional anti-bullying programs focus on the negative actions that cause children anxiety and often with little impact. Teaching kindness and compassion in schools, not only fosters the positive behaviour that creates warm and inclusive school environments, but helps children feel that they belong. It’s documented that the effects of bullying can be significantly reduced by integrating kindness based programs in schools.
8. Reduced Depression

Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker, says research has discovered that an act of kindness increases levels of serotonin (a natural chemical responsible for improving mood) in the brain. It’s also found that serotonin levels are increased in both the giver and receiver of an act of kindness, as well as anyone who witnesses that kindness, making it a wonderful natural antidepressant.

Maurice Elias, a professor at Rutgers University Psychology Department says that “as a citizen, grandparent, father, and professional, it is clear to me that the mission of schools must include teaching kindness. Without it, communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility where lasting learning is unlikely to take place.

We need to be prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life. Yet despite these and other travails, the receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing.

Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.”

It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, that in order for children to develop into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals, matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority.

How the Autoclave is essential in so many fields

How the Autoclave is essential in so many fields

importance of autoclaves

Hygiene, disinfecting and sterilizing are elements that are part and parcel of various scientific occupations. The importance of these elements cannot be stressed enough. Various equipment such as an autoclave is normally used to achieve these elements.

What is an autoclave?

An autoclave is a pressurized device that is used to sterilize equipment. This device in its function kills all kinds of bacteria such as fungi, spore forms, viruses and any agent that can transmit bacteria to liquids and equipment in use.

It comes in various shapes and sizes depending on the scope of use and reason for purchase.
Functionality- How it works

An autoclave kills bacteria by the use of heat and pressure. When equipment or objects are placed in an autoclave, extreme heat (121 degree c) and a blast of pressure are applied in the autoclave chamber and any bacteria exposed at the time is killed and cleared. The contaminated objects are exposed for a certain time that will depend on the size and load put inside the chamber.
Importance of Autoclaves in the Medical Field

Hospitals, laboratories and nursing homes cannot work without professional autoclaves; the need to sterilize instruments in such environments is continuous and critical.

Some equipment such as injectors, blades and forceps are intended for singular use while others are designed for reuse. For such equipment, autoclaves are the only way to ensure people interacting with the medical equipment are not at risk of infection. In third-world countries, the chances of re-using equipment are higher, making autoclaves very important in ensuring safe treatment and care giving.

Medical waste should also be sterilized before disposal to ensure no one else gets infected after disposal. In this case, autoclaving is used as a sterilization method. It has become very popular because it is environmentally friendly in application.

These pieces of equipment are readily available in the current market. You can purchase autoclaves from the laboratory equipment website Scienceinthetriangle.
Different Types of Autoclaves

There are different types of autoclaves. There is a simple autoclave which can be compared to a basic pressure cooker especially in appearance. It is a large pot with a lid that can be sealed onto the pot. This autoclave does the basic function of ensuring high temperature and pressure to kill the germs. It is mostly used in beauty parlors and school labs but can also be applied to a lesser extent in research laboratories.

In bigger establishments such as hospitals, there are bigger autoclaves that will cater to the demand and size of equipment being sterilized.

In terms of functionality, there is the positive pressure displacement autoclave and the negative displacement autoclave. They both work with pressure but the negative autoclaves expel all the air from the autoclave chamber while the positive one leaves the air in, builds up enough steam and then displaces it.
Industries that use Autoclaves

The use of autoclaves can be applied to various industries that need equipment sterilization. The various professionals that would apply the use of the equipment include doctors, nurses, surgeons, beauticians and dentists.

To achieve full sterilization, the use of autoclaves is necessary. Basic sterilization methods such as boiling water, alcohol or chemical solutions are not enough to keep infections away.

Constructive Ideas For Teaching Addition Skills

Constructive Ideas For Teaching Addition Skills

The purpose of this article is to put forward some ideas to help with the teaching of addition.

Combining groups of physical objects: for many students, this is their most basic experience of adding up. This process normally involves collecting two sets of objects, then counting how many objects there are in total. (For example, by building two towers of cubes, and then counting up every single block.) For many, this method can be too involved, particularly for those students who present attention deficit disorder. If the child cannot hold their attention for the whole of the activity, blocks will be put awry, towers will end up with additional blocks, blocks will get mixed up, and at the end, the wrong answer is arrived at. The length of the process means that if your child does not master the concept quickly, they are not likely to make progress at all. In addition, it is difficult to extend this process into a calculation that can be approached mentally: for example, try to imagine two large sets of objects in your head, and then count them all up. Even for adults, this is nearly impossible.

Simple drawings: jottings are a more useful alternative to the process described above. Write out the addition problem on a sheet of paper, and next to the first number, jot down the appropriate number of tallies (for instance, for the number 4, draw 4 tallies). Ask your student to predict how many tallies you will need to draw by the other number in the problem. When they come to the correct answer, ask them to draw the tallies. To finish with, ask how many tallies they have drawn altogether. This method is a much easier way of bringing together 2 groups, is less likely to be subject to mechanical error, and is better suited to students with poor focus. It also encourages the child to associate between what the written sum actually says, and why they are drawing a certain number of tallies.

Counting on: this is a technique based around your student’s capacity to say number names. When your child has reached a stage where they know how to count to five, start asking them questions like, “what number is 1 more than…” (eg. what comes after 2 when we count?) This is actually equivalent to answering an addition problem of the type 2+1, but helps to connect the ideas of counting and addition, which is very powerful. This technique gets your student ready to use number squares and gives them the confidence to answer problems in their mind. The method can also be made more difficult, by asking, “what number is 2 more than…” When your child can confidently respond to such problems out loud, show them the question written down, and explain that this is the same as the problem you had been doing before. This will help the child to see addition and counting as fundamentally related, and that this new problem is actually something they have met before.

Playing board games: this activity can be both a mathematical learning experience as well as a pleasant pastime. Games that require a counter to be moved around a board do a lot to encourage children to count on. If the board has numbers on it, the child is able to see that the action is similar to counting out numbers aloud, or using a number line. Make a point of remembering to draw attention to the relationship between using board games and addition.

Learning number facts: usually, we rely on number facts learnt by heart to help us answer addition problems. In a nutshell, we do not have to figure out the answer to 7 and 10, we simply remember it. Having the ability to recall addition facts allows us to tackle simple maths tasks confidently. Improve your student’s knowledge of known number bonds by singing nursery songs that tell stories of number. Take part in the game of matching pairs with the student, where the point of the game is identify the location of the question (for instance, 7+8) and the corresponding answer from a set of cards all turned face down. Create a set of flashcards with simple addition facts written on them, look at the cards one at a time, and ask the student for the answer, giving a good deal of applause when they give the right answer. When they are confident, expand the number of facts. Games will prevent your child perceiving addition as dull, and will build confidence.

Addition printables and worksheets: Practise makes perfect – and the right style of practice also lends more confidence. By utilizing simple worksheets, aimed towards your student’s ability and attention span, you are able to significantly improve your child’s ability with addition, both orally and written down. There are plenty of free internet sites that offer worksheets that help with the teaching of adding up, but it does matter what adding up worksheets you use. Ensure that the worksheets are aimed at the right level, being neither too difficult nor too easy, and are of the correct length to maintain the student’s interest. You should be attempting to present questions that foster their recollection of number facts, along with a scattering of sums involving some calculation. On the occasions that the student is successful, use the opportunity to give them a lot of praise; when they make a mistake, do not appear frustrated, but briefly explain their mistake. Using adding up worksheets in a considered way can really boost your student’s ability.