For those blog post I am going to focus on one that is quite salient when it comes to how we educate our youth: exercise (or, in reality, the lack thereof in schools). When it comes to how our brains developed in prehistoric times, we were most definitely not as sedentary as we now are.
In fact, according to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, we were moving "about 10 to 20 kilometers a day for men and about half that for women." In order words, we were walking up to 12 miles each day when our brains were developing. The blood flow caused by exercise goes hand in hand with our increase cranial capacity.
This fact could (and should) have immense repercussions for how education is conducted in the world. Not only should we be emphasizing fitness at home, but we should ensure it takes place in a meaningful way during the school day, preferably at the beginning of it. If we can get kids moving around before they have to learn something, they will likely retain it longer and in deeper ways.
The most recent lesson my student-teacher crafted is a great example of this: instead of teaching a concept in solving equations and giving a number of problems on it while seated, he brought the students to another room and had them follow questions to answers around an empty classroom. The students were constantly in motion, talking, solving, asking questions, etc. They were so engaged in their learning and moving around that I'm sure they will remember more of the concept on Monday than the way that I had taught it. So, like the good teacher I am endeavoring to be, I will likely use that lesson when we return from the weekend.
Imagine if schools began each day with some kind of exercise regimen - for staff and students alike. It could provide the energy boost we all need in the morning and help us retain more information. If only.