Showing posts with label Learning Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Learning Adventures. Show all posts

19 September 2013

Integrative complexity levels

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." ~ George Carlin

Photo Courtesy: LMCF

This week's Sepia theme takes me back to those afternoons when I was putting together a research proposal (Re: Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen).

The project focuses on integrative complexity (IC) defined as a measure of intellectual style used by individuals or groups in processing information, problem solving, and decision making. The IC construct is used to measure complexity levels of government leaders during periods of crises.  

Cognitive studies in communication examine changes in leaders' IC levels, i.e. world leaders in the war against terrorism, Middles Eastern leaders during the 9/11 crisis, German parliamentarians on the Gulf War.  The theory is that IC complexity levels decline during conflicts and increase during resolutions of conflicts.

A notable finding from a previous study shows that changes in IC levels could be used in predicting violence. The IC measure is found to be a tool in forecasting adversary intentions. There was talk of feasibility that the IC construct can be used to predict wars and thus prevent them. Yes, I hear you. It's a long shot.

Denmark's reputation as the world's second most peaceful country (Global Peace Index, 2008) accords the Danish government credibility to host research that supports peace as response to terrorism.  Authority strengthens validity of interest on a scientific contribution to world peace, the objective which the project ultimately intends to reach.

It's been awhile, 1990 most likely, since I sang Let There Be Peace with college mates at a commencement ceremony. Behind us on stage was the country's vice president who was to speak to the graduates. Fast forward to 2013 I muse, what could his IC levels have been like if he was the Philippines' top leader during terrorist attacks by the Abu Sayyaf, an Al Queda-linked Islamist separatist group...? Part of my methodology is to dissect selected Southeast Asian leader speeches to analyze IC levels. 

But then of course I was young and research was far from my mind as worrying was near my juvenile vocal chords over hitting the right notes to Let There Be Peace on Earth.

13 July 2012

Mild phone addiction

In a bid to make CJ follow his morning routine before going to school, i.e., eat, brush teeth and shower on time, I offered him a deal he could not say no to: his own mobile phone. He is mainly after the games so I bought him this China-made, disposable Nokia something.

And a mild addiction began surfacing. More worthwhile activities are put on hold. Yaya could hardly coax him to eat. Wasn't I told in previous talks with the Grandma that CJ was so keen on this sort of gadget? So I learned yet again.

The fun is on sending each other messages when we are actually just a room apart, no matter how terse replies to my full sentences are. Some indulgence during a two-week vacation when distance between us shrank could not be very bad. Gradual phone use restriction should be in order now that I'm back to reality, a.k.a. work.

15 June 2012

Benefiting from English

Monday, June 11th was CJ's first day in first grade and the next day I was still on the phone, hungry for updates. My foremost concern was how did he find and take it. Any friends? The first day, I was told, they did mostly orientation stuff. What I liked hearing best of all was that CJ found a friend and behaved just fine.

"Oh, that's good," I said to the Grandma. "Who is that kid?" Like any mom I am interested to know who are my child's friends. CJ's new school friend, I found, is a transferee student from Cebu. "Looks like a smart kid," Grandma observed, "he and CJ hit it off quickly as they have one thing in common - they both speak English."

Apparently, CJ's English language training has benefited him. And I have yet to 'unboggle' my mind about all this talk of local dialects in Philippine schools being adapted as medium of instruction, translations to English, and back to conversational lingo. Sometimes it seems to me Moms have more schoolwork to do than kids.

Mommy Moments & Color Connection

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14 April 2012

Getting kids to eat healthy meals

It's a challenge; and understandable enough: if it's hard getting adults to eat healthy, how do we go about this business on kids?

I check what I am doing or not or have done against professional advice that I read.  MedicineNet nutrition experts suggest ways for parents to guide their children to eat a sound diet.

Avoid power struggle
"Do it because I'm the parent" or worse, "Eat or else..." Have you said something like that to your kids during a meal? Once I told my son, "no eat, no play." I realize it could be a form of slight power struggle. He ate but couldn't have understood why he had to eat in order to play. Author of The Parent's Toolshop Jody Johnston Pawel explains that this rationale does not work for long.

I had no idea children have to be exposed to a new food 10 to 15 times before they accept it. If they play with a berry on their plate, parents are advised not to give up but keep encouraging them to eat. Suggested exposure is 1 or 2 new foods a week.

Don't label
We may refer to children who are difficult to feed as "limited eater" rather than "picky." Experts claim that kids under 5 are normally selective eaters.

Build on the positive
A child's growth spurt is an opportunity to introduce new foods, but don't let your child eat all he wants just because things have become easier on the dining table.

 Let kids participate
"Get a step stool and ask your kids to lend a hand with easy tasks in the kitchen," says Sal Severe, author of How to Behave So Your Children Will Too.  He gives the logic here: if children participate in helping to make the meal, they are more likely to want to try it.

Don't bribe
Do you use sweets to get your child to eat what you want him to? I sometimes do. But experts advise parents to avoid it because it can send a message that eating veggies should involve a reward.

"The real reward of sound nutrition is a healthy body, not a chocolate cupcake."

Beware of over-snacking
If you remember your mom or dad giving you less to eat between meals, they were right. The problem is not the child does not like new food, but he is actually already full from snacks. Children can consume a lot of calories from milk and juice or chips and sodas.

"Good snacks are those that supplement meals, not sabotage them."

Role modeling on the dining table
"Do as I say, not as I do" is not just old, it's wrong.  You can't expect your kids to have salad while you are having french fries.

Defuse mealtimes
Don't discuss your child's eating habits during meals. Tense talk loses people their appetite. Parents can stress the importance of good eating through stories around bedtime.

Give it time
Children are known to grow out of limited eating as they grow older. One day you may be surprised to see them eat healthy food on their own; without being told.

I didn't like vegetables for as long as I can remember when I was a kid. But at age 19 that  was no longer the case. I finally learned the value of healthy eating.

09 February 2012

Famous dyslexics

Top Gun glamor Tom Cruise. Not new. Einstein, Currie, Edison. Entrepreneurs and nobel laureates - believable enough as research links dyslexia with high cognition and creativity. When Cher acted in the Mask as a mom who could not read, I didn't know she was also dyslexic in real life. Names like Kiera Knightley, Andy Warhol and George Washington made me go 'they too?' Now some 13 other biggies:

1. John Lennon. It was his voice singing "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" I was hearing while traipsing the killing fields in Cambodia.

2. Nigel Kennedy.  ... all those violin music I have been fortunately subjected to lately

3. Leonardo da Vinci.  Just huge.

4. Pablo PicassoPortrait de la tante Pepa

5. Hans Christian Andersen.  Fairy tales are so alive in my world!

6. Agatha Christie. I wanna get my hands on The Body in the Library

7. Terry Goodkind, author of The Sword of Truth series.

8. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hmnn... I have never finished reading The Great Gatsby

9. John Edmund Delezen. I play Eye of the Tiger when writing killer university exams

10. Fannie Flagg. I still have Fried Green Tomatoes. Unopened.

11. Philip Shultz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

12. Patricia Polacco, children's author and illustrator

13. William Butler Yeats. I guess I will be austenuating 'a fire in my head' for awhile

Megan and Janet host Thursday 13

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