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Scientific Research Into The Benefits Of Montessori Education

The University of Virginia conducted a variety of studies on academic performance, social skills, behavioral tendencies and psychological norms of Montessori students who were five and twelve years of age. They then did comparable research on non-Montessori school children of the same ages. The study was recently published in the academic journal Science by Dr Angeline Lillard, one of the universitys professors of psychology at their Charlottesville campus. The results of the study lead to surprising headlines on mainstream media sources such as the Guardian in the United Kingdom and CBS in the United States.

In brief, the Montessori Method was developed over nearly four decades by the education and psychology specialist Maria Montessori. Her research and implementation of what is now the Montessori Method started at the beginning of the 20th century and has continued to be implemented in its purist forms and in other cases contextually adapted to meet social and cultural norms. The core principles stay the same regardless of contextualization though. First and foremost, the student is provided a safe and stimulating environment where they are granted the authority to follow their natural instinct to gravitate towards wanting to learn. Teachers guide students through the self-directed learning process and play the role as the facilitator and observer more so than the traditional teacher model. Sharing, fairness and inter-age socialization are encouraged while the system downplays the need for competition and stress in the classroom. Testing and grading is not a standard within the original methodology, but in countries such as the United States, children do complete the national standard exams. The culture of a Montessori school is sharply different than non-Montessori schools but the goal of educating the students is the same. But which is more effective?

Researchers from The University of Virginia found that the five year olds at Montessori schools had better math and reading skills and tested better than those pupils at public and non-Montessori private schools. Even without regular testing (as in public schools), the Montessori students were able to spell, utilize grammar and execute punctuation better. Their socialization and problem solving skills were vastly more developed over their counterparts as well.

Although Montessori twelve year olds scored similarly in math and reading skills on examinations, those who were observed and tested were significantly more creative and sophisticated with their writing skills. But due to the inter-age interaction and methodology of the Montessori school system, children demonstrated a more secure sense of self, and scored much higher on social and behavioral tests.

The research suggests that the Montessori Method is in fact the better education system, but Dr. Lillards main conclusion is that she is looking forward to further researching the topic nationally and potentially internationally to come up with more conclusive evidence.

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More from the Sister Study

In the March 17, 2009 issue of Life Extension Update, we reported the finding from the Sister Study, a cohort of healthy sisters of breast cancer patients, of a beneficial association between multivitamin use and telomere length, a biomarker of aging. Telomeres, which are repeating DNA sequences that cap the ends of chromosomes, shorten with increased cellular aging.

In articles published in the February and March, 2009 issues of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, further findings from the Sister Study concerning the impact of lifestyle on telomere length were revealed.

In the February, 2009 issue, Christine Parks, PhD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and her associates evaluated the effect of stress on telomere length in 647 Sister Study participants. Telomere length in DNA from blood samples was measured, and stress hormone levels in urine were assessed. Questionnaires completed by the subjects provided information on perceived stress levels.

Study participants, on average, reported low stress levels. “Even so, women who reported above-average stress had somewhat shorter telomeres, but the difference in telomere length was most striking when we looked at the relationship between perceived stress and telomere length among women with the highest levels of stress hormones,” Dr Parks observed. “Among women with both higher perceived stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, the difference in telomere length was equivalent to or greater than the effects of being obese, smoking or 10 years of aging.”

In the report that appeared in the March, 2009 issue of the journal, the effect of past and current body mass index (BMI) on telomere length was examined. Sister Study participants whose BMI categorized them as overweight or obese before or during their thirties and whose weight status was maintained were found to have shorter telomeres compared to subjects who became overweight at an older age. “This suggests that duration of obesity may be more important than weight change per se, although other measures of overweight and obesity were also important,” stated lead author Sangmi Kim, PhD, also of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “Our results support the hypothesis that obesity accelerates the aging process”.

“We anticipate a wealth of information to come out of the Sister Study,” predicted Dale Sandler, PhD, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and principal investigator of the Sister Study. “Not only do we hope to find out more about the environmental and genetic factors that might lead to breast cancer, we also want to learn more about how factors such as stress, diet and exercise might impact cancer and other disease risks.”

“Together these two studies reinforce the need to start a healthy lifestyle early and maintain it,” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences director Linda Birnbaum, PhD, concluded. “These papers remind us that there are things people can do to modify their behavior and live healthier lives, such as maintain a healthy weight and cultivate healthy responses to stress.”

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Study Guides – Are They Helpful

Have you ever purchased a study guide that promises to teach you the the great and amazing study secret that no one has ever heard of? In most cases, this type of hype does not carry any real content or any fulfillment to the many promises they make. Hence, It will be my intention today to try to guide you on how to find out the real study techniques that lead to success in your studies. First of all, let me start out by this premise:

There are no real short cuts or secrets to gaining knowledge, it’s a matter of hard word and patience. Hence the saying: Patience might be sour but its result is sweet. Although there are no (or very few) real study secrets, there do exist certain study techniques that will make your studying a whole lot easier and even more effective. As you yourself might know, there are numerous ways of studying and I can’t compel you to choice a certain way that doesn’t fit you, hence I strongly urge you to do the following:

No matter how you learn the best (by visual experience, kinetic etc) make sure that you do not change horses in midstream concerning the way you learn, ie do not flip flop between different learning approaches. This will inevitable confuse you and may even worsen your study results in the long run. Remember that studying a small amount of information each day on a long time period is several times better than studying an immense amount of information over a short time frame. Contingency is a vital component in your studies, never forget that!

This article was not written in order to spell out all the thousands of different study techniques found under the sun but in the hope of making you realize that one can systemize the way one studies and that this change really can make a difference. Therefore, I urge you once again to sit down and reflect for a moment; how do you learn the best? Be sure to write down your answers and review them with your self and see if you can make any general conclusions, you might be stunned to see that you might have had a bad approach for too long.

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Study Abroad Education Programs

Study abroad programs become the first choice when it comes to pursuing higher education. The advancement of technology and increasing liberalization have also elevated education abroad as a viable option for many. However, what has made these programs popular among the students of developing countries and other hitherto marginalized sections of the population is the availability of numerous study abroad scholarships and International fellowships.

Over the years, USA seems to have captured the imagination of the youth who wish to pursue higher education abroad. Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Singapore are some other places that have witnessed tremendous flow of International students. India and China are two other countries that are attracting a growing number of foreign students at present.

However, taking the decision to go abroad for studies is not an easy one as it involves considerable expenses. But with numerous education loans and scholarships around, it has become much easier today. Most of the countries that seek to attract students from other countries offer scholarships on a wide variety of study abroad programs that may include courses in medicine, engineering, arts and humanities, science, management, law, fashion design & technologies, and various other courses. For example, if you are willing to study in USA, you can think of applying for Fulbright Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, AFLSE Scholarships, Miss America Scholarships and so on. In order to qualify for certain scholarships you may have to fulfill certain criteria like merit, need, ethnicity etc.

For specific information on a country’s study abroad programs, it is always helpful to visit the local office of the country’s embassy or the office of the High Commission. Moreover, certain countries has also opened office specifically to cater to the needs of the International students. Certain good educational websites also provide information about the study abroad programs that are available in a country and other related information. Another option to take the right decision is to go for professional help and visit an experienced education consultant.

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Independent Study Why The Growing Trend In Independent Study Courses

Independent study courses have become more and more popular these days. What has caused this? That’s the main objective in this article. Specifically, we will discuss the benefits of independent study courses, and what has caused them to grow in popularity over the years.

Independent study courses are a way for you to earn high school or college credits, by completing assignments and course requirements independent from the classroom setting. The reason these have become more and more popular is they are accommodating all types of people in situations.

Consider the following options that are available to a wide range of students. High school students can take independent study courses in order to graduate early, or to catch up if they are behind. Also, high school students can take independent study courses which can give them dual credit, earning them both high school and college credit.

College students can take additional courses that their current college doesn’t offer, by signing up for an independent study course. Also, college students who work full time can utilize their time more appropriately by taking one or more independent study courses.

In fact, anyone who simply wishes to further their education, and get credit for it, or would like to continue working on a degree at their own pace, can take independent study courses. Since independent study courses are great options for almost any academic situation, you can see why their popularity has grown.

Independent study courses work like this. Once you complete the course, you are a warded the proper credits, which are transferable to almost all the educational institutes across the nation. You can register for the course online, receive the course assignments, complete them and submit them and pass your final exam, under the supervision of a certified Proctor, and you will earn your credits.

Once you have satisfactorily met all the requirements, and completed your final exam, a transcript and course completion notice will be sent to the designated educational Institute.

Given the fact that you can work at your own pace, that you have more choice over what you can study, and also because it is often a more financially feasible option, independent study courses are excellent alternatives to traditional classes.

In conclusion, I have given you some compelling reasons why independent studies have become a growing trend. Are they right for you? Take the information in this article, and use it to help you decide if it would be wise for you to pursue independent study courses.

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Why it matters for students to study Cambridge English and take their IELTS Exam

Why it matters for students to study Cambridge English and take their IELTS Exam

Some students may not realise it, but what they learn in school doesn’t just affect them for the time they are in the classroom. It also allows them to excel in their training for their future careers. It also allows them to better their English, in an attempt to communicate in a tongue that may be foreign to them.

While some may say the International English Language Test has undergone some changes that make it the best test, it still may be hard for students to master reading, understanding and writing an essay in English. However, this is a requirement of the IELTS exam. Unlike many other exams that assign a score, the IELTS exam assigns no score. Students instead receive bars that represent their skill mastery of the language. For many, an International English Language Test is not only about learning skills in order to be a great businessman. For many, it is learning how to survive in their own country and better themselves by learning a second or third language with their determination to master Cambridge English and the IELTS exam.

Important things to know about Cambridge English exams or International English Language Test

What should students know in order to better their Cambridge English or perform better on an International English Language Test? For many students, the most important skill they could learn is paraphrasing. Why is this important in an International English Language Test or IELTS testing? Learning to understand what is paraphrased can help students learn how to understand written Cambridge English better and quickly. This may also help them to increase their score on an International English Language Test. This is why paraphrasing may be one of the most important skills.

When coupled with good listening and reading skills, students have a better opportunity of earning a higher learning score. This may also benefit them greatly if they plan to enter into international business or take a job where international communication is extremely important. This is why students benefit from taking both a course in Cambridge English and the International English Language Test.

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Enhance Your Study Skills with Study Skills Tips

When we sit to study we need our full concentration which most of the time is lacking as our mind is most of the time lost in other things, and too much pressure on our minds at a time leads to confusion as a result of which we are not able to gasp the syllabus in the way effective enough to get us good results. To overcome such difficulties while studying it becomes necessary that you find some solutions which can help you in Improving Study Skills and let you complete your syllabus even within time restrictions. It is not at all necessary to study in any bounded way, because one can explain you your chapters but can’t teach you how to put them in your mind as every mind works at its own speed and pace and so same technique of studying can’t prove out to be useful for everyone. So the best way to put it is to find your own effective way of studying which prove out useful for you and help you complete your syllabus on time. When you have to finish a huge chunk of your course before your examinations then apply few of these Study Skills Tips to get through it. First and the foremost tip to keep in mind while studying is not to create a chaos and take it easy, as chaos only leads to confusions and no results. Try focusing on the important stuff essential for attempting your papers and avoid any unnecessary piece of information if it’s not very much required. Apply speed reading to fasten up the learning process; it saves your time both from learning and reading and to avoid the fear of missing out words try reading more than once. Improve your memory through some memory techniques and insert bulletin points, visual images and flow charts in your notes to make it less complicated and more interesting. Syllabus in colleges is harder and vast thus requires more time and better memory and so the College Study Skills also need to be different. To cope up with speed completion of the syllabus and vast variety of things to learn it becomes essential to let go word to word reading and understanding and to focus on getting the grip of what you need to study and then mould it in the form which helps you understand it all within less time and efforts.

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The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit at to know more about Improving Study Skills and College Study Skills .

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Accreditation for Online Education

There is no way to express the importance of accreditation for online education. When a school is accredited, that means it has been recognized by an accrediting institution (which itself is recognized by the United States Department of Education) based on a specific set of criteria. With peer reviews and professional qualifications, these accrediting bodies determine the legitimacy of online schools based on factors such as curriculum, admission requirements, faculty, mission, school resources and much more.

Why You Should Care About Accreditation for Your Online Education

Schools are not required to be accredited, and accrediting agencies are typically private organizations. So why should you care about the accreditation of your online education program? Well, there are several reasons, which will be explained further below.

Employers care.

The fact that your education might not qualify you for any good jobs should make you stop and listen. If you get a degree or certificate from an online school that isnt accredited, chances are that most potential employers you apply to work for will not find your education sufficient. Unfortunately, some employers might also question the validity of an online degree, but with accreditation, there is legitimate proof that your learning experience was just as valid as someone who attended classes on a campus.

Schools care.

If you are ever going to continue your education or you think that you could possibly switch schools at some point in the future, you definitely want to make sure the online school youre going to now is accredited. The credits earned from an unaccredited school will more than likely not transfer to any other legitimate educational institution.

The U.S. Department of Education cares.

Like many college students, you probably plan on filling out a FAFSA and applying for federal student aid, ranging from grants and scholarships to subsidized loans and work study programs. You wont be able to qualify for any of these financial aid options, however, if you are attending an unaccredited online school.

Check the Accreditation of Online Schools

So how do you check the accreditation for online education? It shouldnt be too hardjust dont believe every claim you hear. The accrediting agency of the school should be listed on their website in a location that is easy to find. From there, you can go to the U.S. Department of Education website to make sure they recognize that accrediting agency.

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Higher Education A Womans World

At first glance, higher education today might seem like a woman’s world.

Government officials have warned that men will face a struggle for good jobs in future as teenage boys shun university.

In 2006, 22,500 more young women than men went on to higher education. Ministers are increasingly concerned at the widening gender gap in higher education. Employers increasingly look to hire staff with degrees.

Consequently, men might find themselves marginalised in the jobs market.

Girls have been outperforming boys at GCSE, A-level and in university for years. But now girls are doing better at work too, earning more than boys in the first eight years of their careers.

In 2005, 80% of girls passed national curriculum tests in English, compared with 67% of boys.

At A level, girls passed 23.9% of exams at grade A, compared with 21.5% of boys. According to Higher Education Funding Council for England Figures last year showed 47% of 17-30 year-old women had gone into higher education in 2004, compared to 37% of young men.

Hefce chief executive Professor David Eastwood said: We need to understand better why this is happening and start taking some action sooner rather than later.

Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell said The government has introduced a number of strategies to address the gap in gender achievement and to raise the performance of all pupil.

The Raising Boys’ Achievement Project which looked at exciting and innovative ways of raising achievement across a range of primary, secondary, and special schools to identify and evaluate strategies which are particularly helping motivating boys.

Schools will be better able to address underachievement in the performance of boys and girls if they know when and where they emerge. A careful analysis of data, mapping the development of male and female pupils, particularly the value-added data, including a breakdown of data by key pupil sub-groups, will enable schools to plan when and how to intervene. Schools should monitor pupils progress regularly by gender.