Francisco Varela was a Biologist, Philosopher and Neuroscientist who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of Autopoiesis to Biology.

Back to School

STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW | by CAMERON CONAWAY

In Ethiopia, a foundation-led initiative uses accelerated learning techniques to give young people a second chance at an education.

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Charting a better course

THE ECONOMIST | Education

Twenty years ago Minnesota became the first American state to pass charter-school laws. (Charter schools are publicly funded but independently managed.) The idea was born of frustration with traditional publicly funded schools and the persistent achievement gap between poor minority pupils and those from middle-income homes.

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Science Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Bring Hip-Hop Into The Classroom

NPR | By ADAM COLE

“Modern-day rappers — all they talk about is money, and all these unnecessary and irrelevant topics,” says Victoria Richardson, a freshman at Bronx Compass High School. Richardson’s rhymes tackle a much less-popular subject: DNA.

Richardson and her teammates were finalists at the Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. (Bring Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science) competition, where she faced off against other science rappers from nine different New York public schools.

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Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

TED Talk

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.

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The Uses of Difficulty

THE ECONOMIST | By IAN LESLIE

Our brains respond better to difficulty than we imagine. In schools, teachers and pupils alike often assume that if a concept has been easy to learn, then the lesson has been successful. But numerous studies have now found that when classroom material is made harder to absorb, pupils retain more of it over the long term, and understand it on a deeper level.

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