A Memory Primer | Marc

Memory is essential for learning. In fact, memory is essential for life. Without memory, we would exist in the perpetual present, a void where we are unable to recall a past and incapable of anticipating a future. We wouldn’t recognise our loved ones or be able to plan our futures. And we wouldn’t be able to learn.

Despite the importance of memory, we still don’t really understand a great deal about how it works. Even with the thousands of laboratory studies and numerous case studies, we are only just beginning to understand how we store and recall information, and why it’s often so…

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excitELT: workers rake the coals | Marc

Image from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, 1966. Public domain. Could it be a group of teachers worrying about whether they will survive the industry/profession dichotomy?

OK, I know. “Marc, you are one of the people that are involved in Teachers as Workers, aren’t you?”

Actually, probably less than you think but, you know, I support them. I just don’t know how much I actually do apart from I’ve wrote a blog and struggled to archive some stuff for the group.

Anyway, yes, I could have submitted a presentation about how ELT is less exciting and more exploitative. However, I did…

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An Attachment Primer | Marc

I rarely write about attachment beyond the role it plays in childhood resilience. This is despite having a strong professional and personal interest in it (as well as having taught the topic for more than a decade). My professional interest lies in both my role as a psychologist and a teacher; the way in which our early experiences shape our later relationships and life trajectories. On a purely personal level, attachment is an important issue because I am a father but, more specifically, a father to a son who lost his mother at very early age.

It wasn’t a particularly rapid separation, not…

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Whose Cared A Lesson In? excitELT Tokyo 2018 hangout summary | Marc

Well, hello. This is a summary of my hangout at excitELT 2018 at Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro Campus. It was really good fun and the best thing was just nattering to people I know from Twitter and meeting new people!

My slides are here, but because it was a ‘hangout’, there was audience participation, and this is what I am going to put in this post.
What’s missing from materials for listening?
Michael Griffin
A range of speakers: kids, seniors, non-native speakers.
A variety of subjects, especially interesting/useful subjects.
Matt Shannon
Natural language, especially at a low…

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Some interesting facts about sleep | Marc

Sleep comes in two varieties, slow-wave sleep (or NREM sleep) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

REM sleep is the stage in which dreaming most often occurs.

REM sleep is often called paradoxical sleep. This is because the brain waves of a sleeping brain are very similar to those of an awake brain. 

Our bodies are paralysed during REM sleep.

Dolphins sleep with only half of their brain to prevent drowning. Once one side is fully rested, it flips over to the other half.

In 1964 an American high school student named Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes. He is still…

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Crisis? The Intersection between education and mental health, Part 2 | Marc

Part 2: The role of schools in child and adolescent mental health.

This is part 2 of a summary of Are the kids alright? Examining the intersection between education and mental health. Part 1 and context can be found here.

The role of schools in contributing to the ‘crisis’

Humphrey asserts that the transformation of the education system in recent years has ‘contributed to this public health crisis.’ In doing so he references several other authors who have reached similar conclusions.

Hutchings (2015) states that ‘Increased accountability measures in schools have a clear and…

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Crisis? The Intersection between education and mental health | Marc

Part 1: Is there a child and adolescent mental health crisis?

Are we currently in the throws of a child and adolescent mental health crisis? If we are, is our current education system in some way to blame?

These questions might seem simple enough, but when we dig a little deeper we find that any kind consensus is thin on the ground. There is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that young people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the pressure or daily life, both within and outside school. Some, like Natasha Devon (mental health campaigner and the former mental…

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