Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Post #13
Alison Gopnik is a psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She researches about how children in their early stages think. Alison has wrote many books about her research. In her video, What do babies think?, she explains how the past 20 years scientist and psychologist have changed their views on how babies think. I think that it is crazy how babies and children use statistics and probabilities to solve problems. It makes sense that they do, but I have never really thought of it that way.

One quote from Alison that stood out to me was "Babies and young children are very bad at narrowing down to just one thing. But they are very good at taking in lots of information of lots of different sources at once." She uses an example of 18 month old babies by testing the broccoli experiment and how the babies react to what the person wants to eat. I don't remember anything from when I was a baby but I always wonder how smart I actually was. But as a young child, I do remember riding my first bike, going to the park and stuff like that. I never actually realize how much information on took in from just being around my family and seeing them do things. If adults had as much curiosity or imagination as babies do then I feel like we could all be Albert Einstein's and would not have a problem with learning. I also like her video of the little boy going through 5 different hypothesis's to try to figure out how the other box lights up. That video shows that children have so much curiosity and can be very smart. Overall this was a great talk from Alison Gopnik, and I think that every parent should watch this to show them that every baby or child has the potential to learn.

The video I watched “To this day….. For the bullied and beautiful”, was by a poet named Shane Koyczan. Shane is a poet who uses his talents to shine light on being young and being different. As a child Shane was picked on, called names, and considered an outcast. He said that as a youth he was asked what he wanted to be. After saying what he wanted to be he was told what he couldn't be. He was told to accept the identity of what others gave him. Shane’s dreams were called names also, they were said to be silly, foolish, and impossible. Shane ends his poem with a story of a boy and girl who were bullied. The two kids experienced their first sign of bullying at the age of 8 when they both got moved to the back of the class to avoid the spit balls. They felt they were outnumbered day by day. The little girl to this day still doesn't believe she is beautiful because of what was done to her as a child.  Then the story of the little boy who was adopted at a young age, by the 8th grade he was seeing doctors and taking pills to hind the pain. Shane wants people who battle with bullying to dispose of the thoughts of what they use to be and look at themselves as something beautiful.

From this Ted talk I learned that bullying is a serious issue. I learned that in order to get over what was done to you as a child you have to look at yourself as more than what others perceived you to be. Unfortunately bullying can begin at such a young age, you have no earthly idea of who you are or what you can be. Shane emphasizes on knowing your worth. It is important that we all find our gift and nurture. We are all special and knowing that allows us to reach all of our goals in life. I think Shane is a great poet and that this video can open a lot of people’s eyes to bullying and how it affect other peoples’ lives. That little girl will probably have to battle with the fear of being lonely and not enough all her life just because she was considered different in school. I also learned that as a teacher you should never tell a student their dreams are stupid, silly, or impossible. As a teacher we have to protect those kids who are different, prevent the bullying and give those students a life to look forward to. If we let students be bullied we will open the window for failure and even depression. As a teacher we should embrace all levels of creativity and intelligence. We should also encourage our students to embrace one another and learn to accept one another regardless of their differences. We should also teach our children that being different is not a form of alienation or a reason to outcast someone, yet being different is being special. The last thing I learned was that we are all beautiful and that we must embrace our beauty and let it shine.

I watched the video turning trash into toys for learning by: Arvind Gupta.  Arvind Gupta is an indian toy inventor. He creates toys to help children learn about science. He has authored many books on these toys in several different languages.  In this video Mr. Gupta talks about new toys that are being created in small villages from recycled goods. The toys are made out of simply things like match sticks and rubber. The toys can be put together by the children that are using them, and can be very useful for things like geometry. Mr. Gupta is giving many different examples of very cheap and easy ways to create toys that will help teach children about science and the principles of it. I thought that all of these little gadget toys were really cool.

My favorite of all his toys was the straw one in which he blew into and cut the straw shorter and shorter as he was blowing in it which made the sound it creater become higher and higher pitched. This particle toy could be a really great tool for blind kids. Blind kids could very easily learn how to different length of vibrations create different sounds without seeing it happen but only feel the straw and hear it. I think that these toys are extremely useful and wonderful tools to help teach children in poverty stricken areas the properties of science and such.


  1. Great post post> I only found one mistake. The sentence "I never actually realize how much information on took in from just being around my family and seeing them do things". I think you meant to use the work I and not on. I find it amazing to learn that I could have been good at statistics and probabilities as a baby. I wish I still had it because statistic is not a easy subject to take as an adult.

    1. Sorry type"o" I only meant to use post once

  2. "Alison has wrote many books ..." has written, not has wrote.

    Do we start school too late in life?